Day 13. 1234 improvement

I literally got no time today, so my practice started at 00:30. I was to do 1234s for a couple of minutes and report this routine but ended up playing for about 40-50 minutes 😀

1234 on the 5th fret

I started with the speed I ended up with the previous day – 200 bpm. It felt way more natural for my left hand than before. To make something different I decided to set the metronome at half a speed I wanted to play at.

Then the speed was increased to 220 bpm.

Then to 240 bpm. Two speed increases per day – wow!

I reached the speed at which it’s almost necessary to use alternate picking. So at the end of the routine I decided to repeat 1234s at the same 240 bpm but using that technique. I didn’t use alternate picking for a while so my attempt turn out quite rough, but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll do this as it was meant to be played.

Fretboard knowledge

As always, I recorded my first attempt. I was 2:16

This time I managed to go under 1:50! 1:49 is now my new personal record. And I got it on camera this time 🙂

Summary

These last few days were very eventful, I didn’t have much time at all. That’s really great that my enthusiasm keeps me doing these posts even after midnight – that’s how I’m positive about doing this challenge!

Day 12. More routines

Chord transitions

I forgot about these routines which are pretty useful. Last time it was Am/E chords transitions and it was very easy. Today the trickier ones come to place.

For now the trickier chord for me to change to it C. It’s about the index finger which become situated too close to the bottom of the fretboard. It’s not as convenient regarding the way I hold the neck while I play. Will ask about it in the week 2 summary.

C/D transition

It appeared to be the hardest one for me, so I gradually went down to 80 bpm and practiced at that speed.

After other exercises I returned to this chord transition and did it once more at 90 bpm.

Am/C transition

It was the easiest one today, because basically you just need to move the ring finger and slide middle one a bit. So here it goes at 120 bpm.

E/D transition

It went quite well, I set the metronome to 100 bpm and did it for a minute as I was supposed to.

Strumming

I started with my previous best speed – 120 bpm.

Then I tried to do what I failed to do yesterday – go through the whole sheet at 140 bpm multiple times in a row without any errors. And I nailed it this time!

1234 on the 5th fret

Again, yesterday I failed at 180 bpm, today I managed to do it the right way.

And then I proceeded to 200 bpm. Should practice more to decrease the number of errors, but it was decent for sure.

Fretboard knowledge

As always I filmed the first attempt, which ended in 2:15.

Then I practiced a few times and got my new record there – 1:52! Unfortunately I didn’t repeat it on camera. This attempt was in 1:55.

Summary

I’m happy with my results today. I’m starting to formulate what I will ask in the week 2 summary to increase my technique and dexterity and some other stuff.

Day 11. Lack of focus

The day was quite eventful and I got tired by the time I had time to play. So today I haven’t proceeded to much, mostly just repeated my yesterday results.

1234 on the 5th fret

I started with 180 bpm like the metronome was set yesterday, but the number of mistakes was huge.

After other routines I tried to repeat this one again and it was a bit better this time.

Strumming

Yesterday I managed to sort of play the whole sheet of strumming PDF at 120 bpm while counting out loud. So for starters I did it again today.

It wasn’t perfectly fine, but I decided to increase the speed to 140 bpm to test myself.

And I started to fail at the second half of the sheet. So after several attempts the decision was made to set the metronome back to 120 bpm.

Fretboard knowledge

I continued to did this a few times every day to increase my speed. As always I recorded my first attempt of the day, then practiced a few times and tried to beat my last record. The first try went quite well – 2:21.

And the goal was achieved, I beat my previous record by 6 seconds. Now it’s 2:07.

Summary

I’m glad that even after so much activities during the day I still wanted to practice. Maybe the enthusiasm wasn’t as great as it was before, but this daily upload thing keeps me tight. Hopefully tomorrow I will practice in the morning when I’m full of energy and will to do it.

Day 10. Strumming

1234 on the 5th fret

I continued progressing in speed. At start I tried to set the metronome at 160 bpm and it worked out.

