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This topic contains 136 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  superblonde 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #9220

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I feel like there is something interesting in the progress graphs I posted for S&A and SK3 – the slopes of the line for how my BPM is improving, how the slope is probably similar across exercises. It makes me wonder that if I start learning a bunch of different riffs that are completely new to me, for example any of the Classic Licks riffs, if the slope of the learning curve will be similar in terms of getting up to a fast speed. If speed improvement is across the board, and the riffs are mostly at the same level of co-ordination difficulty, then I would be able to get completely new riffs up to my fastest overall tempo (maybe my “max potential picking speed”?) at ever increasing rates of improvement? I don’t really see this myself yet (or maybe I don’t notice). This is kind of a more data centric way of asking something barks brought up a while ago about how to get fast enough for solo’s.

    Anyway I wonder if anyone has progress data to share to support this or what. Do different guitar students have similar slopes to their learning curves.. could the curves be a comparison for approximating an amount of time to learn a new riff or song.. would the slope of the curve be a way to measure approximate skill level (so subjective descriptions of song difficulty might be normalized across different students).. etc.

    Ok sorry for getting nerdy LOL

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #9221

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I haven’t looked closely at your graphs, but I think a key question is to do with what your maximum accurate speed is for “simple” exercises.

    Apologies if I’m too much in “projecting” mode, with the suggestions below. 😉

    I think there can be limits in your speed progress that will be technique dependent.

    While practicing a variety of things is good for avoiding boredom and developing overall hand strength, if your goal is speed, then practicing left hand movements that are not “speed optimized” can introduce habits that might be hard to break later. A particular villain here is “letting your fingers raise too far above the strings when you release a note”.

    Maybe you have that monster beat already. But if you don’t, incremental improvements in speed still with “flyaway fingers” will eventually hit a wall that you will not be able to pass without changing to tighter technique.

    I think a good gauge might be how close to your “max potential picking speed” you can alternate pick simple three note patterns on a single string. This is getting back to the old “how efficiently can you fret and release notes” question that is the fundamental limiting factor for left hand technique. I think that if you can’t already repeat each of the 3 basic 3-note-per-string shapes on a single string at close to your max potential picking speed, then the left hand technique you are working with is a “limited speed” left hand technique. That technique still may have it’s place in your playing for reasons other than speed, but if your goal is to be able to play licks at a speed approaching your max potential picking speed, then you need to train left hand movements that are efficient enough to keep up with your right hand, and the easiest place to start doing that is in simple single string patterns.

    For me, I think the best progress with tightening up left hand technique has come not so much from making an explicit effort to keep the fingertips hovering close to the strings, so much as it has come from doing a lot of four finger chromatic exercises up and down the neck, emphasizing a classical-style “finger contraction” string release instead of a bedroom-rocker “left and extend” string release. That is, cultivating the habit that on string release, the amount of curvature in the finger *increases* slightly and the fingertip moves back toward the base of the finger. The movement won’t always be quite so exaggerated, but I think doing a lot of chromatic exercises that emphasize this movement has gone a long way to improving the efficiency of my left hand.

  • #9224

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I’m not sure what my curve for getting up to fast speed was. But I do know that when I wasn’t so fast, most of my time spent on learning material was spent on getting the technique down to play it right. Now, getting the technique down isn’t a problem, now the thing that I mainly focus on is just remembering what I’m learning because if I look at something new now, unless it’s really complex, I can learn it and play it as fast as I can remember it. You just eventually get to a point where your fingers know what to do and only your brain is what you need to pay attention to.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #9227

    AlleyCatRocker1980s
    Participant

    This is a pretty interesting thread Superblond….I’ve been studying your

    progress graphs,an they are not only interesting,but amazing!

    I feel that where you are now,in conjunction to where you will be a year from now

    will be very interesting indeed…. An the graphs, will be a great thing to continue to do!

    Your graphs,are a great idea..an a pretty cool alternative from writing things down in a tedious little book..

    You are very much, on the rite track this is a good idea!…:)

    If you wanted to, not saying you had to..but you could also go to a printer copy machine, an copy this thread

    so you could also keep this in a lil file,as well of all your progress on the graphs…

    Practicing Guitar

  • #9242

    barks62
    Participant

    Superblonde, I think that as you practice more, you will see a quicker learning curve for everything you learn.  Licks and patterns in songs are usually similar to each other, so once you get some basic movements down you can learn new material more quickly because the new material is just a variation on the stuff you’ve already done.  And when you learn something that really is completely new, your coordination has improved and it’s easier to get it all under your belt.  So if you give yourself a few months of practicing just technique, then come back to learning licks again, you’ll get them quicker than you are now.

    But that brings us to Safteyblitz’s point, which is an excellent one. You need to really master the technique.  Not the technique of playing licks, but the individual techniques involved.  If you want to pick faster, you have to spend time just picking.  Lots of time just picking.  If you want to fret notes faster, spend lots of time just fretting.  Build the strength in your fingers, then put the two together.  This is something 2handband told me and I saw an article about it on Guitar World’s website.  The GW article said to spend three minutes at a time just downpicking as fast as you can at a consistent speed (with a metronome).  Then alternate pick as fast you can at a consistent speed for three minutes.  Don’t worry about what notes you’re playing – just pick.  Then spend three minutes doing legato exercises to strengthen your fretting fingers.  Same deal, use a metronome and do it at a consistent speed for three minutes.  Not even changing frets, just stay on the same four frets and do random combinations of fingers for three minutes.

    The thing here is, you won’t be able to play licks fast if you can’t pick fast and you can’t fret fast.  And how do you get faster at picking?  By practicing picking!  How do you get faster at fretting?  By fretting!  So focus on those things individually, then put them together.

    I’ve been doing this religiously for a few month.  My picking speed has gone from putrid to just bad, so I guess that’s something.  The bright side is, I can finally tremolo pick with a decent amount of speed.  I couldn’t do that at all six months ago.

  • #9247

    rorygfan
    Participant

    Then when you get down picking fast picking on one string, then start all the exercises on string skipping, hybrid picking, various common patterns in songs of skipping strings with economy picking, perhaps fingerstyle picking like “Travis picking”, etc.

  • #9250

    grondak
    Participant

    I think each student has their personal best topic and personal worst, and many in-betweens. If you admire another’s skill in some part of guitar work, and want that super power too, go borrow their style for a while and focus.  If you analyze yourself and find a spot for improvement, focus.  For example, I admired people who play accurately.  I focused on that. I miss less often and hear/feel my misses easier so that I can correct them. Speed and Accuracy and working through many problems with the help of my friends were the ways I focused.  I admired people with good rhythm, so I focused. Now I have much better timing because I’m counting nearly everything. I think I leveled up a few weeks ago (to level 1, lol) and can feel another level on the way.  Put polish on everything and you’ll be a bit brighter overall 🙂

     

    Metal Method is helping me across the board!

  • #9270

    Igglepud
    Participant

    I didn’t chart any of this, but here is what my personal experience was like (mainly all with acoustic):

    Year 1: The guitar is frustratingly difficult, but I put in the work and can play D, C, and A. Then more chords, chords, and chords.

    Year 2: I suddenly saw the relationship between all these chords, saw chord progressions, moved beyond open chords, learned a few songs, experimented with different picking styles

    Year 3: Open chords are no longer even a challenge. Added singing and playing at the same time.

    Year 4: Metal Method! Actual attempts at lead guitar. This feels ALMOST like starting over. Work on scales, runs, riffs, and basically everything in the basics first 5 stages.

    What I noticed is that the initial learning was the most difficult. Then, the guitar wasn’t a stranger, and it was just adding new things to DO with the guitar that became hard, but I could pick them up a lot faster than I could the original learning. The fundamentals were already there, I just needed to apply them differently.

    So I feel like I followed an S curve. It was horribly slow in the beginning. Then, I learned a whole lot of stuff really fast (it was all shiny and new and I loved it!) Then I hit a plateau. I was PROFICIENT at a lot of stuff, but becoming REALLY good at a specific aspect (for example finger picking or lead solos) is slow going again.

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #9271

    barks62
    Participant

    So I feel like I followed an S curve. It was horribly slow in the beginning. Then, I learned a whole lot of stuff really fast (it was all shiny and new and I loved it!) Then I hit a plateau. I was PROFICIENT at a lot of stuff, but becoming REALLY good at a specific aspect (for example finger picking or lead solos) is slow going again.

    Very well said.  I agree completely.

  • #9272

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I think there can be limits in your speed progress that will be technique dependent.

    Maybe you can give an example – I guess maybe like barks said such as a certain picking style as a limitation, but that is pretty general. I know if I tried to learn a riff that had a vibrato part then I would be really stuck because my vibrato skill is basically non existent right now. I am guessing that is what you mean. Mostly the personal learning curves that I am thinking of are charted when I dont have these kind of obstacles because it doesn’t really apply to a ‘normal’ learning curve, it is a different class by itself.

    Anyway what I’m implying is that if a handful of guitar students all at about stage 4 skill level lets say, all charted their general progress when learning a new song part up to speed, then maybe in aggregate, these curves might show something about either average classifications of skill levels, or trends in how students do actually get faster at picking up new things to faster tempo within their existing technique toolbox (I guess that’s what you guys are kind of hinting at so I’ll call it that). I mean the entire curve should move to the left every time a new lick is learned, by at least a little bit.

    I think I will try this type of graph for Classic Licks which maybe I’ll tackle next as soon as I get out from under trying to learn a dozen songs in 2 weeks (should be noted that Doug says the licks in Classic Licks are varying degrees of difficulty and not in any particular order for learning one by one). But I’m trying to learn to play, hah, not trying to write an academic paper, so it’s not like I’m looking to log my progress so pedantically.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #9275

      safetyblitz
      Participant

      Maybe you can give an example – I guess maybe like barks said such as a certain picking style as a limitation, but that is pretty general.

      Heh, that’s what I was trying to do in my discussion about “flyaway” left hand fingers. 😀

      But to get into this point a little deeper, guys like Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert may have put lots of work in, but they didn’t gradually increase their playing speed over a period of 20 years. They were doing something right, and a period of intense practice over a couple of years brought them to a level at age 18 or 19 that most players NEVER attain. Part of it is probably natural “athletic” ability with their hands, part of it is putting in the time, and part of it is probably having the neuroplasiticity of youth working in their favor when they started. But another huge part of it is either through good instruction or through their own intuitive problem solving, arriving at a technique to practice with that was conducive to high-speed playing.

      MAB talks about this principle all the time as a deeper explanation of “you have to play slow to play fast”. It’s not enough merely to practice slow: THE SLOW PRACTICE NEEDS TO BE THE SAME MOVEMENT AS THE FAST TECHNIQUE. The pitfall that traps so many guitarists is that they have a technique that “kinda” works, and will allow them to reach decent tempos, but has an upper bound on its speed potential that is far below what most of us think of as “fast” guitar playing in the vein of MAB or Gilbert.

      As a very rough analogy, imagine if you had never run before. You had always walked everywhere, either completely flatfooted, or with a rolling “heel-to-toe” motion. You can do as many laps around the track as you want with your flat feet. You’ll probably even increase your top speed somewhat over time. But you’ll never reach the top speeds of the guys who are running on the balls of their feet. You might have a coach suggest to run on the balls of your feet, or you might watch the fast guys and realize that’s what they’re doing and try it yourself, or you might “accidentally” start running on the balls of your feet during your 99999th lap around the track. Or you might, without thinking about it, naturally start running on the balls of your feet a quarter of the way through your first lap ever.

      I realize the analogy is slightly off, because the biomechanics of the human body are such that the overwhelming majority of people will tend to rise onto the balls of their feet when they try to run fast. But the my point is how LIMITED your ability to perform will be if you don’t make that adaptation. Guys like Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert are the ones who started running on the balls of their feet early on, even if they didn’t realize that’s what they were doing. The people who tell you “just keep practicing and practicing and increase gradually and it will come” are people who themselves have started running on the balls of their feet, but again, they probably don’t know they do it, and it took them thousands of hours of practice before they “accidentally” fell into the groove of doing it.

      The moral of the story is that if you are running flatfooted, merely “putting in the time” is a lousy strategy for learning to run fast. It leaves largely to chance whether or not you will have the good fortune to “unintentionally” start running on the balls of your feet. If you never do, you’ll be scratching your head at the track every day wondering why there are so many other runners who are “naturally fast”, but you can’t even seem to get beyond first gear, no matter how hard you press the gas pedal (how’s that for mixing metaphors? ;-)). Sure, learning to run on the balls of your feet is just a start, and you still need to train to get better, and there are Usain Bolts out there who will always be faster than you no matter what you do. But in the absence of brilliant advice from a coach, you should try to be as mindful and self-aware as possible in your practice. Think about the movements you are making and look for inefficiencies that you could streamline. The giant red flag one that is often talked about but ignored by beginners is the “flyaway fretting fingers” bottleneck.

      Another major bottleneck is single note picking speed, what MAB refers to as “Max potential picking speed”.

      Another bottleneck that limits many, many “intermediate” players, is how to move the pick from string to string efficiently, especially with odd-numbered groups of notes on each string.

      You can look for instruction that addresses each of those bottlenecks, or you can undertake a highly analytical investigation into your own playing and the playing of others to look for solutions to those problems, or you can just keep “putting in the time” hoping that you’ll intuitively stumble into solutions to those problems.

      It seems like the great majority of guitar players and instructors seem to think that the 3rd approach in the preceding paragraph: “keep putting in the time until you attain enlightenment” is the ONLY way to improve, and I think that’s a steaming pile of crap. I’ve progressed more in that last year than I had in the previous 20, and it didn’t come from suddenly putting in way more practice hours.

  • #9397

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Hm, excellent points. Reminds me I should pick up Troy Grady’s material for the picking aspect. As I kind of mentioned elsewhere I think I got a big boost in improvement when I started repeatedly practicing really slow for long periods of time, like 40 bpm for a solid focused hour when my max was 80. A lot of the random mistakes I kept making when playing anything previously, just sort of “went away”. And also, not increasing tempo until the slow speed really felt fluid. In that respect by graph curve isn’t as steep as it could be because I purposely keep at a lower BPM than max, maybe 50%-60% of max. I guess fly away fingers is relative, I’m better at that now, still a lot of movement. I think Sarah’s exercises in Melodic Principles helped, I should start doing them regularly again.

    A neat set of exercises to track on a curve might be the pentatonic pattern in the same position but different sequences of the notes, like the simple 3 note up + 1 note back (1,2,3..3,4,5..5,6,7..etc), vs 3 note up + 2 note back (1,2,3..2,3,4..3,4,5..etc), vs etc. Maybe I messed up those examples, it’s easier to play them than explain them.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11531

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    About learning curve of learning songs- an update for comparison in maybe 6 months..

    As of right now I find a “learn one song a week” to be very optimistic. [Long rant edited out] By some objective measurements it takes me at least 6 weeks to learn a song well enough to post a so-so cover of it, or maybe only 4 weeks if it’s rather simple song. Plus several more weeks if it has a solo.

    It’s not enough merely to practice slow: THE SLOW PRACTICE NEEDS TO BE THE SAME MOVEMENT AS THE FAST TECHNIQUE.

    This is what really bums me out. Right now in effect I practice each song in 2 different ways simultaneously. First, the sloppy version, so I can play it with the group all the way thru. Second, the real version done slow (starting at 25% tempo then up from there). I really view the sloppy version as a big snafu time sink – it does have some benefits though like having to memorize the song structure up front, which is harder to see if only practicing in tiny slow chunks.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #12236

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    As a picture is worth a thousand words, here is the chart.

    superblonde-Joker-Progress

    That’s a chart of my progress log for a single song (+ it’s solo) to date. The cumulative time is underestimated which means I probably spent more time than shown here. The amount of time spent on other songs is probably 3x-4x this one, because this is a pretty straightforward song (easy power chords, easy riff that is only hard because of speed, easy solo maybe on the level of stage 3). 1600 minutes = approx 27 hours. Spread over 55 practice days so far, that is approx. 29 minutes practice time for this song per day on average. It’s not over yet because the real test is yet to be done on it (playing it live somewhat well).

    The previous work-in-progress covers I posted of this song are here-

    Wolfmother cover

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. superblonde-Joker-Progress.png

  • #12238

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    As long as the lines keep going up you know you’re doing the right thing.  🙂

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #12239

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Yea hope springs eternal, ha. When looking at a line like that I can’t help but think I’m doing something wrong which results in such slow progress. 8 weeks so far. Also this isn’t the hardest song I’m working on, it’s probably #2 on the list, the #1 song I spend 3x as much time on.

    It’s well worth spending a lot of time up front to decide if a song is easy enough to play.. avoid the entire bottleneck (I didn’t have a choice on these).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13402

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Recent Premier Guitar article about shredding and measuring progress-

    Premier Blog • April 2016 • Tuning Up
    … a recent write-up in The Atlantic [“The Quantified Welp,” February 25, 2016] cites a new study from Journal of Consumer Research, as well as experiments at Duke University, that suggest the act of measuring an activity that we’re engaged in with a specific goal in mind can increase how much we enjoy doing it. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23909-tuning-up-burn-your-woodshed-the-genius-gamble-the-creativity-paradox by Shawn Hammond

    That’s kind of common sense I’d think! If people see progress, people are happy. Happy people continue doing what they’re doing which leads to more progress which leads to more happiness, etc. Easy way to see progress is to measure it and make a colored line connecting the dots. Just like Motley says –

    As long as the lines keep going up you know you’re doing the right thing.

    Yes, basics! right.

    Then the author of the article goes off track into sarcasm and I disagree with this part. I think it is a common mistaken attitude so I wanted to mention it:

    Sure, it’s a no-brainer that you should adequately prepare for a gig. But knowing when you’re ready is more about listening and observing than hitting a numerical goal. Approaching music as a contest of statistical probabilities isn’t just ridiculous, it’s the root evil of a lot of crap music being doled out to us today. The paradox is that many of us have this mindset without even realizing it. We don’t think, “I’m going to practice [or jam or write songs] more because science and statistics prove I’ll have a better chance of striking melodic gold.” It’s more innocuous—“If I just keep woodshedding, I’ll be ‘better.’” And “better” is good, right? …. Simonton’s larger conclusion was not that greatness comes by sheer dint of mind-numbing repetition. As Kaufman puts it, “the secret to creative greatness appears to be doing things differently—even when that means failing … creative geniuses simultaneously immerse themselves in many diverse ideas and projects.” We should be approaching our music differently from both other people and from project to project. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23909-tuning-up-burn-your-woodshed-the-genius-gamble-the-creativity-paradox

    In hard facts by measuring my progress on my Wolfmother song (as my example), I could accurately predict my success at nailing both the song and the solo live. Can’t beat real results based on hard data. The drawback is that people are uncomfortable with hard data (and fear math in general) so they make every excuse for why it should not be used, like the article shrugs it off, “meh, music isn’t a contest”. My other alternative is to ask my band mates and especially band leader “well, how do I sound, does it sound ready, if so, let’s go with it.” Who do I trust more: my numbers, or my band. I would actually say I trust my numbers more. Numbers don’t lie and people unintentionally do (sure numbers can be interpreted or presented different ways but that’s also the human part talking, not the numbers fault).

    Unfortunately I guess the sarcasm in the article buries his real point, which is: change up the routine periodically and experiment in diverse genres. That still keeps progress measurement as a tool even when experimenting. Say there’s some new wah-for-2016 sound, it’s still suitable to measure it in audacity to see how precisely the desired sound can be hit while playing. Which was also the subject of Doug’s recent newsletter- how to measure one of the qualities of playing, using audacity (or other daw).

    I haven’t looked closely at your graphs

    Strangely enough my bandmates and band leader didn’t either.
    Frontman emailed back “I don’t understand what you are saying”
    well, at least he was honest.
    someone else might have gotten a little upset (I vaguely heard 2nd hand), I can only guess maybe they thought it implied they were not working hard enough.
    Although if they understood the graph and did these themselves and presented the data (transparency), I believe the band could go farther, faster. It would pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses very easily. But few people like to know their weaknesses in such a kind of harsh way.

    Open note to journalists and guitar magazine article authors: don’t use sarcasm in articles, it’s distracting and dorky, also often misleading.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13405

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    As long as the lines keep going up you know you’re doing the right thing.

    Yes, basics! right.

    No. This is a dangerous, dangerous trap. Lines going up *MAY* be a result of doing the right thing, but not necessarily. You need to regularly assess your technique itself. A relatively new player can’t help but make speed progress early on, but steadily increasing numbers in the early days can give you a false sense of security. Bad technique has a low ceiling for progress. If you make initial progress despite bad technique, all you’re doing is creating bad habits that you’ll have to break later. There’s a chance you might get lucky and fall into good technique by accident, but the only way to be sure is to regularly assess the technique itself, and not rely on the numbers as a signal that you’re doing things right.

    This ties into the whole point of my earlier post: you can have bad habits that allow you to make some incremental progress in the short term, but will result in unsurmountable plateaus in the long term. A metaphor for this might be “cheating” on your technique in weight lifting: it allows you to lift more weight today than you’d be able to lift with correct technique, but using the “cheat” technique instead of proper technique will prevent you from strengthening the muscles the exercise is intended to strengthen, and you’ll eventually hit a wall that the “cheat” technique can’t break through, because the cheat has essentially circumvented the development that is needed to perform at a high level. Much more valuable than simplistic number-chasing (until you’re an advanced player with rock solid technique), is using video or better yet, an analytically minded teacher, to monitor and help you tweak your technique. Incrementally increasing the numbers with bad technique will max itself out far short of your true potential. Then you’ll be one of the tens of thousands of prematurely plateaued guitar players wondering why they can’t seem to get any faster no matter how much they practice.

  • #13406

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Strangely enough my bandmates and band leader didn’t either. Frontman emailed back “I don’t understand what you are saying” well, at least he was honest. someone else might have gotten a little upset (I vaguely heard 2nd hand), I can only guess maybe they thought it implied they were not working hard enough. Although if they understood the graph and did these themselves and presented the data (transparency), I believe the band could go farther, faster. It would pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses very easily. But few people like to know their weaknesses in such a kind of harsh way.

    Nothing says “rock n’ roll” quite like ISO 9001 certification.

  • #13407

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    In hard facts by measuring my progress on my Wolfmother song (as my example), I could accurately predict my success at nailing both the song and the solo live. Can’t beat real results based on hard data.

    You’re talking about developing sufficient technique to regurgitate a particular song that was written by someone else. I got the impression that part of the author’s point was about developing well-rounded musicianship and creativity, and that technique itself is only a small part of that.

  • #13408

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Who do I trust more: my numbers, or my band. I would actually say I trust my numbers more. Numbers don’t lie and people unintentionally do (sure numbers can be interpreted or presented different ways but that’s also the human part talking, not the numbers fault).

    You’re making the mistake of assuming that all the elements of good performance are encapsulated by a “beats per minute” figure. It’s possible to attempt to quantify every aspect of a musical performance, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re actually doing. You’re drastically oversimplifying.

    I’m not saying “don’t try to measure your progress”. I’m saying “recognize the limitations of the measurements you’re making”.

  • #13409

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    If you can play at higher bpms, you’re totally a good guitarist because you have to have great technique to play fast and clean. Saying speed isn’t a measure of skill is just an excuse people have for never trying hard enough at it and never reaching the shred zone. SB isn’t a beginner anymore, he knows what the technique should be like and what to do. So when he makes progress, it’s not that faulty type of progress. Some people are very knowledgeable about the guitar in a proportion that doesn’t reflect on their skills. Now it’s a good thing to be one of these people because the more you know, the more you can focus on making your playing and technique better. Eventually the skills catch up with knowledge, keep doing what you’re doing SB.

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #13410

      Igglepud
      Participant

      The main riff to Crazy Train took me two weeks. The chords themselves were a 30 minute ordeal. Then, it was all about BPM. The ONLY way I got my speed up was by looking at technique. I had to reduce finger movement on my fretting hand, and my picking was was way too wide of an arc on the pedal note for triplets.

      The analysis was the important part. Rather than brute forcing my way with a metronome (which probably would have capped at a slower, sloppy version), I had to look at what I was doing that prevented higher speed. Bad muscle memory is difficult to unlearn.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13411

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    If you can play at higher bpms, you’re totally a good guitarist because you have to have great technique to play fast and clean. Saying speed isn’t a measure of skill is just an excuse people have for never trying hard enough at it and never reaching the shred zone.

    (Aside the fact that I’ve seen people playing super fast with terribly looking technique…)

    This whole subject is a bit like driving. Sometimes you take on a wrong turn, into a dead-end road. You may still keep speeding up but eventually you’ll reach a wall and you’ll have to drive back all the way into the correct path again. In this you lost a lot of time.

    Here’s from personal experience: A couple of years ago when Doug launched the Speed and Accuracy contest: I entered and won – I think it was the beginners category or something.  Back then I was playing the exercises at some 170ish bpm. That didn’t prevent me to reach a dead end… I had to come back, correct a lot of stuff on my right hand (still working on that) and today I’d probably be able to get close to 200 bpm. A few years went by…

    You, yourself, are doing a complete technical override, right? And you can already play very fast and clean.

    Using BPM as a single/overall gauge for technique and musicianship won’t really do it…

    I go with Igglepud, here:

    The analysis was the important part. Rather than brute forcing my way with a metronome (which probably would have capped at a slower, sloppy version), I had to look at what I was doing that prevented higher speed. Bad muscle memory is difficult to unlearn.

     

     

     

  • #13414

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    If you can play at higher bpms, you’re totally a good guitarist because you have to have great technique to play fast and clean.

    BPM is only a valid indicator of speed-friendly technique once you’ve broken through the “12 notes per second with clean alternate picking” barrier, or wherever people want to agree the “shred” barrier is. At speeds slower than that, you can still make “progress” with technique that will be incapable of lifting you past 12 notes per second. If you never intend to play faster than 12 notes per second, that will be fine. But if you want to rip it up the way your idols do, you can’t assume that whatever technique is working for you below 12 notes per second will work above it. This is why there are 1000s and 1000s of guitarists who have played for decades but still can’t “shred”.

    In you’re “technique override” thread, you rationalize that you can play two upstrokes in a row on the same string just as fast as you can play an up followed by a down or vice versa. This is exactly the kind of mistake that will hamstring your progress in the long run. I’m not going to worry too much about trying to convice you how wrong you are, since the only person you’re hurting is yourself, but when you give bad advice to someone else (e.g. superblonde), I can’t let it slide.

    • #13416

      MotleyCrue81
      Participant

      I did say that yes, but in the context of not doing it faster than 200 bpm, which I can do it at 200 bpm (which I think is decently fast). If anything, it’s helping me at same stroke picking. Past 200bpm, ya it will be tough and probably not possible for me. But it’s not having bad technique on my part, it’s just a different picking pattern. I can change the picking pattern to be alternate friendly at that spot, but my purpose for doing it the way I’m doing it is so that the rest of the exercise is outside the box alternate picking. It’s not that complicated. safetyblitz, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video of your playing, so I don’t know how good you are. But I will mostly listen to someone who is a lot better than me. If you can post a video of you playing the Stage 5 lead better than me or doing some crazy fast sweeping or something like 6 notes per beat at 120 bpm, I will listen to you and do things the way you tell me with no questions asked.

      Bring hair metal back!

  • #13415

    Igglepud
    Participant

    All I see is that higher BPM = higher technical skill. Assuming all notes are hit and played cleanly, this is an accurate way to measure skill progression.

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

    • #13417

      MotleyCrue81
      Participant

      Agreed, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

      Bring hair metal back!

  • #13435

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I agree with you safetybliz, about the danger of what is basically: faking the numbers. By being sloppy or measuring in the wrong way, any progress can be inflated. That is harmful, as you say. Even honest assessments sometimes include some fakery because it’s human nature to be optimistic. That’s where the alternate measurements come in, like recording the practice and reviewing (even zooming in with a DAW etc). If the notes look good then keep the tempo as valid too, if the notes look or sound bad then that tempo can’t be counted. I also compare to the weight lifting analogy of sloppy form to get higher weight up. Sometimes only the coach can spot that flaw and say “no rep! doesn’t count!”. Or if self-teaching, then a recording and review of the recording. In all of my own progress log, I try something like, 1 minute of a sprint-pace tempo. Sometimes it seems I’m playing the tempo correctly but it doesn’t feel right in terms of hand comfort, not sure how to describe that, anyway, I don’t log those tempos because they’re not fully reached yet. But I still bet that overall a big chunk of my progress is on the too optimistic side because if I zoomed in with the DAW as Doug recently posted about, I’d see that my note timing is not where it should be.

    Let’s presume here that the metrics are mostly honestly reported metrics.

    An example of the gray area- Enter Sandman is still too fast for me. Even though I’ve been rehearsing it regularly and playing it live. Everyone enjoyed the live performance even tho I struggled thru it. Only recently have I gotten fast enough to do the vibrato part in the main slide riff. That shows that I’m still progressing on the speed and the techniques. Should I not play it live? Should I not practice it at tempo? Should I say “Hmm I’m not ready because my notes don’t fit into the pocket if I zoom in with the DAW on my practice recording”? Band would not accept that. Also it would be a pretty boring & long road to take. And if I didn’t play it live then I don’t think my learning would be as ingrained on the song as it has been (it surprises me how I somehow seem to be able to play faster and correctly live, even for a song I make mistakes playing slower, I guess a combo of adrenaline and excitement). So in essence I have to play it sloppy while also improving it. I don’t see a way around this snafu. Even though I’d also be the first to agree that perfect timing at a slow tempo would ideally be better. Not an ideal world?

    With the Wolfmother song, when charting my progress, the tempo’s were recorded only if “comfortable BPM”. I like Doug’s idea about the foot tapping, still looking at how that works for me. The best, simple way to measure if a tempo is “comfortable”? Another might be singing vocals while playing but that is a big step up in simultaneous technique so maybe not a simply way to check “comfort”. I would headbang thru Wolfmother for each day of progress listed and I wasn’t messing up at that BPM if I wrote it down as my day’s BPM. I can’t headbang thru Enter Sandman and not make big mistakes or loose track of measures. I sure can’t sing along while playing (yet).

    Nothing says “rock n’ roll” quite like ISO 9001 certification.

    Not sexy, eh? I guess some musicians look to play with others who also want to kick back beers during rehearsal. Craigslist ads show many musicians are looking to play with others who are twenty after four o’clock friendly. I guess I’ve discovered that I like to play with those who can read a graph (hah) and those who can accurately predict the difficulty of a song based on tracking progress of similar songs previously, before they spend 2 weeks ‘trying’ to learn it — including myself. I want to play with a vocalist who has a real answer when I ask, “What BPM do you sing this song at?” (that’s a loaded question as it also means they also must have practiced with a drum track or metronome, not like a campfire singalong where tempo doesn’t matter). I’d also like to play with those who have a degree or certification (at a minimum as MAB says nicely, “it shows you finished something”). Different styles for different folks I suppose. I’ll be immodest and say that my way is better and results in faster progress. 😀

    The main riff to Crazy Train took me two weeks. The chords themselves were a 30 minute ordeal. Then, it was all about BPM. The ONLY way I got my speed up was by looking at technique. I had to reduce finger movement on my fretting hand, and my picking was was way too wide of an arc on the pedal note for triplets.

    The analysis was the important part. Rather than brute forcing my way with a metronome (which probably would have capped at a slower, sloppy version), I had to look at what I was doing that prevented higher speed. Bad muscle memory is difficult to unlearn.

    Maybe you could also interpret this as: by looking at your progress learning curve (whether either written out, or graphed, or visualizing it in your head), you were able to predict a plateau would be hit using current techniques, unless you “did something different”. So in essence, thinking about your learning curve at the early stages of learning the riff allowed you to break out of technique plateau before you reached it, and led you to practice the new technique earlier. Saving yourself time learning it. And saving more time unlearning it.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13436

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    In hard facts by measuring my progress on my Wolfmother song (as my example), I could accurately predict my success at nailing both the song and the solo live. Can’t beat real results based on hard data.

    You’re talking about developing sufficient technique to regurgitate a particular song that was written by someone else. I got the impression that part of the author’s point was about developing well-rounded musicianship and creativity, and that technique itself is only a small part of that.

    I kind of interpreted it as: the author of the article was using those “be a better creative musician” quotes out of context, in order to prove his point that it’s “not about the numbers”. I say, it is about the numbers and that author is probably afraid of some aspect of that leading to his opinion that they’re “bad” in some way- so many artists avoid discipline, or math, or attempting to write things down, or learning anything which could be called “rules”, etc. Yet actually these things are freeing. Gets rid of the guesswork, provides a way to break out of a creative box easily, etc.

    Presumably, and I don’t think I mentioned this before, there is a zone on the learning curve, far to the right, called “Past this point is where you can Make a Song Your Own”. Meaning: the tempo and technique of the original has become so easy, that it’s now comfortable to improv or vary the playing purposefully. At some point I will have become skilled enough on that song to change a few measures of the solo to fit my style, and still with good timing etc, land on the next real measure to continue the song. I am not there yet. But I can say that until a very comfortable plateau is reached, I won’t be able to properly “Make the Song My Own” (my assumption for how this is best done: knowing and playing the original perfectly, understanding it’s nuances, and then replacing it with my own variation).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13437

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Using BPM as a single/overall gauge for technique and musicianship won’t really do it…

    I’ll happily measure something else if it makes sense. Just name it. One thing I know that does not make good sense as that gauge, is audience feedback. I’m thinking of those times when a musician plays something great and gets no response, and later on plays something cheesy, and crowd goes wild. Or, recently when I watched my neighbor’s fusion-jazz set (he wrote all original songs and they were all very good). All to basically no applause or feedback. Then at the end he says “Okay lets play at least one standard, ok, Norwegian Wood”, and they knock out some ad lib version which was kind of meh, or even odd, because it didn’t fit the rock sounds they had dialed in, and afterwards a guy from the back comes up to the stage and says “Wow! 😀 That was a very interesting interpretation of Norwegian Wood! It was great!” (all the musicians roll their eyes)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13439

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    One thing I know that does not make good sense as that gauge, is audience feedback.

    Agree. Yet, ignoring it is just as big of a mistake 🙂

    On topic:

    The way I see it, speed – although it may be a goal – is mostly a consequence.
    Of course you may use speed to gauge progress but there’s the possibility that, by looking just at the consequence, you miss the cause.

    I read a great text once by Fareed Haque, classical/jazz guitarist, in which he addressed speed and how he tried to play a particular track as fast as the version recorded by (I think it was) John Williams. .. until he decided to measure it and found out that it was by no means the fastest version he knew. It just “felt” real fast. So he started looking into the other things that caused that perception.

    As for commitment by other band members, I understand your POV and frustration very well. As a musician I always hated to work with people who don’t commit and don’t go deep and don’t try to surpass themselves – or who feel already achieved a certain degree of greatness and remain comfortably and stubbornly in that illusion. Humility is essential too.

    So, just to make it clear, at the light of that I wouldn’t have any problem working with you musically!

     

  • #13452

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I can change the picking pattern to be alternate friendly at that spot, but my purpose for doing it the way I’m doing it is so that the rest of the exercise is outside the box alternate picking. It’s not that complicated.

    Here’s what’s not that complicated: you bought an alternate picking exercise, but you don’t want to alternate pick it. You make generalizations about other people being unwilling to put in the work, yet you refuse to take advantage of the opportunity that exercise affords you to work on one of your weaknesses: inside picking.

    If you’re too stubborn to recognize good advice, it’s no skin off my nose. Enjoy learning the truth the hard way.

    • #13455

      MotleyCrue81
      Participant

      I can do inside alternate picking fine, I don’t do it if I don’t need to because it’s not as efficient as outside the box. Still haven’t seen you play the things I mentioned. Walk the walk if you’re gonna talk the talk.

      Bring hair metal back!

  • #13453

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    One thing I know that does not make good sense as that gauge, is audience feedback.

    It really depends on your goals, doesn’t it? 😉

    If your goal is to be booked to play that bar again, the best metric is how much money your audience spends on drinks. 😉

    On a serious note, even though exit surveys from small rock shows aren’t a thing, the ideal metric for a bar band hoping to build a following would be a high score on the survey question “How likely would you be to recommend this band to a friend?” People come to rock shows to be entertained. Unless you’re Rush or Dream Theater, nobody is going to care much how tight the band is, as long as you aren’t brutal. And if you have the right look and/or attitude, you might be able to entertain people even if you’re pretty lousy.

  • #13456

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    On the topic of feedback, if there’s something to measure other than clean BPM, when I play I don’t get any “useful” feedback from people and I think that’s a big bummer. Sure I get “wow, that was great” or “yea! yeaaaah!” during/after a solo or “wow you guys are sooo good” about the performance later. Or dancing or headbanging while playing. All that is good and I appreciate it but it doesn’t describe the quality of the performance in a way that can be made repeatable or improved. Another guitarist in the audience told me “wow great job on Sandman dude”- after I flubbed the intro. By flubbed I mean, I missed notes! Because I was so nervous. That video is too embarrassing for me to even post. Yet, I got specific compliments on it. Maybe it was meant more as encouragement rather than feedback on the playing itself. I would prefer something constructive as well, basically.

