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  • So how far did you get in the end, BenoA?
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    • Reached 190 bpm. And in the 14 days, I could not do better but was however very happy with the results as I was aiming 150 bpm.

      Haven't jumped back into the challenge #2 but I do try to do at lest 30 minutes a day of my practice routine. Work and other life duties have been keeping me a bit busy lately.

      JB aka BenoA

      Clips and other tunes by BenoA / My Soundcloud page / My YouTube page
      Guitar And Sound (GAS) forum / Boss Katana Amps FB group

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      • Wow! Awesome work! Sounds very clean too.

        So previously you said you were stuck at 155. Was there anything specific you did to get so much faster, or was it just a question of keeping at it?
        Last edited by Cliff; 12-03-2018, 09:23 AM.
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        • To be honest, I don't remember exactly except that I just kept pushing and pushing.

          The fact that it's the same pattern, same fingers from string to string probably helped.

          I haven't kept working on it and I bet I would have to restart the process to reach again that speed. I think I should re-introduce this sequence in my daily routine but I would need more time daily.

          These days, I'm working a lot on alternate picking and damn, the more I practice the more I suck. How come I didn't do all that work when I was younger with more time!
          JB aka BenoA

          Clips and other tunes by BenoA / My Soundcloud page / My YouTube page
          Guitar And Sound (GAS) forum / Boss Katana Amps FB group

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          • Ha ha! I must admit, that's one thing I worry about: how far will I regress if I stop for a bit. I had a three week break, and things seemed more or less alright.

            So, tonight I played along to the metronome for the first time in *ages*. At first I was really disappointed, I could barely play at 120bpm, which is where I was at 3 years ago or so. But I think I just wasn't used to playing these exercises in time (surprise!). I persevered, and I think I'm playing the picking exercises somewhere between 140 and 150. To be honest, at 150 I find it very hard to tell if it's clean or not. I tried recording in Garageband and halving the speed, but it didn't seem to do a very good job. Not sure if that's my fault or the software's. The funny thing is, with the burst picking, I know I can go quite a bit faster still. But again, I don't quite believe 100% that it's clean. But it gives me hope that I can get there without too much more work.

            So I decided to drop the speed down, and concentrate on getting it clean and staying relaxed. I figure that as I slowly raise the tempo, I'll gradually aclimate to the speed. You guys were right: I should have been using the metronome a long time ago.
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            • And yet, it's so easy to focus on the speed and forget about things like keeping the extra noise down. I guess the answer is: do both. Like you BenoA, I wish I had more time. I was beginning to think I was getting pretty good at sweeps, but not with the metronome, oh no. Those things are hard to do accurately in time!
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              • Good job Cliff! And I will quote you:

                "So I decided to drop the speed down, and concentrate on getting it clean and staying relaxed. I figure that as I slowly raise the tempo, I'll gradually aclimate to the speed."

                You nailed it and that's also the way I work. Keep track of all of this on paper or in a booklet. If you are like me, some days, you'll have to reduce the speed, some others you'll jump up.

                I usually force myself at least from 2 to 5 bpm a day, depending on how it's going. And write down an objective beside the exercise. It's stimulating.

                And yes, keep the metronome opened!!! It's your best friend.

                Have fun and rock on!
                JB aka BenoA

                Clips and other tunes by BenoA / My Soundcloud page / My YouTube page
                Guitar And Sound (GAS) forum / Boss Katana Amps FB group

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                • Actually, since using the metronome, I keep finding myself slowing it down . I find that speeds I set myself one day I can't actually play relaxed the next. The very act of playing with the metronome makes me tense. My fretting hand starts to ache within minutes, whereas without it I can practice for hours on end without any ache at all. Also, as I slow down, I become more fussy and about making the notes clear and evenly spaced in time and all that crap, which means I decide I need to slow it down even further to nail all that.