Then after other routines I felt like I could do it faster, so I set the metronome to 180 bpm and got a quite decent result.

Strumming

I watched the strumming module and started to play given sheet one line at a time to figure it out.

Then I was ready to connect it all together and try to play and count at the same time. It was reeeeally tricky, especially at higher paces. Here are my attempts at 90 bpm:

And here is where things became hard to play – 120bpm. My first tries:

Then I practiced a bit off-camera and decided to record some more successful ones:

Fretboard knowledge

I practice it just a few times per day but still gradually get better 🙂 Today I managed to do it in 2:28 the first try (no notes played before).

And after several attempts here is my new record – 2:13.

Summary

It was a busy day, I have only like one and a half out in the morning to play the guitar and film it. My every day uploads keep me in great mental shape, I think. There is no reasons for me to skip my guitar practice. And I will do everything to keep it that way!

Day 9. Getting used to it

1234 on the 5th fret

I started my practice with this exercise for 8 minutes at 120 bpm. There is so much I had to think about to do everything right… So I decided to stop using alternate picking for now just to get rid of thinking about it when I try to put my fingers on the strings the right way.

I got more used to the new way I play the notes although it’s not convenient at all for now 🙂

After another 5-7 minutes at that pace I felt more confident and tried to increase the speed to 140 bpm. It’s kind of worked out.

Fretboard knowledge

Every day I will repeat this exercise as a warm-up. Just for a couple of times.

The very first attempt today ended up at 2:37, which is almost like my previous best time (2:26). Considering it’s the first try, it’s quite decent.

I did two more tries off-camera, increased my result a bit and recorded the final attempt with my new best time – 2:20.

Summary

I’m slowly but surely become better in using the correct technique. I want as hell to proceed deeper into the course but feel that these basics needed to be covered first to correct errors as close to the beginning as possible.

Day 8. Technique correction

Economy of motion

Here we go again… During the fretboard knowledge routine I noticed that I pull strings up instead of down. As I figured out from the comments to my week 1 report, the main pick movement on beats 1 and 3 should be downwards. Not to mention situations when you only play one note at a time – the pick should move downwards. So I started over with the first exercise of the course on economy of motion.

Fretboard knowledge

I started the training today with playing all notes on all strings a few times. Didn’t increase my record, but the main idea is to make it consistently fast from the beginning of exercise, not only after 10-20 attempts. The best time I got today is 2:36. It happened off-camera, so the video contains one of another tries.

1234 on the 5th fret

Technique correction

In the feedback for my first weekly report I learnt that my finger technique is not that great. Mostly because of my pinky – it flies away all the time when I play notes with other fingers. So I decided to start over to fix it.

The way I practiced was to keep all fingers on the strings all the time. If they are all on the strings, no one flies away. Sounds pretty easy, huh?

The exercise

It was really hard for me to make my fingers do what I wanted them to do. Somehow when I was moving upwards it felt almost natural, but moving down… When I tried releasing my ring finger from a string to move it to the next one either my pinky released too or the ring finger hardly moved. So I started at 80 bpm to try and make some progress.

Not gonna lie, I wasn’t too good at this, but I decided to increase the speed a bit just to make it less boring. And I pretty much nailed it.

Summary

It’s kinda sad to start over, but it’s good to fix those mistakes at the beginning, so guess I’ll stick with 1234 routine for a while now to do it properly. Hopefully in a few days I’ll be able to do it the right way at a solid pace.

Week 1. Summary

I went through modules 1-4 and tried to maximize the results in each practice routine. I record the video with details, and my results are below.

