How can I do guitar speed skills

How to Get Maximum Speed ​​- Part 1

 by Tom Hess


The scope of this subject is too extensive to be covered in a single article. After receiving hundreds of requests for advice on speed development, an article on this seems long overdue. Training advanced players to become virtuosos is a very rewarding and enjoyable process for me (which it certainly is for most teachers who teach advanced students).

A typical question from a student: What specific strategy should I use to address better speed development?

While my answer will vary from person to person based on what I know (among other things) about their current skills and goals, I usually recommend a variation on the following strategy:

Phase 1: As you learn a new technique, determine the maximum speed at which you can play cleanly (be sure to use a metronome). Write this speed down in an exercise book.

Phase 2: Practice at 20-35% of your maximum speed. Do this in five consecutive practice sessions. Avoid the temptation to play faster while you do this. Make sure everything stays very clean. DO NOT have excessive tension in your arms, hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, head, or anywhere else. Be careful not to make excessive or unnecessary movements with any hand. For some guitarists, this first step is very boring. You MUST be patient (with yourself and the process) during this time. That is absolutely crucial! If you skip this step, you may be training your hands to play the wrong, incompetent, and ineffective game. In this phase you develop the right muscles for this technique. If you are currently working with a great guitar teacher, your progress will be much faster, easier, and better than if you tried to do it alone. Once you have completed phase 2, you can turn to phase 3, but not before! I said before that you should do this phase for 5 consecutive practice sessions. This is just a general guideline, after the 5th lesson, evaluate your progress. If you haven't mastered this step, continue practicing at 20-35% before starting phase 3.

Phase 3: Practice at 50% of your maximum speed. Do this in 3 consecutive practice units. Again, make sure that everything stays very clean. Play in a relaxed manner, without any tension in your arms, hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, etc. Be careful not to make excessive or unnecessary movements with any hand. Do not continue until you have completed this step (it could take more than 3 practice units, but do not proceed to phase 4 until you have completed 3 practice units.)

Phase 4: Practice at 60-65% of your maximum speed. Do this in 3 consecutive practice units. Again with full relaxation and sparing movements (no unnecessary movements).

Phase 5: Practice at 80% of your maximum speed. Do this in 5 consecutive practice units.

Phase 6: Practice at 85% of your maximum speed for the next (1) session only.

Phase 7: Practice at 90% of your maximum speed for the next 10 hours of practice.

Phase 8: Dig in! Give full throttle! (means: play with 100%) for a whole week.

Phase 9: After this week, determine where your new maximum speed is (it will be higher than the first measurement in phase 1).

Phase 10: In this phase you alternate all 3 exercise units as follows: Lesson 1 = 60%. Hour 2 = 85%. Hour 3 = 95%. At the end of each exercise unit: Hit it! (100%) for a few minutes.

Measure your new maximum speed once a week and adjust the speed of your metronome accordingly.

Warning: NEVER play while in pain! Serious injury can result. This is no joke, I myself know people who have had operations on their wrists and arms!

How to Get Maximum Speed ​​- Part 2: Speed ​​Up Strategy 2


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