Shredding and playing fast guitar lines is one of the most fun things about being a guitarist. Whether it be jazz, rock, or metal, speed can really set you apart from others. Here are 10 tips to help you play faster:
1. Start slow
2. Learn new material at slower tempos
3. Practice without thinking about what your fingers are doing
4. Don’t spend too much time on any one exercise
5. Use a metronome
6. Play with a band
7. Don’t focus on speed when practicing alternate picking
8. Practice scales in different keys
9. Work on your fretting hand as well as your picking hand
10. Learn songs that require speed
There are many things that I wish I could do better on guitar. One of those things is playing faster. It’s not that I can’t play fast at all–I can get up to speed on some licks and riffs–it’s just that my playing is too inconsistent. For example, I may be able to play a lick at 150 beats per minute perfectly well, but at 160bpm it starts to fall apart.
So what can you do to improve your speed consistency? Here are ten tips that have worked for me…
1) Practice with a metronome. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t do this or don’t do it enough! It’s important to practice with the metronome set at a comfortable tempo and gradually increase it as your playing improves. Also change the beat subdivision so you’re practicing eighth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes etc as well as quarter notes (crotchets). If you’re not comfortable practicing with a metronome, try turning down the volume in your amp and putting the metronome next to it so you can hear it through your amp. This way you can keep in time with the click track and also hear yourself through your amplifier which will
1. Buy a thinner pick
It may sound silly, but a thicker pick makes it harder to be fast. A thin pick is more likely to get caught between the strings. This means that if you play fast, you’re going to hear your pick more often than if you were using a thicker pick.
2. Play without a pick
I always recommend that guitarists learn to play without a pick because it helps them become more versatile players. But playing with your fingers also offers another benefit: speed. Without having to worry about holding onto and controlling a pick, your hands can move faster and with greater control over the strings of your guitar.
3. Alternate Pick
Alternate picking is an essential technique for any modern guitarist, so it should be part of your practice routine anyway. Alternate picking requires a strict up-down motion of the picking hand, so developing this technique will help you maintain better control over the movements of your picking hand while playing at faster speeds.
4. Sweep Pick
Sweep picking is another modern technique that allows guitarists to play arpeggios (chords played one note at a time) very quickly by using a continuous up-or-down motion of your picking hand across multiple strings in one motion. Being able to
1. Keep your fingers close by the strings, and don’t pick too far away from the bridge of the guitar.**
2. Practice scales with a metronome to keep your timing tight.**
3. Use a pick that has a sharp point, and angle it so that you can hear each string clearly.**
4. Use only one finger on each fret, unless you’re using a barre chord to play several strings at once.**
5. Lift your fingers off the fretboard when you’re playing open strings, instead of just muting them and leaving them on the frets. This will save time in the long run, especially if you play fast songs or solos that require moving from open strings to fretted notes quickly.**
6. Don’t stop playing if you make a mistake; just keep going and try to get back on track as soon as possible, instead of losing your place or missing a note entirely because of an error in timing or technique.**
7. When practicing scales and arpeggios, use only one finger per fret rather than two or three fingers per fret (unless you’re using barre chords). It’ll help keep your fingers close by the strings so they don’t need much movement
1. When learning a new song, practice only the first 8 measures of the verse and chorus for 1-2 weeks.
2. Learn how to mute your strings so you don’t get unwanted noise from other strings being played.
3. Learn how to use hammers and pulls when playing guitar.
4. Learn how to play scales and arpeggios on your guitar. (Learning scales means that you will be able to create solos, leads and riffs)
5. Practice playing using chord positions that are difficult for you to play rather than just stick with the easier positions.. This will allow you to build up strength in your fingers which is important for speed playing.
6. Learn how to play chords using “barre chords”.
7. Learn how to strum chords in different ways so that you can add variety in your guitar playing.
8. Practice playing with a metronome (a device used by musicians to keep time) so that you can improve your timing and rhythm when playing guitar, this is very important if you want to play fast; if your timing and rhythm are poor then any speed that you may try for will not sound good at all!
9. Practice playing with a drum machine or drum tracks so
1. Play With Your Fingers
2. Get A Good Guitar Pick
3. Try Different Guitar Picks
4. Find The Right Grip For You
5. Learn How To Change Strings Fast
6. Don’t Neglect Your Thumb
7. Pay Attention To Your Thumb Position And Motion
8. Practice With A Metronome
9. Experiment With Alternate Picking
10. Try Sweeping
1. Practice in small chunks
2. Pick the right notes at the right time
3. Play a song you know really well and really fast
4. Practice alternate picking
5. Focus on your fretting hand
6. Make sure your instrument is set up properly
7. Use a guitar tuner to ensure accuracy
8. Pick with precision and focus on the sound of your picking hand
9. Know what you want to sound like
10. Focus on one aspect of playing at a time