How fast should I play this (How many times do I get asked this question?)? You need to see learning speeds as a continuum, moving from slow to fast. Slowest would be you're bored to death and your mind is wandering, it's hard to focus on this, it's so easy to do. Somewhat faster would be you can comfortably play and you are sufficiently in control that it doesn't take all of your CPU's output and you start thinking of new ways to do something - you are creative because this is easy, maybe too easy, to do. Next, somewhat faster, is where your abilities and the demands placed upon them meet; there's no extra effort required to play or sing this, but also it's not so easy that you can let your mind wander. Next speed up is you can play/sing this with concentration and effort, it's not kicking your butt, but it's taking all your attention to do this correctly. Faster still, your butt is indeed being somewhat kicked. You are missing some notes, some concepts. Lastly and most fastly – Your butt is being thoroughly kicked and you can barely keep up or you can't keep up. The music is beyond your ability to perform. These speed levels are how you should view practice speeds; usually not in absolute terms (metronome at 100, at 120, etc), but fitting these speed levels to the particular thing you're performing to achieve the results you want from this practice. And the actual speed to meet the various levels changes for each thing you do, because each scale, song, arpeggio, exercise that you do reaches these levels at different speeds. Also, these levels, oddly enough, are probably no more than 5 or 10% apart – increasing the speed on a song 25% is usually a BIG jump. And – hey, this assumes you're using a metronome or drum machine to in your practice. Get serious man, and be awesome. Next time we'll talk about using these speed levels for your practice.
A short cut to becoming your best musically: understanding how your personality affects your musicianship, with strengths and weaknesses.
Listen to the complexity of this sweet guitar work. For learning guitarists, this amazing skill display is still just rhythm guitar, that is, it's to accompany a voice, and that voice – John Mayer, Neon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-bZFAnLzjs . I've listed the acoustic version so you can hear the guitar work - solo, even. Imagine the dexterity and coordination required to play that guitar and still sing and sing well. Beats chewing gum and walking any day. So when you criticize John musically, you better be able to play like this first.