Building speed discovery

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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:00 pm

guit-box wrote:he only gets to 1/16th notes at 1/4 note = 144 BPM (and he struggles at that tempo)
P.s. I must say that the way he describes how he holds his shoulder to pluck the strings at the beginning of the video is alien to me.

Unless I misunderstood what he was saying (entirely possible :mrgreen:) it sounds like he was saying that his entire arm is fairly taut when plucking the strings(?). This is the opposite to how I play. My entire shoulder, arm and forearm is relaxed and I pluck from the fingers only. I wonder if this is a factor?
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guit-box
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by guit-box » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:14 pm

markodarko wrote: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
That would be very impressive indeed! 16th notes at quarter note = 200 BPM seems close to impossible to me, even on a single string, I'd definitely like to see that video if you are offering to share it. I have heard some really fast flamenco players with i,m picado, but not classical players. Matt Palmer and some of 3 finger picado experts on youtube seem to be able to push that limit with an a,m,i technique.

This guy is doing 6 notes per click at 120, which is equivalent to about 1/16th notes at 160 BPM. It seems pretty close to as fast as I've ever heard, or would ever need. (120 BPM x 1.333) since it would be 1/3rd faster = about 160 BPM

Youtube


This one seems like around 160 at the end too

Youtube


This guy seems like a freak of nature, I'm not sure what the metronome marking would be, but it's up there.

Youtube


Paco seems to top out around 184 BPM

Youtube
Last edited by guit-box on Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:35 pm

guit-box wrote:That would be very impressive indeed! 16th notes at quarter note = 200 BPM seems close to impossible to me, even on a single string, I'd definitely like to see that video if you are offering to share it.
Not sure about video as that would involve the whole world seeing me :shock: but I'll certainly record an MP3 when I'm fresh. :casque:
guit-box wrote:This guy is doing 6 notes per click at 120, which is equivalent to about 1/16th notes at 160 BPM. It seems pretty close to as fast as I've ever heard, or would ever need.
Very impressive sustained rate indeed. Like I said, I can only play 170 bpm 16ths for 5 notes at a time at the moment. My sustained is around 120 so still a long way to go yet for me.
guit-box wrote:This one seems like around 160 at the end too
I make that around 130 bpm with 16ths, but still impressive considering the sustained string crossings.

Like I said, I have a long way to go in converting my bursts into sustained playing, but I'm enjoying the challenge. :D
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by chiral3 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:51 pm

I bet if I started a "Losing Speed Discovery" thread it would be longer than this one.
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Tom Poore
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by Tom Poore » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:36 am

Some of you may remember that, several years ago, I tried to increase my right hand speed. Mainly, I worked on i & m alternation. During this project, I spent a lot of time working with speed bursts. Here’s a video of some of that work. Skip ahead to the 2:46 mark to hear the speed bursts:


Youtube

As you’ll hear, I could do speed bursts pretty well at up to 160 (four notes per click). Faster than that was a bit iffy, but on a good day I could hit 184.

My ultimate conclusion, however, was that speed bursts are a dead end. They just don’t feel the way a sustained fast passage should feel. I could do bursts—indeed, I still can. But this has never translated into a reliable and fast sustained i & m alternation. Then and now, my top speed for sustained right hand alternation is about 80.

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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by markodarko » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:47 am

Tom Poore wrote:Here’s a video of some of that work ... My ultimate conclusion, however, was that speed bursts are a dead end. They just don’t feel the way a sustained fast passage should feel.
Thanks for sharing that video, Tom.

It could very well be that, as you said before, some people just can't "get" speed. It could however be that you weren't doing the correct exercises as speed bursts alone will not improve your sustained playing speed. I do 6 exercises in total. Well, there are variations per exercise so depending on how you count them there could be over 30. :lol: (the exercise I posted previously was only to answer the initial poster's question about increasing RH speed, not sustained speed, that's a more complex problem to solve in a short time scale)

I tell you what... If I ever get my sustained rate up to 150bpm (from currently 120bpm) in less than 9 months time - making it a 60bpm increase in 12 months - I'll consider writing a little booklet outlining my methods and schedule because if it really does work it could be valuable to the community.

Of course, there's a chance that it won't work and I'll hit that "wall" eventually, so I'm not prepared to share my entire routine at this time in case it does more harm than good in the long run.

But... If it does work, perhaps there'd be hope for you and others who have tried and failed in the past.

What d'ya think?
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by guit-box » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:04 am

Tom Poore wrote:My ultimate conclusion, however, was that speed bursts are a dead end. They just don’t feel the way a sustained fast passage should feel. I could do bursts—indeed, I still can. But this has never translated into a reliable and fast sustained i & m alternation. Then and now, my top speed for sustained right hand alternation is about 80.
Tom -- I don't know that I have the answer either, and you may be right. But from the examples you've post it seems your concept of bursts is different than mine. My concept is based more on Pumping Nylon, which uses bursts that increase in duration gradually. He also arranges the bursts so at some times there is a repeated finger just before the burst. Maybe you've done this kind of practice, but everything you've posted is a burst of the same length. It seems to me that the correct way to practice bursts is to start extremely slow and work through all the longer bursts before increasing tempo -- starting at 50 BPM say. You probably need to practice many more hours at tempos below 80 working through the longer duration bursts he lists before moving on to anything faster unless you can do the sustained bursts. Also, the topic of increasing scale speed in Pumping Nylon involves more things than just bursts, he uses dotted rhythms, scale fragments, etc.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:36 am

ipso facto wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote: Okay - so I just tried a couple of examples using an online metronome - set it to 168 ...
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'm sorry - I never saw any reference to a run in one position and a string change.

