Yeah, very impressive Delta :).
After that, I'm a little embarrassed to post this, but what the hell.
I've been focussing on Stetina's exercises 1-5 (plus trilling, not shown here). The speed is a little too high for me here, and it made me realize how much extra time I need to spend on strengthening my pinky. The distorted legato exercises don't sound as well articulated as I'd like, and there's lots of string noise. I think when I'm playing too fast, my fingers flail about a little more than usual and knock the other strings. I finish with my old favourite exercise 33. This is in response to Diego's advice of concentrating on single-string licks for picking. I actually tried wrist, scalpel and George Benson while playing this. None of them helped me avoid fluffing the shift from 8th to 5th position :). Aside from that one sticking point (and the fact that sometimes I don't seem able to sync up the two hands), this one feels more comfortable to play than it used to. Before it always felt like I was playing right on the edge.
I've got to say, though, overall I'm a bit disappointed with my progress. Oh well :).
Cliff, I think you're looking for feedback so I'll give you mine before the experts wake up:
0:00 to 2:45 - legato trill exercise. At one point you were posting videos in which you were concentrating on each note being perfectly in time and struck with the same attack. Remember perfect timing and an almost inability to determine which note is picked are two of the goals. Accenting is great, but vary them so you don't only accent when you change strings. This will help you even yours out; your 1s of 4s are stronger than the others. Maybe the pinky comment is for a future exercise because here I think it's your inner two fingers that are most off (timing). Closely read Stetina's advice as written in the 2nd paragraph leading in to exercise 1. Several excellent points in there (e.g. practice slow enough to play perfectly, steady rhythm, accuracy, control, NOT speed). Also, dig up the Legato Basics video Pebber made for us a few months back to see HOW to practice to achieve those goals.
2:45 to 4:20 - similar comments. for me portions of this one sound better than exercise 1 which confirms for me that taking out 1 inner finger improves your ability to keep time. but yeah, slow it down still or else you'll never get complete control under your fingers. good job of attempting pickless hammers on the way back down. sometimes you nailed them, sometimes you didn't.
4:20 - 5:20 - nice job with exercise 15! I only noticed the string noise that you noticed.
5:20 - 6:45 - too much glitching with exercise 16. slow down the tempo until that's gone. i've done what you're doing here (repeating to remove glitches at a tempo above your head) for YEARS and it just gets you nowhere. once i finally swallowed my pride and slowed down to a snails place when practice hard passages, the results starting coming in spades. Sure, we no longer get to play all the songs that we love, but we were just faking/glitching our way through them anyway, right?
6:45 - 7:15 - back to 15 to feel better again. I feel you :)
7:15+ for me your exercise 33 sounds much better than the others. so what's the difference? there's NO legato. consistent with what i felt in prior posts, this tells me your left hand lags your right hand. the things you wrote suggest you think it's your picking is what's causing your synchronization problem. listen back and focus your ears on the clicks your pick makes when you glitch. i only watched once, but to me the clicks were fine suggesting your left hand lost it's place. left hand position & technique looks super, but somehow you're losing the synchronization. again though, nice job with this exercise ... i'm nit-picking so as to help you figure out where things might be off. if it's speed you're after, i think you're focusing on the wrong hand...
RE: Troy Stetinain PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:08 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
It's coming along matey. Keep at it! The legato stuff...you know, it takes a long time to build up both the strength AND the coordination. But, you are on the right track. Just keep at it every day and it will all start to come together in time. The picking is getting better! Keep it up!
As far as these metronome times and things of this nature, I have never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Don't worry so much about the bpm speeds, just worry about the CLARITY, TONE, PRECISION, INTONATION. A lot of guys can't play as fast as John McLaughlin but their tone and the WAY they play what they play...really draws you in! But as far as the metronome times go I have always been into PUSHING it far into the limits and past the limits of what I can do. I think to play fast you have to experience fast. That's not to say I mean sit around and play everything at 220bpm. Stay in your comfort zone most of the time and make sure everything is TIGHT and LOCKED in. But every day, take some time to push it past your comfort zone and beyond. I think that's always good. You can either play it really slow and build it up to speed or you can play it really fast and sloppy and work on cleaning it up. Usually most people do a little of both.
Keep it up! Cheers
Damon, Ursin - thanks both for the awesome feedback. This is what makes this forum such a great place in my opinion.
