Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

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guitarrista
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by guitarrista » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:42 pm

Terpfan wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:13 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:45 pm
(as I believe that a fast clean scale is the true test of guitar technique - let's face it, even masters like Bream and Yepes found fast scales hit and miss on a bad day).
It seems the key to fast clean scales is breaking down longer scales to smaller pieces and sequencing it together.
That's only one aspect of it. There are several more - left-hand-right-hand synchronicity, string-changing, minimizing tension. All of these have to be worked out in order to play long scales fast.
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Terpfan
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Terpfan » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:31 am

For me, in the longer scale runs, the timing start to deteriorate at the end. Not sounding crisp. By braking down scales, every new section feels like starting over a scale, making it more crisp. So Villa Lobos etude 7 opening, I'll practice first 3 strings and next 3 strings so even if first section is not perfect, second section has new life in it. I'll post a video later. Hard to explain. (I am talking about fast scales)

msa3psu
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by msa3psu » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:02 pm

breaking it down into parts also helps you know where you are and where you're going. I have students who think that fast playing, especially scales is meant to be almost involuntary because there's no time to think about it and that you have to practice until they are completely instinctive. This is partly true but it is also necessary to think while playing fast. I always have a few waypoints worked out and try to mentally be aware of hitting them on the way through the scale.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Terpfan » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:21 pm

msa3psu wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:02 pm
breaking it down into parts also helps you know where you are and where you're going. I have students who think that fast playing, especially scales is meant to be almost involuntary because there's no time to think about it and that you have to practice until they are completely instinctive. This is partly true but it is also necessary to think while playing fast. I always have a few waypoints worked out and try to mentally be aware of hitting them on the way through the scale.
Yes, in longer scales run like Chaccone, many use slurs between scales as a waypoint.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by guitarrista » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:04 pm

msa3psu wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:02 pm
I have students who think that fast playing, especially scales is meant to be almost involuntary because there's no time to think about it
As you suggest, this is likely not the right approach. Being able to play a long scale fast actually means being able to grasp every note with your mind without losing track, and means being aware of, say, the beginning note of every group of notes per string (your 'anchors' in the scale run); it is as if time slows down, so it does not actually sound that fast to you. Same thing with tremolo, IMO.
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Terpfan » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:22 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:04 pm
msa3psu wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:02 pm
I have students who think that fast playing, especially scales is meant to be almost involuntary because there's no time to think about it
As you suggest, this is likely not the right approach. Being able to play a long scale fast actually means being able to grasp every note with your mind without losing track, and means being aware of, say, the beginning note of every group of notes per string (your 'anchors' in the scale run); it is as if time slows down, so it does not actually sound that fast to you. Same thing with tremolo, IMO.
I dont think you can grasp every notes in your mind especially playing fast. I think maybe at quarter note at 108 I can visualize every note... finger are different story.. it can go a lot faster with muscle memory.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by guitarrista » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:07 am

Terpfan wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:22 pm
guitarrista wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:04 pm
msa3psu wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:02 pm
I have students who think that fast playing, especially scales is meant to be almost involuntary because there's no time to think about it
As you suggest, this is likely not the right approach. Being able to play a long scale fast actually means being able to grasp every note with your mind without losing track, and means being aware of, say, the beginning note of every group of notes per string (your 'anchors' in the scale run); it is as if time slows down, so it does not actually sound that fast to you. Same thing with tremolo, IMO.
I dont think you can grasp every notes in your mind especially playing fast. I think maybe at quarter note at 108 I can visualize every note... finger are different story.. it can go a lot faster with muscle memory.
I don't mean being individually conscious of every note; just not losing track, and hearing (not necessarily consciously identifying and processing) every note instead of just a blur.
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Ricflair
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Ricflair » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Terpfan wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:57 pm
Adrian, how do you rate Matt Palmer's approach to scales after 2 years.
I started my ami scale journey almost 20 years ago after hearing Philip Hii. This approach works really well with somebody who has a background with 80 style electric guitar using three notes per string scales. It is a pretty easy transfer. Although Matt didn't invent this approach, he certainly has taken it to the next level. I've been fortunate enough to become friends with Matt. He was kind enough to give me a couple of tips. These tips really took my ami scales to the next level. The first thing you have to do is commit to playing your scales ami when they are fast. From purely a technical perspective, keeping your thumb close to your fingers or one string away really made a difference for me for increasing speed. You need to play licks in the style of Malmsteen, Gilbert, etc... using ami. These licks are written in this manner so ami will line up perfectly most the time. This advice came straight from Matt and really helped me. It put me more the musical mindset opposed to a technical mindset. Here is a video with my old approach in 2011. It was my 'beta' version of ami scales ( single take, no editing)



Here's a video of me playing harmonized scales last year with Matt.



