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Shred Like Guitar Legends - Improve Your Playing Speed

Mar 8, 2008
Come join us now as we take a closer look into tips and tricks for improving your guitar playing speed and for some practical knowledge on effectively using metronomes and other advice to improve your practice sessions.

Most aspiring guitar players today fill their heads with fantasies about moving their fingers effortlessly across their fretboards with lightning quick speed and accuracy that leaves minds rocked and speakers blown. Old school shredders worship Eddie Van Halen and emulate his playing style and his speed. There have been a few guitarists throughout the ages of rock that have been born with an almostsupernatural understanding and talent for the guitar, but that certainly is not the case for most musicians. Learning to be a master of speed guitar playing requires a lot of hard work, dedication, sweat, bloody fingertips, and patience.

There is a lot more to mastering speed than having a good sense of rhythm and a well-trained ear. You have to be willing to put in the time to practice, and to practice hard. If you want to learn how to blaze solos and belt out face melting guitar solos, you have to be dedicated to learning and putting into practice all you learn.

One method of improving your guitar playing speed is to use guitar backing tracks. Guitar backing tracks can help you improve your speed by playing along with other instruments in a set tempo. This can help you to take what you already know and work on perfecting those particular skills.

It is of the utmost importance to remember that one picks up speed picking by using your wrist rather than wriggling your fingers back and forth. Eddie Van Halen calls this Fan picking. Another excellent tip for improving guitar speed involves practicing with a metronome. It is important to remember that before you can practice with a metronome to help you develop speed, you must first learn the technique and scale at your own speed. After you have mastered it at a comfortable level, you can now move on to practicing to a metronome, set at whatever tempo you'd like. Slowly increase the tempo, a little at a time and practice till you are comfortable before moving up the speed. Never, ever push beyond what you can achieve as that will demoralize yourself. Take it one step at a time.

For speed, it is necessary for guitarists to develop new skills with the right hand - quickly alternating the pick stroke upwards and downwards (variable stroke). The quicker the right hand can make these alternating strokes, the quicker the playing will be.

It is necessary to begin from the most standard tremolo (fast recurrence of one note). Triplets are the most effective way of learning to play a tremolo. Try to begin each of your lessons with a tremolo. It develops (and warms up well) the right hand. The tremolo notes must sound dynamically equal (all notes sounding of equal loudness) and with equal tempo.

It's important to remember that a crucial aspect of developing speed is to first develop accuracy. Learning to play fast means nothing if you aren't playing the right notes, and if you aren't playing the right notes cleanly. If you can train yourself through much practice to be as flawless as possible in your accuracy, you will be able to easily improve your playing speed.

When you've got your picking speed up, then you can look into worrying about the left hand notes, although this pattern fits quite well into the major scale at higher speeds. It is important to have fun every step of the way.

Many guitarists desire to be able to master the guitar and to shred along side some of the legends of rock music history. If you have the determination, the drive, and the willingness to dedicate yourself to practicing and learning, you will go pretty far, and may even accomplish your dream.
About the Author
Over 1000 Live Bands Ready To Jam With You. Imagine That. Jam With Joe Satriani, Van Halen, Guns n Roses & More with Professional Guitar Backing Tracks ! E Walker is the founder of Planet of Rock Music Studios. Hear Backing Tracks for Guitar
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