                  So last night I cut loose and just made some stuff up freestyle:

                  https://soundcloud.com/cliffievanr/em-nonsense
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                  • Don't give up on the metronome Cliff, don't give up!
                    JB aka BenoA

                    Clips and other tunes by BenoA / My Soundcloud page / My YouTube page
                    Guitar And Sound (GAS) forum / Boss Katana Amps FB group

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                    • Jesus F christ Cliff!!!

                      The tune you oploaded of Steve Vai is fine but the tempo is all over the map sorry to say.

                      Have I mentioned the story of Lars Ulrich during the 1984 recording of for whom the bell tolls? Lars had the same problem getting used to a metronome as you. The fear of am I that crappy compared and then you slip into the old habits where you can start at page 1 of this thread. I also played with home school drummer where if he thought it went well that's where the tempo was. So when I got a Tama Granstar kit I invested in Tama watch so at least I could get the basics tight. When do you know when you are at a certain tempo and where your limits are playing something?
                      Needless to say the habit is still in my body skills as I decided to stick to guitar and sold the kit on.

                      I am as said moving on in getting parts together for my next guitar rig and soon I will get a Mesa/Boogie 295 poweramp sometime next week. Somehow I decided to dedicate some time to focus on my playing and some time is now reserved every day to through learning some new stuff such as basic scales from the Monster scales and modes book by Dave Celentano, page 10 - 12 in Speed Mechanics as my left hand pinky was flying too much and so I am building back up with the legato making sure its movement is less.

                      As I also said to make something a habit like adjusting my pinky I have to repeat it over and over and that's where the metronome is my friend to achieve that! I start at 80 bpm and when I am comfortable speeding up by just 5 bpm. I can see daily progress in the less movement of my pinky and knowing that it otherwise moves on with the now daily time I feel great with my skills improving.

                      Part of that is of course the habit of using the metronome and my old BOSS DB60 does the job well!!

                      So when do you think you will be able to play that Vai piece just as good without some timing in your skills?
                      What Is Paying For Your Passion For Being A Guitarist?

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                      • You're saying the tempo on my play-along to Tender Surrender on the mp3 thread is 'all over the map'? Aside from a couple of mistakes, seems okay to me. What am I missing?
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                        • Well I just took a fresh listen and read your sort of disclaimer where it does mention the word timing.

                          What timing gives is the benefit of confidence. I don't hear too much of that and also the side effects of not being in control and smooth with the notes.

                          Its clear you are not used to be playing it!

                          A metronome helps you get it in your system and the above mentioned benefit.

                          Still you would need to practise the right basic things like speed mechanics as well then your piece of chosen music.
                          What Is Paying For Your Passion For Being A Guitarist?

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                          • Sure, I'm *not* used to playing it. I think I said that in the post. Confidence and more precise timing will come with practice. But I don't hear the tempo as being 'all over the map'. I was a bit offended by your 'Jesus F Christ Cliff!!!'. I thought you meant 'this is terrible!'. Maybe you instead meant 'why won't you use the metronome?'

                            To be clear, I am sticking with the metronome. But some things are best learnt without one.
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                            • I haven't managed to record both metronome and guitar together, but you'll have to take my word for it I was playing with the metronome here:

                              https://soundcloud.com/cliffievanr/practice-121818-800-am

                              It's groups of 6 at 100bpm, so the same speed as groups of 4 at 150. A week ago I'd be happy with this, but over the weekend I found a website that slows down audio, and when I do that I can hear how poorly articulated some of the notes are and how some slur into others. So I need to slow it down again I guess.
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                              • Just listened to this recording Cliff and, yes start slow. Very slow. Sextuplet at 100 bpm is quite something. In my routine, I'm still stuck in between 75-85 bpm depending on the exercise.

                                Think slow and clean. Once you reach it, move around 2 to 4 bpm and go up once you get it right.
                                JB aka BenoA

                                Clips and other tunes by BenoA / My Soundcloud page / My YouTube page
                                Guitar And Sound (GAS) forum / Boss Katana Amps FB group

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