Guitar Speed Exercises – Become A Speed Demon
Learning to play the guitar with blistering speed will not only help your technical skill and ability but it is also dazzling to watch. Becoming a speed demon is a sure way to impress others with your performance and the key to doing this is to build up quickness by regularly practicing guitar speed exercises.
Covering the whole subject of increasing guitar speed would be impossible in this article alone, so instead I will give you some general guidelines and a framework to follow while you are learning how to become lightening fast.
The best place to start of your quest to gain speed is by taking a look at your playing technique. There are many different ways to play the guitar and endless styles depending on how you were taught but there are some fundamentals that the majority of experienced guitarists agree on.
When you hold the pick, you want to have it in a position so that only the very tip of it will be in contact with the strings; this means that you should hold it back as far as possible. As you pick the movement should be coming from the wrist, not the elbow. Your fret hand should fret the notes just behind each fret. You do not want to fret directly on top or in the middle.
To develop speed you will be doing various guitar speed exercises but how are you going to know how fast you are going if you do not measure? The best way to determine and measure your speed is by using a metronome. So whatever you are playing to test your speed, start the metronome and make note of the maximum speed you can play without sacrificing quality. Now you can aim to get a bit faster each time you practice your speed exercises.
Remember, just because you are learning to play quickly it does not mean that you can start playing sloppy. Only go as fast as you can while being able to play “cleanly”. You want to play with as little tension in your body as possible. Pay particular attention to your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck. Excessive tension will slow you down considerably.
Make sure you do not make erratic movements while fretting and picking. Do not waste any space as you move your fingers. Take the shortest path that your fingers can travel otherwise you will sacrifice speed. Slow down if you have to while you learn how to move your fingers and then gradually build up again. By doing this you will be developing your muscle memory for speed and accuracy.
Each time you do your speed guitar practice use a metronome so that you are always measuring your speed. Aim to increase your playing speed from anywhere from 5% – 20% every few days of solid practice. But remember to start slowly at first and then build up in a gradual manner. If you just concentrate on speed only you will pick up bad playing technique and habits that can be hard to break.
Watching and emulating some of the great guitar speed demons such as Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, and Randy Rhodes, is a great way to demonstrate to yourself what is possible and also to motivate you to practice your guitar speed exercises. But do not look at these guys and compare yourself to them, instead use them as inspiration in guiding you to what is possible with lots of practice. So keep at it, put in the effort, and become a guitar speed demon!
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