Among the many people that learn to play the guitar, both novices and veterans, one of the most coveted techniques is playing the guitar fast.
While fast playing is not necessary in many guitar styles, people always become interested in this skill, as they see guitar players that are extremely agile and show high dexterity with the instrument.
Certain styles also require some speed on popular songs, such as rock and roll, for example. By showing virtuosity, many guitar players wish to pass the impression the they are complete players.
Despite all these common ideas about playing guitar fast, acquiring this skill is not as difficult as many people believe. It comes, however, as a combination of using the right technique and constant training over a long time.
Below you will find some tips that you can use to develop your guitar technique.
1. Start slow
It may look strange, but the secret to play guitar fast is not to practice fast from the beginning! Most beginners think that using very fast exercises is the key to acquire the necessary dexterity.
In fact, it is just the opposite. The foundation of fast guitar player is having practice flawless movements over and over. So, it is more important to be very completely sure about each movement you do in the fretboard. To do this, it is important to start slow, even slower than you would normally play, and build the foundation.
2. Change speed
The next step is to change the speed of your exercise is small increments, so that you don’t feel any difference between the speeds. It is a matter of repetition, because everyday you need to do the same exercise, but just a little faster.
The small increments is very important for this to work. Since you are not making the exercise much faster, you can get strong results without too much difficult. You will continue to make these precise movements at the new speed, in the same way you did before.
3. Use a metronome
To make the tips above work, it is important that you know your playing speed. To measure speed accurately, you need a metronome or similar equipment.
A metronome is just a simple time-keeping instrument that can be purchased in any music store. Nowadays, you can also download metronome apps for your preferred mobile phone, with the same functionality.
The use of a metronome can make a big difference in the quality of your practice. The goal is to make the timing accurate, so you don’t need to worry about speeding up or down during the practice sessions.
4. Precision is key
throughout these exercises, it is important to maintain the precision of your movements. Again, it is important to understand that you can only play at fast speeds if you do it in a precise way.
You can make little mistakes when playing at slow velocity, but if you do this when playing fast, then it will make the whole piece very difficult to understand and indistinguishable from noise.
5. Constant Practice
The other thing to notice is that this process takes time. That’s why if you want to play guitar fast, it is necessary to play these exercises over a long period of time, and continuously. Each day you should separate some time to practice, until you get to your objective.
6. Using Online Learning Materials
If you really want to play the guitar fast, it is useful to use good practice material. Nowadays, we can find very good methods over the web, with videos and support. There are at least two packages that I recommend:
- Advancing Guitarist: this web-based course you help you to make constant progress in your guitar technique. The course has a lot of videos that explain most techniques you need to master.
- Guitar Control: with guitar control, you have a great web-based course that teaches the most important techniques you need to get to the next level. This course has great explanations that are easy to follow, and you have money back guarantee, so if it doesn’t work for you, you don’t need to worry about your money.