Is this course over my head?

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by Blues_Dude, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Blues_Dude

    Blues_Dude Love Dem N'Awlins Blues

    Apr 26, 2015
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    Griff, I am in the middle of the Blues Unleashed course.  I am an older dude (55-FINGERS DON'T MOVE AS FAST AS THEY USE TO.) and just getting into the guitar.  I am getting the rhythm portion of the course down fairly well at what seems to be a good pace.  However, I have been having a bit of a problem getting my fingers to move as fast as the solos call for.  I was looking at your last e-mail regarding the four note solo course and am wondering if this course would be a good jump start for getting me progress for playing solos.  Its not that I can't get the licks down and memorized...just can't them up to speed.  So the question is, should I invest into yet another course?
  2. Mr.Jay

    Mr.Jay Blues Newbie

    Oct 7, 2014
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    I'm not a newbie but far from where I want to be.  And I don't have SWS scales but have a few (ok, more than a few) of Griff's other courses.  I came across your question researching to decide if I should order SWS.  From reading other posts it looks like I'll be adding it to my collection.

    My personal experience: I also started guitar post 50 years of age and I've found that my fingers take a long time to get up to speed.  I got 1/2 way through BGU and put it aside for a bit as the more technically challenging solos started to lose their luster of fun.  I jumped into other courses that weren't as challenging but that amped up my fun and enthusiasm.   In particular, 5 Easy Blues Solos.  You don't need blazing speed but it keeps you moving forward.  Then I beat the crap out of the 4 note solo and loved how it was so easy to fall back onto.  It appears that SWS is taking the 4 note solo a couple more steps which is precisely where I want to go.

    So to directly answer your question, yes, try a different course like the 4 note solo or 5EBS and do it alongside of BGU or instead of for a while.  It all keeps you playing and progressing.  And if it doesn't work for you, can't beat Griff's 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  3. chemeagle

    chemeagle Blues Newbie

    Dec 23, 2013
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    I just ordered that course and look forward to using it.

    My theory about speed has less to do about the course and more about just doing it.  I can play scales in all 5 boxes up and down.  There is a certain lack of musicality partly due to speed but mostly because I don't have a sense of "making" music.  I think that keeping things to 4 notes simplifies the scales so that the music part of it is less about speed and hitting lots of notes and more about phrasing and how to use pull-off and hammer-ons, bends, etc in order to alter the phrasing.  I think it will force me to connect the music to my technique. I hope I am right.

    I am way faster now than I was 2 years ago. Learning to be fast may be something measured in months or years, not weeks (at least for me).  I am hoping that if I can develop better phrasing, that speed becomes less important.  To play the BGU solos requires speed - so that can be frustrating.  You really have to practice to the point where  it is automatic to be able to get to those speeds.  I am not sure how important it is to get to full speed.  I might try 75% tempo (using Audacity) and shoot for that. Not sure how important it is to get to full speed.  I am not sure I would make that a goal if the frustration factor begins to impede motivation.

    Play loud play proud.   :)

  4. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2009
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    Don't you know that speed kills????

    I've had issues getting solos up to speed too. Griff will tell you that it is probably a counting issue, not a dexterity issue.

    I'll add that it may be a patience issue too.
    I mentioned in another thread that I run into this is many of Griff's courses. I listen to him play it and I say to myself "I'll NEVER play THAT FAST!!!"

    But.... If I
    - start slow (Sometimes as low as 40% speed),
    - Learn a few bars at a time,
    - Gradually increase the speed (I use Riffmaster Pro)

    I can ALWAYS get there. It may take a long time, but is works for me.
    I just had that experience yesterday.

    I get Griff's Solos From The Master every month and one month was a Johnny Winter screamingly fast solo.
    Again, "No Way!, I'll NEVER play THAT FAST!!!"
    I'm only on lick one and I had to start at 40% speed, but I'm up to 80-85% now and I can see that I'll get to 100%
    I really never would have believed that my fingers could move that fast and have my right and left hand stay in sync.

    And all it took was patience and lots of practice.
    Scotty R likes this.