The art of properly practicing technical passages on the guitar has numerous parallels to athletic coaching in its way, as it is a physical endeavor requiring repetition and focused execution of muscular movements with the purpose of consistent improvement.
To this end, I’d like to share a trick borrowed from the world’s elite speed- and strength-coaching athletes that will support you get the maximum intensity from your guitar workouts in the minimum amount of time.
It also will let you break through speed barriers that have been holding you back from attaining your accurate technical potential.
There are a lot of scientific terms to describe the method involved such as “stimulating the adaptation response” and “priming the neuromuscular junction,” but the technique is basic: If your objective is to cleanly perform an exercise at 105 bpm (See the exercises at the finish of this piece for some brief, “skill specific” examples) and your current maximum speed is one hundred bpm, you will break up your exercise with the distinct exercising into the following 5 “sets”:
Warm-up, 60 percent of max (60 bpm): With a metronome or drum machine/program, carry out the exercise or etude slowly and methodically. Emphasize relaxed, economical movement with precise, articulate execution. Repeat the exercising constantly for 1 minute with out stopping or pausing among repeats.
Functioning set, 85 % of max (85 bpm): Following resting for a minute, improve the speed and play the physical exercise for 45 seconds. Once once again, spend focus to consistent mechanical perfection through relaxed movement. Make sure your tone is smooth and even and that you are completely synchronized with the beat.
Max set, one hundred % of max (100 bpm): Rest one more minute and then increase the speed to your initial maximum. Execute the workout for as lengthy as you can with consistent timing, articulation and tone (Make note of how long you had been able to preserve up the pace, and be sure to set out to outperform yourself the next time you try cycling by means of this exercise!). Many guitarists breathe unevenly in the course of exercise levels of this intensity, so pay extra interest to maintaining an even breath flow all through (in via your nose, out by way of your mouth). Continue at this step until you can repeat the exercise perfectly for at least 30 seconds.
OVERLOAD set, 110 percent of max (110 bpm): You should be very pumped by this point and feeling a burn in your forearm muscle tissues, so rest for a minute (but no much more!) just before raising the speed again. (Warning: Never play by way of sharp discomfort! A very good “burn” and/or light fatigue are perfectly standard, but stop the immediate you feel intense discomfort.)
In the course of your rest period, set the tempo to this 110 percent speed and listen intently to the beat. Mentally recall and visualize the peak efficiency moments of your prior sets, “hear” your self performing the workout at this tempo, and envision your self playing with the identical perfection and concentrate of the earlier sets with heightened intensity. Play the exercise at the new tempo and push yourself with all of your inner-strength to preserve up with the beat.
Even although you won’t maintain perfect time and your technique will undoubtedly become significantly less precise (“She’s breaking up, Captain!”), do your greatest to sustain pace and do not cease for 30 seconds.
New Max, 105 percent of previous max (105 bpm): Without having resting in between sets, you need to be in a position to carry out the physical exercise with the exact same accuracy and relaxed intensity that you had during set 3, but at a new prime speed!
This strategy need to be utilised sparingly when the usual “incremental increase” style practice sessions seem to no longer be yielding any gains, or when you just want to get a quick boost with a particularly troublesome/frustrating lick.
Attempt this exercise with your favourite licks and workout routines (I suggest all of the quick workout routines in Paul Gilbert’s Intense Rock 1+two DVD set) and the exercises above. Satisfied shredding!
Scott Marano has committed his life to the study of the guitar, honing his chops at the Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of Jon Finn and Joe Stump and working as an accomplished guitarist, performer, songwriter and in-demand instructor. In 2007, Scott developed the Guitar Strength plan to inspire and give accelerated education to guitarists of all ages and in all types via state-of-the-art private guitar lessons in his property state of Rhode Island and globally by way of Skype. Visit Scott and find out much more at www.GuitarStrength.com.