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10 Things Every Fast Guitarist Knows
By Tom Hess - 03/30/2015 - 10:36 PM EDT

Speed Element #1: Always Stay Focused And Engaged When Practicing Guitar

Have you ever heard anyone tell you that to play guitar faster you must move your hands faster? This advice is WRONG! Guitar speed can only be developed when the MIND correctly trains the hands when practicing. This means that in order to see big increases in your guitar speed, your mind must always be actively engaged and focused on what you are practicing. Losing focus or letting your hands run on mental autopilot is useless for building speed.

Speed Element #2: Use The Most Effective And Personalized Guitar Practice Schedules When Practicing Guitar

When improving guitar speed, an effective guitar practice schedule is absolutely essential. An ideal schedule will arrange all of your practice items in a highly effective, long-term strategy that guarantees you reach your musical goals. Avoid making the mistake that most guitar players make: Arranging your guitar practice time evenly (or randomly) among each item you have to practice. Learn how effective your guitar practice is by taking this guitar practice test.

Speed Element #3: Learn Guitar From Proven/Expert Sources

Learning from guitar teaching resources that cannot prove their effectiveness to you is absolutely crippling to your ability to become a fast guitar player. You need to ensure that you learn how to develop your guitar speed ONLY from resources that can prove beyond any doubt that they have helped others build a similar level of guitar speed. Learn how to choose a guitar teacher.

Speed Element #4: Don’t Use Excessive Tension When Playing Guitar

Tension is the enemy of guitar speed. You need to train your hands (and the rest of your body) to completely relax when playing or practicing guitar. Once you are able to release the speed-crippling tension in your hands, you will start to develop your speed at an incredibly fast rate.

Speed Element #5: Consistently Track, Measure And Manage Your Guitar Playing Progress

You will never be able to tell how much your guitar playing is actually improving without tracking your progress. This is a crucial element to developing insane guitar speed that most guitar players overlook. You must learn how to track ALL the elements of your guitar speed (not just your maximum speed). Learn how to track your guitar playing progress and see an increase in your guitar speed.

Speed Element #6: Maximize Picking Hand Articulation

Your guitar speed is useless if each note is a sloppy mess. You should always aim to play each note with the utmost clarity and loudness when playing shred guitar. To do this, start picking each note with more force and volume than you normally do. This ensures the notes will be perfectly clear at faster tempos. You can practice this skill by spending some of your guitar practice time playing completely unplugged so you can focus on getting the notes both loud and clear.

Speed Element #7: Practice Integrating All Of Your Shred Guitar Techniques

Practicing all of your guitar techniques in isolation is only part of developing great guitar speed. The end goal of increasing your guitar speed is being able to USE that guitar speed in many musical situations seamlessly. You must be able to flow freely between techniques such as sweep picking, legato, scale sequences and others perfectly in time, without hesitating.

Speed Element #8: Constantly Train To Improve Synchronization Between Picking And Fretting Hands

Achieving perfect two-hand synchronization is crucial to developing amazing shred guitar speed. Even when you are playing at slower speeds, you need to move both hands quickly so you ensure effortless coordination as the speed increases. Learn how to improve your 2-hand synchronization.

Speed Element #9: Develop Consistency With Your Guitar Speed

To be a truly fast guitarist, your guitar speed must be dependable in many different musical situations. This means you must spend some of your practice time developing consistency in your guitar playing. Do this by practicing shred guitar licks in different contexts (rhythm guitar riffs, position shifts, melodic solos, etc.). Once you are comfortable with playing the desired lick in any musical situation, your guitar playing (and speed) will sound much better.

Speed Element #10: Know The Best Strategies For Practicing To A Metronome

Instead of hoping the metronome will actually increase your guitar speed, you need to use it as a test to determine your level of proficiency in any given guitar technique. For example, if you can’t play a sweep picking arpeggio lick at a certain tempo, it is a sign that you need to deepen your foundational sweep picking knowledge before increasing the tempo even further. Learn how to effectively use a metronome in your guitar practice, in this article about how to increase your guitar speed.

All of these elements of building great guitar speed have been followed and mastered by many of the world’s fastest guitar players. If you want to build insane guitar speed, follow these 10 rules consistently and you too will be an incredibly fast guitarist.

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a successful professional guitar player and composer. He trains musicians to reach their guitar playing goals in his rock guitar lessons online. Visit his website, to read more articles about guitar playing, get free guitar tips and guitar playing resources.

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