    I trust an audience’s instincts to feel what’s bad and what’s good and what’s great, to their level of sophistication anyway. I don’t trust their ability to explain which parts were good or how it was good. I would bet that guy who liked Norwegian Wood had a feeling that the previous jazz songs were great but he was simply at a loss for how to even say anything to the band about it, or how to describe his feelings, so the only thing he could say was something that doesn’t really make sense in terms of real feedback to a musician. I don’t get concrete feedback from my band leader let alone the audience. “Sounds fine” he says. Even when I know I’m flubbing an arpeggio– “Sounds okay to me”. There’s one blues rock song with a solo that I mess up every time, it’s too fast and I haven’t spent enough weeks on it. Maybe I mentioned this elsewhere- during rehearsal of the song, the frontman practiced his frontman duties on the mic, purposely giving me a shout out after the solo “let’s hear it for superblonde! yeah!”. After the rehearsal of the song was over I said, “Hey uh, don’t do that callout thing, it’s embarrassing to say that after I flub most of the solo.” Everyone said, “nah, it sounded great, don’t worry about it, the audience doesn’t know.” They say this somewhat regularly, it’s the theme. Sometimes I nail it, mostly I flub it, they always say, “sounded great! Audience won’t know!” I think they are completely wrong. I think the audience ‘knows’. They know when a solo or a song is nailed and when it’s only so-so, or when a solo matches the album track or when it doesn’t match at all. The audience feels when a guitarist is wanking – maybe a feeling of boredom or “where’s this going” kind of thing- and they know when the guitarist plays something meaningful. I believe the audience knows because I’m part of the audience and previously I’ve known.

    So basically I wish I had better feedback when playing live for sure. I bet I’m in good company. I don’t see anyone talking to musicians after a show with specific things they liked even though it would be super cool if they did. A pro level comparison might be GnR’s list of guitarists after Slash. The GnR audiences know when those guitarists don’t play the solo’s with the “right feel”. But all the audience can do is post trolly comments on the youtube videos, hah. I’m not talking about flaming Buckethead because he’s so perfect and not sloppy like Slash. I mean playing it “correctly” whatever that means. I don’t know what the audience should be saying. I can’t put words to it yet either. Maybe Frank Zappa could, ha. But even he didn’t. Judging from autobiographies (such as, supposedly he told Iommi, “I really like Supernaut, it’s my fave song right now”.. he didn’t say, “I liked how you guys raced ahead of the beat and how you did a chord progression of blah and how you bent the 3rd note on every other measure”, or I dunno whatever). A-level musicians don’t talk to each other in this way from the outsider view that I’ve seen so far.

    So anyway that means simply measuring BPM’s. That includes the tone while playing at that BPM being good etc, so calling it BPM’s is a simplification of the whole result, “sounds like the album track, at that tempo”. Tho I don’t claim that my ears are the greatest either, that’s a separate skill, recognizing difference in tones and tone quality, or something.

    One way I know that I cheat on BPM’s is with some chord changes. Take G chord for example. To reach tempo, much of the time I don’t get my pinky in there in time, so I don’t play the high E string, I cheat to stay on time. Same with barre chords, several songs I’m not fast enough with the 2nd finger in some measures, so if it’s supposed to be minor or major, eh, forget about it, I just play a power chord on that beat. That’s all cheating in order to reach tempo. This could be ingraining bad habits, or maybe not, I don’t know, I wouldn’t be so quick to say that it’s limiting my potential speed later. In some cases when my chord change practice finally caught up to tempos used in songs, then the songs immediately got better. The sloppy change wasn’t sticky. It cleaned itself up immediately.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13460

    barks62
    Participant

    Sure I get “wow, that was great” or “yea! yeaaaah!” during/after a solo or “wow you guys are sooo good” about the performance later. Or dancing or headbanging while playing.

    Superblonde, I appreciate your affinity for stats and analysis (when it comes to sports I’m a big stats geek), but as a musician what you described above is just about as good as it gets! Not that you have to settle for that, but if you’re playing live and people are dancing, YOU ARE DOING YOUR JOB!!! Seriously, that is the biggest compliment you can ever get aside from a record exec offering you a recording contract!

    I get what you mean, when I’m at practice I want my band mates to be critical of me so I can figure out where I can improve. But the bottom line is, if everybody is having fun, then its a win!

  • #13461

    barks62
    Participant

    And you are right, you will rarely get that level of criticism from another musician unless they are being a dick and trying to tear you down. It won’t be constructive. If you want to analyze stuff this deeply, you’ll have to record the performances somehow and break them down yourself.

    Or you could find a good local teacher and have them go over your live performances with you, picking out where you need help. I don’t see you getting that from someone after a performance, though. I know that when I watch someone that has the balls to get in front of people and play, I would never say anything critical about them even if they wanted me to. Now, I do nitpick at my bandmates because I want us all to improve, but I don’t think they like it as much as I would, lol. My bandmates are like what you described, they think everything I play sounds great… I’m pretty sure they don’t actually listen when I play, probably because they have their own stuff going on.

  • #13462

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hey superblonde,

    First sometimes I get the impression that you go too hard on yourself. Don’t do that. Specially when playing live. What I always remember my students before a school audition is that a live performance is like carrying a basket full of eggs… if a couple go off the basket you can’t do anything about those, never again. If you’d try to pick’em up they’d be broken already and you’d risk ruining all other in the basket. So keep moving forward because, believe me, most of the errors the audience pick from a performance is from the performers’ facial expressions. Most of the times musicians give away their mistakes, even things that don’t even qualify as a mistake, just by their over-conscious facial expressions. So when live, go for it, enjoy and if you break some eggs try to make a nice meal with the others still on your side.

    I don’t think you need feedback about your performance, either. You are already very aware of it. And, in all honesty, every time I played live there was nothing people would say after that would alter my own perception of what I had just done. For good or for worse. I think that when we’re serious about our playing we develop a great instinct of what we do, on the spot.

    I don’t really know your level of playing so don’t take this wrong: what I do think you need is a teacher, to have someone working with you, closely, one-on-one live or through Skype. You need to find someone that you trust, that you know is a good capable and inspiring teacher – and then handle him the controls, which is a terribly hard thing to do for an adult student. That’s why I say trust is essential. You sound like you need someone to carefully watch what you’re doing, and then provide you with professional unbiased feedback, and the ways to correct it. I just had Skype lessons for three years with a teacher that helped me going to the UK on my own with my guitar and grab my first jazz diploma. And everytime I felt I “knew better” today I’m positive that most of the time he was right 🙂 Learning on our own is a great thing but sometimes lessons with a human on the other end may really help getting to the next level.

    No worries with the chord changes, also. About doing them all on time. Remember, when you’re playing someone else’s chord changes or solo, you’re playing their thing – when they’re playing it they’re playing their own thing which is a world of difference. You may excel in things that you create with your guitar and other experienced players could have a hard time doing it just like you do. Sometimes it is the hands’ configurations, the fingers’ sizes, the shape of the guitar, that make it natural for someone doing something in a certain way, and for others very hard to mimic. What is important is that you develop your own set of tools that will allow you to play a song in your own way while being still true and honest to the original. You leaving the high E string off the chart sometimes qualifies as such bag of tools.

    You could try this 🙂 record yourself over a month doing a certain thing, a solo, a riff, whatever. Save those files with random names… then, after a month or so listen to those recordings at random, without knowing their recording dates, and rate each recording. Just then compare the rate you gave with the sequence of dates and see if you can extract something from that.

  • #13463

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Yea thanks barks.
    I sometimes give specific points to my bandmates, tho I don’t get comments myself. For example I’ll suggest “that part sounds better palm muted” or “don’t forget the quiet part in the middle for the dynamic” to my fellow guitarist or for the vocalist I said recently “this song has all the words falling on the 1, like, /I saw/you standing/over there”, I say this in a helpful voice, they say thanks and apply it (hopefully remembering for next time, hah). It would be great to have someone say “all the bends sounded perfectly on pitch except that last one”, or whether or not a note should have vibrato added, stuff like that. Mostly if I do get comments, I say okay, I’ll practice it like that later, but I can’t apply it now because it’s too confusing and I’ll mess up more ;-D Personally I believe I’m the worst player in the band (and supposedly have the hardest job, as lead guitar), the others have years more experience than I do (like, 15 years!). Maybe that is another angle of why a learning curve doesn’t seem relevant to them. At a certain level of mastery, most rock songs really are probably 1-2 weeks to get down, I assume from what others say.

    Not sure I mentioned the fastest song I ever learned, that was probably Hit Me With Your Best Shot, that took me just a couple hours and I was able to do it basically from memory, having heard it so many times, once I looked up the first few chords (that doesn’t include the bridge lead part yet, I didn’t learn it).

    Now gotta get back to practicing..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13480

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Hmmm I dunno Joao. I’m not sold on the idea that when playing only part of a chord I can sincerely claim, “well, I’m simply re-making the song with my unique personal style.” I think that’s for someone at an advanced level who has already been there done that, or a really advanced song, that is really perhaps too much of a stretch for the anatomy like you say. Maybe on your level you feel like it’s okay to do this. But for a typical uptempo rock song, I think it’s in the cards for me to be able to reproduce it faithfully. Later on after doing a great cover for a while, then sure, maybe I’ll feel okay to change a bit. Or if there’s other things getting in the way, like, I want to jump around or something for the benefit of others and can’t do that while playing perfectly. In front of an audience, of course they’d prefer a bit of sacrifice in the playing dept. in order to jump around. (I remember the quote from Zakk Wylde about Ozzy telling him this- simplify the solos if needed in order to run around the stage.) Still though, so many guitarists I’ve seen are way better at both playing great and jumping around. crazy!

    I wouldn’t say I’m being too hard on myself tho. More like, very fair about self evaluation. I’d say other people are too easy on themselves ;-D When I play I don’t worry about mistakes I just have fun. It’s like my girlfriend saying “Don’t work so hard!” or “Don’t work so much! Remember to take breaks!” Uhhh, actually it is rare for very skilled individuals to be those who worked “less hard”, so that’s actually kind of bad advice, “don’t work so hard.” She means well but it’s bad advice. There’s some grey area here, something like, a spectrum between critical self review and masochistic behavior. I guess “don’t work so hard!” is good advice for those with “Low S.O.” to take an expression from Henry Rollins! (Low self opinion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o28dyt7w3As I have that album it rocks! ) Luckily I no longer have “Low Guitar S.O.” thanks to Doug 😀

    When I make mistakes, it turns out I smile or laugh. If I really mess up, I really start laughing, I must look like I’m having a great time, hah! I must be natural ;-D During rehearsals I’ll laugh and say “oops!” in important parts so that the others who are maybe trying to follow my lead, know that there was a mess up and don’t get confused. My fellow guitarist is the opposite. If she makes a mistake she makes a sour face or shakes her head ‘argh no!’. She knows it’s not good to do that, but she says she can’t help it a lot of the time. I also don’t really “emotionally hold onto” the result of my playing. I basically let it go like you said. Very zen. But at the same time when I go back to watch the video, I see a lot of things that I didn’t notice at the time, or I thought, “that went great!” when it didn’t, or when I thought something sounded bad, when it sounded good. I guess with more practice of the skill of self review, and also comfort while playing, and probably that skill of subconscious playing that Doug talks about, I’ll be more able to review my playing in the moment, not to get stuck on it or hung up, but to remember for later, or adjust something.

    I kinda just want to compare my learning curve to other beginning guitar playes, you know for example, a young EVH. (!!) Wouldn’t that be the bomb, to have a measure of his learning progress as a beginner? Or to be current, how about Li-sa-x, that would be a great progress log to see.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13482

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I can do inside alternate picking fine, I don’t do it if I don’t need to because it’s not as efficient as outside the box. Still haven’t seen you play the things I mentioned. Walk the walk if you’re gonna talk the talk.

    I don’t need your approval. Cut corners in exercises all you want. Like I said, you’re the one who will suffer for it, not me.

  • #13484

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Without any evidence of your playing ability, you have no credibility. So the quality of your advice is questionable. That’s the point I’m making. It’s nothing against you, it’s just that the logical side of me needs proof that one is credible before I listen to their advice.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13486

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I’d say both you guys are right. If MC wants to customize his exercises to focus on other things (and maybe save practice time in the current round) that’s up to him. Obviously customizing an exercise will remove some previous elements of the original exercise. Just like at the gym doing exercises on an incline vs. flat, to isolate different movements. It may or may not interpreted as cutting corners, depends how you look at it.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13488

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Lines going up *MAY* be a result of doing the right thing, but not necessarily. You need to regularly assess your technique itself.

    I think it’s worth noting the points at which I had to hit the reset button on myself.. and go back to playing much slower, to clean up technique. Maybe more of these ‘self realizations’ could help “iterate faster”.

    One of these ah-ha’s was when I revisited Speed & Accuracy the second time and as part of that, I went back to read the original thread on the old forum, with everyone’s contest videos, and the final ‘judge’ assessments, some of which included comments about playing too fast. So I compared my playing to some other student videos, I realized I was being very sloppy for the sake of speed, and cut my tempo way back. Also at that time I stopped using GP6 speed trainer because I felt it was training me and encouraging me to race, and be sloppy. (I’ve since started using it again but I’m aware of this downfall and avoid it, I stop the trainer when I feel sloppy playing starting, probably still a bit of that going on though.)

    Another one of the ah-ha’s was maybe last year, when I zoomed into the DAW to see my note timing. As Doug recently sent a newsletter about. I saw how very off my timing was. I dialed tempo way back again and restarted exercises at maybe 25 BPM!

    Another one was when I watched Speed Kills for the 10th time and finally listened hard to MAB’s “you gotta play slow” quote. Too bad he doesn’t mention numbers there, it might make it more obvious. But then I started doing many of the exercises at 40 BPM or so and no faster than that and doing it for long nonstop runs like 30-40 mins. painful.

    There have been a couple other times like this but I think the commonality was, I looked at either a video of my playing, even with slo-mo playback, or a wav of my playing and zoomed in on it, with some real way of measuring the quality of my playing (objective measurement) and got very very sad ;-D and then decided to do something about it.

    Some of these I guess are very similar to MC’s technique override progress videos..

    It might be neat if you guys could think back to the times where it became clear: “Wait a minute, my technique is stinking bad right now. I have to fix it.” What caused the realization? Watching or listening to practice recordings? I like Joao’s comment about recording practice then much later reviewing them and rating them.. time away and looking back, gives a kind of perspective on things.

    It is not easy for me to see the plateau’s before they happen. For example one of the songs I was learning and trying to use alternate picking. But then once I got to 70% tempo, I couldn’t go faster, it was (and is) just impossible. It’s because I was alternate picking. So I switched to a different picking technique but that meant I had to almost start over.. from 25% tempo and work up. I guess now I’m at 85% tempo. It would have been nice to spot this sooner. Next time if it’s the same type of limitation, I will be able to spot it immediately. Songs are a bit unique tho, so, I might not run into that specific problem often..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13489

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Without any evidence of your playing ability, you have no credibility. So the quality of your advice is questionable. That’s the point I’m making. It’s nothing against you, it’s just that the logical side of me needs proof that one is credible before I listen to their advice.

    MC, I’ve been holding to say this but, black on white, you’re wrong.

    And since you keep asking for proof videos, the fact of the matter ist that while your videos provide consistent proof that you play great, you’re still making this beginners’ mistake: not listening.

    In this particular case you should accept an advice even from a non musician, since it is a matter of simple math. Like 1+1=2, very similar to this, in fact.

    I’ll try one more time – since this discussion was transferred (curiously enough) to the “Learning Curves” thread, and the original subject isn’t around for people to read.

    So…
    In an alternate picking exercise you chose to play two consecutive up-pick notes on a same string. You stated if I’m not mistaken, that you were only doing it in that place to allow for a more comfortable picking pattern on the rest of the exercise, and that you would be able to do it like this up until 200BPM (or a slightly lower setting).

    So, you are playing triplets at 200BPM (or slightly lower setting) and, even if only for two notes, you play two consecutive up-picks. That means your hand will have to go back to the same place, quickly enough to play that note on time.

    Considering a 200BPM, that hand movement is equivalent to play alternate picking notes at 400BPM. It is even worse as you can’t simply go back across the string, but you need to avoid it, go above it on the way back and play the next note.

    Can you play that same exercise at 400BPM?
    Can you play that same exercise at 200BPM with just up-picks?

    If the answer to the above two questions is “No” than what you will be doing is simply to “mimic” the exercise, to create a small “bump”, “scratch”, “hiccup” or whatever you may want to call it, in that area, to make it easier for the rest.

    But if you answered “No” I hereby state that you will not be able to play those 2 notes with 100% correct timing, accuracy and cleaness.

    I would gladly accept this choice of yours, but since you keep asking for videos before deciding to analyse the argument, and since the point of your “Total Technique Override” is to make things perfect I’m saying you’re wrong.

    As you said to Safetyblitz this is nothing against you, of course. Just my logical side trying to solve a simple math problem.

  • #13491

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hey Superblonde,

    I praise your commitment to be the best you can. I wasn’t saying that cheating a chord falls under “personal style” or “peculiar anatomy”! Just for you to realize that sometimes it happens: what’s natural for some may be close to impossible for others.

    As for me doing it “at my level” as you said, it’s not a matter of level but rather a characteristic of style and can be very fun! Like, the lead sheet says “Bb min7” and you know the bass player or the pianist will play that Bb on his left hand, I can play a Db maj7 instead and that will turn the chord into a Bb min9.. stuff like this.

    As for work versus rest, there’s a balance there too. I always feel like you need a couple of nights of sleep before you can really assimilate something new you’re playing. I feel that something I struggled to learn in the morning will not work on the evening gig. But if you give it a night of sleep and come back to it in the next morning, then it will be ok 🙂

    • #13498

      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Like, the lead sheet says “Bb min7” and you know the bass player or the pianist will play that Bb on his left hand, I can play a Db maj7 instead and that will turn the chord into a Bb min9..

      Is there a musical term for that “on the fly substitution”? Maybe it could be called improvisation but it’s seems it’s not really improv in the same sense as making up several measures of solo on the spot.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13501

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    what I do think you need is a teacher, to have someone working with you, closely, one-on-one live or through Skype. You need to find someone that you trust, that you know is a good capable and inspiring teacher – and then handle him the controls, which is a terribly hard thing to do for an adult student. That’s why I say trust is essential. You sound like you need someone to carefully watch what you’re doing, and then provide you with professional unbiased feedback, and the ways to correct it. I just had Skype lessons for three years with a teacher that helped me going to the UK on my own with my guitar and grab my first jazz diploma. And everytime I felt I “knew better” today I’m positive that most of the time he was right

    Here is the sad thing. I have a local instructor, so to speak. He’s in the band! He gets.. paid! Here a simple example of how this is not working for me in terms of learning. I just got super pissed off this morning about this. I just spent 40 mins practicing an arpeggio in a difficult song, it’s 12/8 time and drop tuning. Because I keep making mistakes, I keep going back to playing it really slow. Recently I spent a good 20 mins of band rehearsal time butchering this song as we tried to play it together – the drummer insists that we rehearse it even tho I’m nowhere near ready. (The drummer doesn’t provide backing tracks even tho I ask, even a lo fi cellphone recording would be great, but, nope.) During rehearsal I sounded completely off, like, way off, not even the right notes, tho the band was mostly focusing on my inability to hold rhythm or keep up. I asked a few times “I don’t sound right at all. What’s wrong? Why does this sound so off? Is my tuning wrong?” The band (and instructor!) said twice: “Sounds alright to me. It’s just slow. You’re playing the right notes.” Today I went back to a setting on my metronome which seems to work for the beat so I can practice reliably on my own (I think!). After practicing it at 30 BPM (! about 35% song tempo!) for 40 mins I decided to go back to the 50% slo-down album track that I made in Reaper, to check my results. The song is harder to follow the beat at such a slow speed because of distortion, and I want to get out of the habit of “following” the guitarist on the album track, that’s why try to practice with a metronome, or a GP6 drum track. But listening to the slo down track, instantly I knew I had a problem. I did not sound right at all. I went back to my tab (a tab I’ve had to revise pretty much every other week to get right). I’ve been playing completely on the wrong frets! A whole step off! (Supposed to start at 7th fret, I was at 5th fret.) Unbelievable. This goes beyond simple feedback. I was playing the entirely wrong notes during rehearsal. And maybe for the past 2 weeks of practice too. This arpeggio is 12 measures long! Imagine, not being told that you’re playing completely the wrong thing, for 12 measures, as the lead instrument, and an instructor saying, “Nah, it sounds right to me”. Facepalm of the year!

