hey guys
i have been playing guitar since i was 18, i am now 23.
I play for a couple hours every night (i work in the day) and i play for hours at the weekend.
I can play rythym stuff okay, but i dedicate most my time to learning to play faster stuff.
Thing is, it doesn't seem to matter what i do, i just can't play fast.
I've tried starting on simpler solo's and working up, i use a metronome with no improvement, i play the same thing over and over but for some reason don't seem to get any better at the technique no matter how much i slow it down.
I really don't know what to do now. it's becoming quite disheartening that i've poured so many hours and so much effort into it and have gotten nothing out of it, whilst i watch other people do the same things and improve endlessly.
I don't even know what i am asking for with this thread, some sort of advice, or even to know whether there are just some people who for whatever reason just CAN'T do it?
I still love to play, but i am a bit concerned that at some point my complete lack of progression in the last 3 years will kill my love for guitar.
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just keep at it, eventually u will get better it just takes time.
as far as i know u cant not be able to get better, anyone can achieve anything with practice.
What i would do, it try to realise what wrong, maybe your techniques it flawed and doing it slow may work but when you speed up it doesn't work. Maybe you hold ur pick incorrectly?

What i would do, is go on youtube, type in what technique you wanna learn and watch LOTS of them, and that gives you ideas of practice and different tips and tricks of how to perform the technique accuratly. But most importantly you'll notice the differences between them and then that would rule out one wrong.

This is what i had to do to get sweep picking down pat, it took me about a year to get that shit down, but if it wasn't for youtube i'd still be trying at it. John Petrucci gives some good pointer for practice.

Hope this helps a little, but yeah, the internet is the best tool ever created.

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Let your motivation be that you've put too much into it to stop now. Keep going you WILL get it, if you use the metronome method, you go down as far as you need to get to be where you can play it correctly(right notes, right phrasing, etc) and go up 1 bpm at a time and repeat.
For every quick phrase you want to learn.
Play it at a slow tempo and learn each part, when you can play it all from memory.
do as Dio said and build the tempo.
I usually do intervals of four and play it a few times.

And obviously do this with scales too. If you haven't played scales you'll not get anywhere
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Have you tried playing slower stuff? Some good old blues maybe?
I'm one of those guys who CAN'T play fast as you mentioned... Not talking about fast as in thrash metal fast, I cannot even manage Guns N' Roses speed.
Well, one reason is that I don't devote much time into practicing speed. IMO there are other aspects of guitar playing that are more important than speed.
Don't feel bad, play something that you can manage at your level and enjoy!
I agree with fast =/= good, though it took me a long time to realize it I love and am inspired by fast music, but I also get just as big a rush out of listening to a Pink Floyd solo esp stuff from The Wall period. So realizing that there is more to good playing than fast playing is one thing, but if the TS loves fast music, he is still going to want to play fast.

So first thing to remind yourself is that progress on the guitar is not a linear, straight path from awful to awesome. I'm sure that given the current frustrations you are EXTREMELY aware of this right now. But why is this? Part of it is the law of diminishing returns for sure. At the beginning you are lacking so much dexterity that anything you do on the guitar is going to help get your fingers moving. After you've got reasonable chops, it's not as easy, since a lot of the effort is needed just to maintain.
The other thing is technique problems. If you have a technique problem, you will still improve slowly because you are improving the other things around the problem, but it will be slow. When you identify the problem and fix it, that's when you make the big leap forward. Until you run into another more subtle technique problem that is holding you back from taking the next step after that. Then the process repeats.
So take a long hard look at your technique and try to figure out what you are doing which is not efficient enough for faster playing. The most common problem is tension. Do you see a change in your technique when you go from slow to fast? If so, it's almost definately tension. Look at your economy of movement in both hands. Earlier in my guitar life I spent several years unable to go much beyond 120 bpm in 16ths, and didn't get over that hump until I started learning to make smaller, more relaxed movements. Look at your picking mechanics. Is there anything you are doing which is awkward or inefficient?
Keep investigating and you will find the problem. After you've worked on it for a few months, you'll break through the plateau.
By the way, one thing that helps a lot with this sort of technique analysis is to play in front of a mirror. It will allow you to see some stuff you are doing that is hard to see otherwise - especially picking stuff.
try to take a break from playing fast stuff, focus on elementary technique stuff.
Practice your pull offs individually focusing on every finger, practice your hammer on in the same manner, practice your bending, your switching from any chord to any other chord.

Just forget about speed and go back to the basics for a while and you'll realize that when you back to training speed, these elemental hand strenghtening exercises will have helped you...

Its probably just a matter of having a weak link in your playing, perhaps you raise your fingers too far away from the fretboard? you make unecessary involutary movements? your picking needs work?

Work on each thing one at a time and then put it together with licks and solos =) It'll go a long way!!
If fast parts are bothering you why don't you take a break? You said that you play rhythm ok. Why not just practice that and eventually work up on rhythm till ure really good and move on to the faster stuff. You have to be able to walk before you can run. And solos are the best parts you can't rush them Good luck!
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^You should give the user that just posted some useful advice.
If you don't manage to do it at a slow speed, it just means you're still not doing it slow enough... Keep slowing it down until you reach a speed that allows you to do it, don't pay attention to how slow it is, speed will come trough CORRECT practice.

Once you found that speed, keep playing whatever you're working on on that speed until you mastered it perfectly. Remember, if you make mistakes practicing it you're actually practicing at making mistakes.

Once you mastered it at a certain speed, up the speed a little bit, not too much, steps of 4 bpm should be sufficient.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race! (boy that's ironic in this context :p)
Some good advice above. The way I do it is to learn at slower speed until it sounds and feels right. Then speed it up but keep the feel and accuracey. You learn far more that way then the people who just want to play at XXX BPM. This can be really hard at first. When I first learnt sweet home alabama I didn't have the speed or technique and it took well over a month to learn it. After that other songs with the same technique were easier to learn but it still takes time.

Good Luck
guys, seriously, you all rule!
some really good advice there, much appreciated.
On the back of alot of what was said, i've really tried to have a look at my playing and i have noticed that my hands are quite tense i think. my picking hand (left hand, i am left handed) felt really rigid, i don't know why. but i just sort of.... relaxed it? i don't know, but i can feel a difference there already, and i think i need to learn to hold the pick closer to the edge, feels a little weird, but i hold the pick with quite alot of it showing beyond my fingers... if that makes sense?
Anyhow, thanks again, i really do appreciate your help!
Quote by ZanasCross
I can now officially say, sex with paolio is not overrated. Best e-sex I've ever had....