Yeah, I was pushing the speed too much here. Usually I don't play any of these this fast. (I fell into temptation after a guy on another forum claimed - and I seriously doubt it - that he could do exercises 1-5 at 160bpm).
So one thing I've noticed is that when I play at this sort of speed, a little beyond where I'm comfortable, then my finger motions aren't quite the same as when I'm playing slower. For instance, the part of the glitchiness in ex 16 comes from a pull-off from my pinky to third finger. I've noticed I can do this much better if the third finger is well arched at the knuckle first - it gives the pinky something to lever against without requiring much pressure - but of course when I'm playing too fast this arch isn't there cause I put the fingers down too quickly without precision. There are similar issues with exercises 1-5, I think. Too fast and the fingers aren't where I expect them to be.
Regarding exercise 33, there are two separate problems, I think. The one I mentioned, on the shift from 8th to 5th position, is most definitely a left-hand issue. With the shift, the lick switches from being 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers to 1, 3rd and 4th. Also, the span changes from 4 to 3 frets. I think these two things together are throwing me off so my stance isn't quite right after the shift - just something to work on. The other problem is a more general synch issue - sometimes I can start and the two hands aren't in time with each other :). That didn't seem to be a problem with this particular recording; maybe because I'd spent so long warming up my left hand.
So, yeah, more practice at a slow and manageable speed with a focus on precision, clarity etc. And then occasionally letting rip! Sounds good. Thanks guys!.
Those first few exercises are more for strength. I wouldn't worry about the speed on those
more about getting even note pick/hammer
you mentioned about syncing the hands on one exercise,
just try starting with an upstroke, may not work, even the great shawn lane admits to needed to start some licks with an upstroke or his hands dont sync give it a try anyway.
You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
Interesting idea. I'll be sure to give it a try.
So one thing I'm a little confused about. There's talk of lightness of touch, hand feeling like a butterfly etc etc. Does this only apply to picked passages? For legato, should I be aiming for using as much finger strength as possible? Should my touch be as light as possible for picking? I wonder if my attempts to use a light touch are causing me to make my fingers move too slowly to hit the timings accurately. But I worry if I use too much force I'm going to learn habits that I won't be able to speed up.
RE: Troy Stetinain PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:16 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
ultimately i think that you should not worry about the left hand so much...I hate to sound callous here but if you cannot do what most people on here would refer to as "legatoing" something, (even though this kind of legato would probably piss holdsworth off), you are not going to be able to sarod it. This is the simple truth of the matter...So dont weorry about the left hand so much, and dont make the mistake of codeling it.
Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check
Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check
Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---
^^^ I'm definitely not trying to argue here, but I feel the exact opposite is true for both Cliff and in general. An underdeveloped fretting hand, relative to the picking hand, will lead to a whole range of problems that should be avoided at all costs. Instead, try to keep the progress of both hands in a fairly similar range. This way all of your musical ideas can be explored/expressed at any attainable tempo. Being able to pick 16ths at 200 bpm is great, but quickly becomes useless if you can only fret 16ths at 100 bpm. (Obviously the converse is true too, but basically no one is in this category.) By neglecting the fretting hand, you'll be stuck multiple picking and very rarely changing strings or positions. Boo.
Cliff, answering your "how hard to push" question is tough; since we all have different hand strengths, one mans light touch is another mans "holy crap you're pushing down hard." In general, the idea is to push hard enough to have the note ring clear, with no buzz, but no harder. The closer you get to the ideal fretting location (right behind the fret) the less pressure you'll need to exert to achieve a clear tone. The same concept applies to legato, only since there's less use of a pick extra attention needs to be paid to making sure each note is approximately the same volume. To do this you'll probably need to consciously hammer on much harder than you normally fret and be much softer than normal with any picked notes. When I practice legato, I *try* to almost never use the pick. This forces me to care about how hard/soft each of my fingers are hitting the fretboard. Finally, all this remains true with HO/PO legato and with all-tap legato.
Agree with Dlraben. Keep working both hands
I try not to think of it as pushing the strings down, but touching the strings.
try this pick the exercise you really know well say 33.
slow it well down i mean real slow so all your attention is on finger placement and pressure.
now only use enough pressure so if you went just a fraction lighter you would get buzz. Real slow so you can test this on every note. do this for a while and always go back and test this.
