View Full Version : Speed
02-03-2001, 01:27 PM
Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how fast some of you can play. I heard that their was someone on this site that can play 22 notes per second. I have only played for a year and really haven't focused on speed. So drop me a line so I can see what I need to aim for, Thanks.
02-03-2001, 07:28 PM
I don't think speed is nearly as important as precision. If you're off time or play sloppy (the wrong way: sloppy can be cool, but it has to be done with style) then what good is 22 notes per second? If you can do it, then all the more power to you but substance always has to come before flash.
02-03-2001, 08:50 PM
precision and substance comes over speed. Always.
But, when you're playing that fast you're pretty much being precise. There's not much time to be sloppy.
I've been called sloppy but so has vernon reid and buckethead, my favs, but they aren't sloppy...it is their substance and style/phrasing.
But as far as substance goes it's all subjective. Some people think what I do is cool while other dismiss it as a bunch or nonesense. I think there might be something on both sides of the argument.
Also, as for speed, I am a lot faster than 22 notes per second. Oh, I know, it's "impossible" but I do it every day. You could check my site for all the info on what I do and what I sound like. I have a video coming out in a couple of weeks that shows you how to do the "impossible."
The 'trick' is not to play faster (like going faster and faster alternate picking) but fusing techniques to that you can play easily and slowly but get outrageous results. Multi-tasking. But enough of my yapping. I have tons of papers, articles, lessons, and whatnot at my site on all this. But I suggest you listen to my audio files before you take the leap...you may think I sound like crap.
02-03-2001, 08:54 PM
duh, if you wanted to go to my site and check it out for yourself the url is
02-04-2001, 09:03 AM
Having seen Buckethead open for Incubus and Primus I can say that he is most definately not sloppy. He's like a sick, twisted, nimble machine. Not to mention that "Jowles" is just about the ultemate hell raising song.
02-04-2001, 09:46 PM
no kidding, he's pretty much "on" most of the time...unless he's in the midst of some wild performance art thing and then, understandably, he drifts from the gutiar. He is amazing to watch.
02-07-2001, 09:26 PM
With speed playing, it all temds to become one big competition, where instead of fully evaluating what really works for us, we tend to get lost somewhere along the way. Speed is a natural ability, which shows us just how comfortable we have become with our instrument. Practice like mad, get your hands on all of your favorite solo parts, learn the inside out, but know enough to rely on yourself instead of the material of others...
You know, when playing the guitar there are so many different rules to follow, and from the very beginning as we try to learn everything the whole experience can be very overwhelming. Its important to realize that everything we learn on guitar we will find someway to use it later on, every little bit counts, and when it comes to speed, its all about confidence, and the only way to build a stroing level of confidence to find our sweet spot. And the way to get to this point is knoiw enough that its okay to bend the rules once in a while, the rules are important to learn, but once you have a firm grasp, feel free to break them in any matter that suits you. Which is the very essence of creativity.
02-07-2001, 10:10 PM
I dont know about speed. It seems IMPOSSIBLE to play fast, I've only been playing for about a year and I can just pull off the first solo to fade to black. I just finished watching Metallicas "cunning stunts" and the solo for creeping death IS SO FREAKIN FAST!!!!!!! how do you get that fast? its crazy!
02-08-2001, 12:27 AM
let me just add that I was never a fast guitar player. Ever. Maybe average. I tried a lot of things but they all seemed to not work for me. Only after 15 years of playing did I decide to construct my own approach to playing that would create some speed...it just bugged me that I couldn't shred, it was the one thing that eluded me forever...anyway, I stopped doing what everybody told me was the 'one best way' and just started to apply reason to every move and in about one year I went from being average or below average to what you hear today. Yes, it takes bending the rules...and a lot of theory to know that you can bend the rules in a lot of ways that the average guy doesn't know.
I had a sound that was part Vernon Reid and part Buckethead plus something I had never heard guitarists do...stuff like the sax greats Coltrane and Dolphy, yeah, but not guitarists.
I took a tip from the jazz great Pat Martino that said the guitar was unlike most instruments in that it was a matrix and not a linear thing like a piano. Bingo. It all came together ... it sounds totally different but that was the point.
The point: the guitar's physical construction suggests a non-linear, matrix-like approach and NOT the approach dictated by western, piano-centric music.
The result: http://www.mp3.com/stun
hang on to your seat ;-)
But seriously, you may not like it. It is rather disturbing for a lot of folks.
02-08-2001, 05:39 PM
This reminds me of a jazz trumpet player I heard on NPR once... Can't remember his name for the life of me, and it's annoying as hell because I really want to find some of his records. Well, anyway his specialty was "flubbed" notes- getting his trumpet to do the sort of things that beginners do as they learn, but to keep them in control. His strategy was that whenever he made a mistake, he'd figure out exactly how he did it and spend a while replicating that mistake until he had it in his pocket.
He also had many good points to offer- the big one would be that everything you learn applies to everything else in music. His main thing was always jazz, but he spent a lot of time working in all genres which led to one other peice of advice he offered: Make sure your instrument can feed you.
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