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Building Speed and Accuracy - Dividing The Beat

Robert Mussatti 91 lessons

Hello and welcome to this tutorial on building speed and accuracy. One thing that alot of people ask is "How do I get faster?" and of course, the almost automatic reaction is "Practice!" and while that may be true, I really believe there is a lot more to it than just practicing, and you really have to know WHAT to practice.

A few things to remember when playing through any of these exercises: first thing is, you must use strict alternate picking. the second, is you must pick from the wrist, no picking from the arm. A little forearm movement is expected, but make sure that you are using as much picking from the wrist as possible. A good thing to do is practice in the mirror so that you can see if you are doing it right. Another thing, is that you must keep your picking hand relaxed! Be sure that you get rid of any sort of tension that might impede your development. Also, make sure that the picking you use when playing slow is the same when playing fast; by doing that, your programming in your technique. And finally, try to make as small a movement from the wrist as possible. This is basic economy of motion: the farther away something is, the longer it's going to take to reach it's destination, so make sure that you are picking with small, relaxed movements along the strings.

Now one thing that really helps is building speed is sub dividing the beat along with the metronome, in which you start a pulse, for example, about 80 bpm, and you just keep bringing down the note divisions. These exercises are going to be played through the G major scale, third position, through 2 octaves.

Example 1 is quarter notes to the metronome, playing one note per beat.

The second example is where we now divide the beat in half and play eighth notes, which is 2 notes per beat.

The third example, we divide the beat in half again and now we play sixteenth notes, which are 4 notes per beat.

The fourth example, we now divide the beat again and play sextuplets, which are six notes per beat. You could also think of these as sixteenth-note triplets.

And finally, for the fifth example, we divide the beat again and play thirty-second notes, which are 8 notes per beat.This one is going to be quite faster than the one we started with

Now, remember that through these examples, the pulse didn't change at all. All I did was change the division of the notes along with the beat to help build speed. Notice how much faster your picking became when doing this?

Now that you know how to play along with a metronome and know how to sub divide the beat, in the next segment I'm going to show you how to start building speed.

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