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 14.38%
  • 80-100 bpm

    34 11.37%
  • 100-120 bpm

    56 18.73%
  • 120-140 bpm

    77 25.75%
  • 140-160 bpm

    34 11.37%
  • 160-180 bpm

    25 8.36%
  • more than 180 bpm

    30 10.03%
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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Where have you read people on this forum suggesting that you "don't need to understand whats going on"?. As for playing by ear being BS and poopoo-ing the idea of going slow at first before speeding up, I really hope that most on this forum will disagree.

    But I do get your "Devil's Advocate" role on this forum, and rather appreciate it. However in case some impressionable novice may be reading your posts, I would think it pertinent to not set the bar too high too soon (as regards reading and theory etc) as you will probably discourage them.

    If you wanna preach to those who can handle the "truth" as you see it, you should maybe start your own Pro Forum for advanced players. (personal opinion)
    I'd rather hear Reg's insights into what is needed to hang at an advanced/pro level than the emphatic, black and white, statements so often posted here by people who don't have the skill on the instrument to back it up. Truth be told, it can get very tiresome wading through all of the ego and posturing on this board to get to the real substance.

    This is my personal opinion but I highly doubt anyone who is serious about getting somewhere on the instrument is going to agree with having pro players excluded from the conversation. We're lucky to have the few serious players on board that we have now. Running them off because you don't agree with them (based on what level of experience on the stage and instrument btw?) is not going to be welcomed by most here.

    If you don't like his posts try the ignore function. If newbies are intimidated they should stay in the "getting started" section until they're ready for more complex ideas.
    Last edited by Jazzpunk; 04-21-2013 at 08:05 PM.

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  3. #52

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    Most guitar players who like to play fast, that I observe locally, are sloppy, have always been sloppy and probably always will be sloppy. It's a pet hate. The horn guys or piano players have on average much crisper articulation. As guitarists we have to work harder. Reg has stated in a few posts over the months that it's ok if you haven't quite got something nailed under the fingers to play it faster than you can cleanly, as eventually the articulation will just clear up and it will all be fine. Fine for him maybe, but years of teaching and my own observations tell me different. Practicing sloppy will cement sloppy with most novice players. I don't want to even argue that, just want to offer this not -so -sagely (read: obvious) advice to those that probably need to hear it.

    Happy to be shot down for it too.

    Yours Sagely,

    PP (Fighting the good fight for crisper articulation! )

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Most guitar players who like to play fast, that I observe locally, are sloppy, have always been sloppy and probably always will be sloppy. It's a pet hate. The horn guys or piano players have on average much crisper articulation. As guitarists we have to work harder. Reg has stated in a few posts over the months that it's ok if you haven't quite got something nailed under the fingers to play it faster than you can cleanly, as eventually the articulation will just clear up and it will all be fine. Fine for him maybe, but years of teaching and my own observations tell me different. Practicing sloppy will cement sloppy with most novice players. I don't want to even argue that, just want to offer this not -so -sagely (read: obvious) advice to those that probably need to hear it.

    Happy to be shot down for it too.

    Yours Sagely,

    PP (Fighting the good fight for crisper articulation! )
    What you say is true. One should not generally not practice at a tempo where you can not hear all the notes clearly. But if you never push your comfort zone, you will not surpass it. What I've found to be most effective is to increase the tempo with 5bpm until I reach the point where I have to really concentrate to play it cleanly. Then I push it a little more until I stumble. Then I decrease the tempo back to my comfort zone and do the process again. You have to challenge your brain to stimulate growth. You have to briefly visit a tempo you can't play to get in the mindset of playing at that tempo.

    My 2 cents.

  5. #54

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    Yes, I think I do that too, where you briefly try to do something outside the comfort zone in order to kinda "hear" it in your mind, which helps. In fact, I feel like that's the advanced way to play anything, like maybe Reg can always do. Visualize it, hear it in your head, and then wait for the fingers to catch up! But it's dangerous to pass on this as advice to people who don't have the technical facility to catch up.

    I reckon that it may be common for very experienced players to have forgotten what it's like to have to struggle with their learning. This could be the reason many great players are lousy teachers. George Benson for example.....