    You’re right on, about trusting feedback. I just can’t trust their opinion at all with examples like this. They say it sounds good, uhh, maybe that just means it’s within some alternate musical universe of being close to right. I have to be careful of my own playing and review my own performance.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13502

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Like, the lead sheet says “Bb min7” and you know the bass player or the pianist will play that Bb on his left hand, I can play a Db maj7 instead and that will turn the chord into a Bb min9..

    Is there a musical term for that “on the fly substitution”? Maybe it could be called improvisation but it’s seems it’s not really improv in the same sense as making up several measures of solo on the spot.

    It’s called “comping” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comping and you could think of it as a certain type of improvisation, why not? In a common lead sheet you just have the melody written with the chord names above so what you play is very much your own choice: the chord shapes, the rhythms, the subs, etc. And it’s expected that you add variety as you go. Funny thing is that you learn some very very complicated chord shapes but in a band situation you go “remove the bass note to get out of the way of the bass player” “remove that alteration as you’re clashing with the piano” “that high note is on the voice, cut it”and many times it all comes down to play triads 🙂

  • #13503

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    This arpeggio is 12 measures long! Imagine, not being told that you’re playing completely the wrong thing, for 12 measures, as the lead instrument, and an instructor saying, “Nah, it sounds right to me”. Facepalm of the year!

    I guess you’re already providing the answer, here. It’s not unheard that an instructor may miss a couple of notes on a complicated section – but a whole section that is being played in another key… that sure is a big facepalm. Every teachers dream is to have a student willing to put the hours of practice, so this situation sounds kind of reversed to me.

    (The drummer doesn’t provide backing tracks even tho I ask, even a lo fi cellphone recording would be great, but, nope.)

    For this I use an android app called chordbot. It’s really really easy to use although the results are somewhat “colourful” 🙂 I got the payed version, some 5 bucks, but you could give it a go with the freeware app and see if it suits your needs. I love it. Hope it helps!

  • #13504

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Two quick notes is way easier than many quick notes when picking in one direction. I’m just gonna make a video at 200 bpm so you guys will stop talking about how hard or seemingly impossible it will be.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13505

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Two quick notes is way easier than many quick notes when picking in one direction. I’m just gonna make a video at 200 bpm so you guys will stop talking about how hard or seemingly impossible it will be.

    Don’t bother with it really. The feedback was given and meant well – no one is forcing you to use it.

    You say it’s “easier” simply because you’re going to end up “borrowing” a little tempo from the adjacent notes which will have to adjust. But one thing:

    If you’re going to do that video please use a click track and a clean sounding guitar so I can do a wave check. I’ll have no problem in saying “I was wrong” if that’s the case.

     

  • #13507

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    You need to really master the technique. Not the technique of playing licks, but the individual techniques involved. … spend three minutes at a time just downpicking as fast as you can at a consistent speed (with a metronome). Then alternate pick as fast you can at a consistent speed for three minutes. Don’t worry about what notes you’re playing – just pick. Then spend three minutes doing legato exercises to strengthen your fretting fingers. Same deal, use a metronome and do it at a consistent speed for three minutes.

    I do know that when I wasn’t so fast, most of my time spent on learning material was spent on getting the technique down to play it right.

    These two older comments in retrospect seems like what I did on the Wolfmother song. I used the metronome at slow tempos to just practice the main hammer-on riff for longer and longer lengths of time. When I first started I could only repeat the riff for 10 seconds before getting tired and 30 seconds really burned. Eventually I got up to 3 minutes nonstop on it before my forearm insisted I stop. It’s interesting because it wasn’t so much about finger co-ordination, or pick co-ordination, but muscle burn and endurance, on this particular song. More recently I practice it 6-7 mins nonstop. Previously I could only play the entire song 2 times thru in a row before I had to do something else. Now I can play it 4 times thru in a row no problem.

    Now I’m off to isolate a set of licks for a new song in Reaper at various slow down rates. Just the 2-measure or 3-measure licks as individual mp3’s so I can loop and practice them in proper rhythm. I’ll follow the tips above, there’s several of them I need to practice, I’ll do 3-5 minutes nonstop on them each, but with a focus on the correctness of the technique rather than if the lick itself sounds correct.

    This is one of the licks I need to get perfected. I can play it sloppy most of the time but I don’t want slop. Bonus if anyone recognizes it 😀 Hmm Maybe I should disqualify Sarah from the pop quiz as she probably knows every rock lick on the planet, hah.

    lick-of-the-day

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. lick-of-the-day.png

  • #13510

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I started the thing closer to where the two upstrokes are so that if you start it from the beginning a bunch of times, you don’t have to wait so long to get to the two upstrokes part. It’s clean, it’s on tempo, I could probably honestly do this a bit faster. So no, two upstrokes is clearly not hurting me. Joao, I don’t know how to do that click track thing. And you don’t need to see any wavelines, if it sounds good to your ears, it’s good no matter what the waves say. Do you think Yngwie or Van Halen ever worry about their wavelines? Probably not haha.

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #13533

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Wooooohooooo, Hell Yeahhhh…:)   Very Good Brett!

      Thumbs UP, A+ 100%…….:)

      Practicing Guitar

    • #13535

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      LOLLO…..I agree Brett, I feel it’s good to monitor a persons playing like Superblond does I can really tell those Grafts that

      he does, has made a great contribution to his playing. An you can virtually hear how far, he’s come Musically in his Band!

      But yeah, when the time comes those Wave lines, or what ever they are.. will be left behind..Those can’t be taken on Stage, when a person is performing

      before people.. I use to keep a Log Book, where I would write everything down after each & every practice. But I found out, I was spending like half

      my time documenting…to where I needed that extra time to practice. It’s always nice to have those practice updates, but equally nice to use that extra time in practice..

      Practicing Guitar

  • #13511

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Well, Yngwie always says “I don’t practice” but Doug gives proof in the 1992 course that he does.. so.. :-/ Hah

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #13536

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Superblond, You & The Band, you guy’s are sounding pretty good…Thumbs Up, if you Guy’s are playing or practicing this weekend!

      AlleyCat

      Practicing Guitar

  • #13515

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I started the thing closer to where the two upstrokes are so that if you start it from the beginning a bunch of times, you don’t have to wait so long to get to the two upstrokes part. It’s clean, it’s on tempo, I could probably honestly do this a bit faster. So no, two upstrokes is clearly not hurting me. Joao, I don’t know how to do that click track thing. And you don’t need to see any wavelines, if it sounds good to your ears, it’s good no matter what the waves say. Do you think Yngwie or Van Halen ever worry about their wavelines? Probably not haha.

    Hi Brett! I’m going to be totally honest with you.

    First, I admire the fact that you went for it and posted the video – and it sure sounds great, no argue about that!

    Now for the facts:

    I downloaded the video from YouTube so I could watch it over and over on VLC media player. With it I was able to slow it down to as much as to 6% of the original speed – and have sound down to 25% … (It will go off below 25% down to 6%)

    Here’s what I saw and it is very clear (do yourself the experience):

    1) You’re starting with a down pick and you’re finishing with a down pick.

    2) Your hand does 31, very clear, picking movements, always down, up and the final down.

    3) The section you played has 31 notes.

    I played it myself just to be sure and yes, that’s 31 notes, if you start with a down-pick you’ll end with a down pick and, again, at slow motion is super easy to count the movements.

    So what I am *seeing* is strict alternate picking. I’m not saying it *is* but that’s just what I’m *seeing*. And again, do the experience yourself, count the number of notes and the number of picks and it’s a perfect match, everything, with strict alternate picking.

    4) Having said that, you must be doing “something”, yes… because, at slow motion, you start correctly but then the tempo is all blurred precisely on the part you say you’re doing 2 up-picks (not seen on the video) and keeps strange until you get to 5th position and then it’s perfect from there to finish.

    – – – –

    One final note: we never said that your solution was very hard, or close to impossible (as you quoted). What we meant was that your solution was not an efficient response  to what you were trying to achieve. The video you just posted, while sounding great at full speed, reveals clear issues at slow motion as you may confirm. I cannot pinpoint what it is because a) it looks very clearly like strict alternate picking and b) the tempo is odd when you’re saying the 2 up-picks occur.

    Would I notice this on a recording? Never. But that’s not the point, is it?

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to record and post the video.

  • #13518

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I do the double upstroke on the 6th and 7th notes. My pick goes upstroke (hitting the string), then the pick comes back down (not hitting the string), then I do that second upstroke (hitting the string). So because of that, I’m not doing strict alt picking. And never noticing this if it were on a record, well if you don’t notice it, then there’s no problem. If it sounds good, it’s good. That’s how music operates.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13519

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I do the double upstroke on the 6th and 7th notes. My pick goes upstroke (hitting the string), then the pick comes back down (not hitting the string), then I do that second upstroke (hitting the string). So because of that, I’m not doing strict alt picking. And never noticing this if it were on a record, well if you don’t notice it, then there’s no problem. If it sounds good, it’s good. That’s how music operates.

    That would be 32 hand movements, instead of 31, and you would end on an up-pick … and that’s not happening on your video 🙂

  • #13521

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I end on two down picks in a row because I don’t care how I hit that last note. Trust me, I know my own picking pattern.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13525

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I end on two down picks in a row because I don’t care how I hit that last note. Trust me, I know my own picking pattern.

    We both defended our views extensively now. Moving forward! Happy Easter, Brett!

  • #13527

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I think to fairly settle the point, MC would have to record a separate clean track played with/over a MIDI drum track and shoot video at 120fps then line the guitar track up with the audio recording which is easy with the MIDI notes. Still kind of a pain with today’s technology since youtube is still basically 30 fps max right?

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13528

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Ya, 30fps. On the positive side of this whole argument, it has definitely made me more motivated. I’m one of those people that gets motivated by anger, so.. thanks for motivating me! 🙂 I’m gonna keep plugging away.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13534

    AlleyCatRocker1980s
    Participant

    I appreciate every ones input here, but at this time if I was in Bretts shoes I would convey this as constructive info!

    But lets give Brett some credit here…As time goes bye, Brett will have his own style on how he plays things like the above new Video he did.

    In my years of playing Music, I’ve also watched Musicians do Licks,Fast Runs,etc….things of that nature on the Guitar.

    They had sounded so close, to how the original Performer had done the Licks, Fast Runs, etc…but they did it just like fore instance Brett did.

    No two Musicians, did it exactly the same way!  Constructive Criticism is a good thing at times, but it can also stunt a persons growth!

    People want to sound, just like their favorite Artist..But the whole idea, is to carve out a style their very own…I feel Bretts, on the rite track

    an he sounds pretty good there!  You kicked Ass there Brett….:)   Not too shabby! 1oo% an ***** Stars A+  🙂

    AlleyCat

     

    Practicing Guitar

  • #13542

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Thanks Joe, hope you have a good Easter!

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #13547

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Well it definately will be the weekend for shure  🙂

      Practicing Guitar

  • #13748

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Now that the dust has settled I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest that anyone has to post videos to prove advice one way or the other. That might be true of some other forums where there is a mix of, well, kind of trolly types. Maybe it’s a bigger topic, kind of on the theme, does a guitarist have to be able to play fast, in order to guide others to play faster than he personally can, I’d say, it’s possible for the advice to be sound. Some people are very observant and curious by nature so they get a feel for how things are possible even though mechanically not able to do it- still, others can follow their points and progress rapidly. And some of the fastest and most famous guitarists were and are not able to explain how they play what they play.

    On the topic of progressing on learning songs faster it’s taken a while for me to arrive at a way to write out songs in song charts. The past several months I’ve seen first hand that writing out song charts is a good way for myself to really learn the song and not forget it- even if I don’t practice it much. I retain it longer if I wrote out the chart by hand. Some of the songs I’ve learned, I wrote out the charts early, others, I still haven’t written one. It takes time but the time has paid off. The songs I wrote out, I seem more likely to be able to play spontaneously, than the others. I don’t want to be that guy who stands there and says, “Yea let’s play that song. Oh wait. How’s it go?”

    My intent is to fit an entire song on a single page of paper, and be able to play from it initially or refer to it in case I forget. One page is okay unless having to fit the solos in, then it gets tricky. Not everything can be included.. like noting the rhythm is hard, basically have to remember the song generally. Here is an easy one in the pic below. I can’t say it’s correct! (I found a mistake right after taking the pic.) I’m constantly erasing pencil marks and fixing these. So if anyone wants to share their own formats for charts it could be insightful. I’ve seen what the few other guitarists I’ve played with use for their own style and I can’t imagine playing off a sheet of their scribbles. Or playing off of a printout from some internet site, when half the page is wrong, an entire verse is missing, etc.

    nirvana-about-a-girl-s

    So my workflow right now (or process or procedure) when I get a song to learn, in the best case, is to get the mp3, make three slowdown versions (50%, 70%, 80%), listen to these right away before trying to play the song, write out the lyrics while listening to the track. Only when I don’t understand a word do I check online lyric sites (because they have too many mistakes to trust in general). Then after the lyrics I listen several more times and try to write out the song form. Which is really super cool! Because I could never figure out song forms before. Still, I don’t know the correct terms and I try not to make stuff up. (A guy I play with likes to just call certain repeated guitar measures, “the in-between part” which, I dunno, doesn’t seem very clear to me, since the “in-between part” is often repeated at the end of the song.) Sometimes I try to add details like, drum fill measures or transitions etc, which are always missing in tabs, yet playing with a drummer, that’s the important part to know, in order to keep in sync. Sometimes the drummer I play with will ask: “Hmm I forgot, how many measures for the intro? The guitar part before the drums kick in?” Mostly I have it written from working it out in advance: 2 or 4 or 8 or whatever. But that assumes I’m counting measures the same way, which in some songs seems different (time signature mismatch?). It surprises me that in playing with a band, the first thing discussed about a song is never: “What BPM is it at. What key is it in. What’s the time signature. What’s the tuning.” Seems like the foundation of covering song to me.. it would clear up some eventual confusion later before it happens.. maybe? Maybe in the future I won’t have to do any of this work, probably around the time people start claiming I’m “a natural” hah.

    Ok I did a lot of complaining about messy song sheets, here’s a pic of one of the “other players” song charts, the best of the their bunch. Not once did we ever get the ending of this song correct because the measures are not accurately shown.. pretty much every time we played this song the question came up halfway thru “does the chorus start on Em or C?” (another confusion I think because measures not noted properly), and capo, which is it, 2nd or 3rd? or both? ;-D Don’t forget to turn the page while playing with a toe (as both hands busy playing) because this sheet is 3 pages.

    kelly-rhi-s

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. nirvana-about-a-girl-s.jpg

    2. kelly-rhi-s.jpg

    • #13755

      Igglepud
      Participant

      1. “The past several months I’ve seen first hand that writing out song charts is a good way for myself to really learn the song and not forget it- even if I don’t practice it much. I retain it longer if I wrote out the chart by hand. Some of the songs I’ve learned, I wrote out the charts early, others, I still haven’t written one. It takes time but the time has paid off. ”

      I don’t remember the exact number, but research indicates that retention of information is increased by 60% or so by writing things down, even if you never look at what you wrote ever again.

      2. I just call things “verse, chorus, solo, interlude”. That seems to work for most things so far. I imagine you’d have to expand that for some experimental things, but it gets me through all my Top 200 hits.

      3. Stevie does not use the most simple structures I’ve seen, so awesome work doing that on your own!

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

    • #13756

      Igglepud
      Participant

      And “bridge”

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13751

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    For church band, we just have the different sections of words, you know, verse, chorus, bridge, whatever. The chords are above the certain words so you know when to play them. Obviously church songs won’t be as technical as rock and metal songs, so the chart can remain fairly simple like it is. I play bass and just play the stuff in time, I never practice it because if I’m ever gonna take time to practice anything, I’ll practice guitar. I never use song charts to memorize songs though, I think just playing the song as many times as possible at tempo to engrain it in your head is what’ll make it stick because if you do something a lot, it normally sticks in your head right? I did an event in college one time and had to learn 4 songs that I didn’t know in 3 days, had to do schoolwork all the while haha. Just played the songs over and over and over and played them very well on the third day when our group played in front of people.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13752

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Here’s something from my field, jazz. It’s not metal or rock, but I hope it may provide some “food for thought” on how you want to write your music. I must add that I was in your shoes some 30 years ago, trying to fit everything in one piece of paper while keeping all the relevant parts and so I think that, the experience itself of writing these sheets is invaluable. As you already discovered since you mentioned these songs come easier to you afterwards.

    In a traditional jazz setting we use “The Real Book” (won’t go about the 100s of variants here).

    Imagine I’m going to play with some friends, a band, a jam session whatever. I’ll take my copy of “The Real Book” which has a few of hundreds of tunes. I’ll pray that everyone has the same version – usually the 5th edition (underground stuff) or the 6th edition (official release).

    Someone says “Let’s play Monk’s ‘Well You Needn’t’!” so I open my book and browse fast to the end of the book. Here’s a version taken from the “pirate” book, the 5th edition (the 6th is more polished, but since it has copyright I won’t post it)

    monkswyn

    This is instrumental music, but when available you see the lyrics below the notes.

    First thing to do is to analyze the structure of the music. The form… is it AABA? Is it a 32-bar blues, is it AABB? etc… usually you can tell that quickly by the repetion signs at the end of some bars…

    this one is AABA – the first three lines carry the two A’s with common bars and just different endings marked with 1 and 2 on the 3rd line. The next 2 lines are the B section and the final 2 lines are the A section again.

    Usually the band plays the “Head”, what you’re seeing with that written melody, and then come the solos which usually follow the same chord structure.. each musician may go through it a couple of times, or just once, … or more…. depending on how the band leader decides to do – who plays the theme/head, who does the solos and for how long, etc. And usually in the end after the solos, everyone returns to the theme again, to conclude the piece.

    What’s interesting about this – and my provide food for thought – is what is written and what’s not… most things aren’t so you’re expected to use your ears all the time… to add just what’s necessary, to stay out of the way, leaving space for the guys playing the solos, etc. But still you have a lot there.

    You have the title and the composer 🙂 You have the indication of time, “MED” in this case, which can be pretty fast…. you have the key signature (just on the 1st line, which is different from classical music) and you have the time signature. Sometimes you get indications of style like “bossa”, “swing”, “straight”, “blues”, etc, and with those you will have a close indication of what you’re expected to play rhytmically. In this case there isn’t but this tune is usally played with the “swinged” eights.