Here's a series of licks in progressive difficulty I made for my students and anyone else who might want to try.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... NOECOHEzQe
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Terpfan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:18 pm

That's awesome Rickflair. What kind speed were you getting using im alternation vs ami??? Just want to understand find out if there is speed improvement or it's a endurance issue.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by guitarrista » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:32 pm

Ricflair wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:57 pm
From purely a technical perspective, keeping your thumb close to your fingers or one string away really made a difference for me for increasing speed.
What is the rationale for this? - is it that the thumb provides kind of tactile or proximity feedback to the ami fingers which tends to limit the trajectory toward the palm after the note has been sounded, thus easier/faster reset - in the context of free-stroke?
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Ricflair » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:39 am

Terpfan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:18 pm
That's awesome Rickflair. What kind speed were you getting using im alternation vs ami??? Just want to understand find out if there is speed improvement or it's a endurance issue.
I have always had decent speed. Depending on the day, I could play scales i-m at anywhere from 144-160, but I had to keep diligently practicing scales. It always felt hard playing scales this way for me. Ami scales feel very easy to me now. I can play them fast without any warm up. Playing them feels like a reflex. It feels extremely effortless and natural. I saw both speed improve and endurance improve. I think completely committing to using this technique when playing very fast scales is part of getting good at them. I always felt like I was cheating using the ami scale technique until four or five years ago. I had to quit caring about doing it the ' right' way. The 'right' way is the way that works. Due to my own guitar background, it makes a lot more sense for me to play scales this way.
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Ricflair » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:49 am

guitarrista wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:32 pm
Ricflair wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:57 pm
From purely a technical perspective, keeping your thumb close to your fingers or one string away really made a difference for me for increasing speed.
What is the rationale for this? - is it that the thumb provides kind of tactile or proximity feedback to the ami fingers which tends to limit the trajectory toward the palm after the note has been sounded, thus easier/faster reset - in the context of free-stroke?
In general, keeping the thumb close to the fingers will put your fingers in the best position to play free stroke. Placing your thumb roughly one string away all the time will greatly improve your accuracy and allow you to drive the string inward towards top of the guitar in a more efficient manner. When I do ami scales, I think my wrist flattens a little bit and the stroke is somewhere between a rest and free stroke. My wrist is definitely flatter when I play this technique than if I were playing arpeggios. The flatter wrist allows you to do a powerful free stroke well playing at a high velocity. Be sure to cross strings with the shoulder instead of the elbow especially on fast descending scales. Playing scales like this is like riding a bike. Once you get this technique, it feels extremely easy. You will know when you have it because it will feel absolutely effortless. I hope this help shed some light on this great technique. I really believe playing scales this way is the future of a scale playing. However, I think there are many ways. Whatever works for you is the best way! :D
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

closet guitarist
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by closet guitarist » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:48 pm

[/quote]
I always felt like I was cheating using the ami scale technique until four or five years ago. I had to quit caring about doing it the ' right' way. The 'right' way is the way that works. Due to my own guitar background, it makes a lot more sense for me to play scales this way.
[/quote]

I use to think this way too but now not so much. I still usually use 2 fingers but 3 fingers are no problem. The difference, for me, in speed is so small its not really worth the bother. I also do ima around the same speed. I think it would be good to practice them all. I also believe anybody, without health issues, can play to about the speed you exhibit in your scale video. I have also read when using 3 fingers the need to change fingerings based on the number of notes played on a particular string - I think it is easier in the long run to just use ami continuously so no need to change any fingerings.

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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by Ricflair » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:13 pm

closet guitarist wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:48 pm
I always felt like I was cheating using the ami scale technique until four or five years ago. I had to quit caring about doing it the ' right' way. The 'right' way is the way that works. Due to my own guitar background, it makes a lot more sense for me to play scales this way.
I use to think this way too but now not so much. I still usually use 2 fingers but 3 fingers are no problem. The difference, for me, in speed is so small its not really worth the bother. I also do ima around the same speed. I think it would be good to practice them all. I also believe anybody, without health issues, can play to about the speed you exhibit in your scale video. I have also read when using 3 fingers the need to change fingerings based on the number of notes played on a particular string - I think it is easier in the long run to just use ami continuously so no need to change any fingerings.
[/quote]
[/quote]

I don't feel like I'm cheating anymore and haven't for years. 😀 I have to disagree about not paying close attention to left hand fingerings and strings crossings in ami scales. Just continuously playing ami with irregular amounts of notes on the strings will slow you down. Crossing strings is key to playing fast scales. Also, I wouldn't say the speed Matt and I are playing at is common in classical guitar (if that's the video you are talking about). I'm not saying it's unattainable. On the contrary, I think it's attainable for anyone who wants to learn to do it. It seems even many advanced players struggle to play extended scales faster than 16th notes around 144-152. Do you have any videos that you can post of your scale methods?
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

closet guitarist
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Re: Matt Palmer's Fast Scale Book and approach

Post by closet guitarist » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:55 pm

I was not referring to the left hand but to the right. I think I read about people breaking the ami when an even amount of notes were played on a particular string.

I agree it is not common to play at the speed in your video but, like you and as I said in my last post, I think most everyone can attain about that speed.

Sorry I do not have any recording kit. I had been thinking about it but was put off it a bit when I had asked about someone's recording on this forum and was chastised for my query.

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