  6. #55

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    Which hand?

  7. #56

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    I've always struggled with technique.
    To play fast, you need to master left hand technique AND right hand.
    Or if one of two is sloppy, you will never get through this issue.

    I never "trusted" my right hand and years of bad practicing just reinforced tension
    and bad confidence.
    Today I struggle to get things right and the bigger issue is to face my own believes:
    "I can't play fast","Anyone who has never played guitar could tremolo faster than me",
    "It will take years to catch up the level of good players".

    I'd like to emphasize the psychological aspect, don't negate it.
    Start by finding the good technique for YOU, the one that fits with your style, your way of playing,
    the one that seems tensionless.
    Then, start thinking that you can master it.
    Whether it's for pure technique or the way of thinking it, never forget that:
    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.
    Last edited by Vashounet; 04-22-2013 at 05:10 PM.

  8. #57

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    I'm somewhere between slow as molasses and fast as hell.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 04-23-2013 at 12:32 PM.

  9. #58

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    To play fast, you need to master left hand technique AND right hand.
    Cool .... that's what I've been doing wrong

  10. #59

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    I practice speed a fair bit. not obsessively, and rarely use the 'chops' I've developed in any musical context, but I find the ability to play faster has made me more comfortable at slower speeds than the 'max'. maybe that's just me.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by abracadabra
    I practice speed a fair bit. not obsessively, and rarely use the 'chops' I've developed in any musical context, but I find the ability to play faster has made me more comfortable at slower speeds than the 'max'. maybe that's just me.
    Agreed. If you're playing 8ths at 150, but behind it all you have a 'mental metronome' ticking in 16ths, you can slip in the 16ths whenever you like, for as long you like, with total confidence.

  12. #61

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    Music is whatever you want it to be.

    I would be faster if I enjoyed listening to "fast" guitar playing. Something about the guitar makes me enjoy its sound at lower tempos. As a listener, I prefer high-speed virtuosity on other instruments - piano, sax.

    I agree with whoever said that this is a guitar-centric obsession. Like, who is the fastest singer?

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtfree
    Music is whatever you want it to be.

    I would be faster if I enjoyed listening to "fast" guitar playing. Something about the guitar makes me enjoy its sound at lower tempos. As a listener, I prefer high-speed virtuosity on other instruments - piano, sax.

    I agree with whoever said that this is a guitar-centric obsession. Like, who is the fastest singer?
    Fastest singer? This dude is pretty fast. Well it's rap but it still vocals.

  14. #63

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    Anybody know, using the ranges in the poll, about where Pat Martino would typically come in at on his up tempo stuff, for example Impressions?

    Oh and, count me in the sloppy-no-matter-what-speed-I-play category.

  15. #64

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    Martino's stuff is often high 200s. I'm sure there's some 300 stuff somewhere. The stuff I transcribed of him, Oleo, Impressions, was around 280 I believe.

  16. #65

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    Another poll, no ofense ment to anybody,:

    How many of you liked that Rusell Malone tune? From post 31 in this thread:

    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/impro...tml#post318829

    While Hubbard and Martino tunes/ videos I found suerb, honestly, I think that Bumblebee at 600bpm was more musical than Russell Malone video.

  17. #66

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    Seriously? Malone is a world-class player.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj
    Seriously? Malone is a world-class player.
    No doubt, but that particular recording, let's say it did not suit me at 4 o'clock, AM. Other 2 examples did.

  19. #68

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    As always, to each his own. I personally never dug Mc Laughlin and he's a world class player too.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Jones
    As always, to each his own. I personally never dug Mc Laughlin and he's a world class player too.
    Of course, people are welcome to like what the like. McLaughlin's not my favorite player, but he's an incredible musician, and I'd never talk trash on him.

    I was taken aback by the sarcastic quip about the Flight of the Bumblebee exercise being "more musical" than some playing from one of the finest jazz guitarists on the scene today.

  21. #70

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    I have to work my butt off for what I can do.
    For me it's all about melodic playing, that melody comes from hearing it and I don't hear most things as fast lines, I think lines like a singer, with breath, space and depth, more lyrical than pyrotechniques.