    Then you have the chords, and usually we try to indentify right away common chord changes, like ii-V-Is… in this particulart tune you have a very uncommon setting of only dominant chords! You still have those ii-V-Is just that in these case they’re all made of dominant(7) chords. The chord changes will also provide some ideas for what you may play, from your vocabulary of licks/riffs, etc… what scales to use, and so on.

    One interesting note… many of the most emblematic albums of the 50s, 60s, were recorded in very few sessions, usually with the guys arriving at the studio without knowing what they were going to play 🙂 One of the most important albums in jazz history was done this way, in an evening, with Miles Davis composing and conducting the session and most of them were listening to those songs for the first time…. as the were playing them! 🙂  And it’s beyond amazing to listen to those records today, how tight they sounded, how incredible those solos were and thinking they were making it all on the spot!

    Of course this is not Metal, but the lesson here is that there’s a “code” that everyone tries to learn, what’s expected from each guy on a particular role, etc.. instead of writing it all beforehand.

    Even when you’re just starting this is as daunting as fun! And it sure calls for everyone’s ears to be ON.

    Back to Monk’s “Well You Needn’t” here’s one of the original recordings, and they’re playing what you see on the lead sheet above. At one point you can hear clearly Thelonious Monk call John Coltrane for his solo, that’s at 2:20..

    Note that the piano intro – and a lot else isn’t either…

     

     

    Attachments:
    1. monkswyn.jpg

  • #13754

    AlleyCatRocker1980s
    Participant

    Now that the dust has settled I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest that anyone has to post videos to prove advice one way or the other. That might be true of some other forums where there is a mix of, well, kind of trolly types. Maybe it’s a bigger topic, kind of on the theme, does a guitarist have to be able to play fast, in order to guide others to play faster than he personally can, I’d say, it’s possible for the advice to be sound. Some people are very observant and curious by nature so they get a feel for how things are possible even though mechanically not able to do it- still, others can follow their points and progress rapidly. And some of the fastest and most famous guitarists were and are not able to explain how they play what they play. On the topic of progressing on learning songs faster it’s taken a while for me to arrive at a way to write out songs in song charts. The past several months I’ve seen first hand that writing out song charts is a good way for myself to really learn the song and not forget it- even if I don’t practice it much. I retain it longer if I wrote out the chart by hand. Some of the songs I’ve learned, I wrote out the charts early, others, I still haven’t written one. It takes time but the time has paid off. The songs I wrote out, I seem more likely to be able to play spontaneously, than the others. I don’t want to be that guy who stands there and says, “Yea let’s play that song. Oh wait. How’s it go?” My intent is to fit an entire song on a single page of paper, and be able to play from it initially or refer to it in case I forget. One page is okay unless having to fit the solos in, then it gets tricky. Not everything can be included.. like noting the rhythm is hard, basically have to remember the song generally. Here is an easy one in the pic below. I can’t say it’s correct! (I found a mistake right after taking the pic.) I’m constantly erasing pencil marks and fixing these. So if anyone wants to share their own formats for charts it could be insightful. I’ve seen what the few other guitarists I’ve played with use for their own style and I can’t imagine playing off a sheet of their scribbles. Or playing off of a printout from some internet site, when half the page is wrong, an entire verse is missing, etc. nirvana-about-a-girl-s So my workflow right now (or process or procedure) when I get a song to learn, in the best case, is to get the mp3, make three slowdown versions (50%, 70%, 80%), listen to these right away before trying to play the song, write out the lyrics while listening to the track. Only when I don’t understand a word do I check online lyric sites (because they have too many mistakes to trust in general). Then after the lyrics I listen several more times and try to write out the song form. Which is really super cool! Because I could never figure out song forms before. Still, I don’t know the correct terms and I try not to make stuff up. (A guy I play with likes to just call certain repeated guitar measures, “the in-between part” which, I dunno, doesn’t seem very clear to me, since the “in-between part” is often repeated at the end of the song.) Sometimes I try to add details like, drum fill measures or transitions etc, which are always missing in tabs, yet playing with a drummer, that’s the important part to know, in order to keep in sync. Sometimes the drummer I play with will ask: “Hmm I forgot, how many measures for the intro? The guitar part before the drums kick in?” Mostly I have it written from working it out in advance: 2 or 4 or 8 or whatever. But that assumes I’m counting measures the same way, which in some songs seems different (time signature mismatch?). It surprises me that in playing with a band, the first thing discussed about a song is never: “What BPM is it at. What key is it in. What’s the time signature. What’s the tuning.” Seems like the foundation of covering song to me.. it would clear up some eventual confusion later before it happens.. maybe? Maybe in the future I won’t have to do any of this work, probably around the time people start claiming I’m “a natural” hah. Ok I did a lot of complaining about messy song sheets, here’s a pic of one of the “other players” song charts, the best of the their bunch. Not once did we ever get the ending of this song correct because the measures are not accurately shown.. pretty much every time we played this song the question came up halfway thru “does the chorus start on Em or C?” (another confusion I think because measures not noted properly), and capo, which is it, 2nd or 3rd? or both? ;-D Don’t forget to turn the page while playing with a toe (as both hands busy playing) because this sheet is 3 pages. kelly-rhi-s

    I’m glad the dust has settled as well…But as a Practicing Musician here at Metal Method,I feel if a person plays slow,or fast it should be as motivation

    an examples to others so that others will strive to do better on the Guitar. Each person,is at different levels on the Guitar an each person is striving to

    achieve their ultimate best.

    AlleyCat

    Practicing Guitar

  • #13757

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Great perspective Joao. I’ve looked at fake books previously and concluded that the musicians playing them are on a whole other level because of how they’re read and then improv’ed over spontaneously.

    I started out trying to write the chords above the words, like typically done. I found I got lost very easily, trying to scan the page for where I was at. Previously I could barely read and play at the same time. And Eyeballs glued to the fretboard otherwise I’d mess up. Gradually I can do other things while playing now, which I’m very happy about. Like, I can talk while playing, simple things like “turn up I can’t hear you” or whatever, and not completely screw up. I can read the page without missing chords now. So having all the lyrics written out separately from the chords, allows me to just focus on the chords, and also writing them as compact as possible like |: Em / / / | G / / / 😐 helped me to both not mess up and also to switch verse<->chorus faster. Also having the separate sections lets me focus on just the parts that I need help on and ignore the others (like, verse and chorus are easy, but the bridge is tricky so I keep re-reading that part while playing). Probably all this will change over time..

    Eventually I’ll make a spreadsheet with each song to break out the song forms, as a way of comparing the songs. I’ll post pics of the stranger songs that I have learned recently and charted out, later.

    It seems to me that some really stick-in-your-head or make-ya-headbang songs can be very very simple musically or form wise, as long as they have one twist to them, something like that. Like: super super simple chords but the lyric has a syncopated rhythm. Or, super super basic lyrics and super basic chords but the song form is really funky. And then, too many unique aspects in a song just make it too hard to follow, it doesn’t click. Stuff like that. I’m thinking of When I Come Around for example. Super basic song and chords, basic repetitive rhythm, in fact almost crazy boring to play, yet the lyrics have a very unique rhythm pattern, and interesting words too, which makes the whole song very lively (whether or not it’s punk, the lyrics still stand out as the unique part). When I saw a local amateur Green Day cover band play an entire set of Green Day hits, this was the 1 song that got everyone jumping around, it really stood out (and I’m not a big Green Day fan). Amazing! Green Day themselves thought it was a filler song when they made the album..

    2. I just call things “verse, chorus, solo, interlude”. That seems to work for most things so far.

    This is really funny because one time my group was discussing a song, “oh yea dont forget there’s that in-between part. Oh yea, the in-between part, right.” And I said, “Hm, I think it could be better called the interlude.” Everyone stared at me blankly like I was from another planet and speaking Klingon. LOL. Tho I wouldn’t say interlude is really the most correct either, unless the interludes are also intros, and many songs have (for example) a noodly bit as intro, then as a middle break between verse and chorus (but not as the bridge), and then the same noodly bit at the end. So I guess interlude is OK for the middle part description, and possibly the end (tho that could be called outro instead), but as the intro? I dunno. It’s just in the interests of being able to best communicate to band mates or others, I’m not trying to get all crazy with it. If I say before playing a song, “don’t forget the thingie is the quiet dynamic” that works too, if everyone I ever talk to, also knows what thingie means.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #13758

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Yes, communicating with others is different. My school band is covering Welcome to the Black Parade, and when I say “start at the first verse”, the response is usually:

      “Where’s that?”

      “The fast part, after the drum roll.”

      “OK.”

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13759

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I might have gotten this thread mixed up with another one on learning songs that I can’t find right now (no big deal, that’s rock n roll hah) and some other threads about learning songs especially with Doug’s and Will’s advice included are good so I will link to them here:

    So Much To Learn So Little Time!

    Learning beginner songs

    Best way for a band to learn songs?

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13760

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hi SB,

    The idea of an Excel spreadsheet seems great. Creating a template with it would be super, as you’ll then have a standard visual organization, so you’ll always know where to look at, the same way in all tunes.

    One idea,
    Add colors to the chord types (you could even add to chord roots, but I guess it would become too colorful, still it’s your call)
    Or for a more “pro” look go with the common symbols for chord types, look for some ideas in the image below…

    Last December I took guitar exam and one of the components was sight reading… you were given some 16 bars of chords and had 3 minutes to look at it and then play and improvise with .. what I found was that the “min” “maj” is really confusing when you need to work at full speed; the symbols like the triangle and the minus sign work a lot better, specially when you have chords like …… Bbmin7b5 … it looks less cluttered as Bb-7b5

    sbcodes

    Attachments:
    1. sbcodes.jpg

    • #13770

      Igglepud
      Participant

      I like to leave my majors alone and write out my minors with an “m”. So if I see “A”, I know it’s a regular A major. No need to specify beyond that. A minor would be   “Am”.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13771

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I like to leave my majors alone and write out my minors with an “m”. So if I see “A”, I know it’s a regular A major. No need to specify beyond that. A minor would be “Am”.

    Sure, that makes sense if you only play those two chord types.

  • #13777

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I agree with Ig. The only place where that system could get trippy though is, say you had an A7, you would be like, oh it’s just got the A so it must be an A Major 7th chord. Wrong! It’s an A Dominant 7th. So to distinguish the A Major 7th from the A Dominant 7th, you write Amaj7. But if you know the difference, then it doesn’t matter because when you see just A7, your brain automatically thinks dominant.In the end, whatever naming system makes the most sense to you, that’s the one you should use.

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #13780

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Can you not just write A7 and Am7?

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13778

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    The only place where that system could get trippy though is, say you had an A7, you would be like, oh it’s just got the A so it must be an A Major 7th chord. Wrong! It’s an A Dominant 7th. So to distinguish the A Major 7th from the A Dominant 7th, you write Amaj7

    Exactly. That’s the reason for the “maj” qualifier.

    Also, as soon as you need to add a “dim” chord that really messes up with the “min” .. if you’re sight reading. That’s where the symbols come handy.

  • #13781

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Can you not just write A7 and Am7?

    A7 is a dominant chord, not a “full” major chord.

     

    Dominant : major 3rd – perfect 5th – minor 7th

    Major : major 3rd – perfect 5th – major 7th

     

    A dominant chord has tension that needs to be resolved, usually into a major or a minor chord.

     

    But again, if you just work with triad chords, the only thing you have is major, minor and diminished chords (if your context is a major scale) so no worries.

  • #13782

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Ya, the mixolydian mode is what will give you the dominant 7th. So in A minor, that G7 will lead you right into the A minor. Whatever scale you’re playing, just know that the mixolydian related note of the scale is what your dominant 7th will be. So for instance, if you’re in D major, the mixolydian related note would be the A, so the A7 is what fits into D Major.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #13787

    Igglepud
    Participant

    So why not write a dominant 7 as A7d so the major can just be A7?

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #13788

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    So why not write a dominant 7 as A7d so the major can just be A7?

    Because this is centuries’ old… it survived the test of time.

    It is used by thousands or even millions(?) of musicians today so they may communicate through music even if they don’t speak the same language.

    Some of it has its roots in the “figured bass” system developed so keyboard (and bass) players in late 16th century could play and improvise and embellish their parts on the fly, when sight reading during performance, providing accompaniment to others, without their parts actually being fully written.

    • #13792

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Just because it has always been done that way is no reason to continue that way. It makes more sense to have to write a modification for the 7 as opposed to the chord itself. I know that isn’t what happens but it should be.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

    • #13797

      superblonde
      Keymaster

      One related thing is, kind of like Joao said (his delta or minus spot), it is easier to read if all chords have a symbol for what they are, that’s what I’ve noticed. I guess with practice anything is possible and “Amaj” and “Amin” are not great, but still easier for me to immediately recognize than having one say “A” and the other “Amin”. So I also like the idea of using whatever seems appropriate “A@” vs “A-” or whatever (too bad can’t use + because that’s already taken). Having the second character after every chord be reserved for that, makes sense. Too bad that capitals or lower case can’t distinguish these alone.. that’s also harder to read fast (especially M vs m). There is a lot of science behind what the eye and brain can process fast vs slow, like with font styles – typography is a deep subject, television for example always purposely uses “super fast to read and process” styled fonts (san serif) for important things, even tho the idea might sound petty at first- it’s proven, especially by marketers who spend a lot of time trying to get money from people’s pockets.

      I dont like outdated standards either, if they don’t make sense anymore. First to go, are the names major & minor ;-D they’re too similar in English! Pick better names. 😛

      I’d bet the fastest way to read, would be to list all the modifications on a chord every time, and if there’s no modification, then use a no-modification symbol in that placeholder spot. So chords would be written with the same number of characters whatever the type (hopefully only 4 characters), rather than variable length (where sometimes a chord is a single letter, or sometimes two, or three, or four).

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #13798

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I dont like outdated standards either, if they don’t make sense anymore. First to go, are the names major & minor ;-D they’re too similar in English! Pick better names.

    I don’t like those either, because they point to that duality maj/min, throwing off the other 5 modes .. that has been the cause of so much confusion, leading people to think modes are not important, if there’s always the same 7 notes…. but we had this chat here already and I don’t want to go there and risk start another fire!

    Superblonde, you mentioned capitals being used for that purpose of identifying chord quality…. actually that is used a lot but in a slightly different context, identifying the chord progressions by the role each chord plays in a given key:

    So imagine your playing something in C major: here’s a couple of chord progressions using capitals …

    ii V I  —> that means D- G7 and Cmajor (the 7 is implied on the role of the V .. and in jazz we interpret these all as 7th chords as well)

    ii V I vi —> D-7   G7 Cmaj7 and A-7

    ii V I VI7 —-> here we’re playing the A7 (dominant) instead of the A-7 , that usually resolves to the ii

    So the roman numerals, use that capitalization you mentioned, and what’s a ***LOT*** more, they help you understand the role of each chord within a given tune, and will help you transpose a tune on the spot, if required….. imagine there’s a new singer coming in but he/she can’t sing in the key you guys are playing… if you’re aware of the chord progression inner hierarchy you can switch on the spot.

    So pick the last example and add a few more chords to it: —–> ii  /  /  /   V  /  /  /  I   /  /  /   VI7   /  /  /  ii   /  /  /   IV  /  /  /  iii  /  /  /  bII /  /  / and I to finish.

    Can you name these chords in C major? that would be D- … G7 … C … A7 … D- … F … E- … Db maj .. C

    (when you’re playing just triad chords you don’t need to add the “maj” so C is C major, yes)

    Now, imagine the singer would ask you to play this 3 half-tones above? If you had only memorized the chords, this would be really tough, but if you memorize the progression instead you would quickly be able to adjust and play on the new key. That would be to play this progression in Eb major instead .. so what would be the V? Bb7 etc……………

     

  • #13808

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    On the topic of notation, another interesting alternative is the Nashville Number System. While it may not handle “edge cases” as well as some other systems, as a system for notating popular music, it has proven its practical validity through decades of use by Nashville studio musicians. If it has shortcomings, the best way to learn about them would be to interview people who have used it professionally for many years. While the NNS may not be as complete as other systems (I honestly don’t know the answer to that), one of the intriguing things about it is that it was developed specifically for the purpose of expedient writing and reading of charts by working musicians.

    http://www.harmonycentral.com/articles/crunching-the-nashville-number-system

  • #14069

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I recently graphed my progress of learning the Pentatonic Mastery Week 2 solo exercise.  I started off thinking that I could play it thru, at nearly my normal practice tempo, and I’d get it down in a couple days.  In this case I was wrong but I didn’t realize it until later.  The approach had worked for Week 1 solo (which was easier) – play medium speed, and learn-as-I-go type thing.  After a few days I realized, on W2’s solo, I had to slow way down to get the mistakes out, so I did much longer practice (90+ minutes) with it at 30 BPM and then after a couple days of that (I wrote a note that says “45 BPM Not clean at all”), got it somewhat near normal practice tempo again (75 BPM).  I guess I should always start very slow, no matter what.

    Pentatonic-Mastery-Week-2

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. Pentatonic-Mastery-Week-2.png

  • #14071

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    On the topic of notation, another interesting alternative is the Nashville Number System. While it may not handle “edge cases” as well as some other systems, as a system for notating popular music, it has proven its practical validity through decades of use by Nashville studio musicians. If it has shortcomings, the best way to learn about them would be to interview people who have used it professionally for many years. While the NNS may not be as complete as other systems (I honestly don’t know the answer to that), one of the intriguing things about it is that it was developed specifically for the purpose of expedient writing and reading of charts by working musicians. http://www.harmonycentral.com/articles/crunching-the-nashville-number-system

    Safetyblitz, this is the kind of stuff that I’m even afraid to look at – therefore I will 🙂 Many times I feel the need of a quick way of writing music (specially on computers) so maybe this is it. Traditional notation is really though when it comes to things like syncopated rhythms, for instance. Looks great, thanks for sharing it!

    I recently graphed my progress of learning the Pentatonic Mastery Week 2 solo exercise. I started off thinking that I could play it thru, at nearly my normal practice tempo, and I’d get it down in a couple days. In this case I was wrong but I didn’t realize it until later. The approach had worked for Week 1 solo (which was easier) – play medium speed, and learn-as-I-go type thing. After a few days I realized, on W2’s solo, I had to slow way down to get the mistakes out, so I did much longer practice (90+ minutes) with it at 30 BPM and then after a couple days of that (I wrote a note that says “45 BPM Not clean at all”), got it somewhat near normal practice tempo again (75 BPM). I guess I should always start very slow, no matter what. 

