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  1. #681
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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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  2. #682

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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!

  3. #683
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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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  4. #684

  5. #685

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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?

  6. #686
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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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  7. #687

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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.

  8. #688
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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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  9. #689
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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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  10. #690

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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.

  11. #691
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    Yeah, thanks man. It's a mess, I know. I'm currently around 72, and getting that decent takes focus. I don't anticipate getting faster any time soon.
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  12. #692

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    Asking on how to deal with "frustration"... I hit like a plateau recently and it's pretty tough on motivation.

  13. #693
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    In the absence of any advice from someone more knowledgeable, I’d suggest switching focus for a while. Either practice a different technique, spend time learning a tune, or write something of your own. Usually works for me. There has to be some reward involved. Some fun.
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  14. #694

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    Came back here for the first time in a while and was happy to see this thread is still alive, and you guys too!

  15. #695

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    It's been so long since I've been here, I realized a lot has happened for me in terms of musical progress. I'm proud to report that my first album was released in 2018. In case any of you would like to check it out, you can access it via various streaming services here https://fearsunfolding.lnk.to/FromTheAshes. It's about 10 years ago that I had enough of Troy Stetina's Speed Mechanics and started looking for a band!

  16. #696
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    Hey Javert! Great to hear from you again! Congrats on the album release. I'll be sure to check it out.
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  17. #697

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    Likewise, Cliff! Good to see that you're still around and playing too!

  18. #698

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    168bpm? That sounds really cool. I'd love to see a video!
    While I am still building my rig I have tested the recording outputs on my Mesa/Boogie Quad preamp. The Manual says no mic up is reallly that necessary so I got curios and put the cable from output B to input on my Tascam 414 4 track and what I hear through the monitors sounds really good even the drive/distortion.

    So what do you want to see videos of?

  19. #699
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    I don't know. Whatever you feel comfortable playing, I guess.

    It's been a slow start for me this year. I was away for a week over Christmas, and haven't really got back into the groove of practicing since returning home. When I do practice, though, I've been keeping the speed way down. And using a metronome .
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  20. #700

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    What I am comfortable with?

    When that happens I expand to make it interesting for myself. So I go in different directions to keep it fresh.

    The last couple of years I have taken Speed Mechanics more serious and included a metronome while doing so and when I learned a bit of Yngwie I realized that I can go in any direction I want guitar wise.

    The idea with the Quad was to use the recording outputs to a recording device since I got the option with it.

    Now its a 1990 unit and the controls needs to be cleaned and output jacks too. Recording output A does not sound too well but B is fine. I will get some clean contact spray next week.

    Meanwhile I need to learn my Zoom 234 drum and bass machine which I have had along with my Tascam 414 since some time in 1990s.

    Comming up with stuff like basic progression down on tape is where I am headed. Then I can move on from there. I can jam leads or expand to actual songs even with vocals as I got ability to do it.

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