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.

Day 4. Across the neck we go

1234 on the 1-12 frets

I decided to do this exercise on the significant part of the neck to develop muscle memory for different fret sizes. The metronome is set to 240 bpm.

Fretboard knowledge

Didn’t have much time to practice new strings, so I tried if I could save the sub 30 seconds speed per string if I was to do three strings one by one without a break.

Summary

Given the time I had today, the practice went quite well. Surely tomorrow I’ll practice the G string and become a step closer to the whole fretboard mastership.

Day 3. Mastering EAD strings

Fretboard knowledge

I started with repeating the E and A strings results to confirm them. Then moved to the D string.

The D string was kind of tricky one, so I spend 30 tries to master it. Most of them are in videos this time.

In the end I decided to return to E and A strings to practice them a few times again.

1234 on a single fret

I started at 300 bpm but gradually decreased the metronome to 200 bpm as I started to be tired and my fingers slipped the strings a few times.

Summary

3 string mastered, 3 more to go (actually 2, E and e strings are pretty much the same).

I’ll practice 1234 on 240 bpm for a few more days to become consistent. Then I’m going to increase the speed. My closest goal – 5 min at 300 bpm without mistakes.

Day 2. Fretboard and dexterity

Fretboard knowledge

I started to master the E string. After repeating the exercise for 20-25 times I became pretty consistent in finding all 12 notes in 30 seconds or below.

All the same with the A string. 20-25 tries and I got to numbers below 30 seconds, which is pretty decent.

1234 on a single fret

After another one E string fretboard knowledge try I started the 1234 exercise. I set the metronome to 120 bpm and quickly realized it’s too slow. So during this part of practice I increased the speed to 200 bpm.

Working on 1234 alone was quite boring so I decided to try different combinations of fingers starting with 1324 at 100 bpm.

Then I tried 4321 at 100 bpm, which was kind of easy too at this speed.

After realizing there are 24 possible combinations, I decided to practice and master them later in order to increase the 1234 speed. So I went through 240 bpm to 300 bpm but the latter was not too consistent cause I was already tired of this exercise.

Summary

I’m happy with the fretboard knowledge results. The approach I took – to practice strings one by one – is definitely worked out. Looking forward to increase time for other strings.

1234 exercise is fun, will increase the speed and maybe try to do it across the frets to train muscle memory for every position on the neck.

Day 1. The Journey begins

Economy of motion

I’m quite experienced in pick usage, so just did it once for 3 min to be sure everything is OK.

Fretboard knowledge

To mark my starting point I used stopwatch to see how much time I need to find all 12 notes on each string.

I continued to practice fretboard knowledge string by string.

Summary

My mistake was to practice all strings at once. That’s why the results didn’t increase significantly. So now I’ll do this exercise on one-two strings by day.