Speed Target

BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 63
I've been playing for a year now and I've started to add some speed exercises to my practice routine. This is mostly to help develop my overall technique now I've started to play more scales and lead stuff. I'm currently able to play 16th notes at 60bpm comfortably, up and down the fretboard. I'm wondering if I should have a target goal, which would be considered proficient for someone at an intermediate level? I've heard people say 16th's at 200bpm is the standard, but that seems miles off where I am and would consume a lot of my practice time for a few years I suspect, to get there. 

I understand this is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type question, but just looking for some guidance to help me set a goal and decide how much time I commit to it. 

Thanks.    
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Comments

  • RockerRocker Frets: 2783
    It is playing music that you are talking about not Olympic sprinting. If 60 BPM is enough for the music you play, what extra will 200 BPM give you or indeed add to the music?
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • RedRabbitRedRabbit Frets: 259
    I don't think there is really a standard as such.  For one thing it depends on what you are trying to play - some lines are easier to play than others.  If you can alternate pick one 16th note exercise at 60bpm you might be able to manage a different exercise at 80bpm or only 40bpm.

    For what it's worth, I'd consider 16th notes @ 200bpm well into shred territory pretty much regardless of what being played.  I seem to recall that an article from a magazine a few years back considered shred to start at around 16th notes @ 160bpm or 16th triplets at 120bpm.

    There are people on here who are a lot more clued up than me (and a lot better a picking) who I'm sure will be along shortly to offer some advice but I think the best thing I could advise is to find a song with a reasonably fast passage in it (relative to your current ability) that you want to learn and have that as your target.

    If you set your sights on being able to play a major scale at 200bpm then i) you'll soon find it's of little practical use ii) you'll lose interest after a few days/weeks and give up.


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  • BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 63
    Thanks guys, I realise it's all relative to the music I play. I'm just trying to develop this skill/technique independently to further my overall playing ability. I definitely don't play anything quicker than I can already play a scale at, but I guess that's not the point in my pursuit with this. I'm already seeing an improvement in accuracy with both fretting and picking hand when playing, from doing these speed exercises. Maybe I'll include a few minutes of it in each practice, increasing the metronome gradually and see where I get. I love having a goal though, hence my original question. 
            
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  • RedRabbitRedRabbit Frets: 259
    There's no reason why you can't set yourself a goal if that's what motivates you and there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve your technique especially if the music you play benefits from it.

    For what it's worth, I play in a classic rock covers band and the material we play doesn't demand a huge amount of picking prowess but I still practice to get my technique above the level needed so that what we play is well within my comfort zone.

    I've not used this book myself but my old tutor recommended it quite often to his newer students - lots of little exercises that you get graded on based on what tempo you can achieve.  From what I saw of it, it gets quite challenging so should keep you busy for a little while

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Minute-Guitar-Workout-David-Mead/dp/1860742394/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1530111673&sr=8-5&keywords=david+mead+guitar



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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1833

    You don't mention what technique you're using to execute the exercises/scales. I'll assume it's alternate picking. Great proficiency at that (i.e. 200 bpm semiquavers that are in time and actually sound good) isn't going to be required much in popular cover tunes unless we're talking metal.

    I would suggest dropping all scale and sequence practice that isn't based on pentatonics (with the occasional blues scale note) and using hammer-ons/pull-offs wherever possible. Doing this with the metronome and to music will give you faster access to the vast majority of guitar-based cover tunes.

    I had a look through your posts for an indication of what sort of music you might want to play, and honestly think that your goal-setting would be better done in terms of songs you really like, or really want to play. If it's Pearl Jam, "shredding-level" skills are simply not required. Your timing/phrasing, pick attack, bends and vibrato are more important when dividing up your practice time because that is what will keep people listening to you.

    If you want to look at how to disappear down the technique rabbit hole, check out Troy Grady's Cracking The Code website and YouTube stuff. But the focus there is really on "special interest" playing, not what one would need to gig popular covers with a band.

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  • RedRabbitRedRabbit Frets: 259
    DLM said:

    You don't mention what technique you're using to execute the exercises/scales. I'll assume it's alternate picking. Great proficiency at that (i.e. 200 bpm semiquavers that are in time and actually sound good) isn't going to be required much in popular cover tunes unless we're talking metal.

    I would suggest dropping all scale and sequence practice that isn't based on pentatonics (with the occasional blues scale note) and using hammer-ons/pull-offs wherever possible. Doing this with the metronome and to music will give you faster access to the vast majority of guitar-based cover tunes.

    I had a look through your posts for an indication of what sort of music you might want to play, and honestly think that your goal-setting would be better done in terms of songs you really like, or really want to play. If it's Pearl Jam, "shredding-level" skills are simply not required. Your timing/phrasing, pick attack, bends and vibrato are more important when dividing up your practice time because that is what will keep people listening to you.

    If you want to look at how to disappear down the technique rabbit hole, check out Troy Grady's Cracking The Code website and YouTube stuff. But the focus there is really on "special interest" playing, not what one would need to gig popular covers with a band.

    Agreed on all point (especially the rabbit hole that is cracking the code). I had meant to suggest not focusing too much on any one aspect of playing.

    The David Mead book is quite varied in it's content.  I think the aim was to turn beginner/early-intermediate players into well rounded players rather than shredders.

    The other obvious suggestions is for @Barnezy to book some lessons.  A decent tutor will help with all this and more.
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  • BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 63
    On that point, can anyone suggest a good tutor in the SW London area? Is there somewhere on this forum where I can post this?
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 443
    Whereabouts do you live in SW London? I'm in West London near the airport.
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  • BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 63
    Putney
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 443
    Hmm, not that far, if you can travel.
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