And on hammers, for the trills yes hammer hard try to snap the neck as that is when we are building the muscle strength.
but for Legato you should use minimal pressure you will never get great legato speed if you are smashing down on the string, Remember the amp has a volume knob.
Also on picking try picking as quietly as you can, people have a tendency to pick harder the faster they get
which means you start digging in. if you are totally relaxed when picking you should be able to pick at any volume.
Just my opinions Cliff i am no expert keep us posted buddy..
You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
RE: Troy Stetinain PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:15 am
by uderoche (deleted)
Both hands are equally important and need to be worked on separately and then together to build up the proper strength and coordination. In other words, you have to worry about the left hand just as much as the right. Maybe even a little more so because, if you can't...at the very least rock bottom "KIND OF" play a lick using strictly legato, chances are you can't pick it either.
Here's where I'm at with a few of the Stetina exercises. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
Also, I compared these speeds I got today to what I jotted down in my book on 12/31/11 and I'm between 20% (sextets & complicated patterns) and about 40% faster (single string or easy scale runs). On 12/31/11 I hadn't heard of Pebber yet, but had been using the Stetina book for about a year.
Finally, sorry if the levels aren't quite right yet. I'm still dialing in some new equipment.
All praise dlraben! That was fantastic. If you can memorize those exercises you shouldn't have any problems memorizing any song you want.
Also, I'm glad to hear the examples without the distortion. Its sounding really clean. I love that. Stetina's stuff looks like its working and worth getting into. Sounds very neo-classical. Like the metal stuff from the eighties. I'm thinking Vinnie Moore... Great stuff!
... addicted to Dava... I don't know how to quit.
dlraben; Very well done! I'd say you pretty much have the physical element of playing that stuff down pat; time to start making stuff up, post clips of some solos over backtrack, your own clips, things like that. I mean, you are probably as fast as anyone needs to be at this point, really... (Of course, I know you can always get FASTER hahaha)
Thanks for the encouragement guys!
Cliff, could be that I'm cleaner with wrist/scalpel, could be that the Sarod licks were at a higher tempo, could be that wrist/scalpel is slightly muted while Sarod is not muted at all. Both techniques "felt" ok to me, though I do admit that in general I prefer the tone of wrist/scalpel more than the tone of Sarod (as I use it AND as I've seen others use it ... just a personal preference I think). But like anything really, there's a time and a place to use Sarod and have it sound great. Believe it or not, I find I use it most for constant rhythmic (chord/percussion) strumming.
Scott, composition is very difficult for me. That was the reason I wanted to get into chords and chord theory much deeper. I figured I could then learn interesting progressions and also know what to do with them. (The RealBook is HUGE...where does one begin? What are 10+ songs in the beginner category that range different genres?) It turned out that even after accumulating beginner/intermediate knowledge it's still quite difficult. Given that, and that I don't have local playing partners, I've been concentrating more on covers. I figure that with a more focused memorization technique, I will be able to "borrow" licks from the masters. As long as I keep playing with good technique, I can't be doing myself harm, can I?
RE: Troy Stetinain PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:42 am
by uderoche (deleted)
Nice job broseidon. Tech is looking more polished and sounding clear. I agree with Scott. Always keep the tech up but time now to start jamming over backing tracks. If you want to try jazz tunes instead of rock tunes I would maybe start with Autumn Leaves? That's usually one that most beginning jazz players learn. Blue Bossa? Straight No Chaser? So What? Those are the ones I jammed on when I first got into jazz.
Hey, maybe a better question might be "Who do you actually like to listen to?" and then start learning their songs.
Every song has something it can teach you. Nirvana is simplistic, and easy to play with zero technical difficulty, and yet it buried shred-types for over a decade with one album. How about Foo Fighters? Straight ahead rock that grooves. Great songs, fun riffs. None of them pesky solos to worry about... How about Rush? Loads of tunes. All interesting and slightly challenging to play, but not impossible. Metallica? I mean Kirk Hammet isn't the best, but he seems to have sold an album or two with the help of Ulrich and Hetfield? Alter Bridge? Genesis? Brad Paisley? Jeff Beck? Mr Big? Extreme? Yngwie? The White Stripes? Soundgarden? Nickelback? Dolly Parton? hahaha
I think you need to decide who your primary influence is, and go be influenced if you know what I mean...