#1
it seems no matter what i do, i honestly cant go faster than a certain speed (slow). even with correct practice, and with just scales or arpeggios, i don't gain speed. im talking practice with a metronome at a reasonable speed and then slowly increasing speed. for hours and hours a day, months and months on end year after year. my technique is correct and everything.

i quite literally can't gain speed (which is my main goal for guitar right now). is it possible some people just cant do it? or is there something im overlooking?
#2
If you can´t gain speed you are much likely doing something wrong, a video would be great so we could see your technique, but i´m going to say some of the stuff that i find common.

1.Tense. The players hands are tensing up wich makes playing harder and sometimes painful. Sulotion : Relax your hands completly, at the point where you can barely hold your pick without dropping it. And practice slowly and get used to it.

2.Metronome failure. Some people practice with a metronome wrong, they do a speed and play almost perfect and then increase speed, this is WRONG. You go to the speed where you just can play the thing you are working on perfectly. Then play at that speed for some days and then it becomes easier, then move up a few bpm.

3. Big ego. You practice and think "yeah i can play that now" when you can´t. You´ll have to stick at it.

4. Economy of motion. You move your hands to much, make sure picking hand is just moving as much as it needs to, same for fretting hand.

5. Practice time. You aint likely to go anywhere if you practice something 5 minutes every other day. 5-15 minutes everyday on ONE thing (a short lick from a solo maybe) is the minimum.

6.Technique. What do you have problems doing? Switching strings while alternate picking? Then practice that so you can over come it. Always analyze what is giving you a hard time and the work on that.

Hope that helps, sorry if it dident. Good luck!
Last edited by Sickz at Jul 21, 2011,
#3
Where is that lack of speed? In your left or right hand?
When i tried to play faster with my right hand i started picking one string as fast as i could and repeated this over and over and now i can play about 6 or 7 picks per second.
And what i did about my left hand was i just did waht you did, i took a metronome and increased the speed. But you surely now, there is a point where you cant play as fast as themetronome wants you to . And at that point keep going on and try to be as fast as the metronome and dont care that much about 100% prefect technique and notes. Because if you have once reached the goal of having your fingers under control at a high speed, no matter how correct they wil hit the frets, just matter IF the do and not about 3 frets away, you can start working on the techique and then play the riff/song at a higher speed as corect as at lower.

So that was my story about playing fast, hopefuly it helps you.

Quote by jsync
ipossible some people just cant do it?

Well it might be that your head can not concentrate that much on something and therefore mybe not hard enoguh to break a certain speed of playing guitar.
#4
cheers for the the help Sickz!

technique wise, switching strings and sweep picking is my weak point. i play between 3-5 hours a day now days (ive been playing for about a decade). i am well aware of correct practice and technique (especially the tenseness of my hand). as for metronome practice, i practice correctly, but theres just like a wall i hit (around 100bpm 8th notes) where i cant improve further (get faster), even with strict practice. it gets to the point where i cant play a lick very nicely at my fastest speed, but i just cannot go faster. might be my fine motor problems :/

so im a bit stuck at the moment.
Last edited by jsync at Jul 21, 2011,
#5
+1 to Sickz,covered pretty much everyhing nicelly
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#6
Quote by jsync
it seems no matter what i do, i honestly cant go faster than a certain speed (slow). even with correct practice, and with just scales or arpeggios, i don't gain speed. im talking practice with a metronome at a reasonable speed and then slowly increasing speed. for hours and hours a day, months and months on end year after year. my technique is correct and everything.

i quite literally can't gain speed (which is my main goal for guitar right now). is it possible some people just cant do it? or is there something im overlooking?

A trope on here is that speed is a byproduct of accuracy. The easiest way to get to playing faster is to completely ignore the idea of playing faster for a little while. Just forget about it for a little while.

Next, focus on getting your technique right. Are you playing with minimal tension? How is your economy of motion? Are you moving your hand too far after each stroke? How is your fretting hand doing? Are you fretting each note lightly enough that you can change notes quickly and cleanly? Are you fretting just hard enough that the notes are sounding out cleanly and fluently?

When you practice on improving your technique (even at low tempos), you're doing is building muscle memory. That means that you are training yourself to use economic movements with minimal tension by instinct through practice. As you practice this more and more, your body is becoming more and more capable of reproducing those motions more and more rapidly.

That's the secret to getting faster: training your body to use minimal energy and motion with minimal tension. Once that becomes instinctive rather than a conscious effort, you'll find that you are able to increase your speed to a greater tempo. Those "walls" that people on here talk about hitting are a result of imperfect technique more often than not. Make good technique instinctive and you will reap the benefits. If you find yourself hitting a "wall", slow down and try to make your picking motions and your finger movements even smaller and use less energy than before. When that becomes habitual, you'll start seeing increases in your speed.
#7
This helped me...

Set your metronome to something like 100 BPM. Then start practicing your pattern playing just one note per every 2 clicks. Examine your technique at this point and check your body for tension of any kind. Make sure everything is perfect and flawless and make sure you are completely relaxed.

After a while, double the pattern to one note per click (this is still quite slow).
Make sure there is no difference occuring when you double the speed.
Stay on that for a while... then continue 2 notes per click... 3, 4... etc.

Every time you make a jump, pay close attention to see if anything goes wrong.
Go back and repeat this again until you find what is changing as you play faster.

Another thing that I had to fight against was a very slight tension surfacing in my upper arms / shoulders area when I picked up speed.
That sympathetic type tension will cause you to lose control even when you believe you are relaxed... because it's hard to notice, so you gotta really focus your brain on that.
good luck
#8
Three months ago, I was in exactly the same position as you--I'd been playing guitar for many years (though only intermittently and never with any real, consistent practice). I decided--three months ago--that I was actually going to learn to play my instrument. At first I thought I'd work on scales and speed exercises, but that did little for me. Finally, I decided to simply forget about speed and work on technique--that is play really slowly, with economy of motion and all that. I've changed the way I hold the pick and changed the way I pick and I've also changed the way I position my hand on the fretboard. It took some getting used to at first--to break the old habits, but the discipline is really starting to pay off. Also, I've found that playing songs and constantly learning new songs (in addition to regular practice of exercises), has really helped my playing and sound. The guy who said, 'forget about speed for a while' is totally right. Work on your technique--get guitar pro and play along with songs you like at a speed you are comfortable with and really concentrate on muscle motion and relaxation. It will come when it comes.