Playing The Guitar With Speed
There are many guitar players whose goal isn’t just to play well – they want to increase their playing speed. Although this is not a prerogative for quality guitar playing, speed can help you shine in soloing, or in providing sold rhythm-guitar work. Here, we will discuss seven proven methods for increasing your guitar playing speed.
1. Start slow and track your progress
Don’t make the mistake of rushing it. If you’re just starting out, or if you’re still a novice, the best approach is to start step-by-step, and gradually gain speed. There is no need to go through a chord change of, for example, seven chords, or to immediately go for complicated solos containing dozens of notes. Start by changing only two or three chords; move them around until you feel fully confident playing them. Likewise, when soloing – don’t run into a pile of notes, because it will soon tire you out. Later on, when you gain enough experience, you will be able to take on more intricate tasks.
2. Always know exactly what you’re playing
Again, this is something that many guitar students fail to go by. You cannot improve upon your speed by kinda knowing what it is you’re playing. If you want to practice a solo, then learn it well, and go through every note slowly. Then, try once more, but this time – ten percent faster. And so on. But remember that you will never achieve speed unless you lay the groundwork properly. Another important notion is precision; don’t fumble with the notes, play them. Don’t chop the chords, hold them down. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t get good at it.
3. Learn the scales and chord progressions
These are the two pillars of solid guitar playing. You will be able to gain speed if you know all the main chord progressions and scales. You won’t have any problems playing different songs in different genres, or styles, and you will generally have better command of the instrument. You don’t have to know everything right from the start, but be sure to set up a good basis for future progress.
4. Record yourself with a webcam
By doing this, you will see yourself from a different angle (literally) and maybe notice something that should be improved, or something that you’re doing the wrong way. When you’re playing, you cannot notice everything because you cannot be both the performer and the spectator. This way, your webcam video will show what you actually look like while playing and what your playing sounds like. You can also make a video collection of all your recordings and track your progress over time.
5. Practice on a regular basis
If you are serious about improving your guitar playing speed, know that it will not happen overnight. It is a process. That is why it’s important to practice regularly because it’s like a workout. The more you practice, the faster you’ll make progress. The human brain likes making patterns, and the practice schedule you make will be acknowledged by your brain like another pattern to be embraced. When you become comfortable with your new skill, it will seem effortless and easy, but it will actually be the result of hard work and regular practice.
6. Find your voice
Every guitar player is unique, which means that there isn’t one general rule of thumb for practicing speed. If you feel like you’d be better off working solely on riffs, or chords, so be it. If you want to be the best soloist, then focus on scales and lead guitar playing. All in all, there is really no need, or necessity, to be the best at everything because, after all, you’re not going to play “everything”. Find your true voice, and then move on to practicing speed.
7. Be patient
Unfortunately, many guitar players fail at this final step. They know that gaining speed is a process, but they somehow lose patience and become frustrated or demotivated. Don’t fall into the trap. Patience will separate you from others, and help you achieve the results you’re after. It only seems slow and meaningless, but don’t forget – you are definitely making progress with each practice session. Stay motivated, don’t lose focus, practice as much as you can – and you will play with speed and precision.