Tips For Playing Guitar Fast That Are Easy To Apply

by Tom Hess

Need tips for playing guitar fast?

You're in the right place.

Playing guitar fast and clean might seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think when you do the following:

  • Use effective practice methods
  • Use efficient motion while picking
  • Don't play with excess tension in your body

This is a lot different than what most guitarists do when it comes to increasing their guitar speed. Most guitarists think you just need to practice slow and build speed over time or play scale patterns over and over until the speed just “clicks”.

Good news is:

You're about to learn better approaches that help you play guitar fast with less mistakes and in less time.

Use these tips for playing guitar fast to increase your speed and have fun doing it:


1. Tips For Playing Guitar Fast – Using Effective Practice Methods

Rather than practicing guitar slow and building up to speed over time, just practice guitar fast from the start.

What do I mean?

Break down exercises, licks or solos into segments of 2-3 notes each. Then practice playing guitar fast (at your max speed) with these notes with short one-second breaks in between each repetition.

This works because it’s a lot easier to process what you are playing while doing this versus trying to play many notes fast.

For example:

Practice 2-3 notes of an arpeggio before integrating everything together to play the entire lick or master a scale by playing just the notes on each string before adding another note from the next string.

This helps you quickly spot mistakes you are making so you can correct them and get faster on guitar in no time.


2. Tips For Playing Guitar Fast – Pick With Efficient Motion

Inefficient picking motion makes it much harder to consistently play guitar fast and clean.

What typically causes inefficient picking motion?


Exclusively using alternate picking.

Doing this ends up wasting a ton of motion, which translates to slower, more difficult guitar playing.

For example:

Do you use alternate picking exclusively for playing scales?

Doing this causes you to waste motion by moving in the pick in the opposite direction of the next string you are moving to in the pattern.

Instead, use directional picking to play scales with efficient motion:

How To Master Directional Picking


3. Tips For Playing Guitar Fast – Play Without Excess Tension In Your Body

Playing with unnecessary tension in your hands or body limits your ability to play guitar fast and clean. When you play totally relaxed, playing guitar fast becomes easy.

Here’s what to do...

While fretting notes on guitar:

Use only as much force as needed to get the note to sound and no more.

When you play guitar each day:

Practice for just a few minutes to identify the precise amount of energy needed to fret and produce sound for the notes in the things you will be practicing. Also, pay attention to tension in your body while playing any particular exercise or lick.

After you’ve located then tension, relax and try playing again without tensing up.

Want to learn more about becoming a faster, cleaner and better guitarist?

No problem:

Find out how to do it by learning what most guitarists don't know in this guide about guitar string gauges.

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 powerful ways to become a better lead guitarist by studying guitar online.

© 2002-2023 Tom Hess Music Corporation