Fretboard Knowledge

E string – 0:47 → 0:23
A string – 1:02 → 0:24
D string – 1:29 → 0:25
G string – 1:17 → 0:26
B string – 1:16 → 0:25
e string – 0:40 → 0:26

All strings at once – 4:42 → 2:26

1234

On the 5th fret – 200 bpm for 3 min → 300 bpm for 5 min
Across the neck – 240 bpm for 5 min → 270 bpm for 5 min

Different variations of 1234

1324 – 100 bpm for 5 min
4321 – 120 bpm for 5 min
1243 – 100 bpm for 5 min
1423 – 100 bpm for 5 min

Am/E chords transition

Consistently – 180 bpm for 2 min
Maximum – 240 bpm for 1 min

Day 7. All strings. All frets. All notes

Fretboard knowledge

It was time to combine all previous challenging exercises into an ultimate one. Today I finally got to figuring out every note on each string. My first attempt was not fast at all:

After 7-8 repetitions I managed to get it in less than 3 minutes, which is faster than 30 seconds per string. I recorded two attempts but they weren’t the best ones:

After a short break I returned to this exercise and managed to record my best attempt yet – 2:26. I’m quite sure it’s possible to go below 2 minutes, so that’s gonna be the ultimate goal for the next few days. My best attempt:

1234 on a single fret

Yesterday I successfully made it at 270 bpm, so today I decided to increase the speed to 300 bpm and to see what would happen. I did pretty decent, just a few slips and mistakes during 5 minutes.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

I tried this at 300 bpm too, but there was too much mistakes, so I didn’t record it. Will practice more to improve consistency. My pinky was the main reason of mistakes I made. It moves too far from the neck when I use my other fingers to press the strings. I’ll try to do something about it.

Summary

I’m happy with the fretboard knowledge results. It’s cool how fast I got to the point of knowing every note on the neck. I don’t know yet how to use this information, so I’m looking forward to the next modules to figure it out.

Day 6. B string mastery

Fretboard knowledge

Before learning the notes on the B string I remembered EADG strings notes. String by string.

E string

A string

D string

G string

B string

It was time to learn something new, so I recorded my pre-practice attempts to find all the notes on the B string, then I had been doing it again and again over 40 times. After that I got the result on camera.

e string

I skipped this one for obvious reasons 🙂 Will definitely use it tomorrow to find each note on all 6 strings

1234 on a single fret

After fretboard routine I continued to increase my accuracy, dexterity and endurance. I set metronome to 270 bpm and practiced for 5 minutes with minimal amount of mistakes made.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

I tried to set the same speed for across-the-neck routine, but it was not very clean. Guess I’ll continue this task at the same speed tomorrow to master it.

Summary

I messed with the 1234 routine off-camera. Tried 1243 and 1423 at 100 bpm for 5 minutes each and it went quite well. After mastering the whole fretboard I will pursue progress in every possible 1-2-3-4 combinations. There are 24 of them, so it will take some time. The ultimate goal is to consistently do every one of them at 300 bpm for 2-3 minutes. But I’ll practice something else as well not to become bored to death with the same routine for hours every day.

All notes throughout the neck are now familiar – that’s great. It’s quite simple knowledge which is a bit tedious to get. Obviously it will pay off in the future, so I’m glad I learned it in just 6 days.

Tomorrow I’ll practice with all 6 strings at once in order to be able to quickly find all existing notes on the fretboard quickly. Not sure what time will be great for that exercise. We’ll see…

Day 5. G string and some chords

1234 on the 1-12 frets

I started my practice with the repetition of yesterday idea – 1234, almost whole neck, 240 bpm.

Fretboard knowledge

I practiced the EAD strings knowledge off-camera and the results are at the end of this post. Then the time has come to master the G string. After 20-30 tries I became pretty consistent in finding 12 notes in 30-35 seconds. It’s a bit longer than the previous ones, but I’ll get there in a few days I believe.

Am/E chords transition

I’m used to play these chords so I thought it would be fun to try and do this exercise at 240 bpm. But my wrist muscles started to feel like they will have cramps soon, so I reduced the speed to 180 bpm.

1234 on a single fret

I decided to increase the metronome speed. To maintain this speed for a long time I reduced the hand movement to one fret once again. It’s 270 bpm now.

Summary

I’m glad that the G string knowledge is now quite decent. Looking forward to master the B string and move forward through the course.