28 September 2009

7 Ways to Improve Guitar Speed

Would you like to play guitar faster? Although speed alone will not make great music, having the ability to play a little faster always make it easier to play a little slower. But how do you go about building more speed on the guitar? Here are seven speed improvement tips for you to try.

1. Make Speed Your Goal

If you want to get faster at playing guitar then you should make that an explicit goal. Fill your goal list with songs and new techniques to learn then you won't have time to work on your speed.

To make best progress at increasing your speed work with techniques and songs you know already. Set speed goals for them and track them.

2. Practice Every Day

To move quickly around the fingerboard your fingers must get to know it intimately. Daily practice is the best way to ensure this, so if you are not practicing every day then make sure you start.

3. Slow Practice

To get faster you often have to get slower. More speed results from better accuracy and the best way to ensure your finger movements are accurate is to practice slowly.

4. Reduce Finger Movement

To play guitar faster you must reduce the amount of movement your fingers make. Use slow practice to study each chord change, scale or lick and try to figure out how to play the same thing while moving your fingers less.

5. Take Your Mind Off It

Your own concentration can be a barrier to faster playing. When you concentrate intensely, thinking about every movement you make your muscles move less fluidly and your overall playing will be slower.

Try to let your mind wander as you practice and give your autopilot a chance to take control. You can develop this ability by playing with distractions - turn on the TV, chat with someone, or go and practice out doors in a place where there's plenty to watch.

6. Film Your Fingers

An effective way to see how efficient your finger movements are is to film yourself. Fix a camera focused closely on your fingering or picking hand as you practice - for best results film from several angles. When you review your film you'll notice problems you don't see while you play.

7. Get The Right Tools

There's no doubt about it, the right tool makes any job easier. Make sure you have at least one of the following tools to help you practice your guitar speed: metronome, jam tracks, sampler/looper, slow-down (and speed up!) software, Guitar Pro (has loops and speed controls), guitar speed trainer software, guitar speed training program.

There you have seven different ways to improve your guitar speed. Pick one and add it to your guitar practice routine this week if you're serious about playing faster.

What about you, do you know a good speed trainer or an effective practice technique that improved your guitar speed? Why not share your experience by leaving a comment.


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