Building speed discovery

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby markodarko » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:36 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:How could you make any assumptions about my speed? Zero data!


You're right, that was an assumption on my part. I assumed as you were following this thread you were interested in improving your speed. Is that not the case?
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ipso facto
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby ipso facto » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:57 pm

guit-box wrote:Yes, I agree that the ballistic motion or play-relax technique (whatever people choose to call it) that allows the fingers to move freely is critical. I don't believe the two things are mutually exclusive. You have to move the fingers correctly, slowly, deliberately, with a good amount of force to develop muscular coordination. You also have to let the KJ drain tension and spring back. I disagree that you should practice moving your fingers differently than the pros move their fingers to play fast, yes the movement is tighter when going fast sometimes, but I don't believe I ever suggested intentionally moving the fingers in a restricted trajectory. The problem I have with the play-relax technique that some teachers have historically taught is they focus so much on the impulse coming from the KJ followed by a relax back (which *is* critical), that they ignore (or are unaware) that the other joints are also participating in the stroke. I see the relax-back as an important part of the stroke. It's just like the left hand hammer-on/pull-off. The relaxing of the KJ happens at the moment the pulling from the MJ begins.

There are mechanics that work, and then are methods of acquiring mechanics that work. I think kmurdick is right to draw this distinction.

The impression I got from your video analysis thread was that you had worked on your RH by trying to control the fine detail of the movement in the way recommended by various pros, but had not seen the results you were hoping for, had started to question whether their description of the mechanics was correct, and had done a lot of painstaking analysis which - IMO - does support what you are saying pretty well. I don't doubt that that research is valuable, but it sheds no light at all on the issue of whether you can acquire a technique by consciously copying a movement at slow speed, in the hope that it will become ingrained.

I think there is a lot to be said for letting the fingers find their own way. Maybe the bad information you had been fed about RH mechanics was the reason your original approach didn't work, or maybe there was a more fundamental problem in that trying to micromanage the movement is just a bad idea. In the first case, it is reasonable to expect that you would have made big leaps forward since your discovery - has that happened? If not, maybe what needed to be jettisoned was not really the description of the mechanics - maybe it was the idea that you start with a blueprint for how the fingers should move, and try to implement it consciously. That seems still to be your approach, which is perhaps why you have read previous posts as suggesting that you should practise moving your fingers differently from the pros. I think what is actually being questioned is the underlying idea that you get better by trying copy a detailed pattern of movement.

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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby Johnny Geudel » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:58 pm

Congratulations to Tom Poore for posting an illustrative video.
Without this, one cannot expect any result from these " technical discussions".
They invariably degenerate.
I repeat that problems with regards to tension and release are clearly dealt with in " La guitarra" by Pepe Romero,
" Classical guitar technique" by Richard Provost and " Mastering guitar technique, process and essence" by Christopher Berg.

Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:58 pm

markodarko wrote:
Robbie Flamerock wrote:How could you make any assumptions about my speed? Zero data!


You're right, that was an assumption on my part. I assumed as you were following this thread you were interested in improving your speed. Is that not the case?


Actually, I never questioned your method. Just your implication that the speed you posted was particularly speedy!

guit-box
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby guit-box » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:21 pm

ipso facto wrote:
guit-box wrote:Yes, I agree that the ballistic motion or play-relax technique (whatever people choose to call it) that allows the fingers to move freely is critical. I don't believe the two things are mutually exclusive. You have to move the fingers correctly, slowly, deliberately, with a good amount of force to develop muscular coordination. You also have to let the KJ drain tension and spring back. I disagree that you should practice moving your fingers differently than the pros move their fingers to play fast, yes the movement is tighter when going fast sometimes, but I don't believe I ever suggested intentionally moving the fingers in a restricted trajectory. The problem I have with the play-relax technique that some teachers have historically taught is they focus so much on the impulse coming from the KJ followed by a relax back (which *is* critical), that they ignore (or are unaware) that the other joints are also participating in the stroke. I see the relax-back as an important part of the stroke. It's just like the left hand hammer-on/pull-off. The relaxing of the KJ happens at the moment the pulling from the MJ begins.

There are mechanics that work, and then are methods of acquiring mechanics that work. I think kmurdick is right to draw this distinction.

The impression I got from your video analysis thread was that you had worked on your RH by trying to control the fine detail of the movement in the way recommended by various pros, but had not seen the results you were hoping for, had started to question whether their description of the mechanics was correct, and had done a lot of painstaking analysis which - IMO - does support what you are saying pretty well. I don't doubt that that research is valuable, but it sheds no light at all on the issue of whether you can acquire a technique by consciously copying a movement at slow speed, in the hope that it will become ingrained.