  22. #71

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    Russell Malone took Jim Halls spot playing with Bill Frisell, what a great show. A fast player and a slowhand, Russell was great but Bill simply enthrawled the audience. I wish there was some youtube of them.

  23. #72

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    I live in Julian Lage's hometown area and watched his progress as he grew up. Julian is easily in the same ballpark speedwise as Russell Malone and Berelli and most anyone, and he could do it at 12. No matter how technical and fast he plays he always looks like he's having the time of his life. That ease and joy of playing is his big non secret, It just amases me how he simply smiles through the hardest things. Relaxing is not easy for me. Julians a great role model for high octane playing.
    And ease and enjoyment separates him from most anyone. Most people look like their in pain or deep concentration when blazing.


    .
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-26-2013 at 09:30 PM.

  24. #73

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    Can you actually hear Malone?

    I swear whenever he and Green play together I can't hear him...ever hear their record "bluebird?" It's like Benny paid the engineer to turn Russell down...when you hear the ego in his playing, that doesn't even seem so far fetched.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASATcat
    I live in Julian Lage's hometown area and watched his progress as he grew up. Julian is easily in the same ballpark speedwise as Russell Malone and Berelli and most anyone, and he could do it at 12. No matter how technical and fast he plays he always looks like he's having the time of his life. That ease and joy of playing is his big non secret, It just amases me how he simply smiles through the hardest things. Relaxing is not easy for me. Julians a great role model for high octane playing.
    And ease and enjoyment separates him from most anyone. Most people look like their in pain or deep concentration when blazing.
    I dig fast playing but only if the cat is calm, relaxed and in command of the music, like Julian or Martino. I think some listeners actually like the struggle that some players exhibit when playing really fast - some kind of coarse excitement they find thrilling, but to me it just sounds rough and unhip. Keith Jarrett's amazing at being able to be creative & inspiring over really fast tempos.

  26. #75

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    Players that play with a smile
    Julian Lage
    Pat Metheny
    Bill Frisell
    Mike Stern

    Do they teach people how to smile at Berklee?

  27. #76

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    There are very few musicians out there than can hang at that tempo and say anything meaningful. Malone is not my favorite player - I find his articulation overly harsh at times, as well - but the people on this site are incredibly dismissive of skill levels that they will likely never achieve.

    One of the best things about being a jazz player is that you can easily measure your accomplishments against all of the other players who operate within the tradition, and decide what you think is important, what fits your aesthetic, etc. When I listen to Malone, I hear a guy who is accomplishing with ease a lot of the things that I still struggle with. I'm impressed by his ability, and I respect the dedication it took for him to acquire it. Malone has talked about feeling the same way about listening to Benson and other players who are in the very upper echelon of the music.

    It's one thing to listen to a player like that and notice that you don't like his articulation compared to someone else. We can all have fun talking on this forum about what we like best, what works, what doesn't. It's another thing to say that he's "unmusical". And it's a whole 'nother thing entirely to be a dick and say you found his performance "funny".

    My guess is that none of the people who dissed Malone on this thread would sound even half as good on that tune.

  28. #77

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    I also hope people aren't basing any ideas of "this is what Malone sounds like" based on this clip...

  29. #78

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    I agree with ECJ, 1+.
    It's way to easy for someone to be an armchair quarterback and laugh at someones guitar voice. But HE (Malone) is the one playing with the greats that call him for great gigs, if he couldn't cut it they would stop calling, and he plays all the time, so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Btw, it was Jim Hall that called Malone to fill in for the gigs with Frisell. Bill and Jim, two of the most lyrical players in jazz guitar history.
    I think they may have ears enough to hear a good match.

    .
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-27-2013 at 04:55 PM.

  30. #79

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    One more slightly off topic thing about that gig. Malone played great. He was fast and very fun to listen to. He received great responce from the crowd at Yoshis in Oakland.
    Slowhand Friz played a couple solo pieces and after each piece the audience was totally silent just like an audience in the middle of a. Classical piece. Dead quiet.
    After he was all done he received enormous applause and cheers.
    Never saw that before at a jazz show, never.

