View Poll Results: What is the max speed at which you can play 16th notes *cleanly* ?

Voters
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  • less than 80 bpm

    43 14.53%
  • 80-100 bpm

    34 11.49%
  • 100-120 bpm

    55 18.58%
  • 120-140 bpm

    75 25.34%
  • 140-160 bpm

    34 11.49%
  • 160-180 bpm

    25 8.45%
  • more than 180 bpm

    30 10.14%
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  1. #451

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    'Liquid lunch ?'

    Sure, where you at ?


    It's not my habit but I have a few days off and I am too exhausted from my run last night to practice.

    D.

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  3. #452

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    You go take your lunch, and don't forget your medication....

  4. #453

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    You go take your lunch, and don't forget your medication....
    I always leave a small plate aside for my medication to enjoy.

    D.

  5. #454

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    Jim Hall is probably say in heaven I hope...……….wow and I got to the top of heap of guitar players and I cannot get past most of what the rest can do.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  6. #455

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    Never thought about how fast I play guitar, however, I also play Mandolin an
    can easily do 250 BPM all day tremolo picking!
    measure with micrometer... mark with chalk... cut with axe

  7. #456

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    I wonder how honestly folks here would respond to a poll that asks how fast you can actually improvise? Say solid stream 8th notes against a Jazz Blues in F.... ? My bet is that it'd be a fair bit slower than piano and horn players. My guess is that an average for guitar players might be around 220 bpm, and maybe up near 300 bpm for horns and piano. What'd be your guess?

  8. #457

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I wonder how honestly folks here would respond to a poll that asks how fast you can actually improvise? Say solid stream 8th notes against a Jazz Blues in F.... ? My bet is that it'd be a fair bit slower than piano and horn players. My guess is that an average for guitar players might be around 220 bpm, and maybe up near 300 bpm for horns and piano. What'd be your guess?
    I agree.

    I was playing along to Franky V, he just came out with a new "Trading Solos" course on Truefire.

    One of the tunes is Sweet Georgia Brown, a favorite of many on JGF.

    He calls it at 220bpm.

    I tried it initially at 220bpm and stumbled all over.

    Then I figured it out. It wasn't necessarily technique (though you have to have some facility on the guitar to play above 200bpm).

    No, it was my relationship with the beat. I think we've discussed this at one point, but I think we should bring it back...

    When you play fast--think slow. Hearing constant quarter note at 220bpm, for me at least, is quite stressful and un-nerving.

    Let's take 224bpm, because the math works out nice and neat.

    What I do, is I divide 8 into 224bpm and 16 into 224bpm.

    I do this because 224/8 gives me 224 bpm with a click every 2 measures (that's 8 quarter notes). So I would set my metronome at 28bpm--you might need a special metronome for this.

    If I do 224/16, that gives me 224 bpm with a click every 4 measures (that's 16 quarter notes). So I would set my metronome at 14bpm--you REALLY need a special metronome for this!

    Hearing less clicks at faster tempos "de-stresses" the tempo. I find it meditative. Plus, you hear in a more "musical" manner because you are hearing time subdivided into common phrase lengths.

    I spoke about this on my Journal of Performance Ear Training a while back. Lage Lund talks about this concept a lot. And most jazz drummers that I talk to are EXTREMELY familiar with this concept of marking time at uptempos.

  9. #458

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    Eighths at 220. Not at 240. I'm often frustrated by lack of speed.

    During solos, I can prehear the occasional faster passage but I have to be careful because I often miss the time when I try.

    Where other players can build excitement with great note choices at rapid fire tempos, I can't. Can't double time a medium tempo swing tune. Can't think that fast, can't play that fast. Although I can usually get written out passages up to speed for my big band and octet, I don't have much of a repertoire of licks I can play fast. And, I'm not very interested in improvising that way.

    I've posted clips before -- generally trying to build solos with long tones, changes of octave, rhythmic ideas and whatever else doesn't require great speed.

  10. #459
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I wonder how honestly folks here would respond to a poll that asks how fast you can actually improvise? Say solid stream 8th notes against a Jazz Blues in F.... ? My bet is that it'd be a fair bit slower...
    And this is where folks get strange about me with my own attitude about my playing.
    I’m good at playing guitar. I’ve spent the time to do so. If I play something I already know, I can impress...

