Maximum speed isn't enough

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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robjh22
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Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by robjh22 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:59 am

I've been working on a fast piece for about 6 months, and I can play it well enough at abut 103-105, but I know it is supposed to be faster than that. There is no single measure that I can't play at tempo, but when I put it all together, sooner or later I fall apart.

I think I either need to realize my physical limitations or ... on the other hand, maybe it's not uncommon for an older guy (66) to have to practice a piece 2 years or more to get control of it at recommended tempo.

I really think it sounds pretty good at moderato, and it won't be the end of the world if I face the fact that I have reached my peak, tempo-wise.

I typically play it about 7 times per day, with a metronome, from very slow to moderato, and then I max out my speed and crumble at allegro.

I appreciate any suggestions.

Rob

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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by guit-box » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:32 am

How about a close up video of the hand you think is causing the bottleneck? Suggestions without seeing and hearing aren't very useful imo.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

robjh22
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by robjh22 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:28 am

Okay. Coming soon.

simonm
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by simonm » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:33 am

robjh22 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:59 am
I've been working on a fast piece for about 6 months, and I can play... from very slow to moderato, and then I max out my speed ...
If I understand your statement, then you have answered your own question. Don't try to jump to max. Just add another few percent to the moderato until you are comfortable with that, then a little more once you are comfortable with the new slightly increased speed. Continue until you get to the required speed. You have done fine getting to the current speed by degrees. Don't change strategy. Continue with small incremental speed increases.

Crofty
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Crofty » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:26 am

simonm wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:33 am
Don't change strategy. Continue with small incremental speed increases.
As guit-box pointed out, and the O.P. agreed, without a video we can't really offer such definitive statements.

If their are technical problems with either hand, or in any other area, then it won't matter how sensible the overall strategy is - it won't work.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:54 am

What's the piece, and what tempo do you think is fast enough for it?

On the face of it, and until we see some video, it sounds like you will be tensing up as you go along, leading to break-downs.
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Kent
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Kent » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:51 pm

Fast is over rated.

Crofty
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Crofty » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:01 pm

Kent wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:51 pm
Fast is over rated.
A strange and rather unmusical observation - pretty much the same as saying that "slow is overrated".

Firstly, "fast" is not a fixed speed, and secondly a fixed speed which actually IS fast is often a direct and precisely measured requirement by a composer, or implicit within the style of a particular piece of music.

Basically it pretty much goes without saying, therefore, that developing speed is of equal importance to many other musical skills.

Not being able to play at virtuosic levels obviously doesn't mean we can't play anything but, equally, it doesn't mean we should just give up on it by acting as though it's not an important aim.

robjh22
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by robjh22 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:08 pm

simonm wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:33 am
robjh22 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:59 am
I've been working on a fast piece for about 6 months, and I can play... from very slow to moderato, and then I max out my speed ...
If I understand your statement, then you have answered your own question. Don't try to jump to max. Just add another few percent to the moderato until you are comfortable with that, then a little more once you are comfortable with the new slightly increased speed. Continue until you get to the required speed. You have done fine getting to the current speed by degrees. Don't change strategy. Continue with small incremental speed increases.
I understand and agree. I just seem to have maxed out playing at a merely moderate speed, and I don't know if I should play at that speed for a week, a month or a year before another tick up on the metronome is advisable. I have all the time in the world and want to use it advisedly.

I appreciate you. Video in a
few days.

ronjazz
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by ronjazz » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:55 pm

speed bursts can be useful. just ticking up the metronome may not be as efficient, because the movements you use playing at slow to medium tempi may not be the same movement you use playing fast. there is plenty of input around on this site, and the newer generation of instructional materials address a new way of physically learning the instrument based on sports medicine discovery and advances.
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robjh22
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by robjh22 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:53 am

"The movements you use playing at slow to medium tempi may not be the same movement you use playing fast. "

Quite. And I don't know how anyone can really know this one way or the other, aside from doing something drastically different at high speed, but who does this anyway?

I think what may be part of this is that I don't know how I can plant, or whether you even are expected to plant, before executing free strokes. I might have to resume lessons.

Terpfan
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:23 am

Practice playing left hand alone. Then practice playing right hand alone. But first you have to plan every fingering left and right.

robjh22
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by robjh22 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:00 am

Terpfan wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:23 am
Practice playing left hand alone. Then practice playing right hand alone. But first you have to plan every fingering left and right.
I confess I haven't ever done that. Ever. Not sure I even know how to do that. :oops:

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Sebastian
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Sebastian » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:54 pm

Incorporate the planting techniques into your right hand (block, 3 units, 2 units, the full sequential) formulas.
After that study them with speed bursts (staccato and then even legatto) with as little tension as possible.

There's also a chance that you simply reached your maximum capacity (or almost maximum capacity) and that you won't be able to play it faster. Everyone has their own limitations. Still doesn't mean you're playing isn't right, it's just that not everyone can play the same repertoire with the same quality.
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Terpfan
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Re: Maximum speed isn't enough

Post by Terpfan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:37 am

I think most people can play way faster than what they believe their limitation is. A lot of time, your mind set the limitations, but fingers can move much faster than our brain. I am sure all of players here can play scales left hand only A lot faster than with both hands. Also fan do i and m (or ami) alternation faster than they can do scales. If you practice scales, try this. What ever scale you do, just do the left hand with the metronome. Than practice the right band with the metronome. Than try with both hands. It should feel much more precise.

Warning: speed equals tension, no matter how relaxed you feel. Don't over do it. Don't do it if you keep messing up. It could form a bad habit.

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