#1
Hi first time poster, but have been a lurker here for some time.
I save searched and read many threads over the topic, but somehow just dont get it.
please go easy on me ha!

anyway to the point..
I have been playing guitar for many years. I never actually practiced for hours a day running scales and such like i maybe should have. Now im 36 and looking to greatly improve my lead ability in a year.
problem is..how do you build speed?
what is best scale to learn and use for speed building?
i have been practicing with one, i believe is a g major?

357
357
457
457
578
578
im just not sure im getting anywhere.. I understand to play fast you must master playing it slowly, which i have done, but when it comes time to speed it up, it just isnt there.

HELP!!
I want to shred before i grow old!!

you can hear some of my stuff here..

www.myspace.com/chaossessions

thanks for your time and help, these forums rule!
#2
Scales do NOT help you build speed, at least no more than practicing anything else - that's not what they're for.

Simple answer, you build speed by forgetting about speed - you should never try to play something faster. Concentrate on playing accurately and cleanly in everything you do and work on keeping your movements economical. If you focus on that you'll gradually be able to play faster but you have to be patient.
Actually called Mark!

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#3
Playing scales straight up and down will only teach you to play scales. Practice them in different patterns so you at least have some chance of using what you practice.

Speed is kind of a byproduct of accuracy, coordination between your picking and fretting hands, and economy of motion. You perfect those things by playing EVERYTHING slowly enough that you have full control over your playing, so you can make sure you are playing everything cleanly, accurately, in time and economically. Do that, and speed should come naturally. Gradually, but naturally. You won't suddenly be able to play fast overnight, it takes time.

Read the techniques sticky
#4
I love it when people think that speed is gained quickly. Let me tell you something, TC. This summer, I decided to try to break my alternate picking speed barrier (for lack of a better term). I spent the first two weeks playing minor scales up and down the neck at varying tempos trying to push past the dreaded 120 bpm. That didn't work. I took a week off. When I came back home, I started learning some songs. Practicing faster runs in those songs helped me push past 120 bpm (sixteenths, of course) and play at about 132 bpm, something which I had not considered possible for me to do.

To get fast, like these guys will tell you (like anyone intelligent on this site will tell you), you have to forget speed entirely. It's all about cleanliness and accuracy. If you can play a solo perfectly at 80 bpm, but your friend plays it sloppily at 100 bpm, you're the better player. With practice, that will get easier to play as your muscles get used to the song and soon you'll be playing that solo twice as well as your friend. But the important thing here is to forget speed, learn accuracy.
#5
Hmm i never said i expected it to come quickly..
I understand that, and know that it dosent, thing is, I have been a rythm player for near 20 years, should have built some speed by now huh? thats not quickly.

I understand keep it accurate and speed will come..ill keep at it thanks.
#6
I would also like to add that if you intend to be a lead guitar player, the most important factor in your playing by far is phrasing and being a melodic player. These should always come first. People are right in saying that the speed will come naturally in time, just always practice slowly enough that your playing sounds clean.
#7
^
+1

If you haven't seen it already, look up Marty Friedman's "Melodic Control". That video is one of the best instructional videos for lead guitar I have seen yet.
Also, look up John Petrucci's "Rock Discipline". That has some great warmup exercises that really improve dexterity and finger independence. Those two should cover most of your needs as a lead guitar if you apply them well.
#9
Glad to help. Those videos are excellent. Every lead guitarist should see them.
#10
Quote by Geldin
I love it when people think that speed is gained quickly. Let me tell you something, TC. This summer, I decided to try to break my alternate picking speed barrier (for lack of a better term). I spent the first two weeks playing minor scales up and down the neck at varying tempos trying to push past the dreaded 120 bpm. That didn't work. I took a week off. When I came back home, I started learning some songs. Practicing faster runs in those songs helped me push past 120 bpm (sixteenths, of course) and play at about 132 bpm, something which I had not considered possible for me to do.

To get fast, like these guys will tell you (like anyone intelligent on this site will tell you), you have to forget speed entirely. It's all about cleanliness and accuracy. If you can play a solo perfectly at 80 bpm, but your friend plays it sloppily at 100 bpm, you're the better player. With practice, that will get easier to play as your muscles get used to the song and soon you'll be playing that solo twice as well as your friend. But the important thing here is to forget speed, learn accuracy.


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