I'm practicing a solo, and this is my first solo. I have started with a pretty hard one for my first solo. There are a lot of pull offs in this solo, and I'm able to play them ok. The song tempo is 186bpm and it's all 8th notes. I'm watching the metronome as I'm playing, and I start with first beep and finish on the second beep of the second measure exactly as it should be. The problem is, I'm getting a feeling that I'm not playing the pull offs in the middle properly on the beats. I dont know, maybe faster, maybe slower. How can I know that I'm playing exactly with the right tempo?

  • 2
    When you say "the song tempo is 186 bpm" you need to think of that as a suggestion rather than an order. You will find all sorts of different tempos in different performances of the same piece, and tempo isn't what makes them work or not work.
    – BobRodes
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


If you're practising this at 186 bpm it begs the question why. If you can't play it at that tempo, you can't play it. Yet. Most of us who play, try something difficult and maybe play it at half speed, or even less. There is no shame in that at all. It gives the time to think a little compared to what you're doing, which obviously isn't helping anything, except repeating mistakes. And we all know that repetition is a form of learning. So, well done, you're actually learning to play with the mistakes indelibly included. Making re-learning it ten times more difficult!

Hammers and pull-offs can all be done at a slow speed. There's nothing quick about them - try playing a note for 5 seconds, then pulling off to a lower one. In fact, you don't even have to play the first note to achieve the pull-off! So, slowly slowly catchee monkey. Put in our terms, use the metronome, but put it at maybe 90bpm for a while, so you can catch what your fingers are doing wrong.

Gradually speed up, till next week, you're close to the required tempo. Buy then, your fingers will have been trained, and you will hardly need to do the bit that players don't need - think about the actual notes you play in that solo. You can, instead, think about putting some feel into them instead.

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