    I can transcribe upon hearing, and play back things as recorded. I can shred. I can take licks and arps and incorporate them.

    But I tell people I suck because I know that I can’t strictly improvise a musical melodic line off a chord progression in any random key without it sounding like a student in week 2 of practicing scales.

    At this point, I’m best suited for covers, but I hate that. I want to have my own voice.

    The way I interpret my own skills is that I’m a guitar player, not a musician.

    At at least I know what to practice to be where I want to go, but being musical is the hard part to me.

    I grew up self taught thinking that by focusing on technique, then I would not be held back when wanting to execute any musical ideas...whups.

  11. #460

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    Quote Originally Posted by child as audience View Post
    And this is where folks get strange about me with my own attitude about my playing.
    I’m good at playing guitar. I’ve spent the time to do so. If I play something I already know, I can impress...

    I can transcribe upon hearing, and play back things as recorded. I can shred. I can take licks and arps and incorporate them.

    But I tell people I suck because I know that I can’t strictly improvise a musical melodic line off a chord progression in any random key without it sounding like a student in week 2 of practicing scales.

    At this point, I’m best suited for covers, but I hate that. I want to have my own voice.

    The way I interpret my own skills is that I’m a guitar player, not a musician.

    At at least I know what to practice to be where I want to go, but being musical is the hard part to me.

    I grew up self taught thinking that by focusing on technique, then I would not be held back when wanting to execute any musical ideas...whups.


    Sounds like you grew up in Rock (like most of us) . I bet you have no problem improvising melodically or otherwise in a Rock, or Modal situation (ie no challenging changes), but yeah, sounding great with freshly minted ideas at tempo through challenging chord changes is where the rubber meets the road for the Jazz player, and it should take a LOT longer to do this as opposed to faking it in a Rock context (relying on shapes, licks etc).

    I just hope that when you say "at least I know what to practice", that you really are on the right path, because if you are like me you may have spent years of drilling scales, arps, devices and licks etc thinking that this is the best preparation for jazz improv. I've long realised this was my biggest mistake, and that every hour practicing making successful melodies against challenging chord changes should always have been at least 50% of my practice instead of 15%. It's the only way to exercise the mind / ear / hand relationship that takes thousands of hours through which one finds one's own true voice. This part is you "singing" through your instrument without any preplanning, just getting in a zone where things come out right because you spent the other 50% of the time taking care of the technical stuff, developing vocabulary, devices etc. This way, as you get more "hand" chops, you are developing ear/mind chops as well and each influences the other. When you think about it, it's obviously how the greats did it...

    Just thought I'd mention this in case you can relate...

  12. #461
    It it sounds like you know exactly where I’m coming from, and where I’m at. We can smell our own.

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I just hope that when you say "at least I know what to practice", that you really are on the right path, ...
    For sure It’s a difficult thing to stick to because of the frustration...and I do catch myself leaving the scalloped strat out for a couple days or so, if you know what I mean.

  13. #462

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    Keep it up. I just honk princeplanet has it right. I’d just want to reiterate, you might want to really spend 80% improvising and learning tunes and other peoples solos. I never spent much time doing the latter, but it’s common wisdom. You need to get the sound of the music in your head. If I were you I’d listen to the masters- NOT the guitar players. Listen to how THEY phrase. Figure out how to make the guitar phrase like that. Then MUSIC is in your mind, not other guitar players. I find it’s easier to hear my voice that way. I’m not trying to emulate other guitar players but in grounding my head on the music.

    If you have the technical side down, well done. Move on. Don’t let it go but concentrate on other things. If it’s NOT down then keep it on the board, but the nuts and bolts of what you need to do is all the other stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #463

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Sounds like you grew up in Rock (like most of us) . I bet you have no problem improvising melodically or otherwise in a Rock, or Modal situation (ie no challenging changes), but yeah, sounding great with freshly minted ideas at tempo through challenging chord changes is where the rubber meets the road for the Jazz player, and it should take a LOT longer to do this as opposed to faking it in a Rock context (relying on shapes, licks etc).

    ust thought I'd mention this in case you can relate...
    I can relate very well to that. Very well said.

    When I hear great players who have become great by doing things in the conventional way (theory, copying records, lots of drill) I think that must be the way to do it.

    But, there are exceptions to that rule, to the point where I wonder if there's another kind of path and another kind of goal.