    Hey Superblonde. To properly reply to your post I’d need to actually hear you. So I’ll reply based on theory alone.
    I’ve been teaching Suzuki Violin Method for 20+ years, and guess what… 5/6 year old students, when they start playing, the very first “tune” is mostly based on 16ths… sound odd? There’s a reason for it. Because it’s tough as nails to play correctly at slow tempos/note values (on a violin is a lot worse than on a guitar since you have to maintain proper bow speed and pressure, while on guitar you just need to hit the note start on proper time.
    But still… I’m constantly seeing guys on the net playing at slow tempos and it makes my teeths cringe as how much off-beat they are. If you think of it, it makes all the sense: the most apart that 2 consecutive beats are, the further the “distance” the harder it is to hit the target right on the center mark.
    The reason why I brought this is because you mentioned 30 BPMs. That’s a very slow tempo. I could set up a contest here to see who would be able to hit quarter notes right on at 30 BPMs…. the reason for it, I guess, that’s because that’s less than half the speed of your heartbeat. … almost everyone can play quarter notes, 8th notes, or 16th notes at 60 BPM. But then 30 is half, and 120 – which I personally experienced for a long time as a kind of brick wall – is the double of 60 BPM. All metronomes have 60BPM and 120BPM… they may not have other partial numbers but these 2 are always there.
    What I’m saying is….. trying to master 30BPMs before mastering 40, 50 or 60 BPMs, is a harder than you’d expect. This is not a gradual thing… at 60 BPM you can make use of your body in a natural way. At 30 or 120 you’re pushing some bounderies. To be able to play right on at 30 BPMs reveals one of two things:
    a) either you’re born with it (for some of my kinds tempo seems to run on their veins while other need to learn it through experience) or ..
    b) you really worked your tempo a LOT.
    OK, to cut a long story short… the ability to master proper tempo/timing does not follow the same gradual scale as the tempo scale itself.
    Personally, when I want to master some particular new technique/exercise I feel it is better to stop the metronome alltogether and play the exercise at proper “mind” speed – that is, the speed that you mind is able to send your fingers the proper instruction in the same way you’re thinking about them.

  • #14084

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Personally, when I want to master some particular new technique/exercise I feel it is better to stop the metronome alltogether and play the exercise at proper “mind” speed – that is, the speed that you mind is able to send your fingers the proper instruction in the same way you’re thinking about them.

    A warning sticker with this exact message should be attached to every metronome sold worldwide.

    At least as far as guitarists are concerned, where the well-intended advice to practice with a metronome is sometimes taken to a counterproductive extremes by enthusiastic students. There are lots of students who don’t use a metronome at all, and we know that’s a mistake, but the pendulum of “metronome compliance” can swing too far the other way sometimes as well. Like any tool, it’s useful to recognize where a metronome is helpful, and where it is not.

    Forcing a technique event to happen at a specific time — no matter how much time is permitted between events — (i.e. “on the beat”, even with a long gap between beats) creates time pressure on the technique event that, while useful in learning to play events in sequence with good timing, is counterproductive to the initial learning of the technique itself. To learn the technique in the first place, you need to perform it in such a way that you can use intention and observation to control and monitor the movement as it happens to ensure the desired outcome is produced. Where improper/incorrect/suboptimal movement is detected, you need the freedom to correct it in real time without being a slave to a fixed rhythm. Only once you are confidently able to perform the movement properly should you begin to worry much about making that movement occur in coordination with an exterior source of time measurement.

    None of this contradicts the idea that using a metronome to learn to play in time is important. But separate from that type of practice, on occasions where you specifically want to slow down and micromanage the fine details of technique in order to improve it, forcing yourself to play on the beat is a constraint that is contrary to achieving that specific “detail improvement” training outcome.

  • #14085

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Hm, first let me clarify that those Solo parts are 16th notes or 8th note triplets.  Does that mean something different?

    The results should probably be compared to those also learning that same solo from Doug’s new series.

    My biggest problem when practicing something like a 16th note solo at 30 BPM is simply staying awake for a few minutes of repetitions of the few measures I am looping.  Mental focus on the fingers (or sound if trying a few loops with eyes closed) is one thing, but actually getting sufficiently mentally bored with the monotony of the speed that I start sliding into dozing off..  Well, I don’t know if that helps to improve subconscious-playing or not 😀    When actually focused and practicing well at that slow speed I’ve been trying to do things like, play with fingertips only, keep fingers down, bend to pitch.. sometimes successfully improving I think, not sure.

    The other thing is that the graph might be visually misleading without a careful look, in that the only thing I’m able to easily plot is the day’s BPM.  So in the rare case that I don’t use a metronome to learn something, I still need to put something down, so I start up the metronome to find the closest speed at which I’m at, and log that as my day’s successfully clean tempo.  But almost always if I’m doing something like, 5 minutes repetition of whatever lead measure or technique, I use either GP6 and slow it way down to play along while learning something, or use a metronome drum track.

    Maybe what I’ll do is this:  for the next lick that I have to learn from that same song from the previous “classic rock song lick of the day” (there are 7 or 8 licks total I think, I’ve only learned the first 4, song is 110 BPM and the lead part is a combo of 8th notes and triplets), I will use this same current method to learn them which means using the metronome like I’ve been doing with these other exercises, and maybe I’ll record that and post it up.   I’ve already progress-logged the first set of licks, and still working on them somewhat regularly.

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video of a not-so-fast guitarist learning a lick which includes getting it up to speed, from the beginning, yet it’s something that I’m trying to do every day.  Sure I’ve seen tons of videos of guitarists who are already quite advanced teaching licks lessons, after they’ve learned the lick off camera.  I’ve seen videos of guitarists demonstrating a lick they don’t really remember yet had played well in years long past, and jamming on it in a video until they say “oh yea, that’s how it goes” and they proceed to play it at proper tempo.   And, Joao’s recent video is a great one on how to go about putting the rhythm of a solo together, from sight reading it, but, then he went directly ahead and played it far beyond it’s normal tempo.  So none of these are videos of what I’m doing regularly for hours at a time, the work of “getting a few measures of a guitar lead up to some moderately okay speed”.  It goes back to a theme safetyblitz has mentioned a few times, that some great guitarists lucked-into a very beneficial method of learning, early on, which allowed them to progress quite rapidly.  (and, it helps young players if their parents are music instructors. ;-D )

     

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #14088

      Igglepud
      Participant

      I’ll try and post that to my log when I take on the next run in El Mariachi. I’m surprised there isn’t more of that. I know my students benefited a lot watching me struggle with that and Crazy Train. Seeing the whole process showed them that  one: even I, the great and mighty guitar god that I am, had to practice a TON. And two: I don’t just magically play it all, I break it down into small chunks that I play a bazillion times.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #14086

    superblonde
    Keymaster

      5/6 year old students, when they start playing, the very first “tune” is mostly based on 16ths… sound odd? There’s a reason for it. Because it’s tough as nails to play correctly at slow tempos/note values 

    So you mean they practice a part which is a mixture of 16th notes and 8th notes and quarter notes, and they practice it against a click-click at 60 BPM?  I am not sure I’d be able to practice quarter notes at 30 BPM.  I would just fall asleep, hah.  Well maybe that is not true.  I practice bending a single quarter note at 30 BPM metronome click sometimes, it seems to be a good way to practice the velocity of the bend..?

     

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14089

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    It goes back to a theme safetyblitz has mentioned a few times, that some great guitarists lucked-into a very beneficial method of learning, early on, which allowed them to progress quite rapidly.

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my favorite analogies for this is realistic drawing. Even though realistic drawing is considered “uninteresting” by many/most sophisticated visual artists, it’s something a lot of people want to learn to do, but are unable to (sound like the social dynamics of “shred guitar” to anybody, lol?). Anyway, some people, even from a relatively young age, are able to have a lot of success in their attempts to create realistic drawings. Many others are unable to, no matter how much they try. This causes many people to develop the belief that the first group has some sort of quasi-magic innate ability that the latter group lacks.

    Betty Edwards talks about this in her book “Drawing on the right side of the brain”. While the book leans perhaps too heavily on the now-descredited notion there are any useful generalizations to be derived from classifying people as “left brain dominant” or “right brain dominant”, she does make useful distinctions about the differences in observable *behavior* between people who have success at realistic drawing and those who don’t.

    One of the key ideas is that those who are unsuccessful employ drawing strategies similar to what most young children do: they take a cartoonish “symbolic” approach. I.e. “If I look at a face I want to draw, I know that the face has a mouth, and a nose, and two eyes, so I need to make sure I draw each of those things. I’ll draw a mouth based on what I know mouths look like, and I’ll draw the eyes based on what I know eyes look like, and I’ll draw the nose based on what I know noses look like. Put those things together on paper, and I’ve got a face, right?”

    People who are more successful at realistic drawing take a different approach, which relates to an idea called “value drawing”. “If I look at a face I want to draw, I can understand that when I look at it from any particular angle, the image I am perceiving is composed of a patchwork of shapes, with some shapes generally lighter in appearance, and some shapes generally darker. I’ll figure out what those shapes are, how they are positioned relative to each other, and how light or dark each one is. Put those together on paper, and I’ve got a face, right?”

    While simply being aware of this isn’t enough by itself to have you cranking out recreations of the Mona Lisa within a day, it points to a crucial difference in how the realistic drawing task is approached by people using strategy A versus people using strategy B. Some people are lucky enough to stumble into strategy B at an early age. Others are taught strategy B by a parent, teacher, friend, book, website etc. People who have only ever used strategy A, and have never learned about strategy B, may have a tendency to say and think “people who are good at drawing have an innate ability that the rest of us don’t have and can’t learn.” Or worse yet, especially if we relate it back to guitar practice, they mistakenly think: “if I spend enough thousands of hours making drawings following approach ‘A’, maybe eventually I’ll be able to draw as realistically as person X does [who unbeknownst to me follows approach ‘B’, which I’ve never even heard of].”

  • #14091

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video of a not-so-fast guitarist learning a lick which includes getting it up to speed, from the beginning, yet it’s something that I’m trying to do every day. Sure I’ve seen tons of videos of guitarists who are already quite advanced teaching licks lessons, after they’ve learned the lick off camera. I’ve seen videos of guitarists demonstrating a lick they don’t really remember yet had played well in years long past, and jamming on it in a video until they say “oh yea, that’s how it goes” and they proceed to play it at proper tempo. And, Joao’s recent video is a great one on how to go about putting the rhythm of a solo together, from sight reading it, but, then he went directly ahead and played it far beyond it’s normal tempo. So none of these are videos of what I’m doing regularly for hours at a time, the work of “getting a few measures of a guitar lead up to some moderately okay speed”.

    First, a quick note about my post. It was not a direct result of your graph but was prompted by your words, and even that in somewhat general terms. What I wanted to stress is that 30BPM is a tough tempo IF (and only if) you’re trying to get perfect timing. So sometimes it helps to work a bit faster so you allow your muscles to work in a more relaxed way… the way I see it, those low speed are for that and not really to gauge speed evolution. And, if you feel the need to play really slow – which I do just like you, and am haunted by the same sleep over and over! – then we’d might as well turn the metronome off and concentrate on detail, on looking at the exercise through a magnifying glass. And this takes to the next point:

    You mentioned my video and that I went up there quickly – but I’m a slowhand guy, believe me. Speed doesn’t come natural to me and so I need to find ways to overcome that. Like that Pablo Casals quote that said, when asked why it at close to 90 years old kept practicing the cello, “because I feel I’m improving”.

    You remember my Speed Kills 1000x thread right? So since my last video there – maybe already a month ago? – I started working on the net exercise. I’ve been practicing it daily, without failing, and sometimes I can be with it close to an hour a day. I do a lot of metronome work just like you do, but I also do a lot of other things, that magnifying glass type of practice, and much to my amazement in that short exercise there are still things that I feel I’m discovering! I try a myriad of things like concentrate on the fingers that are going down, on the ones that go up, watching one finger at a time, the pick, isolating small sections, isolating strings, etc. I’m taking notes, yes, of it all, and will try to make them into something coherent one of these days … and I hope to post a new video, maybe in a couple of weeks(?)

    This next quote from Safetyblitz pretty much summarizes what I believe and try to do. Will I ever get “there”? Not sure, but I’ll keep practicing as long as I’m having fun and feel I’m improving 🙂

    None of this contradicts the idea that using a metronome to learn to play in time is important. But separate from that type of practice, on occasions where you specifically want to slow down and micromanage the fine details of technique in order to improve it, forcing yourself to play on the beat is a constraint that is contrary to achieving that specific “detail improvement” training outcome.

    So, this kinda of throws me back to previous discussions and there’s absolutely no need. My truth isn’t necessarily other guys’ truth. But I firmly believe that there are many stages of speed, that it is not a gradual thing. One of my jazz guitar teachers online, Andreas Öberg, who’s probably the fastest guy I ever seen in jazz (and improvising at the same time, almost not human!) he defended that we should start by playing fast right from the start, that is, we should experience speed. How to do it? He’d say for us to play the fast lines we could, but not really caring about the tempo, just “floating” above the song – that would bring you the confidence in speed, and in yourself, and would at the same time allow you to do it in a relaxed manner, which is fundamental for speed.

    Anyways, I always feel I loose some objectivity on these replies 🙂 so excuse me for it and we’ll keep the ball rolling! Keep doing what you do. Metronome practice is not negotiable. But at the same time as said above, it is not a panacea for all problems.

    I sure don’t want to start another fire on this, guys! This is me, and what I feel works for me. If you feel otherwise go on and share your points of view – that’s the fun part of a forum 😎

  • #14093

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    5/6 year old students, when they start playing, the very first “tune” is mostly based on 16ths… sound odd? There’s a reason for it. Because it’s tough as nails to play correctly at slow tempos/note values

    So you mean they practice a part which is a mixture of 16th notes and 8th notes and quarter notes, and they practice it against a click-click at 60 BPM? I am not sure I’d be able to practice quarter notes at 30 BPM. I would just fall asleep, hah. Well maybe that is not true. I practice bending a single quarter note at 30 BPM metronome click sometimes, it seems to be a good way to practice the velocity of the bend..?

    They don’t practice with metronome – that is, sometimes they do! 🙂 But the first rhythm pattern they learn is composed of four 16ths and two 8ths. This allow them to play a lot of bows over a single note on the fretting hand. You could think of like playing a one octave scale using that pattern for each note. That’s the “1st Variation”. When I started it was a different world….. I was told to do slooooooow bowings over whole notes, learning to control the bow which is totally daunting for a beginner. By contrast much of the kids playing violin today start with higher note values, because it allows them to play in a more natural (and quickly relaxed) way. Then we start streching the notes, which could be seen as working the metronome backwards 🙂

    If you want to know exactly what I feel 30BPM is for…. do that Audacity wave test. Mute the strings with a cloth so it is very stacatto. Then play only quarter notes, one per beat, and try to be so precise that the metronome beat becomes inaudible – since your sound is totally over it. Just do it as relaxed as you can, as sometimes people try to do this as it they were catching flies 🙂 with violence, and that is not good timing, that is shooting on target 🙂

  • #14094

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    he defended that we should start by playing fast right from the start, that is, we should experience speed.

    I absolutely agree with this. I still agree with MAB’s “to learn to play fast, you have to play slow” mantra, but I also think that a player will have a better chance for success if they get an early taste of what “fast” feels like, even if it is just picking one note over and over. By having this direct experience of “fast” as a point of reference, the student can better police their own slow practice for having movements that will be applicable at high speed.

    Another metaphor I’ve used before is walking versus running. World class sprinters aren’t doing a “walking” movement at an incredibly fast speed, they’re doing a fast movement that is distinct from walking in several important ways. Walking as fast as you can will never create the same feeling (or produce equivalent results) as running. Conversely, try to “run” at 1 mile per hour (about 1 third the speed of typical adult “walking” speed). Nearly impossible.

    And back to the Oberg advice, one of the things that intrigues me is that I used to have “flyaway fingers” syndrome a fiar bit. Nowadays, I find that fast picking “naturally” pulls my fingers in closer to the fretboard. That is, there are times when my fingers might still flop around a bit, but if I’m doing fast three-note-per-string stuff, it feels like the faster timing practically sucks my fingers in close to the fingerboard. Usually I don’t even think about it now, which is a wonderful feeling. I guess what I’m saying is that fast practice perhaps helps clean up your technique almost out of necessity, as the lack of “excess” time seems to eliminate excess movement in way that starts to feel “automatic” after a while.

  • #14095

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    It goes back to a theme safetyblitz has mentioned a few times, that some great guitarists lucked-into a very beneficial method of learning, early on, which allowed them to progress quite rapidly.

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my favorite analogies for this is realistic drawing. Even though realistic drawing is considered “uninteresting” by many/most sophisticated visual artists, it’s something a lot of people want to learn to do, but are unable to (sound like the social dynamics of “shred guitar” to anybody, lol?). Anyway, some people, even from a relatively young age, are able to have a lot of success in their attempts to create realistic drawings. Many others are unable to, no matter how much they try. This causes many people to develop the belief that the first group has some sort of quasi-magic innate ability that the latter group lacks. Betty Edwards talks about this in her book “Drawing on the right side of the brain”. While the book leans perhaps too heavily on the now-descredited notion there are any useful generalizations to be derived from classifying people as “left brain dominant” or “right brain dominant”, she does make useful distinctions about the differences in observable *behavior* between people who have success at realistic drawing and those who don’t. One of the key ideas is that those who are unsuccessful employ drawing strategies similar to what most young children do: they take a cartoonish “symbolic” approach. I.e. “If I look at a face I want to draw, I know that the face has a mouth, and a nose, and two eyes, so I need to make sure I draw each of those things. I’ll draw a mouth based on what I know mouths look like, and I’ll draw the eyes based on what I know eyes look like, and I’ll draw the nose based on what I know noses look like. Put those things together on paper, and I’ve got a face, right?” People who are more successful at realistic drawing take a different approach, which relates to an idea called “value drawing”. “If I look at a face I want to draw, I can understand that when I look at it from any particular angle, the image I am perceiving is composed of a patchwork of shapes, with some shapes generally lighter in appearance, and some shapes generally darker. I’ll figure out what those shapes are, how they are positioned relative to each other, and how light or dark each one is. Put those together on paper, and I’ve got a face, right?” While simply being aware of this isn’t enough by itself to have you cranking out recreations of the Mona Lisa within a day, it points to a crucial difference in how the realistic drawing task is approached by people using strategy A versus people using strategy B. Some people are lucky enough to stumble into strategy B at an early age. Others are taught strategy B by a parent, teacher, friend, book, website etc. People who have only ever used strategy A, and have never learned about strategy B, may have a tendency to say and think “people who are good at drawing have an innate ability that the rest of us don’t have and can’t learn.” Or worse yet, especially if we relate it back to guitar practice, they mistakenly think: “if I spend enough thousands of hours making drawings following approach ‘A’, maybe eventually I’ll be able to draw as realistically as person X does [who unbeknownst to me follows approach ‘B’, which I’ve never even heard of].”

    Super interesting stuff! So maybe it’s paramount to everyone, at every field of work, develop true awareness of everything going around them, on the world outside their own “shell” … maybe learn how to release some control….

