How fast is a fast scale?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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markodarko
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by markodarko » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:30 pm

2handband wrote:Thanks. Once again that's short bursts... I can't sustain it.
Regardless, that's still some good coordination going on there. I don't see why you mentioned previously that you can't imagine yourself attaining the same speed without a plectrum though. Sounds like all you're lacking is your RH speed as the LH and synchronisation (the hardest part) is already there?
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2handband
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by 2handband » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:47 pm

Maybe. Just using my fingers I'm topping out around 120 on a good day. Honestly I haven't found much music that requires speeds beyond that, so I'm not too worried.

moonslammer
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by moonslammer » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:36 pm

how many people realize the speed component of your technique need only be as fast as you need to express your ideas.. if those ideas are written pieces of music with set tempos that's what you need..anything above and beyond that is basicaly pointless and a waste of time used for other aspects of you playing... true dat?

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markodarko
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by markodarko » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:56 pm

moonslammer wrote:how many people realize the speed component of your technique need only be as fast as you need to express your ideas.. anything above and beyond that is basicaly pointless and a waste of time...
Sustained working at your maximum threshold - be it speed, endurance or even your heart rate - is never a good idea.

As with any exercise (if we consider that moving your hands and fingers whilst playing guitar is an exercise) the idea is to always push your threshold boundary so that the exercise you are applying yourself to takes place in a zone which offers maximum endurance for the required effort. Doing so also reduces the chances of injury.

If one is able to play arpeggios or tremolo at 180bpm, for example, then playing them at 140bpm will be effortless. Conversely, if one's maximum is 140bpm then playing at 140bpm for an entire piece or pieces would result in fatigue, possible injury, and most probably not a very musical rendition.
moonslammer wrote:true dat?
False dat.
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by moonslammer » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:01 pm

if playing faster than needed works for you than have at it... speed doesnt equal quality and its usually the opposite..

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markodarko
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by markodarko » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:11 pm

moonslammer wrote:if playing faster than needed works for you than have at it... speed doesnt equal quality and its usually the opposite..
Well either I didn't explain myself clearly or you completely missed my point. If it's the former then I apologise and will put it in more basic terminology...

The ability to play faster than required allows you to play slower easier, and/or for longer.

If you are happy to always play at your maximum threshold then more power to you. As long as you're happy with that, that's all that matters.
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FJ25

Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by FJ25 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:35 pm

markodarko wrote: As with any exercise (if we consider that moving your hands and fingers whilst playing guitar is an exercise) the idea is to always push your threshold boundary so that the exercise you are applying yourself to takes place in a zone which offers maximum endurance for the required effort. Doing so also reduces the chances of injury.
Not sure this makes sense marko... once you've defined the effort, that also defines your endurance, and I can't make sense of the idea of a zone that depends on something besides effort and duration.

I get that it is better to have some speed in reserve rather than playing at ten tenths all the time, but don't see why you are linking speed and endurance. Browsing around the forum there are loads of posts along the lines of 'I can do a burst at x BPM but I just can't sustain it'. The speeds quoted are impressive so if we are going to take them at face value these people have put in a lot of time on speed work but don't seem to have developed much endurance.

You draw an analogy with sport but I think you'll find that athletes train speed and endurance very differently. Anyway, what is endurance in the context of playing fast runs? I am not sure it is really physical endurance we are talking about. It's not like your hands go to jelly or you get out of breath. I know this sounds off the wall but the only thing it reminds me of is trying to rap and running out of steam. That isn't a physical thing either, more like trying to run your mouth faster than your brain.

I don't know whether there are any tried and tested endurance builders out there but I don't think training for speed will do it, and there is no need to argue that it does just to make the point that moonslammer is so determined to miss.

2handband
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by 2handband » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:27 pm

No, Marko is right. Have you ever been on tour? If you've got stuff in your setlist that pushes the outer limits of your technique, you're going to blow it on the night that you're running a fever or are jetlagged or have a bruised elbow. It's important to have MORE technique than you need for your gig. Another way to put it: if it isn't easy for you, don't perform it.

FJ25

Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by FJ25 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:35 pm

:roll: This thread's cracking me up... no one reads the previous post before replying

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markodarko
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by markodarko » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:49 pm

Clearly this is a contentious topic where I, the OP and possibly @2handband are in the minority, and that's ok. However, I can see that debating this will more than likely just lead to people raising their virtual voices, so I'll bow out of trying to defend why I think it's correct to have more technique than is required or why I think that the analogy with sports is valid as we'll only go round in circles.

I will however say that I never once said that simply playing burst runs is enough to build speed. In fact if you search the forum you'll find that I said the opposite. Many different kinds of exercises are required, including those specifically tailored to endurance. Bursts are only a very small part of the solution to the puzzle of building speed, endurance and control. I myself do over 30 different exercises in many different combinations over a number of days.

Anyway, what say everyone helps themselves to a drink. It's on me. As long as it's water. :mrgreen:

Cheers!
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astro64
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by astro64 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:19 pm

I agree that your technique should go beyond what you need in playing in order to have room to interpret and play musically. Another comparison: in teaching any subject you need to know the subject at a deep level, even if you are not teaching it at that level.

2handband
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by 2handband » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:06 am

astro64 wrote:I agree that your technique should go beyond what you need in playing in order to have room to interpret and play musically. Another comparison: in teaching any subject you need to know the subject at a deep level, even if you are not teaching it at that level.
That too. If playing something is essentially effortless you can put all your concentration on expression. But for me the big question has always been: can you play it flawlessly when sick, injured, or exhausted? On tour there'll be times when you are all three simultaneously...

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markodarko
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by markodarko » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:26 am

2handband wrote:can you play it flawlessly when sick, injured, or exhausted? On tour there'll be times when you are all three simultaneously...
What happens on tour... stays on tour. ;-)
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

2handband
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by 2handband » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:52 pm

We used to say what goes on the road stays on the road...

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Mark Featherstone
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Re: How fast is a fast scale?

Post by Mark Featherstone » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:54 pm

markodarko wrote:As with any exercise (if we consider that moving your hands and fingers whilst playing guitar is an exercise) the idea is to always push your threshold boundary so that the exercise you are applying yourself to takes place in a zone which offers maximum endurance for the required effort. Doing so also reduces the chances of injury.
From my albeit limited experience, this is absolutely correct. I reach a point where I'm simply not improving any further with a given piece, but then after additional weeks or months of technical exercises and harder pieces, I can come back to that old piece and play it better (after brushing up) because it now fits into a comfort zone. Somehow those "unrelated" pieces and exercises were developing skills that I needed for that piece, but couldn't develop by just practicing that piece.
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