    Also my date and I got to talk to Malone during the break when he came out and just hung around to talk and meet people, just like Victor Wooten. Super nice guy, that's where I got all the info on how he got the gig.
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-27-2013 at 05:12 PM.

  31. #80

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    I bet they do sound good together...don't get me wrong, I can dig the boppish stuff too, but Russell's not a one trick pony, and IMHO, the bop stuff isn't even his best trick.

    There's a cool clip out there where he gets a chance to play solo on a gig with Diane Reeves, I think. It's really hip, and gives you a chance to hear his approach to harmony...

  32. #81

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    @ecj

    Being the one who said his playing, on that recording, sounded unmusical to me ...

    - This live performance suited me better, than "that recording"
    - It's good to know we agree on articulation. Now we know we only differ in our choice of adjectives, and maybe some manners, or we just don't take it all equally serious.
    - For that matter, as much as I don't like his specific "space invaders attack" line playing sound, when he hits a chord, that's exactly the sound I'd wish I could have.
    Why is that so?
    I don't know, but I can not but think I'd truly enjoy his chordal solo arrengements. As I've got some hints from people, far more knoweledgeable about jazz than I am, he's suposedly really great in those. Hearing ocasional chord in this bee-hive assured me hints were on he spot. Regrettably, this is a 'speed" thread.

    EDIT: ow I see Mr. Beaumont spoke about it too, I ve sent mine before reading his.
    Last edited by Vladan; 05-27-2013 at 05:43 PM.

  33. #82

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    You know speed is a bit like atonality, it's only too fast if it's faster than you can hear. It's only atonal if it's less tonal than you can hear.

  34. #83

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    Bruce Forman is someone that is very comfortable at super fast tempos like 300 and is very musical.

    Uh, Bruce who?? Sad he isn't know better.
    Youtube him, it's worth it =)

  35. #84

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    Sort of offered in contrast to the Bireli "Stella" vid:



    I think Benson does tend to overplay sometimes, but if you just watch this for his feel and ability to 'shift gears' between different subdivisions...Jesus. Benson is just the man, at that stuff. IMO, he's offering the clearest and best example of how to address the instrument physically for jazz guitar. He never sounds stiff or rigid. Everything just sounds free and relaxed.

    That being said, my favorite part of this clip is McCoy Tyner's incredible solo.

  36. #85

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    That Benson clip was great. The difference in the articulation on the fast notes is really something...he's probably my favorite "fast" player...but I also like how he sets up the fast stuff.

    And Tyner...well...the only I didn't like about his solo was I wish it wasn't over so soon.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 05-28-2013 at 01:04 PM.

  37. #86

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    I think an advantage is that George Benson seems to spent a lot of time singing his guitar lines, he does this a lot on his Guitar Tutor Dvd , this is probably one of the reasons why "it all flows so naturally." as stated by Mr B (Jeff).
    Guy

  38. #87

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    Dont know how fast I am, especially clean. How slow can you play and still maintain interest?

  39. #88

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    Famous Jim Hall quote: "I can't play fast."

    So who cares what your speed is.

  40. #89

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    Surely it requires years of practice to achieve that level and while I do respect the skill/talent, it's not my choice. Embraceable You, Close to you, Satin Doll, Shadow of your Smile ....now you're talkin'!!

  41. #90

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    In my previous life as a drummer, I played in a band with a superfast guitarist, who could reel out an astonishing number of notes per minute...and most of them were wrong! I have always tried to play as few nots as possible as a guitar player, so have no idea what my max speed actually is. However, I can't help but feel that this must be affected to a great deal by choice of guitar, string, setup etc. I can certainly play faster on a Parker Fly, with 8 gauge strings (mostly hammering on/pulling off), than on my hofner jazzbox with a higher action and heavy flats on it...

  42. #91

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    Not to mention Misty, What are you doing the rest of your life, lots of stuff that is not fast. But it sure is classy!!

  43. #92

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    After 38 years of trying to increase my speed, using every picking tricking pulling poking hammering technique in the book, I have to conclude that I am just not a fast player.

    Part of this question should have been how long can you sustain high speed. For instance; I can play a lick or phrase from the Omnibook up to speed in most instances, but to play the entire solo. No. I am racing, going beyond my dependable top end. My technique starts to break up and I stumble.