kmurdick
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by kmurdick » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:24 pm

Tom Poore wrote:Some of you may remember that, several years ago, I tried to increase my right hand speed. Mainly, I worked on i & m alternation. During this project, I spent a lot of time working with speed bursts. Here’s a video of some of that work. Skip ahead to the 2:46 mark to hear the speed bursts:
As you’ll hear, I could do speed bursts pretty well at up to 160 (four notes per click). Faster than that was a bit iffy, but on a good day I could hit 185
I followed Tom's progress for quite some time. Like me, I believe Tom has a damaged finger. For him it's the 'i' finger and for me it's the 'm' finger. Something is going wrong inside the hand and finger that makes it tense up. My i and a alternation works pretty well and when I turn the guitar around and play lefty, my left hand i and m work well and have raw speed. Bad training in the early years probably caused these problems. The problem is that you can't fix what you can't see or feel properly.

Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:11 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
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.


Thanks for the reply, Mark!
Ok, lets pause. What is being claimed by markodarko? What exactly is he playing for 5 notes at 170?
Surely some miscalculation going on somewhere - or am I misunderstanding something?
markodarko wrote:Thanks. Will keep plodding along.
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:11 pm

Thanks for the reply, Mark!
Ok, lets pause. What is being claimed by markodarko? What exactly is he playing for 5 notes at 170?

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Michael.N.
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:19 pm

guit-box wrote:
Tom Poore wrote:My ultimate conclusion, however, was that speed bursts are a dead end. They just don’t feel the way a sustained fast passage should feel. I could do bursts—indeed, I still can. But this has never translated into a reliable and fast sustained i & m alternation. Then and now, my top speed for sustained right hand alternation is about 80.
Tom -- I don't know that I have the answer either, and you may be right. But from the examples you've post it seems your concept of bursts is different than mine. My concept is based more on Pumping Nylon, which uses bursts that increase in duration gradually. He also arranges the bursts so at some times there is a repeated finger just before the burst. Maybe you've done this kind of practice, but everything you've posted is a burst of the same length. It seems to me that the correct way to practice bursts is to start extremely slow and work through all the longer bursts before increasing tempo -- starting at 50 BPM say. You probably need to practice many more hours at tempos below 80 working through the longer duration bursts he lists before moving on to anything faster unless you can do the sustained bursts. Also, the topic of increasing scale speed in Pumping Nylon involves more things than just bursts, he uses dotted rhythms, scale fragments, etc.
Do you know what speed he is alternating at the end of those pumping nylon bursts?
In any case, I've tried and I can't keep up with him. On a very good day I could just about match the speed he attains just before the last quickest burst, certainly not fluent or comfortable though.
I can't do it now, no way. That was when I was playing with nails and was putting the time in.
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guit-box
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by guit-box » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:57 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Do you know what speed he is alternating at the end of those pumping nylon bursts?
In any case, I've tried and I can't keep up with him. On a very good day I could just about match the speed he attains just before the last quickest burst, certainly not fluent or comfortable though.
I can't do it now, no way. That was when I was playing with nails and was putting the time in.
It seems like around 144 BPM. I can't do it either. There are probably many factors. He started very young and I'm sure practiced ridiculous amounts of hours, but I suspect the biggest mistake any of us are making is trying to match these blistering tempos. I think you have to be able to do all the bursts, including the extended ones and short to long scale fragments slowly before moving on to faster tempos. If the fastest you can do all that is 80 BPM, then it probably only does damage to practice faster than 82 BPM and most of the time should be spent warming up below your threshold. Remember he also says that he learned "accuracy is more important than speed, speed will come with accuracy". I think people take the burst concept and unconsciously ignore the accuracy concept, but they have to be practiced together.


Youtube
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markodarko
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by markodarko » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:08 pm

guit-box wrote:I'd definitely like to see that video if you are offering to share it.
Here you go :mrgreen: :


Youtube


The 200bpm RH burst is *just* manageable, but 190bpm is fine, but as I said I could attain it the other day I thought it only fair to include what it sounded like. After recording the RH speed burst I thought I'd record my current maximum 16-note run speed with L+R fingers. It's currently 140bpm. So, enough for a 2-octave scale if it were played across strings, but that's a different exercise. :D

Like I said before, this is only after 3 months of doing my exercises so I know I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal of being able to play sustained (i.e. at least 32 notes) 16th notes at 160bpm...
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ipso facto
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Re: Building speed discovery

Post by ipso facto » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:13 pm

guit-box wrote:Remember he also says that he learned "accuracy is more important than speed, speed will come with accuracy". I think people take the burst concept and unconsciously ignore the accuracy concept, but they have to be practiced together.
I agree with this, but the thing is that the exercises that are out there don't really give you a very good handle on accuracy. The main measure of how accurate you are is how fast you can do them, so it's natural that the two things get lumped together.

That is where I was going with the drill I suggested above. I was just doing a version of it using a pick and starting at 100BPM, four notes to click, hoping to hear:

1000 2000 3000 4000

You then step the tempo up and look for the point where the onset of the fretted notes becomes unclear, or the open string notes start to get muted here and there.

If you then back off a bit, you are working as fast as your LH can work accurately, which is probably a good training zone. The LH needs to be fast when it does move, but the gaps between fretted notes give it a breather so that you don't have the frenzied movement you get when you speed up the usual drills - you are taking some of the speed out of the equation and working more specifically on accuracy.

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