Many guitarists are trying to find out some guidelines on how to improve their finger speed on the fretboard, but it's not as easy as it looks, how do you play guitar fast because a lot of teachers can't do it themselves. Read on as we take a look at some helpful tips aimed at improving your finger speed on a guitar fretboard.
It is easy to learn the steps that will increase speed over time, and being persistent with each one will pay-off as time goes by. Learning to play fast doesn't happen over night, it takes great discipline. You will have to work on your left and right-hand technique consistently, no slacking because both hands have to be coordinated together to increase speed and dexterity. No co-ordination means no accuracy, which means it will sound awful. You will also want to develop proper thumb and finger placement along the neck. The two primary thumb positions that are mostly used by professional players are putting the thumb over the top and resting the thumb behind the neck. Behind the neck will give you bigger reach on the fretboard and will improve control and consistency. If you practice guitar scales and exercises slowly in these thumb positions, you will increase your accuracy and speed in time.
Proper Technique Is Key
To improve your finger speed on the fretboard, you should place your fingers on the neck in the right positions when you play. Your four fingers must rest just above the first four frets until required. Keeping your fingers there will assist to optimize speed when playing exercises and scales, but finger motion is a bit more tricky. Guitarists can either press the finger down when used, and leave it there until it is needed, or lift each finger as the next one comes down, for speed, finger movement is most active. To improve dexterity finger accuracy should be consistently fretting a note right behind the fret. Remember to use the flat part of the finger tips and not the side of the finger. The more discipline you have, the quicker you will become.
Don't Neglect The Left
The left-hand technique is just as important as the right. How you pick the strings, how you hold the pick and your motion will all have a bearing on speed. Picking can be circular, alternating or sweeping picking, and should probably be acquired in that order as they increase in complexity as well as speed. Alternate picking can still be very fast.
Hold Your Pick Right!
How you hold the pick is valuable, the pick needs to be vertical to the strings and only the very tip of the pick needs to touch the strings, this reduces resistance. The motion from your wrist is just as important; you want the motion to come from the wrist to be as loose as possible. You should not use finger and thumb muscles as they tend to become very tense which can hinder speed.
Final Thoughts ...
All of this will take discipline and practice. You will have to make time every day to get better, a big splurge at the beginning of the week then nothing for the rest of the week is no good. Remember to practice with a drum machine, start at slow speeds and then increase tempo gradually. It's just a matter of time with these simple techniques, with practice and discipline, you will be playing guitar fast in no time.
Your Turn to Sound Off!
What are some other tips that can help improve a player's speed?