Monday, August 25, 2008

The Game

I'm learning a lot of cool things in my lessons so I thought I'd share a good one that everyone can benefit from - The Game. It's a speed game where you set your metronome (you have one, right?) at 80 bpm and play the major scale - two octaves up and down - at eighth notes, ie two notes per beat. That should be pretty easy to do. Then bump the metronome up 4-5 bpm and do it again. Keep speeding up until you can't keep up. Play a couple times at your fastest speed, then stop. Wait a couple hours or till the next day and start at 80 again.

I've never worked on speed before, I've never really seen the point. I have no ambition to shred or play speed metal and I've always been able to play fast enough for any song I've tackled. Good news though, between my teachers explanation and me seeing the actual results, I've come to realize this game isn't about speed - it's about technique. The reason you get to a certain bmp and can't play faster is because you're left hand is in an inefficient position, you're picking isn't perfect, or you're left hand/right hand coordination is off. The more you play the game the more your hands will naturally figure out what they need to do. I've always known I keep my fingers too far off the strings when I play scales and I've noticed I subconsciously changed my wrist position and keep my fingers closer now. Pretty cool! You're also guaranteed to see the results of faster bpms which is a little more tangible than other things we practice.

As of yesterday I'm up to 212 bpm. My goal is 232! You'll be surprised how fast you see results. Just keep it up at least once a day.

1 comment:

Larry said...

excellent idea. I have one similar where you set the beat, then play the scale forwards and backwards then stop. Then move a fret down and do it again. After you go all the way up and and all the back down, practice is over.
I like your idea to incorporate in it. hmmm.....

Thanks!