    I'd say the goal is to be able to play with great time-feel. That's the single most important thing. Then, when you've got that, next, it's the ability to make up a compelling melody that fits the chords. So, strum the chords with great time feel and scat-sing. That's your heart. Not your practiced licks, not your muscle memory. Put those lines on the guitar.

    If, at some point, you get bored with the sounds you're using in your singing you must then work on expanding that inner reservoir of sounds.

    You will be faced with a multitude of choices about how to do that.

    Some posts I've seen (not on this board) will list combinations of, say, two triads and a bass note. How many things is that to try? For major triads in the same octave with the same inversion I guess it's 12 x 12 x 12. Then, continue with minor, diminished and augmented triads, different inversions and different octaves.

    Other posts will suggest lots of transcription.

    Another approach is getting lines from books. There are lots of books like that.

    Here's my suggestion: Forget about learning a zillion sounds at once. Instead, focus on exactly one sound at a time. Listen to a player you like, pick a passage that sounds good to you (and that would be an addition to what you can already do) and figure it out. Once you understand the harmony behind the line you like, and you can play the line, figure out how to use it in a different song.

    That's one. Do it for another, and another. Don't forget that time-feel is more important than anything else.

    And, although it's even further off-topic. I'd add one thing more. Find your own tone. The tone that allows you to express your music. Start by imagining the way you feel a guitar "should" sound. Find the equipment and technique that allows you to get that sound. Maybe you start from the sound of a player you like and find out how to get that sound. But, be attentive to what's missing from that sound -- the part that's you -- and keep after it.

    How much theory does this approach require? Short answer: I don't know. I think Andres Varady does it with no theory and Jim Hall did it with a college education in music.

    The result, hopefully, is a sound so individual anybody who knows your playing could recognize it in an instant. And, if you can do that with great time feel, the phone will ring.

  15. #464

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    not very fast at 1/16 notes which to me is 16 beats to a measure a measure being one click on a metronome

  16. #465

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    I really do not how fast I can play. I am not much concerned with things like this but is there a way measure how fast this one is? Thanks.

    DB


  17. #466

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    I really do not how fast I can play. I am not much concerned with things like this but is there a way measure how fast this one is? Thanks.

    DB

    I make it about 132 bpm (by my metronome) when you were playing 16th notes.

  18. #467

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I make it about 132 bpm (by my metronome) when you were playing 16th notes.
    Thanks Graham. I thought it was a bit faster.

    I think the vid below is faster. It's the fastest version of "Cherokee" I ever recorded but that was 5 years ago. It's faster than "Road Song" but again, I have no idea how fast. It's probably the fastest I can pull off with 16th notes ...

    Playing fast is no big deal by the way. Playing shitty stuff fast anyone can do. Playing meaningful things fast IS a big deal. When the melodic content starts suffering, you are playing too fast. I think you should be able to play the same melodic stuff as on slower tempi.

    DB


  19. #468

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    I make that about 300 bpm (in eighth notes) so about 150 for 16th notes.

    I never practise playing fast, I never like what comes out! It’s hard enough to play something good and melodic as it is.

    For 16ths I probably cannot get above 120-130 bpm.

  20. #469

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I never practise playing fast, I never like what comes out! It’s hard enough to play something good and melodic as it is.
    I don't practise playing fast either. It sometimes works as a tool for creating excitement though. It has its place in the bebop tradition so it should not be ignored or played down. All my favourite guitarists can play pretty fast if needs be, some of them ridiculously so (Lagrene, Oberg, van Ruller, van Iterson, Martino, Farlow,, Doug Raney, Bruce Forman etc.) It's just a tool that comes with the trade for most name players. There are exceptions of course.

    DB

  21. #470

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    Agreed, I should probably try and improve my speed a bit. I think there’s a video where Pasquale Grasso says you can do this just by going a little faster each day, even if it takes a long time.

  22. #471

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    I can see how one needs some speed to express what you want but really you don't need to be fast be a great jazz guitarist. Django, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell. Jimmy Raney had facility but their greatest stuff was not about blinding speed (despite what gypsy jazzers play like now) it was about making deliberate musical statements that were lyrical and compelling. It wasn't a circus act like you see with some speed demons.

    I had a great teacher that continually said if you can't play a compelling solo (over 8 bars) with quarter notes and 8ths you are playing bullshit and go back to the drawing board. In my opinion this holds true in most situations - not all - but most.