… then it probably is. Let me explain.
Last week, I’ve been both tired and ill (still am, at its worst, hopefully) and so skipped both Thursday and Friday sessions, which tend to be the two techniques I less enjoy practicing, that is arpeggios (I normally don’t mind but lately it’s been nerve biting barred chords on the lower neck) and of course sweep picking. Since today’s exercise on alternate picking is relatively easy, I thought I’d catch up on those two and make up for lost time.
The arpeggio exercise went reasonably well (though I now know why, see later), but I was surprised at just how easily I went all the way to 112bpm playing 16th notes in sweep picking. A feeling of pride and achievement was filling me up when I suddenly realised something was in fact really quite wrong. Last week, I’d been practicing bits of the solo of Satch’s Mighty Turtle Head and in order to cope with the speeds involved and to get the patterns under my fingers, I’d slowed down the loop to 45% of the normal speed. Unfortunately, Guitar Pro kept that setting (despite a crash earlier) and so I was proudly playing sweeped triads at 45% of 112bpm… oh dear.
So if you think what you’re playing is too slow, then it probably is, in particular if you really were struggling the week before just as you did in previous weeks. These things do get better eventually but this is a slow and hardly noticeable process unless you take regular snapshots of your upper limits at regular intervals in your practice. As it stands I could really only play that exercise at 76bpm by really putting some serious attention to it, and even then it was quickly quite messy.