One of the first things many beginner guitar players want to learn how to do is play faster. Most of the time it is because they want to learn to play a song that requires them to play faster or they just want to impress people by shredding on the guitar as fast as they can.
The obvious answer to playing faster is to practice on a regular basis. However, if you are looking for a little more detail check out the tips below to help you start playing faster.
Most of the time the reason why beginners have a tough time playing faster is because they try to play too fast too soon. It definitely isn’t the most exciting thing to play slowly when you really want to play fast.
However, if you really want to increase your speed you have to start off playing slowly first. Once you slow it down you’ll be able to examine your playing technique and see what is keeping you from playing faster.
As you keep practicing playing slowly you will begin to get more comfortable and make less mistakes. You can then gradually increase your speed each time you practice as your technique improves.
If you find you are having problems playing one section of a song you should keep practicing that particular section everyday until you get it down. Once you have perfected one part of the song move on to the next part.
You should use a metronome each time you practice playing slowly. The metronome will help you increase your speed and dexterity by allowing you to control the time element of your playing.
When you turn on the metronome start off very slow like around 80bpm and then gradually build up your speed. Practicing this way may be a little boring but it is the best way for you to develop the physical discipline to play fast correctly.
If you choose to not begin slowly you’ll end up developing bad habits that hurt your efficiency. The real key is to practice playing very slowly with perfect technique. When practicing playing slowly try to maintain a good form and keep all your fingers in the position they need to be. Once you have these things programmed into your muscle memory begin setting your metronome to a faster tempo and begin playing faster.
The next biggest key to playing the guitar faster is to just relax. When you are playing rushed you might feel like you’re playing faster but you are probably off beat and using the wrong technique. In order to play more relaxed so you play faster you’ll have to release the tension in your arms, hands, and fingers. If you watch your favorite guitarists play fast you’ll notice that they hardly look like they’re breaking a sweat.
To help you relax while playing fast you should only move as much as you need. You have to avoid making any unnecessary movements. Wasted movements will jeopardize the speed you play the guitar dramatically. You also have to make sure you monitor your breathing.
Proper breathing technique is what gives athletes like track runners the ability to run as fast as they can while still looking relaxed. Focus on taking long, slow breaths to help you be more relaxed while playing.
Sometimes you may find that your fingers and hands are too stiff to play as fast as you want to. You can soak your hand in a bowl of warm water to keep your hands and fingers more relaxed so you can play faster. As you soak your hands in the warm water try to stretch your fingers as much as possible to get them more loose and relaxed.
Alternate picking will help you a whole lot when it comes to playing faster. With alternate picking you won’t have to waste time by plucking each note with a downwards stroke. Doing this will cause a lot of unnecessary movement that will slow you down tremendously. With the alternate picking you’ll be able to speed up your playing by picking every string alternately with an up and downward pluck with the pick.