Nev admits he’s a bit of a slow coach...
I CAN’T PLAY fast. I’ve got a few quickish licks that come out for high days and holidays but that’s about it. I never learnt to do the blur of alternatepicked notes at which guys like John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola excel; I never mastered speedy legato in the Bill Nelson, Allan Holdsworth vein and I never managed to put it all together like Guthrie Govan or Steve Morse.
So this issue is especially for me (and others like me, of course!). I’ve never wanted to do tapping, or sweep picking either, as I always think you get that, ‘Here comes my huge sweep-picking lick,’ or, ‘Now it’s my big tapping moment’ scenario going on. It seems unnatural. I’d much rather insinuate new ideas into my playing than ‘bolt them on’ as these techniques can often sound like.
With all this in mind, Jason Sidwell and Richard Barrett have come up with a lesson that aims to train people like us to be slicker and speedier players, by tweaking and refining what we already do, using conventional techniques rather than clamping something like tapping or sweep picking on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these when used wisely; but this lesson looks to address the ordinary pitfalls we all face when trying to become speedier players.
So, what Richard covers includes: overcoming string crossing problems; reaching higher on one string to reduce string crossing; speed bursts; upping the notes per metronome click; maintaining tempo; reducing strain when pushing ahead and much more. Think of it like a motor car designer trimming and tweaking to reduce drag, thereby increasing efficiency and gaining a few MPH (and MPG) as a result. Hopefully our lesson won’t be a drag! See you next month.