If my reckoning is right, it’s not 3 sessions I have to record, it’s 5 this time, so let’s try to be concise about them.
Last Saturday was my favourite session: legato, not so much because it’s the foundation of fast playing (I don’t think it is necessarily) but because it seems to be one of those things which come a little more easily. Not that I can reproduce that when jamming but as always I keep the faith that one day it will start to pay off. This time round I pushed myself a little, the exercise was quite straightforward and by the time I reached the final round at 120bpm, it still felt too slow for me to play so I kept pushing it in sections of 12 to see how fast I could play the exercise. I made it to 180bpm and decided to stop because of time, not because it was getting harder. I might have been able to reach 200 if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t want to undo the things I try to train myself to do by breaking meaningless records when I’m not in my top shape to play accurately. But who knows, maybe next week.
On Sunday I didn’t practice for personal reasons so this got pushed to the following day. That rhythm exercise was reasonably easy and satisfactory to play but I found something interesting. As the exercise basically consisted of 4 ascending arpeggios to play while letting the strings ring at all times, my picking hand started to anchor itself to the scratch plate to make it easier to pick the arpeggios. Now I know it’s a standard way to play but despite having tried to play this way before, it always felt awkward. This time though, it was the most logical thing to do and made the picking easier and more relaxed, and thus easier to accelerate. This will probably only work in this circumstance but it was interesting nonetheless.
On to week 8 and there’s not so much to report on this week’s exercises so far. Playing with Guitar Pro does make it easier to reach the final 120bpm mark so I can really focus on tidying things like making sure extra strings don’t ring, adding some emphasis here and there for flourishing and so on. It makes the exercise more interesting and personal in some way. Finding ease in playing at certain speed over and over again is also very meditative in some way, you can focus on really being into the music, the repetition really reinforcing the concentration.
On today’s bend exercise I would say that although it helps to have supporting fingers to properly do a bend, once you reach certain speeds it just becomes too many fingers to move at once and so you can use the exercise to strengthen individual fingers so they can easily perform the bend without requiring support, a bit like having extra wheels when learning to cycle 🙂