Have you ever thought about what the one thing is that your favorite guitarists have in common when playing fast? Here is the answer: every one of them plays in a way that looks extremely effortless. In reality, shredding on guitar not only looks easy - it actually IS easy…or, to be honest, it becomes easy after you go through the process of training this skill correctly.

Sadly, nearly all guitar players can’t make their speed playing feel easy, and any effort to play guitar fast is a challenge. Reasons why this happens are plenty, but one of the most typical is pursuing the traditional practice mindset of beginning to practice slowly and building up speed little by little. Despite the fact that this approach DOES have a few of advantages, it also has many serious restrictions (when applied at the wrong time or mistakenly… as happens quite often).

Below are the reasons why the conventional speed practice strategy (beginning to practice slowly and improving speed gradually) makes it hard to build guitar speed:

  • Releasing the excessive tension that usually builds up through faster playing is something that the traditional approach doesn’t allow you to practice. Therefore, as your speed grows, your guitar playing begins to become more and more like a challenge and you get fatigued fast.
  • It’s easy to become lazy and make entirely different movements at slow speeds in comparison to what you do when playing fast. Consequently, as soon as your speed improves past a particular point, your playing will become uncomfortable and hard, because now you will be using movements that you did not use in the past. I’ve already discussed this to a great extent in this article about how practicing slowly can sometimes hurt your guitar playing.
  • Ordinary guitar speed development methods force you to increase your speed with the full exercise all at once. This is a primary cause of unfocused guitar practice (hoping to get faster by merely doing an exercise over and over again - mindlessly). It’s often better to focus like a laser beam on finding and targeting the problems that restrict you from reaching your top speed quickly (and eliminate them).
  • You don’t practice for actual speed in your guitar playing (where you have to start playing without playing anything before). It’s much easier to play an exercise over and over, incrementally arriving at your peak speed and having the playing of that one exercise be great. However, when you must play the exact same exercise at your top speed IMMEDIATELY, with everything feeling effortless and sounding clean, the feeling is much different. Thus, traditional guitar speed building mindset doesn’t prepare you for playing in real life.

You now understand what the disadvantages are of the ordinary approach to building speed on guitar, so I will show you one of multiple approaches you can use to move beyond guitar speed plateaus and make your playing feel comfortable while playing fast. This strategy is one of many that I use with my electric guitar students to assist them in building higher levels of guitar speed.
Practicing For Speed Using “Guitar Shred Bursts”
As a more effective alternative to the traditional speed building method, I want you to practice training your guitar speed using “speed bursts”.
Watch this guitar lesson video to see how this practicing idea works:

Here are the reasons why practicing guitar in speed bursts will help you increase your guitar speed quickly and effortlessly:

  • You won't be able to play guitar with lazy and slow movements - you are actually training them to do exactly what they should do when you are playing fast.
  • You can quickly isolate very specific mistakes within a longer phrase and fix them one at a time, so you can play the whole phrase fast and clean.
  • Your guitar speed becomes usable in regular musical situations (where you do not have the luxury of playing one thing many times and must start something playing immediately at your top speed).
  • You are able to use rests between the speed bursts to release tension from your hands and ensure that you use no more tension than necessary. This is a really effective approach to make your guitar playing feel extremely effortless and comfortable… exactly like your favorite guitar players.
  • You will teach your mind/ears to process notes at extreme speeds while noticing and correcting mistakes in your guitar playing. This is CRITICAL, because if you attempt to play guitar fast while lacking this skill, it will sound like a crazy mess.

Now that you have learned a better way of making fast guitar playing feel effortless, the next step to take is find out all the other tactics that will lead you to double your guitar speed (I will show you these tactics totally free). Find out how by looking at this page about doubling your guitar speed.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author: Tom Hess is an electric guitar teacher online and recording artist. He trains guitar players from around the world how to reach their musical goals in his correspondence guitar lessons online. Visit his website tomhess.net to receive many free guitar playing resources, mini courses, guitar practice eBooks, and to read more articles about guitar playing.