    Here’s a funny story, real story from a bush pilot flying a small Cessna type plane. He was flying high and level, with the aircraft properly trimmed – and when you do that it “flies itself”, when you manage to balance all forces and surfaces involved. So he had the aircraft in that situation, was flying on route … and was getting really bored. So he started looking around the cockpit .. and noticed that (I don’t know the proper words so I’ll try my best) on yoke column, two holes were perfectly lined up; these are used when the aircraft is parked on the ground, you stick a small metal bar in those holes to work like a break and prevent the rudder and ailerons to thrown away by the winds.

    So he noticed those holes lined up and had this luminous idea “maybe if I stick the metal bar now, this will work like an autopilot and will keep the aircraft flying perfectly level!” … so he tried it… for a moment all went well, but after some time a wind gust throws his aicraft aside, and because of that “brake” the aicraft started diving to the ground since the control surfaces were locked. He grabbed the yoke with all his strength and tried to gain control of the plane again while trying to remove the bar at the same time. But it was impossible… and he was getting close to the ground when he finally realized he just had to let go of the yoke, to stop pulling like mad, to easilly remove the device! He did that and survived to tell the story 🙂

    …just to illustrate that sometimes we are trying so hard that is almost impossible to release control, to realize that we need to stop doing exactly that in order adjust – and regain other and better type of control.

  • #14096

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    People who are more successful at realistic drawing take a different approach, which relates to an idea called “value drawing”.

    Sorry for the tangent, but for anyone who is curious, this video gives a very concise introduction the “value drawing” concept I referred to when I was comparing learning guitar to learning realistic drawing. My point was that in both fields, some folks have the good fortune to stumble into (or be taught) a highly effective approach that gives them a big advantage over the uninitiated.

    • #14119

      Igglepud
      Participant

      I thought about drawing last summer. It’s one of those things I wish I’d learned at a young age. I abandoned it quickly because I don’t see myself having the time and energy to take up yet another skill.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #14097

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Here’s a funny story, real story from a bush pilot flying a small Cessna type plane.

    The more of your posts I read, the more I’m disappointed we don’t have the opportunity to have beers together. 😉

  • #14106

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Here’s a funny story, real story from a bush pilot flying a small Cessna type plane.

    The more of your posts I read, the more I’m disappointed we don’t have the opportunity to have beers together. 😉

    🙂 feel exactly the same here, Safetyblitz! And how knows? Cheers!

  • #14160

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I firmly believe that there are many stages of speed, that it is not a gradual thing. One of my jazz guitar teachers online, Andreas Öberg, who’s probably the fastest guy I ever seen in jazz (and improvising at the same time, almost not human!) he defended that we should start by playing fast right from the start, that is, we should experience speed. How to do it? He’d say for us to play the fast lines we could, but not really caring about the tempo, just “floating” above the song – that would bring you the confidence in speed, and in yourself, and would at the same time allow you to do it in a relaxed manner, which is fundamental for speed.

    I’ve noticed that speed improvements will jump, yes. Mostly from a super low speed where I’m learning something, to a more normal practice tempo, a pretty steep jump in terms of % BPM increase. Well, that can be seen in the curves (that are not really curvy.. they are basically stepwise). Then of course the speeds I’m not yet at (like above 100 with 16th notes) as mentioned before, is where things get slower to gain.

    MAB also says something similar about speed, about needing to perceive the feeling of speed in order to do better practice. It’s in some of his clinic videos on youtube etc. What is missing from the story above and MAB’s story, is the “for how long, and how often, and how bad can it feel/sound” type direction. “we should experience speed” Ok, but how’s that translate into practice? The way I have been doing something similar is, on some days, when I start a particular exercise, I’ll just try playing it fast as possible regardless of being really correct, and w/o metronome, for no more than one minute, then maybe, I’ll turn on the metronome and repeat that just to see how fast that was. But I don’t log that speed. Other days I will do this similar thing after normal metronome practice on an exercise for a normal run thru time (seems to be about 20 mins). Still I don’t log those BPM’s because I’m only tracking BPM which still sounds okay. Sometimes in these fast runs, I slow the metronome down until it’s still faster than I’m currently practicing and just a bit sloppy but still sounds OK (meaning, no missing notes etc), and then I will log that BPM as my sprinting BPM (vs. the slower “clean BPM”). Anyway, that’s my attempt to do something which seems similar to the idea of “you have to experience the feeling of fast“. I guess in days past they’d try cocaine and then play. 😮 But that’s not my style. Actually I wonder if that made those “roaring 80s” players faster but I doubt anyone can really say, I suppose they were plenty fast before that, hah. I’m not pharma-enhanced. 😀

    If you want to know exactly what I feel 30BPM is for…. do that Audacity wave test.

    Yes but also, if your normal practice speed is 120 BPM 16th notes, then obviously, you’ll say “huh, playing those slow ranges is not necessary”. You’re already on another level. I don’t play faster than 75 BPM to 80 BPM 16th notes. Therefore 60% slowdown of that (45 BPM – 50 BPM) is the starting speed where I practice stuff, at least, that is what I’ve been doing and have assumed to be an okay thing to do. Your starting-slowdown-speed (60% of 120 BPM would be 72 BPM) is already almost faster than my fastest speed.

    Conversely, try to “run” at 1 mile per hour (about 1 third the speed of typical adult “walking” speed). Nearly impossible.

    Interestingly when I took a running clinic, taught by an ultramarathoner (those guys are nuts), who had been trained by a couple olympic coaches, world-class stuff, this was one of his many running/training/warmup exercises: run as fast as possible yet make as slow forward progress as possible. He had everyone count the number of running footsteps they needed in order to move forward across a line about 20 feet away (he also somehow discounted each person’s number for height and/or weight or something). The exercise winner was the one who took the largest number of steps. It has to do with discovering & practicing optimal form (a kind of springy-ness in the step). A coach in the same gym taught wannabe-pro college football dudes and made his guys do a similar type of warmup every day before running.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14161

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I am relatively peeved on a regular basis about this whole topic of learning curves on every Monday nite because that’s when I play with the drummer who comes in and says, “I got that new song down. I cant believe it, it took me all day! But I got it, I’m ready.” Sheesh, I’ve also been practicing it, but for 2 months already okay? And still not there yet and still not started on the solo. Great, I’m so happy, you “got it all down” in a single day and it took allllll afternoon. Wow, maybe the drummer even needed a drink of water in there too, and maybe a single bathroom break. That’s a tough day, right there! Then there’s some complaining about how a kid guitarist they know can play the song, and how the drummer wants to play it now, but our guitarist (me) isn’t ready, etc.

    That’s the drummer’s learning curve.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14162

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Interestingly when I took a running clinic, taught by an ultramarathoner (those guys are nuts), who had been trained by a couple olympic coaches, world-class stuff, this was one of his many running/training/warmup exercises: run as fast as possible yet make as slow forward progress as possible.

    There are drills done by sprinters as well that involve elements of running technique (usually with reasonably fast limb movement) but done with extremely short distance between footfalls, hence low velocity over ground. Some of those drills can also be done with slow limb movement. That’s not what I was referring to. I was talking about attempting to perform the same limb movements as sprinting (including normal stride length) but with slow limb movement. There is a ballistic component to sprinting technique that is pretty much impossible to recreate with limb movements slower than a certain threshold. Or to simplify: imagine a world class 100m race. The average speed over 100m is over 22miles/hour. Playback the video at 1/22 speed. Could the athletes replicate those 1/22 speed movements in real time without falling on their faces? The “lean” would off balance, the air-time would be impossible to replicate, etc.

  • #14163

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    What is missing from the story above and MAB’s story, is the “for how long, and how often, and how bad can it feel/sound” type direction. “we should experience speed” Ok, but how’s that translate into practice?

    I propose that putting left-hand and right-hand speed together is MUCH MUCH harder than working on either one separately. Unless by amazing coincidence you have the exact same rate of development with each hand hand, any exercise attempting “maximum speed” will be limited by one hand rather than the other. My suggestion is to allocate some of your practice time to “experiencing speed” with the left hand alone, some of it to experiencing speed with the right hand alone, and some of it trying to put the two together.

    Of course it’s important to spend most time working on coordinating the two hands, but when you are trying to get a feel for speed, it can be useful to spend some time working on the hands independently.

  • #14164

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Then there’s some complaining about how a kid guitarist they know can play the song, and how the drummer wants to play it now, but our guitarist (me) isn’t ready, etc. That’s the drummer’s learning curve.

    Take drum lessons on the side for a couple of months. Learn a couple of the songs your band plays. Ask the drummer to play the guitar part. After he can’t, you play the drum part.

  • #14169

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hey Superblonde!

    I’ve been on a rush these days, still am quite a bit, and it’s hard to keep up with all the forum latest posts, sometimes, so I’ll go with some tiny/partial replies – just ebcause of that, not for lack on interest!

    ’ve noticed that speed improvements will jump, yes. Mostly from a super low speed where I’m learning something, to a more normal practice tempo, a pretty steep jump in terms of % BPM increase. Well, that can be seen in the curves (that are not really curvy.. they are basically stepwise). Then of course the speeds I’m not yet at (like above 100 with 16th notes) as mentioned before, is where things get slower to gain.

    I don’t think this is what I meant… I wanted to say that speed stages may occur on a same practice session, independently of progression developed with practice. Sometimes I notice it’s easier for me to play at around 130 than it is at 110 – because the technique changes, there must be different muscles, movements involved.
    Safetyblitz’ analogy with walking and running was perfect to illustrate this: you don’t practice running like starting to walk really slow and go from there. There’s only so much speed you can attain with the walking technique… if at a certain point you want to go faster you start to run and that’s a different technique involved; a different technique/speed stage.

    MAB also says something similar about speed, about needing to perceive the feeling of speed in order to do better practice. It’s in some of his clinic videos on youtube etc. What is missing from the story above and MAB’s story, is the “for how long, and how often, and how bad can it feel/sound” type direction. “we should experience speed” Ok, but how’s that translate into practice? The way I have been doing something similar is, on some days, when I start a particular exercise, I’ll just try playing it fast as possible regardless of being really correct, and w/o metronome, for no more than one minute, then maybe, I’ll turn on the metronome and repeat that just to see how fast that was. But I don’t log that speed. Other days I will do this similar thing after normal metronome practice on an exercise for a normal run thru time (seems to be about 20 mins). Still I don’t log those BPM’s because I’m only tracking BPM which still sounds okay. Sometimes in these fast runs, I slow the metronome down until it’s still faster than I’m currently practicing and just a bit sloppy but still sounds OK (meaning, no missing notes etc), and then I will log that BPM as my sprinting BPM (vs. the slower “clean BPM”). Anyway, that’s my attempt to do something which seems similar to the idea of “you have to experience the feeling of fast“. I guess in days past they’d try cocaine and then play. But that’s not my style. Actually I wonder if that made those “roaring 80s” players faster but I doubt anyone can really say, I suppose they were plenty fast before that, hah. I’m not pharma-enhanced.

    🙂 The way to practice it was, according to my teacher (one possible way, that is) to play loosely over the backing tracks, floating on the tempo, no worries, relaxed, and then go from there; start including very short very fast runs, and with time extend them over more complex lines…

    There’s so much involved with speed… let me share just one of the latest things I found/I’m working. It’s paramount the starting speed being accurate. This may sound obvious, but it isn’t.. in the sense that it’s super hard to go from zero to whatever speed you’re aiming at, in a blink. What I’ve notice is that, for instance, I can play triplets at 210bpm, sometimes, but when I’m already “launched” (can’t find the proper word right now) … that is, it always takes a few fars before I can find the proper drive to hold that speed. But most of the times, what happens is that you need to start precisely at the exact fast speed of a given line, and it well before you’d be able to adjust.
    If you start too fast, you’ll need to slow down, but then when you reach desire speed, you’re instantly late. The opposite happens if you start to slow.. I think I mentioned this already, imagine 2 small aircraft trying to fly side by side at the exact same speed … I mention this because me and some friends tried to do it all the time in flight simulator and it is tough as nails, because of what I mentioned. Now add to that the clumsy start factor and you’ll see that starting at proper speed and with quality is essential: I’d go as far as to say that starting takes a huge percentage of success on playing fast. But again, this is for me a work in progress… I’m not MAB (and will never come close) nor even a natural fast guy. But I try to pay attention to detail and put these things to work as much as I can.
    Oh, there is another metal instructor, outside of MM, can’t remember his name (Steve something…) who talks about “bursting” as a technique to practice and attain speed. To me the video I saw from him about that make all the sense.

    Yes but also, if your normal practice speed is 120 BPM 16th notes, then obviously, you’ll say “huh, playing those slow ranges is not necessary”. You’re already on another level. I don’t play faster than 75 BPM to 80 BPM 16th notes. Therefore 60% slowdown of that (45 BPM – 50 BPM) is the starting speed where I practice stuff, at least, that is what I’ve been doing and have assumed to be an okay thing to do. Your starting-slowdown-speed (60% of 120 BPM would be 72 BPM) is already almost faster than my fastest speed.

    man, I practice 30bpms, all the time 🙂 The thing is, what I’m saying is that playing at that slow level raises a whole new set of issues that are not speed related. Incidentally I’ve seen over time several shredders on the net, giving lessons, etc, that can play real fast and that when exemplifying at very slow speeds their timing is all over the place… MAB in that sense is perfect 😎
    So…. and I think this will clear solve this issue!
    If you need to play 16ths at 30bpm, then it’s better to put the metronome at 60bpm and play 8th notes. This way you’re reference beats won’t be that far appart and it will be a lot easier for you to develop proper tempo. The speed is the same.

    am relatively peeved on a regular basis about this whole topic of learning curves on every Monday nite because that’s when I play with the drummer who comes in and says, “I got that new song down. I cant believe it, it took me all day! But I got it, I’m ready.” Sheesh, I’ve also been practicing it, but for 2 months already okay? And still not there yet and still not started on the solo. Great, I’m so happy, you “got it all down” in a single day and it took allllll afternoon. Wow, maybe the drummer even needed a drink of water in there too, and maybe a single bathroom break. That’s a tough day, right there! Then there’s some complaining about how a kid guitarist they know can play the song, and how the drummer wants to play it now, but our guitarist (me) isn’t ready, etc. That’s the drummer’s learning curve.

    🙂 You don’t think that at times he/she may be pulling your leg? 🙂 Perhaps it take them all week and they’re just bragging. That’s easy to verify ….. 😉

  • #14174

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    If you need to play 16ths at 30bpm, then it’s better to put the metronome at 60bpm and play 8th notes. This way you’re reference beats won’t be that far appart and it will be a lot easier for you to develop proper tempo. The speed is the same.

    This is the comment that clears up the difference in perspective. When I use a metronome I rarely use the click-click setting. My metronome has 99 built-in beats. Typically I use a 4/4 rock beat, this includes 8th note drum hits. When I practice Speed Kills or something else with 16th notes, I use the 4/4 “16 beat”, this includes a cymbal hit (hi hat?) on every 16th note, and that is what I play to. So when I set this to 30 BPM, it is still a good reference beat. Sometimes when I am playing some triplet exercise specifically, I will set it to a triplet click. Here is a sample of those various beats. I know the basic click-click metronomes can also do 8, 16, or triplet beats, but they confuse me because there is no big distinguishing sound of “1” or “3”.

    In this mp3 I go 70 BPM then 30 BPM then repeat, for the main beats I use often. But I really don’t use below 50 BPM except rarely. http://superblonde.info/2016/metronome-drums-1.mp3


    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14176

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I never use song charts to memorize songs though, I think just playing the song as many times as possible at tempo to engrain it in your head is what’ll make it stick because if you do something a lot, it normally sticks in your head right? I did an event in college one time and had to learn 4 songs that I didn’t know in 3 days, had to do schoolwork all the while haha. Just played the songs over and over and over and played them very well on the third day when our group played in front of people.

    I wonder Motley, if you grabbed the guitar and tried to play those 4 songs right now without listening to the album track, maybe playing along with just a metronome drum track, could you do it? That would be a difference between long term memory and short term memory learning, maybe.

    Recently the band suddenly wanted to rehearse Sharp Dressed Man, something we haven’t played in 2-3 months and not on the practice list so I didn’t practice it for at least 2-3 months too. But I did remember it started on C and “went down the neck” and also “has a lot of F’s”. So with that I was able to motor thru the song’s rhythm part with just one minor chord change mistake. Knowing “it’s in C, that means, it starts on C” is pretty much what saved me, so I’m glad I learned that trivia (compared to a purely mechanical method like, “starts on 3rd fret barre shape”).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14178

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I wonder Motley, if you grabbed the guitar and tried to play those 4 songs right now without listening to the album track, maybe playing along with just a metronome drum track, could you do it? That would be a difference between long term memory and short term memory learning, maybe.

    Nope.  🙂 It’s basically because I didn’t give a crap about 3 of the songs, so I just never played those again. The one that I remembered, and play from time to time is Lick It Up by Kiss. The 3 that I mostly forgot, could play some parts maybe, are Panic Station by Muse, From Eden by Hozier, and Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. I think if you practice a song maybe once a week or once every other week, you won’t forget cause it’ll be fresh in your head. But since Muse was mentioned, after learning that song, I gotta say, the Muse guitarist is kind of lame. The solo for that song is such a poser solo. It further reinforces the distaste I have for that lame genre. Real rock is what I’m gonna keep listening to. :p

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #14207

      Igglepud
      Participant

      I like Muse. Hush it!

      But really, their guitar player writes all of it himself. Like it or not, the man is talented.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #14183

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    If you need to play 16ths at 30bpm, then it’s better to put the metronome at 60bpm and play 8th notes. This way you’re reference beats won’t be that far appart and it will be a lot easier for you to develop proper tempo. The speed is the same.

    This is the comment that clears up the difference in perspective. When I use a metronome I rarely use the click-click setting. My metronome has 99 built-in beats. Typically I use a 4/4 rock beat, this includes 8th note drum hits. When I practice Speed Kills or something else with 16th notes, I use the 4/4 “16 beat”, this includes a cymbal hit (hi hat?) on every 16th note, and that is what I play to. So when I set this to 30 BPM, it is still a good reference beat. Sometimes when I am playing some triplet exercise specifically, I will set it to a triplet click. Here is a sample of those various beats. I know the basic click-click metronomes can also do 8, 16, or triplet beats, but they confuse me because there is no big distinguishing sound of “1” or “3”. In this mp3 I go 70 BPM then 30 BPM then repeat, for the main beats I use often. But I really don’t use below 50 BPM except rarely. http://superblonde.info/2016/metronome-drums-1.mp3<!– [if lt IE 9]><script>document.createElement(‘audio’);</script>< ![endif]–>

    lol, this is funny. So,

    a) if you use a drum track with a clear (loud) subdivision, then that’s I was talking about and all my arguments about being hard to play (too) slow are solved.

    b) But in this track you posted … my hearing isn’t as good as it was so it’s very hard to hear the closed hi hat. Can you clear hear it when practicing? For me even with my guitar with a clean sound that was hard. Then the fact that the kick drum has a “pattern” makes it that sometimes in between beats you get 15bpm! I agree that a drum track is a lot more interesting (and helpful if you’re playing in swing/shuffle fashion) but to me this one would be a lot worse than a 30 bpm metronome setting.