I think there is a lot to be said for letting the fingers find their own way. Maybe the bad information you had been fed about RH mechanics was the reason your original approach didn't work, or maybe there was a more fundamental problem in that trying to micromanage the movement is just a bad idea. In the first case, it is reasonable to expect that you would have made big leaps forward since your discovery - has that happened? If not, maybe what needed to be jettisoned was not really the description of the mechanics - maybe it was the idea that you start with a blueprint for how the fingers should move, and try to implement it consciously. That seems still to be your approach, which is perhaps why you have read previous posts as suggesting that you should practise moving your fingers differently from the pros. I think what is actually being questioned is the underlying idea that you get better by trying copy a detailed pattern of movement.


I have actually improved my right hand speed considerably, but I have an injury to my index finger where it does not want to play single repeated notes very fast. So, I will likely not ever be very fast, although I keep practicing several hours per day. In the past I could play p,i or p,m at an incredible fast pace -- faster than the average player can alternate i,m. I can, however, play the guitar left handed and do very fast i,m bursts with my left hand -- and my left hand plucks exactly as I described, it's how I practiced doing hammer-on/pull-offs, and it's how I see the pros move their fingers. Lastly, I'm just here learning like the rest of us, and constantly refining my ideas based on new information and observations. I don't think it would be fair of any of us to look at 5 years of posts and come to any one conclusion--like most people looking to learn and improve, my ideas are evolutionary and don't exist in a vacuum. I've studied with lots of great players and heard many conflicting instructions from them, I take it all seriously and try all their advice up to the point where I'm sure it's not for me.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:20 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:Actually, I never questioned your method. Just your implication that the speed you posted was particularly speedy!


Oh, I see. I misunderstood. I apologise. I'm curious to wonder why you think 170bpm 16ths bursts are not speedy though. What would you consider to be speedy?
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:01 pm

Hi markodarco,
I'm just sayin. It won't be enough for quite a few of the speedy passages in the repertoire. They are quite a bit longer. Keep going, you'll get it. Sounds like a good start...
Rob

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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Thanks. Will keep plodding along. :)
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:52 pm

markodarko wrote:I'm curious to wonder why you think 170bpm 16ths bursts are not speedy though.

Robbie Flamerock wrote:I'm just sayin. It won't be enough for quite a few of the speedy passages in the repertoire.

What are these "quite a few speedy passages" that you are talking about Robbie? I've always thought that I'm quite fast enough when the occasion warrants it - I'm a bit slower than I used to be following a recent arm injury but I can still play 16ths at 170 bpm well enough (though I have to confess to never normally using a metronome).

Okay - so I just tried a couple of examples using an online metronome - set it to 168 (nearest it had).

Well - 672 notes per minute is in excess of the requirements for the first movement of the "Aranjuez" i.e. dotted quarter at 84 = 504 16ths per minute. Even if we take it more quickly than indicated the difference between 504 and 672 is quite large.

Barrios Op.8, no.4 - tried that at a quarter note = 200 bpm i.e. eighths at 400 notes per minute - sounds highly acceptable to me and still less than two thirds of Markodarko's speed.

Surely some miscalculation going on somewhere - or am I misunderstanding something?

markodarko wrote:Thanks. Will keep plodding along.

Flaming cart-horse - get out of the way.

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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby guit-box » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:21 pm

There seems to be something off with 1/16th notes at 170BPM. Are you really meaning 1/8th notes or perhaps it was just in joking. Here is a video of Denis Azabagic who is clearly a world class player and he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM (and he struggles at that tempo)


Youtube
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guitarrista
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby guitarrista » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:13 pm

guit-box wrote:There seems to be something off with 1/16th notes at 170BPM. Are you really meaning 1/8th notes or perhaps it was just in joking.


4x170bpm rest stroke speed bursts are not that remarkable. I believe marko, and also he did not say it was specifically free stroke. He did say 120bpm current sustained speed. All that seems totally normal. Not sure why the player in the video is struggling at 4x144 (he indeed is) - maybe more to do with demo-ing it free stroke without stopping so even though it is supposed to be burst speed, for him it was an endurance exercise as well, as he kept bumping the metronome.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:18 pm

guit-box wrote:Here is a video of Denis Azabagic who is clearly a world class player and he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM (and he struggles at that tempo)

I might well have misunderstood - but I certainly found the comment from Robbie Flamerock odd. As I said, I don't use - in fact don't even own a metronome, further I have never measured what I do on those terms nor trained my fingers in that way and probably never shall. For what it's worth, I watched the video and played along with Denis's exercise "raw", as it were, until he stopped. I fail to see what that proves - I suspect nothing - his hand got tired that's all.

