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5 Ways To Play Faster Guitar

All guitarists want to play fast, don’t they?

When you’re learning, it can be really disheartening when you suddenly see an already established guitarists, effortlessly playing with a speed you can’t even half. How do they do it?!

Well, there are a few tricks. Here we’ll share some that might just get you dropping other people’s jaws.

1) Legato

One way to instantly gain speed is to stop picking so much. If you’ve learned how to pull off and hammer on, start using it more. Most famous guitarists do!

Going legato in your solos will mean that you save a lot of time by not thinking about your picking hand. You needn’t stay limited to one string here, either. There’s nothing stopping you from hammering on the D string after you’ve just pulled off on the G string. Give it a try, and watch your lead licks double in speed, in no time at all.

2) Fingers!

OK, so guitar’s a rock and roll instrument, and with rock and roll comes a certain amount of rebellion. But please, please, use the right fingers. You might think your teacher (if you have one) is being overly picky, and that it’s genuinely easier for you to use this finger, instead of the one they said to use…

Stop it. Please.

Sticking to the one finger per fret rule might feel slow to start with, as you’re out of your comfort zone and trying something new, but it will make it possible to play a lot faster than moving your hand around will. Persevere, get over the initial frustration, and you’ll be shredding before you know it.

3) Alternate Picking

This is another one that many learners can seem resistant to.

I know, I know, it’s easier to pick downwards. But how fast can you go down-down-down-down? And how tired will your wrist be?

The lead licks and riffs that you know and love are all much easier when you use alternate picking, not to mention faster. And that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it?

4) Trem-picking

Now this is a really cool trick, for when you’ve mastered alternate picking..

Trem-picking is when you take your pick right down to the guitar’s bridge, rest your hand lightly on the bridge and allow it to go down-up-down-up-down-up as fast as it can.

It takes a bit of practise, as it demands a certain amount of losing control over your hand as you let it almost vibrate, but it achieves super-fast and mega-cool sounds like the ones you hear on Dick Dale’s ‘Misir Lou’.

5) Tapping

Fans of Van Halen and Metallica have no doubt felt awe-struck after seeing their heroes playing guitar with both hands on the fretboard!

That’s so advanced, right? That’s so skilled!

Well, it’s not so hard. Try it. All you need to do is plan your pattern – for example 5, 8, 12 – and position your fingers on those frets. You can have your left hand on frets 5 and 8 (on the same string!), then your right hand middle finger can be hovering above the 12. Tap it on, then pull it off so you hear fret 8, then pull off fret 8 so just fret 5 is covered. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Pretty soon you’ll sound like you’re playing Metallica’s ‘One’ solo.

So, speed demons, I hope this has been helpful. Remember that practising is the only real way to get speed and confidence, but these tricks will give you a significant boost! Have fun!

About the Author:

Roz is the lead singer and guitarist in British Rock Band The Roz Bruce Infusion. She has her own personal blog Guitarist Roz.


Reader Comments (3)

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