Start Playing Lead Guitar Fast & Clean By Avoiding 3 Conventional Speed Myths

by Tom Hess

Want to start playing lead guitar fast and clean but don't know where to begin to build your skills or overcome frustrating mistakes?

You're in the right place.


A lot of frustration occurs while trying to play guitar fast because guitarists follow conventional practice advice that slows down or even prevents their progress.

Learning what bad advice to look out for helps you make faster progress and enjoy the process along the way.

Here are 3 conventional guitar speed practice approaches to avoid and what to do instead to start playing lead guitar fast and clean in no time:

1. Start Playing Guitar Fast By Not… Only Focusing On Increasing The Max Speed You Can Play Something

It’s a common mistake to focus only on your raw top speed rather than developing other skills that improve your speed such as 2-hand synchronization, note articulation or pick movement efficiency.

Additionally, learning how to apply speed in a musical way is critical for playing fast guitar solos that sound like real music versus robotic exercises. Do this by practicing guitar phrasing and by using speed as a tool to build and release musical tension.

How To Keep Both Hands In Sync While Playing Guitar


2. Start Playing Guitar Fast By Not... Always Practicing Slow In Order To Build Speed Over Time

Practicing slow all the time leads to sloppy playing at high speeds.


You have more time to think at slower speeds than at faster speeds.

This means you can make exaggerated, slow and sloppy motions but still play the notes cleanly. These movements don't transfer well to faster playing. You need fast, efficient and precise motions to play guitar fast and clean.

You don't want to slow down when you make mistakes at fast speeds.

This removes the symptoms of sloppy playing but does nothing to fix the causes of the problem.


Break down your guitar exercises into short segments of just a few notes at a time. Repeat each segment continuously with a moment of pause between repetitions. Use this moment to evaluate any mistakes you made and correct them.

Then continue the process until the notes are perfect.

3. Start Playing Guitar Fast By Not… Focusing On Acquiring Tons Of Exercises

Gathering tons of guitar speed exercises does little to help you get faster unless you understand how to practice them to get results.

Focus instead on mastering your guitar technique fundamentals and getting better with the exercises you already have. This helps you play guitar fast and clean much more quickly.

Want to learn more ways to play guitar fast?

Find out how to play with smooth and effortless speed using the ideas in this video about legato guitar technique.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Learn even more about becoming a fast guitar player by taking rock & metal guitar lessons.

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