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Jake helps you find your speed limit on guitar solos, so you can plan as fast as possible without lose in how good you sound.


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors.  However, I do hope you find it helpful.   

Adding faster passages into your guitar solos can be pretty tricky even if you already have a lot of speed developed. What I want to try and do is help you find your speed limit, so to say, on the guitar in different musical scenarios so you can really kind of play as fast as you comfortably can without sounding bad.  

You really don't want to be playing faster than your limits if the fastest you can play on a certain song is sixteenth notes and you try playing off something like 32nd note or sixteenth note triplets it's going to sound bad.  If you just try and cram in fast notes over the beat without really paying attention to where they fall in, I don't know, it might sound good to you but for most listeners it's just not gonna sit comfortably.  

That rhythmic grid is pretty important to making a tight sounding guitar solo.  Here's what I want to do. I've got the jam track in a Dorian and the shape I'm going to be using I'll be using some of the pentatonic minor in the first position as well. But basically what I'm gonna be working on is the a Dorian shape.  Now I have that set up three notes per string.  I like three notes per string shades let me pick through them and so you can get a lot a speed out of it that way and even if you're not economy picking you can play them with legato with all cameras. I think it's a good place for us to start here as far as developing a speed limit for a solo.

What I would think about doing here is listen to your jam track first and then try and go through the entire scale up and down just using quarter notes.  This is a really fast jam track but if you can't play quarter notes to it, you're definitely not going to be able to play a lead on top of it.  Let's take a listen to just playing up and down quarter notes. It'll actually sound surprisingly good just going up and down the scale let's take a listen.  For you four and then back down so from there your next step…. okay the next you can obviously play quarter notes at this point hopefully. If not, practice a lot.

We're gonna go up the next one.  Would probably bet two quarter notes one note per beat so let's try two notes per beat. Those would be eighth notes those gonna go one and two and three and four and twice as fast as what we were doing before.  We'll try and go an up and down just down strokes. I'm not gonna do any alternate picking yet I'm just gonna try and pick down eighth notes and see can I play eighth notes at the same tempo… three and four. Sounds pretty good.

If I wanted let's say that's as fast as I can go I can still get away with playing a pretty good guitar solo just by doing that going up and down the scale just using eighth notes. I wouldn't recommend going all the way up and all the way down but maybe start in the middle and come up a few notes and then come back down a few notes. But even just using eighth notes you could get something that's fairly melodic.  Let's take a quick listen… 1 & 2 & 3 & 4

I know it's you know not that exciting but hey at least it works its melodic so I skipped a half note triplets or a quarter note triplets. I don't think that's too relevant right now, but I do want to go into eighth note triplets. I'll be three notes per beat, so our tempo is one two three. Four triplets would be three notes per beat. One triplet two triplet three triplet four triplet 1 triplet two triplet three triplet. Four triplet that's gonna be tricky okay now it's starting to get fast and it's gonna start approaching my speed limit as a guitar player since I have the set up set up three notes per string it's gonna be kind of easy for me to play triplets cuz I could just do just like that. And I could play with hammer ons if I was really lazy and I didn't have the picking work I could just do one so I'm gonna see can i play triplets at the speed limit and that means when I'm improvising I actually have the opportunity to play some triplets.  Let's find out.  

Once you put two triplet three triplet four triplet.  Very good, very good. Okay, I can play it with triplets right now that's a good sign but sixteenth notes I know are gonna give me a lot of trouble so watch me fail trying to play sixteenth notes up and now that's gonna be four notes per beat.  Our tempo’s one two three four, sub 1 e and a 2 e and a 3 E and a 4 you know 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4.

I'm gonna have a lot of trouble and as you play you're not gonna end up landing on a beat all the time so it'll sound a little funny but I'll show you how I'm gonna still play 16th notes even though it's outside of my speed limit.  But we're kind of approaching my limit here as a player and let's take a listen up and down a door in with sixteenth notes four notes per beat one two three. Okay so I mean it's a little sloppy right there definitely not clean as I would like.  Playing, I mean improvising at that speed is gonna really rack my brain I don't know how I would be able to keep up with my fingers if I'm just trying to make up licks at that speed so here's what I do I found my speed limit.

I can play sixteenth notes just not cleanly and accurately but I'm trying to do something difficult. I'm going through the whole scale so what if I isolate and find something that I can play sixteenth notes at.  Looking at just these top strings here those three notes I know I'm pretty good at.  This little move right here and it's easy because it's on one string so I could probably fit that in.  Also, if I come back here to Pentagon II there's a link that I used up that I practiced a long time ago.

Maybe instead of just using the entire scale up and down which is gonna get me in trouble when I'm soloing, I'm gonna get out of time a lot maybe I'll only do sixteenth notes when I know I can with this move right here, which I've practiced many times before, and this move right here. And that move of course is translatable to this string or this string.  Alright, so, basically what I think here now is now is I'm gonna start crafting my next solo here.

I'm gonna play an improvised solo with me reaching all those kind of different levels of rhythmic intensity and I'm gonna be thinking about trying to mainly stay at my fastest note which is eighth note triplets. Once you put two triplet three triplet four occasionally I'll be able to throw in sixteenth note bursts if I stay in one spot and do something.  

I'm comfortable with I can do some one E and a two E and A three E and a four E and in those places that I just showed you and then in between you have to slow things down.  Once I'm a eighth notes and quarter notes and notes that just ring out for a long time so I'll try and put those altogether but at least now I have a grasp of how fast can I go.  Because you don't want to bite off more than you can chew.  

It's going to sound bad but you're better off playing slowly and in time then you are playing really quickly and out of time.  It does not sound good and nobody wants to hear that your guitar solo sound infinitely better if you're paying more attention to your rhythm as opposed to just the notes you're playing. So through this entire thing I'm not even paying too much attention to the actual tone I'm just paying attention that is it on time is it in the scale shape.

I'm just gonna try and press play here and I'll try throw together all those different rhythms and we'll hear what that sounds like.  You know it's a little mechanical sounding solo right it wasn't that very emotional I was trying to go through a lot of the different rhythmic cycles there wasn't paying too much attention to how they fit together and to be honest, I really don't like the way eighth note triplets sound over this Jam.   Maybe very spare Slee you could put them in there but regardless, I think this gives you hopefully a decent idea of you know what I'm thinking about what I'm trying to play a solo, right?

A solo improvise a solo the first thing I'm trying to do is think about okay where can I play fast because I like playing fast I'm not the fastest player of the world by any means and you know going any faster than sixteenth notes would really give me a problem.  If I'm trying to do septuplets or you know sixteenth note triplets I probably ought to go into tapping for something like that but even then I can still use this to play fast as long as I find moments where I can play fast so that's why I like to practice little licks.  I like to practice little tiny things over and over again that you can use in any position in any scale pretty much wherever you like and that way once you find your speed limit on a specific song you can just start using that and calling that lick up whenever you like.  I know it's a little different this time around but I hope this makes sense and please let me know if you enjoy this or if you have any questions on it thanks for watching.

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