How To Play Guitar Fast – Free 14 Day Mini Course – Part 1
Welcome to the mini course on how to play guitar fast. Over the next 14 days I will show you the most important guitar speed building secrets that most guitar players do not know about. Although guitar speed is clearly only one of many skills needed to fully express yourself as a musician, lack of ability in this specific area causes a great deal of frustration for many guitarists. Since you are reading this, it is obvious that improving your guitar speed is important to you. After teaching many hundreds of students to improve their guitar speed (and other musical skills) to very high levels, I have found the best ways to help ordinary guitarists to become extraordinary musicians.
By studying and applying the concepts I will train you to use over the next 2 weeks, you will have taken a major step towards improving one of the skills needed for you to unlock your full musical potential.
There are many elements involved in learning to play guitar fast. One of the reasons why many guitarists struggle with their guitar speed is because they are only aware of some of these elements or only choose to work on some of them and ignore the others. This is similar to putting together a puzzle. If some of the pieces are missing, the puzzle picture will have holes in it. Likewise, if you approach practicing guitar in general and for speed specifically by only focusing on some of the things you should be focusing on, your results will be inconsistent and the progress will be slow.
In this mini course I will guide you through the process that professional guitar players use to build their guitar speed starting from learning a brand new phrase and applying the necessary guitar practice strategies to arrive at their guitar speed goal.
Before we begin, I want you to learn the following scale sequence. (Make sure to finish reading the rest of this lesson before starting to practice it.)
Your main assignment between now and the next lesson (which will be 2 days from now) is to learn to play the notes of this exercise and measure how fast you are able to play it on guitar (following the guidelines listed below). It does not matter what your maximum guitar speed is at this point. What is important for now is that you establish what this limit is currently. Your maximum guitar speed is the metronome tempo at which you can just barely play the sequence once and you should start to feel that if you increased the speed any more you would not be able to play cleanly.
We will use the scale sequence above as an example for applying the practice strategies and ideas for increasing your guitar speed that I will show you throughout the mini course.
In order for you to best apply the guitar speed building approaches that you will learn later, you should follow the guidelines discussed below that will help you to learn this scale sequence in the most effective way. As I explain various guitar speed building secrets to you throughout this mini course, you will practice applying them right away to increase your guitar speed not only with this sequence, but also with all of your other guitar techniques, phrases and etudes.
Whenever you learn a brand new exercise or a passage from a piece of music that you want to increase your guitar speed with, there are important steps you need to follow when learning it for the first time. As you practice the scale sequence shown above between now and the next lesson, I want you to do the following:
1. Focus on your picking hand motions and spend time actually looking at your picking hand to make sure it is moving efficiently. After you learn the notes of the scale sequence, I want you to divide your time between looking and controlling the picking hand and fretting hand motions. As you look at the picking hand, make sure that your pick doesn't move too far away from the strings after each stroke. Also check that the pick is held firmly and doesn't move around in your hand as a result of playing the string. These problems occur due to lack of attention given to the picking hand. By starting to focus on this, you will build a good technical foundation that will allow you to play guitar fast.
As you look at the fretting hand, check that the fingers that are not playing are not moving away from the string in reaction to the other fingers that are fretting notes.
2. Maintain a strong pick attack as you increase your speed. Most guitar players aren't even aware that their picking articulation becomes weaker as they try to play guitar faster because most of their attention is given to the fretting hand. The truth is that if you start to pick lightly as you play fast on guitar, before too long you will be playing so quietly that no notes will be heard. Make sure to apply the same consistent articulation regardless of the tempo you are playing at.
3. Pay attention to how much muscle tension you are using to play the notes on the guitar. Your picking hand and fretting hand need different amounts of tension to play well. Unless you are playing a lot of legato (hammer ons and pull offs) or bending strings, your picking hand will need to pick the notes with a lot more force than the fretting hand needs to press the strings down. So as you practice guitar and work on increasing your guitar speed, pay attention to each hand separately (as described above) and focus on feeling how much tension you are applying with each hand.
The specific notes of the scale sequence shown above are not what is important. This sequence is simply an example shown here for you to use right away to practice the guitar speed building ideas I will share with you. These same strategies would work equally well for every technique or any scale sequence or phrase that you may practice.Note: You do NOT need to spend a lot of time trying to 'master' this scale sequence between now and the next lesson. Your only task is to memorize it and be able to play it all the way through (at least at a slow tempo) and find the maximum speed at which you can play it cleanly. Whatever your top speed is at this point is not important. What you need to do is simply find out 'what' that top speed is.
Starting in the next lesson we will begin to get a lot more specific about how you must actually practice this sequence in order to improve your current maximum guitar speed to a much higher level.
As important as it is to have great guitar technique, remember that fast guitar speed and virtuoso guitar technique are only two of the tools that enable you to become a truly creative musician. This is why, when I teach guitar players online, I focus on a variety of musical skills in each lesson to help them learn how to go beyond simply 'playing guitar' and on to 'playing music'. If you want to become the best guitar player you can be, watch this important video about online guitar lessons.
I will see you in the next lesson in a couple of days!