How To Correct Guitar Mistakes That Happen While Playing At Fast Speeds

By Tom Hess

So your guitar playing becomes sloppy when you play fast… what should you do? It’s a common approach to practice very slowly while trying to solve mistakes… then build speed over time. Even though this may seem rational on the surface, there is much more to be done before you can master any given technique.

You probably notice that when you play fast, you start to struggle and make mistakes. As you play at a slower tempo, these same problems don’t seem to apply making it harder to improve your technique.

The following video demonstration shows you how to fix guitar playing problems at faster speeds:

This no cost resource about how to improve sweep picking technique shows you five more ways to develop your guitar technique.

Do This Right Now To Correct Guitar Playing Problems At Faster Speeds:

Think of an exercise to work on that includes some type of pattern, then complete the following steps:

Step 1: Find out the precise tempo where your mistakes occur (using a metronome). Keep track of this. As you get better, this tempo will increase over time.

Step 2: Set the clicks of the metronome to be 5-10 ticks below the tempo from step 1.

Step 3: Select a single note to intensely focus on, as demonstrated in the video. Allow yourself to play all other notes in the exercise on autopilot. For now, it is fine if you make mistakes. Instead of focusing on those mistakes, only focus on the one note you selected.

Step 4: Play through the practice item you picked in the first step various times until the note you chose can be played perfectly ten times in a row. Make sure you refine your technique to improve with every repetition.

Step 5: Move onto to the next note in the pattern of the practice item and let the former note go into autopilot mode. Analyze your playing during every repetition to make sure every note is flawless.

Step 6: Go over steps four and five again and again until everything is flawless.

Step 7: Raise the speed on your metronome by five beats and repeat the entire step by step process.

Note: Occasionally use this approach without distortion to improve your 2 hand synchronization, articulation and focus for playing each note perfectly.

This process is excellent for improving scales, arpeggios, licks and difficult parts in songs. It also works well when you want to improve any guitar technique (such as sweep picking, string skipping or tow hand synchronization.)

What To Do If You Have A Difficult Time Focusing On A Single Note

Briefly Reduce The Notes Being Played

Choose only a few notes from the exercise you are practicing and repeat them over and over. Choose one note to focus on and pinpoint it. When you reduce the number of notes your focusing on, this process becomes easier.

Slowly expand the number of notes you play (one note at a time) until you are playing the exercise in its entirety. As you do this, you will eventually be able to focus on every note and hear it as you play it. This is crucial for playing fast and clean.

Articulate The Note You Are Focusing On

Use more power to accentuate the note you are focusing on. This guarantees that you hear any inconsistencies in your playing. Then after moving onto a new note, accent that note using more power.

Note: While accenting the note, don’t play it at a different rhythm! Make sure to play this note at the exact same rhythm as it should be played at.

Utilize Speed Bursts

Using speed bursts makes it a lot easier to focus on a single note of any pattern. Play a quick flurry of notes, stop for a moment, repeat the speed burst, and continue this process.

The absence of notes between each burst of speed is very critical. It helps your mind focus on the notes being played (making it easier to spot mistakes). As you repeat this burst of speed, make the necessary adjustments to clean up and articulate each note.

Practicing with quick burst of speed improves other areas of your guitar playing. Here’s how:

*When you practice at faster speeds it makes it feel effortless when you play at slower speeds.

*Speed bursts also help you relax so that you do not have too much tension in your body. The moment of rest between your bursts helps you spot areas of tension and relax the areas where you feel it most. This makes it easier to play guitar with less effort and greater consistency.

Integrate the concepts in this article to fix mistakes in your guitar playing that only happen while playing at faster speeds. This helps you make your guitar playing more accurate, consistent and reliable while making your music more fun to play.

This no cost resource about how to improve sweep picking technique shows you five more ways to develop your guitar technique.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a professional touring musician, composer and successful rock/metal guitar teacher. He helps guitarists around the world learn to play guitar online. On his website, you can find guitar playing tips, free guitar resources and more guitar articles.