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.
RUNNING BEFORE YOU CAN WALK
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.
WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
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!!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
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“. See below to find out how to download the book.
And if you live in Northern New Jersey, you’ll find great instruction here, at Master Your Guitar Music Academy. Give us a call and we will set you up with a free evaluation session. If it’s after hours for you right now, fill out this short survey and we will get in touch with you to help you get started in the right direction.
So you want to play fast? Slow down, play it right and remember that the best thing you can do to really launch your guitar playing to the next level is to find a great instructor near you who knows what they’re doing and knows exactly how to help you.
If that’s here with us, then I’ll see you in training!
Master Your Guitar Music Academy
P.S. – For more great tips like these, check out the Free Resources section above, or join one of our guitar training programs to get massively better at your guitar and get even more great advice in person! Call (973)245-1941 today!