The more progress you make with your guitar, the more you will learn about new techniques, and the more you will want to progress and play faster.
Often, even when you think you have all the techniques down, you may become frustrated that you are not able to play fast enough. (How do you tune your guitar?).
While speed is only one of many aspects of playing guitar, it is part of the knowledge acquired by any accomplished and creative musician or guitar player. If you are interested in knowing how to play guitar to the best of your ability, you are going to have to work on building up your speed.
It takes time to learn to play the guitar rapidly
A guitarist who feels that their speed is stopping their progress risked losing motivation and giving up on guitar lessons london. This phase of discouragement is normal; all guitarists go through it – and you, as a guitar player, will go through it too.
All learning follows a curve, and learning guitar is no different: a period of rapid learning (everything is new, you learn more every day) followed by a plateau where you may feel stagnant and like you are learning nothing new, then the curve rises again when you get over this obstacle.
Playing guitar fast is not only to impress your friends, but reaching a certain speed means that you gain flexibility, learn to relax your fingers, and feel a greater freedom in your movements. It also means that you can nail those lines from jazz guitar and rock guitar – those guitar licks and guitar solos that inspire everyone to play – and play songs with complex guitar lines.
Today we’re not going to talk about music theory, the details of tablature, vibrato, or chord shapes. We’re talking only speed.
How do you play the guitar fast? Are there tricks you can learn? Can any guitarist do it? Do you need a guitar teacher?
This is THE fundamental point for any guitarist who wants to gain speed.
These tips are also valid for beginners. Whatever their level, all guitarists face this problem. Tension prevents you from playing smoothly and precisely, slows down your movement and negatively affects your playing. Whether you are playing fingerstyle or focusing on barre chords, you need to be able to relax.
Tensions are also responsible for various ailments such as cramps, stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands, numbness, and possible injuries like tendinitis.
The problem is that you often realize you are tense when it is too late, when you have already built up the habit. So, notice it and stop it right from the beginning.
To know if you’re tense when you’re playing guitar, try this little test: sit with your guitar in your normal position.
Then play the first string back and forth with a plectrum or your fingers.
Start slowly then increase the tempo, go faster and faster and then stop abruptly.
How do you feel? Do you have any pain in your hands, fingers, or shoulders?
To increase your speed on the guitar, you must become physically and mentally aware of the tensions that could block your progress.
Learn to play the guitar faster.
Little by little, you will learn to correct your mistakes, and improve your playing posture.
Your body and muscles have their own memory. The more you train, the more you will impose a certain rhythm on your body, and the better it will respond.
Through practice, regular exercises and trying out different movements, you will teach your body to relax.
Muscular memory is independent of your conscious intellectual memory. When you move you do not consciously control your muscles, they react on their own without any outside intervention. For example, once you have learned to cycle or walk, you no longer have to tell your legs to put one foot in front of the other, the body does it instinctively.
It is the same with the guitar: to play fast and well, you must go through a period of learning that will require all your concentration. At the end of this phase, you will have reeducated your fingers to play naturally.
The most common mistake, especially among novice guitarists, is to want to learn at full speed as quickly as possible, often overlooking some essential aspects of guitar practice.
The secret of beginner guitar is to know that you have plenty of time to progress – and that playing slowly is a virtue.
It’s the same for learning the electric guitar. Whether you want to learn chord progressions for rhythm guitar, or you want to roar up and down the pentatonic scale like a contemporary blues guitar player on the fretboard, start off slow. This is the best guitar technique there is – up there with the best of the guitar tricks.
When you have to learn new ranges, grasp a new technique, play a solo by your favorite musician, always start by going gently. Hendrix and Clapton weren’t born expert guitar players. They started from the beginning too.
Adopt good posture, put your fingers on the neck and start playing the notes. Gently increase the speed, and use a metronome to build the speed of the rhythm.
Even if at first it seems slow and boring, it is essential to go through this phase: you have to walk before you can run, right? The same is true for the guitar.
You must first play the guitar slowly before accelerating the rhythm.
Playing softly lets you control each movement, to dissect them to see what goes where and what does not work. This applies to rock riffs and power chords, arpeggios and open chords as much as it does to the fastest lead guitar and fingerpicking exercises.
You can practice moving your left and right hands simultaneously. You can also keep an eye on the muscle tension in your fingers, hands, shoulders, etc. But it will also develop your ear training, allowing you to understand the sound of each guitar chord and arpeggio, allowing you to understand the complexities of your favorite songs when you speed them up.
The body will remember these exercises even if you are learning to play on an inexpensive guitar. You will be able to increase the power gradually, moving your fingers faster and faster.
At first, this is not a very sexy object and you wonder why you should use it in your practice sessions.
What is a metronome? A machine that keeps type – that follows a steady pulse (the speed of which you can set) that you can in turn set.
On the one hand, it will help you keep pace as you play and on the other hand, it will help you progress. You can gradually speed up your blues licks from a comfortable speed by a few beats per minute a time.
How do you play with a metronome? How does it help you play faster?
Start by playing your range or your riff as slowly as possible, without the help of the metronome.
You should pay close attention to any tension you feel in your fingers or arms.
Play each note carefully and get a feel for the sequence. Set your metronome at a fairly slow pace, about 30 beats per minute, and start playing in time.
Once you can play perfectly like this without pain or tension, you can increase the tempo and play faster. It is a time consuming process, but it is extremely effective and long-lasting. Investing all this time in your practice and playing will iron out any mistakes. Your guitar instructor will suggest that you do this too – but whilst you might not find it so much in guitar lessons for beginners, you will definitely have to use these guitar techniques for practicing in a guitar lesson at a later date.
This is how you learn to play better and faster. You can also sing while playing the guitar!
It’s no secret that the greatest guitarists who are able to play fast have one thing in common: they master most guitar skills.
Whether swapping, tapping, back and forth, picking, pull-off, legato or hammer-on, playing the guitar with his fingers, they know them by heart and how to use them.
You too should learn as many techniques as possible in order to play fast – everything from fingerstyle guitar to chord shapes. You should develop a solid foundation in all techniques. This will enrich your playing and will help you to learn different movements and increase your dexterity.
You will improve your lightness and fluidity and therefore your speed.
Learn how to alternate your playing rhythm with the guitar.
Begin with a simple exercise like the legato for 20 minutes daily and once you master this technique, try something more complex like the pull-off. Working like this will give you new techniques for your solos and improvisations.
Alternatively, pick a scale – a major scale, minor scale, or blue scale. You could even just use chromatic lines. Develop your speed by merely playing these scales over and over and over – and you’ll definitely see the benefit.
Watch an online guitar videos by Michael Angelo Batio, whose guitar songs are not hugely interesting musically, but they are fantastic for guitar instruction.
You will strengthen your body and your fingers, train your brain to new habits and new instrumental practices and your playing will become more natural and less robotic.
This is the other secret to playing the guitar: the more regularly you play, the more confidence you will gain confidence and the better, smoother and faster your playing will be. You can learn improvisation on guitar.
You will play in a more flexible, effortless way and your playing will sound more natural.
Playing the guitar properly takes months or even years depending on the level you want to reach.
The most important thing is not how much time you spend learning to play fast, but the method you use to learn to do it. If you have the right one, you are on the right path to progress.
While you are practicing you can spend 15-20 minutes each day to practice playing at speed.
It is always better to practice a little every day consistently rather than a few hours on one day of the week only.
Work intelligently, organize and apply the various tricks mentioned, and you will reach your target speed on the guitar before you even realize it.