Will i EVER get faster?

mbkri

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 22, 2012
3,023
Chicago
I am by no means fast, and really have no business advising anyone on how to play. FWIW though, I do most of my muting with slight lifts of my fretting hand instead of the picking hand. May or may not be a good idea, but it works for me.
I have notived that reducing the pressure of my palm mute helps speed things up. I will have a go with the left hand damping too
 

dswo

Gretschie
Apr 8, 2017
115
East Carolina
I've been working on "Stairway to Heaven" since Jan. 2020. I could play most of the parts at speed by April or May of 2020, but the long solo is still out of reach. I can do a (slightly) simplified version at 85%, but faster than that and I start making mistakes. Using more gain allows a lighter touch (as has been recommended here), and I'm retraining myself to use pull-offs for some of the notes at the beginning. Don't want to be a quitter, but I'm starting to wonder whether it's time to learn something else. (Which I usually am -- just not to the same level of polish.)
 

mdahearn

Electromatic
May 13, 2020
6
Oakland
I have the same challenge with tremolo picking. Got lots of advice and technique from great teachers but Miserlou at speed on the low E string isn’t happening. I’m naturally right handed but play lefty because I was a pianist before learning guitar..on piano left hand is for rhythm and right hand does individual note soloing so made sense in that way when I picked up guitar. Am I screwed because my picking hand isn’t my dominant hand? I love surf music, can handle the melodic tunes no prob (Apache, Walk Don’t Run, Pipeline) but the pure tremolo tunes at high consistent speed seem out of reach, I for a while was very diligent with gradual metronome slow to faster practice but just seemed to hit a wall at a certain BPM, around 140.
 
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GVDobler

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 15, 2011
977
Las Vegas
I have the same challenge with tremolo picking. Got lots of advice and technique from great teachers but Miserlou at speed ..........

I just read that Miserlou was an old folk song (Greek or something) before Dick Dale got hold of it. Who knew?

“Misirlou” is a folk song from the Eastern Mediterranean region, with origins in the Ottoman Empire. While Nicolas Roubinas copyrighted the song, the actual composer of the song is unknown. Arabic, Greek and Jewish musicians were playing it by the 1920s. The song gained worldwide popularity through Dick Dale’s 1962 American surf rock version.
 
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NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
It's crazy to try and figure out. Playing downstrokes at fast speeds isn't a problem at all as well as covering surf and Dick Dale material. It just isn't happening though with my Johnny Winter non-slide material......the stuff he uses the Erlewine Lazer for.

It's where I follow the advice from a Dirty Harry movie....."A man's got to know his limitations." So play Johnny Winter stuff by staying in my lane. I know part of it has to do with his style of thumb + index finger attack. So this falls into the area of playing to my style of an artist I really like instead of trying to sound like that guitarist.
 

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2021
420
Encinitas, Ca
I can play fast, but it’s all dirty sloppy strumming and picking.

My question, “Will I ever clean up my act?:confused:

I can be practicing scales, simply going up and down the same string, and I’ll strum an adjacent one. This happens all time. What I’ve started doing, is looking at my right hand, and going by feel and hear with the left hand.

It sort of helps. Since I’m not giving up on learning, the only way to get better at it, is to get better at it.o_O
 

dlew919

Country Gent
Silver Member
Jul 18, 2016
1,224
Sydney, Australia
Lots and lots of great advice here.

Try relaxing your wrist, though... it might just push you over to the speed you need. Don't tense up - relax.

And if it doesn't work, don't worry. Every time you play music you make the world a better place.
 

mbkri

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 22, 2012
3,023
Chicago
Lots and lots of great advice here.

Try relaxing your wrist, though... it might just push you over to the speed you need. Don't tense up - relax.

And if it doesn't work, don't worry. Every time you play music you make the world a better place.
Definitely helps to relax everything, including my jaw! I have noticed a good improvement in just four days of concerted practice of the technique in isolation (not in a song). I think I’m approaching 340 chops per minute with decent control. Still have a tendency to tense up which I feel in my bicep after a minute or so.
 

GAMBLER1234

Gretschie
Jan 18, 2018
407
Henderson Nevada
No if that hasn't happened already you most likely will not get faster. However what I can guarantee you at the age of 74 is that if you continue to pay your dues you most certainly will get better and when it's all said and done isn't that what it's all about?
 

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
493
Charlotte, NC
Original post was early this month. So, is the poster is not any faster by now, he's been spending too much time on the forum and not enough time on the guitar.
I do the same thing from time to time. Like now !!
 

mbkri

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 22, 2012
3,023
Chicago
Original post was early this month. So, is the poster is not any faster by now, he's been spending too much time on the forum and not enough time on the guitar.
I do the same thing from time to time. Like now !!
Ha ha! Yes. Id be a much better player and husband and painter and father if i didnt spend so much time on the forum!
Im sitting at a decently accurate and consistent 167 bpm (334 downstrokes per minute) over a minute. Thats up from 155 last week when i started the timed excercise.
Im actually pretty amazed that ive acheived so much by applying myself to the excercise instead of just playing it badly.
 


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