    One fast run does not a speedster make.

    Having thus appraised my playing as on the slow side, I have to add for the encouragement of other turtles, that this has not prevented me from having a professional career. I might add that I can comp ok, on the fast tunes too, and this is 99% of what I do anyway.

    My present gig is a duet with a sax/flute and other reeds guy. I comp all the time and throw in a lick here and there.

  44. #93

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    If you remove all pretense of any real structure to the music I could possibly hit bursts in the 140-160 range. But, it would be mindless goo. I answered 120-140 because I know I have some control at that speed .......especially the lower end of that speed range, LOL. I can't sustain it for long. Can't imagine I would ever really want to with my personal taste in playing. I love the fast players. I just know I'll never be one of them.

    Speed is so relative. To a beginner, a mediocre player looks incredibly fast. I'm fast enough to get a point across. Speed is important only in that playing fast can sometimes help you with comprehending songs better. I'll sometimes take a backing track of some type and bump the speed up 1 bpm to see how far I can go before I start becoming lost in the arrangement. Not because I really want to play the song faster than it should be......but my thinking is that if I can pull off the notes, in time, at a ridiculous rate of speed then my playing at normal tempo should "feel roomier".

  45. #94

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    An interesting poll, and timely for me. I had been thinking that it was time to step up my game regarding speed. My teacher has had me working on the application of common phrases to different harmonic settings. It's been useful and fun but I want to burn! Oh, that would of course not be at the expense of good taste

  46. #95

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    What a heartening post by guitaroscar. I've been struggling these past few years to play as fast as the greats like Pass, Jimmy Bruno, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel etc. but can never get close. So, I'm a turtle, but can now relax and concentrate on phrasing and emotion rather than being the fastest kid on the block. Like Guitaroscar I have played professionally and comp with ease but have to rely on chord/melody stuff to fill in the quiet bits. And like Guitaroscar I have played recently with sax in a duo in France. Herewith a link to the stuff we have done...

    MrEs165's channel - YouTube

  47. #96

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    Can't think of anything less meaningful than how fast one can play. Speed has it's place, like quick snippets of runs between statements (Joe Pass), but a measure of how fast one can play a technical passage? Benson's vid of "Stella" does nothing for me. What's the point? No feeling involved. Speed for speeds" sake.

  48. #97

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    This thread again...

    I think it's about roles and goals. See, every person you can name that's a jazz great that doesn't play fast is/was great--I mean really great--at something else that made them unique.

    So you either be unique and lead (or be a sideman who's hired because of your specialty--and some unique players can still play fast, too, mind you) or your role becomes what the group needs of YOU. So if the group plays a fast tune...

    I'm guessing most of us are not on our way to be big name jazz players...that's reality. So, if we want to gig, we need to be able to play the music that's being played...which means having some speed in pocket is a damn good skill to have. Nobody says we all have to cleanly pick 8ths at 300bpm...but we need to know how to cover if the situation arises...The Jim Hall with Sonny Rollins clip is a great example IMHO...you can rag on Jim's technique all you want, but that's a good solo.

    I never buy into the "speed has no soul" crap a lot of non-fast playing rock and blues players spew. Soulless playing has no soul, fast or slow.

    As for that Benson clip, we'll agree to disagree...I think Benson's fast runs are a fine meld of showmanship, melodic punctuation, and a guy "feeling it." He's one of the players to me that can almost always make the fast stuff fit.

  49. #98

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    How creative is your improvisation?
    How refreshing is your note choice?
    How much emotion do you put into your performance?
    How clean are you hitting each note?

    Oh, how fast? In a speed contest I will lose at least 50% of the time. I tend to play with more feeling, creativity etc. at slower speeds. The slower the better LOL.

  50. #99

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    Competitions are for horses, not artists.


    (Bela Bartok)


    I second.

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban

    Competitions are for horses, not artists.


    (Bela Bartok)


    I second.
    All these speed threads lately - instead of a poll, maybe we need a computer game "Jazz Guitar Hero" with little plastic guitar controllers with painted f-holes on them

    I thinking it might sound kinda like this: