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  1. #26

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    You are doing it well -- very cleanly and evenly.
    I would suggest to set metronome on "1" only - that will be 40bpm. If you didn't try this before this may be a bit of challenge. First, you'll get less support and will have to rely on inner sense of rhythm more. Second, it will really stress the point of counting 3/4 as one. Also if not accented heavily and in the absence of accompaniment for an external listener it is somewhat difficult to recognize where next bar starts -- is it 3/4 or 4/4 since the click is on every beat.

    The essence of this sort of exercises is to let go of counting for basic rhythmic figures and go directly to a feel -- looking at a measure as a whole and just hear the rhythm, to internalize it as whole. Freed attention may be redirected to support the feel with dynamics.

    Here out of solidarity I got out flattop, the pick is nylon already


    I really need to go through the second volume 2 too, I did thoroughly the 1st one, but then got somewhat bored and distracted.
    Trying this exercise I clearly feel I need this work to be done

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  3. #27
    Nice job and thanks for the tips - I’ll give it a try with the click only on beat one.

    If you’re up for working on volume 2, I recommend it but “work” is definitely an appropriate word. I find that this book (so far - I’m only 1/3 into it) really drills the scale patterns and triads into your brain and fingers. The hardest part for me has been learning to read the notes on the ledger lines way up the neck. I decided to take it very slowly on the “ascending and descending” scale exercises for each key and say each note name in my head while playing until I can do it reasonably well without long pauses to think. That said, when I speed it up and play with a metronome, I’m really just playing based on the patterns. For the triad exercises, I learned the shapes first, then spend time analyzing them - I tend to think of triads more in terms of note intervals rather than note names. Still a work in progress! These parts of the book really feel like studying to me whereas some of the other exercises are more “fun.”

    When working on volume 1, I went through it more quickly and felt like I was starting to play pretty well, but vol 2 takes it to a new level. I now know the scale shapes well enough where I don’t feel as rushed with the left hand - it feels much more relaxed so now I can focus more on smoothing out the right hand. Also still a work in progress!

  4. #28

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    Yes, your progress is very noticeable - as it is likely the case for everyone who sticks with the method.

    When I was going through the 1st book I've entrusted myself to the author, put away doubts and just did what it prescribes. It worked -- after initial pain I locked onto attitude when I didn't care if something was not going well immediately and just kept with it. Eventually I found myself at end of the volume realizing I'm not intimidated by notation anymore and more a less can make a sound. After that I decided to try less structured approaches. Not they do not work at all, but still foundation one gains from such a method is distinctly more sound. So I think I'm ripe for another round for tedious, ok, let's say systematic work

    The most inspiring review on the book I've seen went something like this: 'after finishing all 3 volumes I don't suck anymore'. For those of us who don't feel they are to become world class musicians this sounds like a worthwhile goal hopefully within our reach

    Regarding patterns - I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. We don't think of each syllable when we speak, besides each note has different meaning in every key, so it's name alone doesn't really matter much. Patterns are a natural for a guitar we need to them to offset partially other difficulties we have on this instrument.

  5. #29
    Not sucking is definitely the goal! I have played for a long time, but before these books I never learned more than the pentatonic scales, and learned songs mostly from tabs - I got some good mileage out of that approach for sure, but I feel like now I'm actually starting to figure out how the fretboard works and being able to apply what I'm learning to my general playing.

    Welcome to the fun, Danil. Looking ahead in Vol.2, there is a ton of good material coming up.

  6. #30
    Here is the “Tremolo Study” (pg. 45). Metronome set at 60 bpm.


    Ex. 2 was a pretty tricky one for me - playing the 32nd notes in time took a fair bit of practice at slower speeds and experimenting with hand position and pick angle before I could speed it up. I could probably go slightly faster with more practice but I don’t know that I could go much faster! I’m curious if there are any speed demons out there that could weigh in on what a good target speed should be.

  7. #31

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    Great, keep going!
    Not a speed demon, but to keep conversation going. I read this instruction (and other places in the book concerning speed studies ) that 'gradually' means months or may be years. I would not be so sure that you can't go any faster if you didn't dwell on this for a considerable time.

    Also you may be interested in Troy Grady's 'Cracking the code' on a discussion of picking speed - he did a big research regarding picking motion efficiency and offers an approach which seems to be working for many.

    Personally 80bpm of 32nd seems to be my ceiling at the moment and I'm not sure I will push myself beyond. Below is my try -- flattop is unforgiving , this scratching noise of unsure picking
    The most obvious issue I have is the trouble when switching gears - I do not prehear new rhythm well. So I'm going to focus on this and on overall cleanup when I reach this place of the book.
    If I manage to get this at this tempo accurately while having some margin left to control accents I will be content.



  8. #32

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    I'm not a speed demon but I would say that you're doing pretty well where you are. Playing it on an acoustic to boot!

    Try to even up the time on the faster parts, keep working at it, and you will naturally pick up more speed over time - if - you keep practicing it.

    In other words, Leavitt's counsel at the top of that page is sound.

  9. #33
    Great playing, Danil! You and Don both noted that Leavitt keeps reminding us to “revisit older material.” It’s definitely good advice - if only there was more time in the day.

  10. #34

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    By chance, could anyone share the mp3s or online audio access that comes with Vol 2? I finally finished volume 1 after many long months, but accidentally bought the wrong volume 2 edition without audio. Thanks a lot to whomever can help.

  11. #35
    I don’t have the audio either, but the good folks on this forum have been very helpful with any questions I’ve had.

    Do your best to read the music and post a clip of yourself playing if you’re unsure about anything. Good luck!