The M3 guitar - Speeding


Do you have a fast car? Faster than a Fiat Tipo 1.4i? In that case you should be able to break the 70mph speed limit on the M3.

Fast playing

It is rare that a jazz tune has a melody that is fast all the way through. Donna Lee (mp3, pdf, tef) by Charlie Parker (or Miles Davis depending on whether you believe his autobiography) is one of the exceptions. It has become one of the benchmark tunes from the bebop era, a tune you simply have to be able to play if you want to have some street credibility among your fellow musicians. Although the melody is fast the chord sequence is easy to follow, and on gigs the tune is usually played at quite agreeable tempos.

Fast playing is not easy on the guitar. In order to learn to play a fast passage you first have to figure out a convenient fingering for it. At slow speeds, it is possible to use many different fingerings to play the same run, but as you increase the speed, you find that some fingerings are much more comfortable than others. When you are trying to learn a fast bebop tune, be prepared to change the fingering as you increase the tempo. The first fingering you come up with, no matter how well thought through, is rarely the optimal one. Although this can be a frustrating procedure to go through, it is encouraging in the sense that you know there is always a way to play something a little faster.