Last year while I was running our booth at a street fair, someone came up to me and asked me if he could use my guitar. I said sure, no problem, just stick to the five minute rule.
He told me he’d been playing for several years and doubted that there was much that I could teach him.
He picked up my guitar and proceeded to play the fastest, and sloppiest guitar solo I’ve ever heard in my life!
It’s one thing to be able to play quickly, but if your notes are not clean, clear and precise, you’re only making noise, not music, and nobody is going to want to hear what you have to play. It’s the sad reality.
So is there a way to build up your speed AND play cleanly? Is there a way to play blazingly fast and never to hit a bad note?
Yes, yes there is.
Imagine a treadmill running on its own. Imagine that treadmill operating at full speed without a runner. Imagine that conveyer belt zipping around almost uncontrollably, then imagine someone stepping on that treadmill from a standing position. Imagine what you know will happen next. You’re probably thinking to yourself ” yeah, I’ve already seen that YouTube video!” Well, so have I and it’s a sad thing to see.
So how does that relate to your guitar playing?
If you are not experienced in running your fingers up and down the fretboard, your fingers are just like that runner stepping on the moving treadmill. If you have not applied the techniques you need to master in order to play quickly, it will be messy.
Proper fretting hand strength, string muting, good picking technique, knowing your scales exactly, these are just a few of the things you will need to know before you can play at light speed without falling on your face.
So what is the lesson to be learned here? SLOW DOWN!!
When you slow down your playing to a crawl, and pay attention to everything your fingers are doing when you practice, you will begin training yourself to play without making a single mistake.
Once you’ve gone through the material a few times without making a mistake, you will find that what you’re going through is getting easier and easier. So you start to play it a little faster, again, without mistakes. Then the material gets even easier. Then you start to play a little faster… Do you see the pattern?
When you slow down and play the right way FIRST, THEN SPEED IS THE NATURAL RESULT!!
So, what you need to make sure that when you play fast, you play clean, and never make a single mistake?
Learn and practice each technique slowly, teaching your fingers how to play the right way the first time. Then, your playing will automatically get faster!
Those techniques I mentioned earlier? Those are only a few of the concepts you’ll need to master in order to be a fast player.
The best way to master all the right techniques and get the speed that you want is to find an instructor who knows exactly what to teach you and when to teach it to you.
I have a tremendous resource to help you with this. It’s our FREE ebook called “How To Find The Right Instructor For You In Less Than A Day“. All you have to do is click on the title of the book to find out how to download this amazing guitar teacher finding guide!
Let me know how these tips work out for you and watch for the next installment!
Written by: Marcus L. Diaz
Owner, Mentor, Trainer, Coach
Master Your Guitar Music Academy
Here’s an extra tip:
The typical, average, logical approach to learning guitar that most instructors follow is NOT the best way to learn to play. My students come to me week after week because they learn faster with me than with any of their previous instructors! Why? Because there is madness in my method and a method to my madness! Learn how to prevent YEARS of frustration when you...
"Our guiding principle in teaching is to help EVERY student fall in love with their instrument – We pride ourselves on making EVERY new player good and EVERY good player great as fast as humanly possible – And seeing that happen during each and every lesson puts a huge smile on my face!" - Marcus Diaz
Great school; Marcus cares about students and their progress. Always easy to understand and answers all questions. Whether a goal is understanding advanced music theory or just playing a few chords, Marcus is very well equipped to help
you reach musical goals. Rates are well worth it. Overall, very solid music academy.
Marcus Diaz, the owner, is a great teacher. He's clear, focused and relaxed with a great knowledge of guitar. He's skillful in combining the teaching of theory with hands on learning. His classes are always fun and the time goes by
Marcus builds a great rapport with everyone, right out of the gate. He is a master of conditioning people who want to play the guitar, to WANT to play the guitar, and is really good at teaching beginners—making the dry and
not-so-engaging basics into engaging lessons.
Marcus is a fantastic teacher! After taking traditional guitar lessons elsewhere that were boring and stunted my growth, the approach taken by Marcus is fresh, progressive and fun! Marcus is always available for help and extremely
dedicated to putting us on the path to guitar masters! Heartily recommended!