  • #14184

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Playback the video at 1/22 speed. Could the athletes replicate those 1/22 speed movements in real time without falling on their faces? The “lean” would off balance, the air-time would be impossible to replicate, etc.

    Now it’s my turn. This “image” of yours and your subsequent replies are totally in line with my feelings towards this speed subject 😎

  • #14198

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    it’s very hard to hear the closed hi hat. Can you clear hear it when practicing?

    Yes I hear it clearly, in fact to my ears the metronome’s hi hat is annoyingly loud. The click-click setting is even louder (can be seen on the waveform too). If I wear headphones with the metronome I constantly have to turn it progressively down especially if using the click because it’s so harsh to me.

    The recording isnt great, kind of a lot of hiss & noise because of the way I recorded it.

    if you use a drum track with a clear (loud) subdivision, then that’s I was talking about and all my arguments about being hard to play (too) slow are solved.

    No that’s a misinterpretation of my point. If you use a metronome track which has “16th beat” then it solves the problem you mentioned doesn’t it? : “If you need to play 16ths at 30bpm, then it’s better to put the metronome at 60bpm and play 8th notes.” … or just use a metronome setting which can play 16th clicks at the original desired speed right? that’s not to say it makes it “easier to play” but that it makes following a beat of a metronome more easy, yes. Not all the arguments are solved but some of the problems are made less just as you also said.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14199

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I think if you practice a song maybe once a week or once every other week, you won’t forget

    This is probably true but what happens when you know 300 songs. Practicing those once a week is a lot of time (say 4 minutes average per song, that’s 20 hours of practice isn’t it). Anything to make them more sticky and not have to practice as often, would be a big help in that case. Worse if you don’t particularly enjoy playing some of the songs yet still have to repeat the practice weekly.. :-/ (or every other week, etc)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14203

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I think that anyone who knows 300 songs all the way through would be a professional musician haha. They would have the time to practice that much during the week. Also, one thing that might help songs stick without practicing them as often, do a mental run through of the song. Envision your hands playing the song like you look at your hands when you’re actually playing the song. Imagine playing the pentatonic scale in your head, imagine the first pattern, second, etc. Do the same type thing, but for a song.

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #14208

      Igglepud
      Participant

      I did this today for a saxophone part. I do it a lot for my acoustic stuff too. It helps just to keep it in your mind.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #14205

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I think that anyone who knows 300 songs all the way through would be a professional musician haha. They would have the time to practice that much during the week. Also, one thing that might help songs stick without practicing them as often, do a mental run through of the song. Envision your hands playing the song like you look at your hands when you’re actually playing the song. Imagine playing the pentatonic scale in your head, imagine the first pattern, second, etc. Do the same type thing, but for a song.

    I’ve met a bunch of people recently at someone’s “jam nite” and these are amateur/hobbyist guitar players who have over their lifetimes probably learned 500+ songs.. first, they’re older people (55+) and have been playing since their young hippie days, second, their songs are the old timey type, cowboy chord soft rock or folk type songs of 50’s(?) and 60’s, or hits of those days. Did guitar songs used to be simpler? I don’t know, maybe? Some of them go to these group classes where they will “learn” 2-3 songs in a week in a 6-8 week group lesson program and weekly play/jam on these songs together for several months. (Only the experienced dudes do the solos and maybe they simplify them or do improv on the appropriate scale.) Anyway, they have these huge, huge binders they carry around. A tax accountant would be proud of binders that big, and they weigh a ton. “Let’s play [whatever].. umm it’s by Crosby!” they’d say with everyone sitting around the table with acoustic guitar in their lap. “How’s it go? Hmm I dunno, ah.. Oh! I have it in that song book! No the other book!” They’d probably played the song 100’s of times when it was first on the radio etc, then maybe not much in the past year, so they forgot. So even hobbyists could do great with some better techniques to long-term memorize songs. The way these guys (and gals, about half are women) play the songs kind of bugs me because they never use a drum track and so their tempo shifts around.. like campfire songs.. sounds good but not, you know, tight like with a drummer.

    The visualization thing definitely works to some level as a refresher. Also listening to the setlist works to some level too. Previously (before I had to play solo’s too) I would just listen to the set list at least every other day, like in the car etc. I haven’t tried this with a solo (like, purposely not practicing a solo before a live performance and instead using some other memory refresher). I think I would be too scared to have a bad result 😀

    Even for a professional musician who is trying to keep up chops on a 300 song setlist, doesn’t mean they want to spend 20 hours a week playing the same songs.. that is a lot of time which could be spent in better ways, like learning something new etc.

    Right now I’m practicing a 2.5 hr setlist several times a week, it is taking at least 2 hrs playing 1x all the way thru (usually skipping a few songs or alternating which songs to play that day), it’s a problem and a drag. I didnt do this discipline for the past 2-3 weeks and our recent live performance crashed pretty bad at times whereas before I was keeping it solid.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14225

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Hey Superblonde. To properly reply to your post I’d need to actually hear you.

    Hear you go 😀 pun intended, hah. http://superblonde.info/2016/20160407-1-720p-final-excerpt.mp3

    That’s a few measures of the practiced solo which goes along with the previous chart. Not great audio but it’s what I got. I should post audio clips with the graphs for sure, it’s not really a fair comparison otherwise, just seeing a BPM, could mean anything. This is at either 70 or 75 BPM (I forget just now) and the solo is 16th notes and triplets.

    I practice 30bpms, all the time

    I mentioned elsewhere how BPM is confusing because it isn’t stated in relation to note duration (and notes-per-second is equally confusing because there’s math involved).. so.. I should have put that earlier on the graphs and hopefully we all can try in the future to be a bit more specific: “30 BPM with a 16th note exercise” – that’s what I’ve been meaning here.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14228

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hear you go pun intended, hah. http://superblonde.info/2016/20160407-1-720p-final-excerpt.mp3

    😀 It took me a while to figure it out … the “hear” 🙂

    So, here’s what I heard! Probably this your best clip – of those I listened to and remember, of course. This one is very good. The tempo is almost perfect. At the beginning is super right on, and those two early slurred 16ths triplets sound clean and very articulate. The bend sounds right on pitch, too. Just before the bend there’s a little of un-mutted G string (but at this point I can’t criticize that as since I changed my picking style mutting became quite an issue for me 🙂 Then, around 00:15 when you start the 8th note triplets you rushed just a little in the beginning but you then quickly went back into tempo – this for me is always a great sign. The tone is great, as well… what guitar is that? It sounds almost like a semi-hollow.

    So, if we’re talking about timing – I listen this as somewhat close to 70? But in any case, independent of BPM, I’ll congratulate you! Your timing is good by any chart, even the relaxed bend served as a proof of that.

     

    I mentioned elsewhere how BPM is confusing because it isn’t stated in relation to note duration (and notes-per-second is equally confusing because there’s math involved).. so.. I should have put that earlier on the graphs and hopefully we all can try in the future to be a bit more specific: “30 BPM with a 16th note exercise” – that’s what I’ve been meaning here.

    Hmmm… BPM isn’t confusing. BPM is exact. 30 BPM is just that. 30 beats in the course of one minute. Whatever you play above it – BUT considering you’re using a metronome – the gap between each beat will always be the same. IF you play a drum track, then the time sig/tempo indication may say quarter = 30 but the drums will for sure already feature subdivisions of that beat which will be helpful to keep the proper drive. Whatever you use, good timing with a drum track is no less feat than with a metronome. Good timing is in you body and mind, muscle control, etc.

    Still you are right. Time is always *relative*. This is a very common and irritating “error” among music theory teachers who tell the young kids that a quarter note “is equal to one”… not sure how this goes in you country, but man, here, you don’t want to know the number of kids that get to my classroom saying their school teacher told them so…. So time is always relative. A quarter note may equal one beat, half-a-beat, two beats whatever… the answer is always on the time sig. But the fact is that as a huge amount of music is written in 4/4 then in that case, yes, a quarter note is equal to one beat.

    Now I must do a bit of a “mea culpa” as I too am always assuming (here in the forum), we’re talking about 4/4 or 3/4 key sigs – so I’m myself assuming as well that a quarter note is 1 🙂

    In any case if would be safe to say that from shredding purposes whenever you you mention BPM you are using the quarter note as a reference. In my case, any video I posted is self-explanatory… Speed Kills is 16th based, either straight or triplet.

    BTW, here’s one simple trick: if you want to know/convert from triplet 16ths to simple 16ths, divide by 4 and multiply by 3 – or vice versa. Play 16th triplets at 200 is the same as playing simple 16ths at 150. (in math terms only… the feel is one other story)

    Back to your clip, loved it and am looking forward to your next one! 😎

  • #14255

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    30 BPM, if taken to mean, 30 BPM with a quarter or eighth note click-click metronome, is quite a difficult feat as you’ve mentioned, unless the metronome is playing 16th notes, which is what I use all the time, and that would be equivalent to 60 BPM on a click-click metronome, and, not so impossible but still rather hard to keep focus..

    Here is a quickie 30 BPM practice of 16th notes on Am pentatonic scale position 1-3, using my metronome (“16 beat” pattern #12 which clicks at 4 beats per measure). Maybe that’s finally an unambiguous description of the timing. In this recording the amp gain is on 10 so any sloppy string moves are heard and there are several unmuted string noises like that. I used 30 BPM in practicing this for about 15 mins because I was trying to learn this particular exercise and kept messing up the move from pattern 1 to pattern 2 which occurs at a certain point of the exercise.. so doing it at 30 BPM for a while, now I know it and would go faster next time. http://superblonde.info/2016/20160415-pentatonic1-3-30bpm.mp3

    Now if this file is loaded into Audacity (not saying anyone should do that but if anyone did, and I mixed the guitar vs. metronome as left vs. right so it’s possible to see easily), some not great timing is seen like, playing the note ahead of the beat, by about 15 milliseconds (does this matter ultimately? I don’t know). Maybe I would have been more on-the-beat if I were wearing headphones to hear the metronome really well, which is how I normally practice (when not recording) at any BPM: two pairs of headphones, one set plugged into the amp, one set plugged into the metronome, and use only one ear of each set, so one ear hears the click and one ear hears the guitar. One of these days I’ll buy one of those cheap battery powered “5 channel” mixers and then have only one set of headphones, mixed however I want with whatever sources I want plugged into the mixer.. ah, that will be a good day.

    I finally found the setting in Reaper which makes it loop cropped clips like Garageband does (instead of extending them like it always does where the mouse changes to the ]-> icon): Crop the item to desired loop area, select the item, then Right click Item, Item Settings->”Loop selection of item source”. Then the “]->” will make it loop just the cropped clip as shown. Finally like Garageband!

    I have the perfect example of how BPM is confusing. Long ago on the old forum when I was doing Stage 1 of the Complete Basic Course (OK I overcame my laziness and found that message, to quote it below), I mentioned in a progress post that I had successfully played a Stage 1 exercise at 240 BPM (I think it was). In the 2010 version of the Basic Course there is a backing track for one of the early exercises, that has a practice beat at 60 BPM for beginners, then also at 120 BPM, and then has an additional practice beat in the video that says: “For Advanced Players 200 BPM” (Or something like that). Well obviously, that exercise was a quarter note exercise. Maybe 240 BPM is not sooo hard at all? 😀 That number sure sounds fast. I believe in talking to Doug one of the things he said was, “You’re not playing at 240 BPM.” 😮 True.. if I’m playing 16th notes.. that would be absolutely impossible for a beginner. But if that is quarter notes, then.. 😀 yes! Ohh yea, I can shred! 😀

    Ex 14 stage1 lesson3 (beginner course) https://www.bb-metalmethod.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19183

    The other exercises I’m OK with in fact I hit 240 bpm on a few of the 1-2-3-4 type runs so far.
    But this D7 is annoying me for the past week and a half.
    Just curious not a big deal.

    Go ahead and try, bring up the Complete Basic Course 2010 Stage 1, Lesson 1 Exercise 3. 😀

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14263

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Now if this file is loaded into Audacity (not saying anyone should do that but if anyone did, and I mixed the guitar vs. metronome as left vs. right so it’s possible to see easily), some not great timing is seen like, playing the note ahead of the beat, by about 15 milliseconds (does this matter ultimately? I don’t know).

    15 milliseconds would stick out like a sore thumb at a normal tempo like around 100 bpm or so. But don’t beat yourself up, 30 bpm is just so ridiculously slow that if you’re off by 15 milliseconds, it’s not too bad. Don’t worry what any graphs tell you about how exact your playing is on the beat, let the ear be the king. Instead of analyzing graphs, which might provide insight and exact numbers related to how far off the timing is and everything, just keep playing the guitar and just listen to a recording real quick to tell if you’re off and make the adjustments. Whether you look at a graph or just listen to a recording of yourself, you’ll be able to tell if you’re off the beat. No need to waste time analyzing which beats and how far off the beat you are in exact milliseconds. None of that review will make you a better guitarist compared to just listening to the recording, all it will do is just waste some of your time so that you get the satisfaction of knowing exact numbers and a visual representation of timing. You gotta just play the guitar more than you analyze it if you want to improve your skills.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #14264

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Well said Motley! Think of it like this though. If I were playing with another dude like the cliche “after walking home from school lets jam” then because I’m naturally competitive, I’d be competing against someone else to improve faster/better or impress with something new etc. It’s just the way most guys are, I think. I ran across a recent video of James Hetfield where he talks about how competitiveness with another guy when he was in high school really took his playing to a higher level, his old story. @ 1:45 of this vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Eq9RVKT9XQ Metallica’s James Hetfield At Guitar Center Since I didn’t have that though, I look at the numbers like I am competing against myself. Sure a guitar instructor might give me a kick in the pants regularly but it’s not every day so that’s where having a competitive partner creates the benefit. Plus I find it really cool longer term to see advancement, keeps me motivated. I recently noticed that I got way way better at singing and playing at the same time – after months of ad hoc practice on several songs. That’s pretty cool to see in a pic.

    “You gotta just play the guitar more than you analyze it if you want to improve your skills.”

    Hmm ‘you gotta play’ – yes. Play more than make spreadsheets – Yes. Play more than analyze in general, I’m not sure. I guess ideally we would all be doing both at the same time, all the time (play while listening to our own sound, all the time).

    The bigger problem is how long it takes to set up to record (in a way that sounds okay) and then to do it and upload an mp3 etc. Or video which takes much longer. Some of that is equipment related, so I can upgrade to fix, some of it isn’t just a gear problem, maybe it’s more like a practice space problem. Some of it is simply how it is a different setup, so then pressing “record” I get nervous and play much worse, etc. So far the only somewhat antidote to that problem is to try to record much more but that doesn’t always seem to stick either.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #14269

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    The bigger problem is how long it takes to set up to record (in a way that sounds okay) and then to do it and upload an mp3 etc. Or video which takes much longer. Some of that is equipment related, so I can upgrade to fix, some of it isn’t just a gear problem, maybe it’s more like a practice space problem.

    I’m being a hypocrite, since I don’t record myself much, but I think you’re exactly right about practice space. I think the most efficient approach would be to have a cheap standalone videocamera set up on a tripod or equivalent mount in a dedicated location for practice/recording. Then you just have to step in front of the camera, hit the button, and start. Sound quality doesn’t need to be broadcast quality, it only needs to be good enough for you to detect mistakes or timing problems in your playing. Quickly reviewing video of your practise immediately afterward and giving yourself a quick “thumb up” or “thumbs down” in your log (paper, or spreadsheet, or whatever) for whether you came close enough to “nailing” each exercise at each tempo attempted (based on how it sounds to you on playback) is probably the most time-efficient way to track progress quantitatively.

    The general discussion about level of detail in tracking reminds me of something I once read about firefighters. Someone was studying how fire captains make decisions. One prediction was that they might do some kind of weighing of pros and cons for different strategies. In reality, what they learned studying firefighters “in the wild”, is that the captain will generally think of the first plan that intuitively makes sense to him based on his experience with similar scenes, do a very quick check to see if there’s anything obviously wrong with the plan, and if there isn’t, then he implements that plan. We can infer that when a building is burning, implementing a sub-optimal plan is usually much less risky/costly than delaying action to come up with an optimal plan. Cue the debate about how those tradeoffs can be interpreted in a less time-urgent domain like practicing guitar. 😉 I think the overwhelming majority of guitar students will take a less analytical approach than you, so a blanket suggestion would probably be for people to “add a bit of analysis without going overboard”, whereas in your specific case, the best advice might be “be careful to make sure you’re not going overboard with analysis”. 😀

  • #14270

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    so then pressing “record” I get nervous and play much worse, etc.

    As you said, it’s probably like public speaking: if you get into the habit of *always* pressing record before you start practicing, you’ll probably desensitize yourself to it.

  • #14294

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Ya, I’ve found that being in front of a camera or jamming with your friend brings the nervous factor. But I’ve also found that the more you do it, the better you get. Everything about guitar to me seems to be “repetition makes perfect”. Doug says pretty much that in his videos, it’s just another case where I see the wisdom of Doug and how he knows exactly what he’s talking about.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #14796

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Another neat click-click metronome technique to go along with the really neat one explained by Joao (which was, record metronome track, silence parts of it, try to remain in sync over long periods).

    Premier Blog • Gigging Advice • How-Tos • May 2016 • Last Call
    Last Call: Time Is on Your Side
    John Bohlinger
    April 14, 2016
    http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23956-last-call-time-is-on-your-side


    Players who have great timing are rarely born with it. They likely developed meter through hours of focused, dedicated playing. After I discovered my Achilles heel in the meter department, I tried practicing with a metronome, but, again, I didn’t know how. I just turned it on quarters and tried to match the BPMs.

    Then two women came to my aid with the same advice. I watched instructional videos by jazz guitarist Emily Remler and bassist Carol Kaye of the Wrecking Crew. Both talented players suggested the same practice technique. They set the metronome on one-half of the tempo and let the clicks land on the 2 and 4 beats. Say you want to work at 120 BPMs. You set the metronome on 60 and count “2” and “4” for every click until you feel it. Then you count “1” and “3” for the spaces in between the clicks. Then jump in and play with the clicks accenting the 2 and 4.

    This was a breakthrough for me. Before, when I played with a metronome banging out straight quarter- or eighth-notes, I listened and tried to match them. But when I left space between the notes with the clicks on the offbeats, I could feel the meter when I played.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22281

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Learning Curves.

    This,


    Metallica – Kirk Hammett Tough Riff For The Song Some Kind Of Monster

    vs. this (very very funny)


    Kirk Hammett Learns Guitar

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22283

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    the look on Lars’ face.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22286

    Curt Kingston
    Participant

    Those Metallica videos are funny. Bob Cock still has me belly laughing.

    Mario Bros. Plumbing ★☆☆☆☆ (69 Reviews) Hired them to clear my drain, stole my coin collection, stomped my turtle to death and ran off with my girlfri.... (Read More)

  • #22296

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Sequences in solo’s … nice example

    155 BPM solo using 3 note pentatonic sequence.

    (this video doesnt say if it is triplet or what)


    Johnny Winter – You’re Humbuggin’ Me, 1:45

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

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