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An Insider�s Look At How To Play Fast Guitar

Every budding guitarist loves to hear those powerhouse solos where it seems like the players fingers are on fire. Learning how to play fast guitar is something that many young players want to master, but they don't know where to start. First, you must understand some important details before you can even start learning how to play fast guitar.


There are two major misconceptions that are associated with learning how to play fast guitar. First of all, you must consider the context of the music. Speed is unimportant and irrelevant unless the piece of music supports it, and calls for it. For example, if you can play that riff everyone knows from Sweet Home Alabama, a southern rock classic, it would not be appropriate to learn to play it 10 times faster. The piece calls for that classic southern, laid back crawl. The next major misconception learning how to play fast guitar is that you have to practice fast in order to play fast. If you want to really master a lick, you have to start slow, perhaps even painfully slow. Slowly increase the speed and you will enjoy gradual progress in your accuracy and dexterity, over time.


In order to play any instrument, you need to be able to use your brain at all times. If you are playing so fast and so hard that you cannot think, then you are like a reckless beginner skier bombing uncontrollably down an icy, steep hill. It is irresponsible and ineffective to play so fast that you cannot think. As you learn to play the guitar, your fingers begin to learn things, and ultimately they operate seamlessly on their own. Think about how hard it is to learn the chord G. It is one of the most difficult chords for a beginner because it is usually the first one they learn that employs all four fingers. 6 months later, your fingers and your mind are so comfortable with the G chord shape that you do not even have to think in order to play it. This is the same with learning how to play fast guitar. Over time, your fingers will develop natural reactions and dexterity that can only be derived from a great deal of practice, concentration, and advanced thinking.


If a certain chord change or string change within a scale is tripping you up, then you need to take a step back and isolate the trouble spot. This means practicing just 3 or 4 notes (or two chords) over and over again until the transition is seamless. Isolation is probably the biggest thing that will improve your speed on the guitar, besides repetition and slowly building speed over time. Learn to listen to your own playing so that you can identify problem areas. You might even want to record yourself practicing!

Playing the guitar fast is a skill. If you play too fast and too out of control without enough skill, then you will have a poor sound and most importantly you will develop bad habits. Take it slow, think, and isolate your problem areas. That is how to learn to play guitar fast.

Submitted by:

David Smithe

Learning how to use guitar scales is essential for any budding lead guitarist. To learn an effective system for mastering guitar scales, be sure to check out: http://www.GuitarScaleMastery.com/letter/


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