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Accurate Speed

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by iwearpumas, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. iwearpumas


    Aug 12, 2011
    Middletown, NY
    What is the best way to practice accurate speed?
  2. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    practice slow and solid
  3. keep it low

    keep it low

    Jan 24, 2013
    Yup yup, play it over and over at a speed you can enjoy and confidently flow through without messing up (practice) while comfortably speeding it up. I learnt that from my older brother, my first instrumental teacher. You have to "climb" from playing slow up to where you'd like to be. There are tons of fast players out there, on all instruments, but few who are play clean and in time. It takes patience and at times ya feel like your making no progress but you are, just try to remember where a few days or weeks ago
  4. I fully recommend taking lessons with Anthony. He has increased my speed two-fold, so far, across the board. Usually when you hear someone who plays fast they tend to play a specific set of riffs and/or licks. But, I fully agree you have to start slow that is the only way to build up.
  5. JimL


    Jan 19, 2011
    Cupertino, CA
    Anthony, tell'm the difference between practicing and rehearsing :)
  6. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Sorry,...I haven't been able to respond. I've been preparing for tour. Learning new music on bass and keyboards. Its kicking me in the ass!

    I always practice slowly thhe things that i have to place fast. Playing it slowly ensures that you are playing it cleanly.

    Here's my definition of fast:

    "Fast is just 'slow' speeded up!"

    You Jim L, you can post the difference between practicing and rehearsing.

    Chinchano likes this.
  7. JimL


    Jan 19, 2011
    Cupertino, CA

    I wasn't getting any faster at the exercises Ant gave me to work on and he pointed out that I was playing it at a speed I was already capable of playing. He told me practice should sound like s&#t because you're trying to do something you are working towards, not something you can already do. If you're playing something you can already play correctly, you're just rehearsing.

    So, if you want to get faster, start out playing it as fast as you can, and then push yourself to where you start to mess up. If you stay there for a bit, you'll soon find you're not messing up at that speed and then it's time to push yourself again.

    Oh yeah, he also pointed out that both little kids and senior citizens he's taught could both play faster than me, and so I had no excuses ;)
    Chinchano likes this.
  8. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ant, I get bummed sometimes when it's slow around your forum. The tour's coming through NYC?

    Sometimes I sing a part as I play it to build up speed. I find that the vocal understanding of the speed helps drag along my fingers to unleash "latent speed". This is only after it's pretty clean at easily managed speeds.
  9. Octavian

    Octavian Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    I'll add for consideration: tension.

    I noticed about a year ago that when I play a challenging section (usually crossing strings) at a faster tempo that I clench my jaw. When my jaw is clenched, my hands are tense. Both are very subtle...but both have a less than subtle affect on my playing.

    Chewing gum has helped relax my jaw and in turn, relaxed my hands. That's a Band-Aid however that treats the symptoms, not the cause.

    What I'm finding helps with the cause is playing as SOFTLY as I can. Let the electronics do their job. I play soft (mentally and physically), I play relaxed. I play relaxed. I play smooth. I play smooth. I can play as fast as I need to.

    I think my chewing gum and Anonymatt's singing may fall into the same category as releasing mental tension which translates to reducing physical tension in the hands.
  10. keep it low

    keep it low

    Jan 24, 2013
    Yea like George Benson or Shawn lane! Guthrie govan suggested that as well, in India they use some cool rhythmic singing as practice and it helps distinguish accents, ill try to find a vid
  11. He does talk a little bit about that here, though not in details:

  12. NCD


    Mar 19, 2011
    Turns out my answer was in Octavian's reply. Relax the fingers, kick up the volume and let the electronics do their job. Somewhere along the line I had turned the volume down and I was trying to compensate for it by plucking more firmly. Apparently all I needed to do was twist the volume knob. I'll leave this here in case it helps anyone else in the future.

    I'm having a speed issue that may or may not fit in the standard box of issues. See, for me, the issue is my right hand.

    I'm 2 fingering but mostly relying on my middle finger due to my fat palms and short fingers. Victor Wooten is the only other player I've seen with "bear paws" like mine. Because of this reliance on the middle finger when reaching for the top 2 strings, my plucking through a song like "What's Going On" can vary immensely from one time through the song to the next.

    My left hand is doing great but my right can get confused. I have already been trying to use a set plucking pattern for certain phrases in order to keep them clean and it's worked in most places but there is one section that's just kicking my ass hard.

    The tab for it is sort of like this. Yes, this is all in one bar (hey the issue here is speed, after all). The X's show the 2 notes I'm "flubbing":
    - 4 2 - - - 4 2 - - - 4 2 - - - - - - - - - -
    - - - 4 - - - - 4 - - - - 4 - - - 2X - - - - -
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 4X- 4X - - - -
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0 0 - 0 -

    The music for that is in the SitSoM book and it seems to be the 50th bar of the song, the bar that is on the very top right corner of page 105.

    That section is from 2:09 to 2:12 in this video:

    Playing slow doesn't seem to help. I play it very cleanly just a hair under normal speed but as soon as I speed things up I flub those 3 notes and they all mush together. I do get it right now and then, like 1 time in 6, but I seem to have hit a plateu and was wondering if there is any kind of right hand tip that might help.

    Thanks for your time and all the fun banter during Victor's Groove Workshop! Hearing you guys just chatting was one of the coolest things about it. :)

  13. Felipe Gianei

    Felipe Gianei

    Apr 9, 2014
    So to get fast in a pattern that I can't play fast, I have to pratice slow or try to play as fast as I can?
  14. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    I suggest that you learn to play it correctly very slowly and then gradually speed it up.

    You may even have to work on it in sections.

    And the key may be your right hand. Generally, your left hand is doing it the same way every time. Buy you right hand is unconsciously 'trying' different combinations. Sometimes we stumble on a combination that works, sometimes we don't. A consistent right hand fingering fixes a lot of 'speed' issues.