Is learning 'slow' a must?

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by Cynicure, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Cynicure

    Cynicure Blues Newbie

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    Hi Griff, I have a question that perhaps many 'returning to it' guitarists might relate to.

    Okay, here's my question: As a self taught rhythm guitarist, who now plays rhythm reasonably well (pardon my immodesty!), I find it really hard to slow down to play along with your examples in the 'Beginners'' course; is it absolutely indespensible to do so? Or if I see how a phrase or a lick should sound like at a slightly faster tempo, is it okay to ignore the metronome... and perhaps even the playalong... ? I guess what I'm really asking, is, "Is there some particular point to learning how to play at 54 or 60 bpm?

    :)

    :)
     
  2. wgabree

    wgabree Blues Newbie

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    That's an interesting question!  I would consider myself an advanced guitarist (pardon my immodesty! :p)  I worked through the BBG and playing it at the slow tempo was difficult - which was weird!  But I did it and I can say I got some great results from doing it.  My playing has cleaned up quite a bit and I feel more control.

    I'm completely sold on the playing slow to play fast method.

    I'm also sold on the "Beginners Mind" philosophy of relearning basics many times - each time you have new eyes and pick up new things you missed the first time around.  The more you know, the more you realize you don't know.

    Cheers!
    :cool:
     
  3. gpower

    gpower Blues Junior

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    Think you have it covered Wayne!
     
  4. Cyberthrasher_706

    Cyberthrasher_706 Blues Newbie

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    That's actually what caused me to put BBG down, the inability to play slow. But, I know I need to. In reality, you should be able to play everything at any speed. It's something I'm working on. To me, it's usually a sign that I don't quite have the timing down.
     
  5. Rue

    Rue Blues Newbie

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    I'm with you Wayne on this one...I also found that going slow in BBG was  a  lot harder than I thought it would be..I did it and learned I had several bad habits that needed to be corrected.  Griff knows how to teach for sure
     
  6. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    The question is a good one, and fairly common.

    In my experience, if you're having trouble playing slow, you need it more :)
    If it's tedious, that's one thing, but if you actually have trouble playing slow, then you really need to practice that.

    The main reason is that timing is so critical. Slowing things down has a way of exposing problems with timing, and if that's what's happening I would really encourage you to take the time to practice those things.

    Griff
     
  7. wgabree

    wgabree Blues Newbie

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    My issue was that the slow playing revealed unwanted string noises that, when played fast, would be hidden by the rapidity of the notes.  At first I tried to shrug it off as "it's because I'm playing it at this slow tempo."  Glad the other voice kicked in with "you should be able to play this cleanly at any tempo."

    This was one of the big benefits of working through BBG and I'm very pleased with the results!

    :cool:
     
  8. samwell

    samwell been here.....

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    Absolutely: If I go slow I actually HEAR every glitch I usually either don't hear at fast or rationalize as the fault of going so slow, instead of the real source of the glitch - me! & Yeah, it can get boring, but I try to keep in mind that in a band, or any accompanied setting, I must keep the same time as everyone else. It ain't like my own invention that governs the timing when I'm truly playing alone. As I think I said before: I never played off time, `till I started playing over back-up tracks   :eek:     go figure....   [smiley=beer.gif]
     
  9. luckylarry

    luckylarry Student Of The Blues

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    In my limited experience I find that I have a rythem or beat that is faster than "slow" but not "fast". Making myself slow down really makes me concenate and hear everything which is good for learning but humbling none the less. :)
     
  10. RichC

    RichC Guest

    Playing slow takes greater concentration and actually advances muscle and cognative memory. But it sure can be challanging.

    Rich C
     
  11. Cynicure

    Cynicure Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for all your advice guys...

    I must say that it's not that I find playing slowly particularly 'difficult', just that it's quite tedious, and if I can see what the riff is really supposed to sound like, I kinda like to try to do that; that's essentially what I did with my interpretations of 'Full Out' and 'Sitting Easy' Blues... Now, I could have played them along with the metronome and produced a mechanically perfect (or near-perfect) note-for-note sound; but it would have been mechanical and would have made me feel like a robot or something... So I ignored the metronome, and although I realise they're not perfect yet, they're not bad either, for a 'Blues Beginner'...

    Don't get me wrong; I love slow songs, romantic ballads etc, and have no problem playing them at their proper, slow speed too...

    Still and all, I do appreciate the advice, and on the strength of that, since the general consensus is that there is a particular benefit to playing slow, I shall follow your advice. I don't mind playing alongside the metronome at proper speed; I realise how indispensible this is for technique and timing... I'll just have to get used to it slowed down is all...

    Anyway, from the look of the next few lessons, I'll need to take learning them slowly... they look a bit trickier than the first couple... so it's probably a moot point now anyway!

    ;)
     
  12. "Big Sugar" Hopkins

    "Big Sugar" Hopkins 'Big Sugar' Hopkins

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    I am sure glad you asked this question.

    The replies here gave me some reasons to re-visit my tendency to want to skip over the slow practice.  "String noise that gets covered up..."???  thanks for that comment.  Facing the reality is hard sometimes when all you wanna do is play!  :)

    Like Griff said; it reveals timing issues (and boy do I have'em).
     
  13. Alexander Blue

    Alexander Blue Surfers Rule !!!

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    Playing slow rocks ! ... gettin' the clean, crisp, single note gig clear, makes me feel like I've accomplished something ... like Tater says : "Make it yours ... own it."    :cool: