Friday, June 24, 2011

FAQ Regarding My Official World Record For Fastest Guitar Player

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding my Official Guinness World Record for Fastest Guitar Player.

What's the point?
What's with your tone?
Why don't you do this clean?
Do you know any other songs?
Why is there a midi track playing?
How do we know you didn't cheat?
Are you really playing 16th notes?
There's no feel/there's no soul in playing this fast so why do it?
Have you written any of your own material? Where can I listen to music you've done?

Please scroll down for the answers.

1)What's the point?
Quite simply, the point was to have the record. I love fast music, I love fast guitar player, and I'm a very competitive person. It was a challenge that I felt I could do and wanted to see if I could pull it off.

2)What's with your tone?
I admit I don't know a lot about setting a great tone, nor do I have the greatest equipment out there. With that being said, I set up my Boss GT-8 to have a fair amount of distortion and a TON of compression. The compression was basically on full blast; the distortion just compressed it even further. The reason why I deliberately used sooooo much compression was so that no matter what I played it would be amplified; this includes mistakes.  I have to play very very soft at these speeds. Without the aid of compression you wouldn't hear all the notes.

3)Why don't you do this clean?
A clean channel doesn't offer enough compression, or any compression at all really. All the super quiet notes wouldn't come out. It would sound terrible because you would hardly be able to hear anything at all! Yes, the thought of using a compressor on a clean channel did occur to me, but I just couldn't get it to work well enough to pull out every single stroke and note I was playing.

4)Do you know any other songs?
Of course I do.

5)Why is there a midi track playing?
The midi track is what I would follow during practice to ensure that I was always on the beat; always hitting my mark dead on. If I would falter one little bit then I could tell because I wouldn't be lining up my notes with a computer; a computer which always plays perfectly.

6)How do we know you didn't cheat?
Guinness gave me some strict guidelines I had to follow to make sure I didn't mess anything up. Here is what their list of requirements had to say:

The record is for the fastest time to play a piece of music on the guitar.
This is to be attempted by an individual.
Measurement value: beats per minute (bpm).
1. The piece to be played is ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Notation and tablature for the piece are included with these guidelines.
2. The record is based on the speed (in bpm) at which the player can perform the
entire piece from start to finish.
a. No speeding up or slowing down is permitted during the performance
b. A metronome must be used in order to ensure the speed is maintained
3. The piece must be played without any errors – any mistakes in rhythms or pitch
whatsoever will invalidate the attempt. If any element of the piece is omitted, the
attempt is invalid.
4. The piece must remain recognisable throughout the performance regardless of
the speed at which it is played.
5. The entire performance should be recorded using suitably accurate (professional
standard if possible) digital timing equipment and all relevant timings must be
given. In addition the attempt must be recorded on digital video.

Yes, I admit, after having read this rules I was a bit worried. I certainly doubted my ability to actually play FOTB at 600 bpm without a single mistake. This is one reason why I did multiple speeds that were higher than the previous record of 340 bpm instead of just the 600 bpm.

7)Are you really playing 16th notes?
Yes. Even though some would have you believe that I played 16th notes at 300 bpm instead of 16th notes at 600 bpm. This accusation is proven false by Guinness and their strict guidelines. Not only that, but if you were to play my take of FOTB against the previous record holder's 340 bpm, mine will finish MUCH faster. Also, for those who claim I'm not playing 16th notes past a certain bpm, they are also proven incorrect thanks to Guinness' strict guidelines. Playing along to a midi track performed by a computer which makes absolutely no errors whatsoever would have proven me to be off on my picking had I actually fell behind.

8)There's no feel/there's no soul in playing this fast so why do it?
This was done to set a record; to show that I could produce more notes on a guitar faster than anyone else.

9)Have you written any of your own material? Where can I listen to music you've done?
Currently I have no desire to promote my solo material along with this world record. I want my creations to be judged on their own merit, not juxtaposed with a world record for speed. Some students of mine, and people who have found my guitar school's youtube channel, have done a bit of research online and found my solo project. So if you really want to hear music I've written all on my own you'll have to do some research. However, one band I'm in, Envinity, has decided that they wish to announce to the world that the fastest guitar player is in the lineup. So you can check us out, Envinity, at