Learn to Develop Speed and Play Faster on Guitar
One thing that a lot of guitar players do to develop speed is to use a combination of hammer-ons and pull-offs along with picking. Some players use alternate picking and economy picking and hybrid picking as a way to achieve speed, and some players like to add hammer-ons and pull-offs to this.
So one example of this is just instead of picking the notes to use hammer-ons and pull-offs like this. Can obviously play a lot quicker when you use hammer-ons and pull-offs. So I encourage you to experiment playing scales with hammer-on and pull-off technique to help increase your speed. Using the metronome is very helpful to increase speed I think that it’s a great tool to keep you on track with your practicing.
So each day you can make the metronome go a little bit higher in order to increase your speed. So if there’s a passage in a group that I’m playing with that is a technical passage that I’m trying to master in order to get it up to speed to play in a rehearsal or performance, there are certain things that I will do with this passage in order to make that happen. So the first thing is, let me show you what the passage is it’s this. Now this is a melodic phrase in G major.
Now the first thing I will do is just try to play it with alternate picking to see if that’s going to work for me. So I may not be able to play this entire phrase with alternate picking at the tempo that we’re trying to play it I might have to look at some other techniques to see if this is going to help me. So what I do is I check to see if there are any places that I can play hammer-ons and pull-offs. Well there are in this phrase.
There you go, instead of I can play pick, hammer. Now what I can do is add some hybrid picking in there to help with the skip across the strings here. So I can go like this Pick, finger. So what I did there was pick, hammer, hammer, pick, finger.
Now in the next section, I can use hammer-ons as well. And then for the next two notes, pick and finger, hybrid picking. Now I can also use a hammer-on at the top and pick at the top as well. What I’ve done with this phrase is I’ve transformed it from a difficult phrase to play with alternate picking to a much easier phrase to play by incorporating hammer-ons and pull-offs and hybrid picking. Now the next step is to try to increase the speed, and this is where the metronome comes in.
So I start with the slow tempo and then I gradually move up the tempo until I feel like it’s perfect for the performance. Now I’m going to increase the tempo by 10 BPM. I will keep increasing the tempo until I get to the desired tempo of the performance. Now here’s the tempo that I’m trying to get to for the performance. So when you’re working on a passage, the first thing you want to do is find the proper technique for the passage, and work with a metronome step by step until you get it to the tempo of the performance.
Curtis is a passionate and in-demand musician and songwriter, working along with popular artists, actors and movie directors. His creations, unique sounds and soundtracks are found in movies, TV shows and documentaries.