The dreaded Speed Plateus. How do you guy deal with them?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by meteor685, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. meteor685

    meteor685 SS.org Regular

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    I have been working on this song for a while, and it is kicking my ass.

    I just cant play the last solo faster, even thouh I apply the start slow gradually increase method. I keep failing over and over and it ....ing sucks..

    How do you guys handle speed plateus?

    Speed has always been my enemy even when I got past my past speed problems.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttr-PMr1pLY
     
  2. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Take a few days off that drill.

    Then come back and nail it.

    I know this isn't really advice about improving, but it is how I seem to operate....
     
  3. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    Guthrie govan usually says to make sure all of your intervals are even as possible, you know the usual stuff slow it down but you can get a metronome with subdivisions built in for robotic accuracy.
     
  4. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    What parts are you stuck on?


    I can't play like howe but I have noticed when learning some of his stuff that he uses a lot of the same phrasing/techniques, so once you sort of get the hang of some of his faster licks others come together as well. And unless you know the Tab is accurate or you have a visual idea of what he is doing it makes it harder.


    I hit a massive plateau with most John Petrucci stuff, I just realised I would never be an epic alternate picker, so I concentrate on incorporating sweeping el la Gambale and more legato stuff now.


    One thing I realised when also getting frustrated learning other peoples complex fast stuff is that you quickly realise what you can and can't do well, and that generally its something that comes naturally to them ie holdsworths freaky legato. Its not to say don't practice it but just don't get to frustrated if you can't nail it. Also don't forget a lot of this stuff is probably improvised and Howe probably wouldn't even play it the same the second time around.


    I would take a break and maybe jam on some other stuff for a few days or longer and come back with fresh ears/hands.
     
  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Just be careful with your "start slow and increase the speed" method that you are:

    1. Starting slow enough that you can play it absolutely perfectly - this needs to be way, way, way slower than you probably think.

    2. Getting it sounding as musical/expressive as you can at every tempo before you bump up - it musn't be "oh, that's about right, I'll go a bit faster"


    Also, as people have said already, go and work on something completely different and then come back to it.
     
  6. meteor685

    meteor685 SS.org Regular

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    fusion guiotar solos are hard no doubt about that.
     
  7. meteor685

    meteor685 SS.org Regular

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    The chromatic lick in the solo was kicking my ass....

    Well I don't practice with gain btw.

    I practice in an ACDC tone....I keep the gain at like 2 when practicing....like really dry tone.

    I never use tab man I always use ears
     
  8. meteor685

    meteor685 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah Patience is a bitch sometimes....

    I was doing ur second point...

    My question was how to deal with the situation when it plateus and you just cant increase anymore


    Yeah I am just practicing something else...that song is annoying right now lol!!
     
  9. meteor685

    meteor685 SS.org Regular

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    When I deal with a speed pleateu

    THe ways I have handled it in the past are


    1. Try to play it faster than I can and not give a .....
    2. Slow all the way down check for technique problems.
    3. PRactice the techniques in the song.
    4. Give up and come back later hahahahaha

    Yeah this song is drivin me nuts, ill take break from it...fusion guitar solos are prolly meant to be hard lmao

    My mindset on the speed issue changes back and forth..

    Some say "speed come naturally if you practice accurately".

    Some say "You need to train speed like weights and force it up"

    idk honestly which one works hahahaha

    My practice time is atleast 3-4 hours per day(at the very minimum)

    So I don't think time is an issue.
     
  10. donniekak

    donniekak SS.org Regular

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    The problem with the gradually speed it up method is that a technique that sounds really clean and doesn't pose mechanical issues at a mid tempo, can be extremely difficult to play fast.

    The biggest lesson I took from the "cracking the code" series was to figure out what technique was best to play a lick fast, and then start slow and build up with the correct technique.

    It's also taken me close to 30 years of playing to realize everyone can't do everything. Someone somewhere picks up a guitar and has a natural talent for a certain technique. Add years of them developing that specific skill and you have something daunting to tackle. I remember a Steve Vai interview where he says something to the effect of concentrate on making your strengths even better than trying to drag your weaknesses up.
     
  11. Willyum

    Willyum SS.org Regular

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    What everyone here said about practicing slow and gradually going up is definitely the biggest piece.
    If you hit a plateau on a song or section in terms of speed, I suggest moving on to another song and using that difficult section from the original song as a warm-up drill. In my experience this helps me not get burnt out or discouraged by the hard song and keeps me motivated and playing still. Sometimes working on other pieces will give you the benefits you need to return to old ones.
     
  12. mdeeRocks

    mdeeRocks SS.org Regular

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    Most likely the technique you use to play it slow/moderate tempo is not right to play it fast. More often than not this is the case and there are some really fine details involved.
    Chicken and the egg - you need to already know how to play it fast to be able to practice it slow and get anything out of it. Otherwise you just going to practice how to be awesome slow player.

    Try very short licks/parts of the solo (3-6 notes) and play these as 8ths then burst for couple of seconds as 16th. You may find out what you need to practice.

    BTW I'd not practice pure technique for 3-4 hours a day. I don't think it's humanly possible to be 100% focused for that long.
     
  13. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    I agree with all of this.


    I'm in this department though:
    Some say "You need to train speed like weights and force it up"
     
  14. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    David Gilmour plateaued at about 150bpm...it did wonders for him.

    When I "plateau" I run sideways on said plateau, explore all the things it offers - phrasing, legato, odd-time, multi scale approach, then once you bring your whole skillset at said speed, you can progress into the next speed hurdle...or learn to play more musically instead. :lol:
     
  15. donniekak

    donniekak SS.org Regular

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    I think I did everything completely backwards. I taught myself from the tablature explanation in the back of guitar player. I figured if I could do every technique I could play anything. I did mostly exercises for a couple years before I could even play a song, I have no idea how I stuck with something so boring now. But, the first song I could play from beginning to end was surfing with the alien in jr high right after it came out.

    The payoff was when I actually wanted to play music, get creative, and delicate with phrasing, I didn't have many technical obstacles in my way. Still I wouldn't suggest the way I learned is a very good way to learn.
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    That's an awesome answer. :lol:
     
  17. IanSimpson335

    IanSimpson335 SS.org Regular

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    Hi there,

    I find it really helps to focus on making sure your two hands are in perfect sync with each other. There are different ways of practicing 2-hand sync but one of the main ways is to take a particular phrase that you struggle with, play it at about half of your top speed and make sure you are picking hard enough to really feel each note in each hand. Try to determine which notes in a phrase are unclear/sloppy and play up to those notes, stop on the note - don't hold it though, it must be a staccato stop. Meanwhile, making sure you can physically feel every note precisely, as well as being able to hear it. It may sound like a strange concept but trust me, I have really developed my speed by focusing on 2-hand sync as well as metronome increases.

    Hope this helps. :metal:


    Ian
     

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