Anyway - my question was really to Robbie Flamerock who seems to be suggesting that Markodarko's suggested 170 bpm is somehow slow. Understand - I have absolutely no interest in speed for its own sake - it just seems to me that 170 x 4 notes per minute seems plenty fast enough for most of the popular repertoire.

ipso facto
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby ipso facto » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:38 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:Okay - so I just tried a couple of examples using an online metronome - set it to 168 (nearest it had).

Well - 672 notes per minute is in excess of the requirements for the first movement of the "Aranjuez" i.e. dotted quarter at 84 = 504 16ths per minute. Even if we take it more quickly than indicated the difference between 504 and 672 is quite large.

Barrios Op.8, no.4 - tried that at a quarter note = 200 bpm i.e. eighths at 400 notes per minute - sounds highly acceptable to me and still less than two thirds of Markodarko's speed.

Isn't that apples and oranges though? Big difference between a run in a single position with one string change and a scale run in a real piece. I can see that practising the one might help with the other but that doesn't mean you would expect to do both at the same speed.

guit-box wrote:Here is a video of Denis Azabagic who is clearly a world class player and he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM (and he struggles at that tempo)

Yeah, and he seems to be losing the evenness on the G string and below from about 130. He is not much faster at this than me really, and yet is far far faster when it comes to playing actual music.

It's starting to look as though people have their own maximum RH speeds and it really doesn't take much training to get the fingers up to the maximum, but no matter how much they do they will never break through that ceiling - so markodarko makes fast progress, Tom Poore makes no progress, Denis Azabagic looks to have stopped progressing a long time ago...

The Azabagic video makes me more convinced that pure RH speed is not really the problem. What is needed is effective synchronisation drills and lots of slurred scales in strict time.

Also, who knew that Azabagic was the voice of Sesame's Street's Count?

ipso facto
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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby ipso facto » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:40 pm

ipso facto wrote:
ipso facto wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:Okay - so I just tried a couple of examples using an online metronome - set it to 168 (nearest it had).

Well - 672 notes per minute is in excess of the requirements for the first movement of the "Aranjuez" i.e. dotted quarter at 84 = 504 16ths per minute. Even if we take it more quickly than indicated the difference between 504 and 672 is quite large.

Barrios Op.8, no.4 - tried that at a quarter note = 200 bpm i.e. eighths at 400 notes per minute - sounds highly acceptable to me and still less than two thirds of Markodarko's speed.

Isn't that apples and oranges though? Big difference between a run in a single position with one string change and a scale run in a real piece. I can see that practising the one might help with the other, but that doesn't mean you would expect to do both at the same speed.

guit-box wrote:Here is a video of Denis Azabagic who is clearly a world class player and he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM (and he struggles at that tempo)

Yeah, and he seems to be losing the evenness on the G string and below from about 130. He is not much faster at this than me really, and yet is far far faster when it comes to playing actual music.

It's starting to look as though people have their own maximum RH speeds and it really doesn't take much training to get the fingers up to the maximum, but no matter how much they do they will never break through that ceiling - so markodarko makes fast progress, Tom Poore makes no progress, Denis Azabagic looks to have stopped progressing a long time ago...

The Azabagic video makes me more convinced that pure RH speed is not really the problem. What is needed is effective synchronisation drills and lots of slurred scales in strict time.

Also, who knew that Azabagic was the voice of Sesame Street's "The Count"?

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Re: Building speed discovery

Postby markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:17 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:Anyway - my question was really to Robbie Flamerock who seems to be suggesting that Markodarko's suggested 170 bpm is somehow slow.


Yes, it did surprise me somewhat but I take his point about 5 notes not being enough for repertoire. I don't dispute that.

guit-box wrote:There seems to be something off with 1/16th notes at 170BPM. Are you really meaning 1/8th notes or perhaps it was just in joking.


No, no joke, and yes - 16ths. I'd record myself but I've just finished a 4 hour practice and somewhat overdone things today. :chaud:

guit-box wrote:Here is a video of Denis Azabagic who is clearly a world class player and he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM


Just watched that and found that very surprising, I must say. Just to clarify, the 170bpm I previously stated was not for RH only (as he does) but for Left and Right hands playing together. So I'm also fretting with the left whilst doing the speed bursts. It's my synchronisation exercise.

Out of interest I just put the metronome on to see how fast I can play the 8th + 16th note bursts (as he does in the video) with RH only, and, whilst my right arm is a bit shot from today's practice (wrong time to be doing speed bursts, that's for sure!) I could play at 190bpm fairly comfortably and 200bpm _just_. I'd imagine that if I was fresh I'd be able to attain around 200bpm with RH only.

I know that these claims, in the face of the video by Denis Azabagic probably sound outlandish so I will no doubt have to record myself playing them when I'm fresh. :roll:

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:Flaming cart-horse - get out of the way.


Ha ha. :lol: Hardly, but thank you for your kind words, Mark.
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.


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