#1
Hey all,

So I'm about an intermediate guitar player, and I kinda wanted to start working on speed. Mostly so I can play stuff like in Powerglove. And I had a question or two.

Certain riffs in powerglove, (to be more specific, the ones in their Omnishred song), are obviously played rather fast. Should I pick these, and just start slow and work my way up? Or are hammer-ons and pull-offs the way to go? I've watched some videos of people doing covers, and it's too fast for me to tell what they're doing.

Thank you!
#2
I'm not familiar with Powerglove, but generally speaking the way to practice speed is to start slow and build it up to the correct tempo.

The only answer is practice, and lots of it.

Also don't just focus on a single tune, or you'll end up being able to play that quickly but not anything else. Work on a couple of tunes, scales & finger exercises etc on a regular basis and work out a practice regime where you start each session at a certain tempo, then each repetition gets faster throughout the session, so you do your first set at 120bpm, then a set at 140, then 160 (or whatever works best for you & the tune you're learning). When you start reaching a good level of competence at those speeds, change the practice sessions to repetitions of 140, 160 & 180 bpm.

If you don't have a metronome to control your speed, I'm sure there are plenty of online or downloadable apps you could use.
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#3
^
Practice regimes are the way to go.

Playing fast isn't just about starting slow and playing the same thing over and over. It's about economy of motion. I could tell you to play an exercise for 100 times a day but if you're still playing it the same way a week from now then it hasn't helped.

First you need to figure out if it's your picking hand that's having trouble or your fretting hand. If it's your picking hand then play around with different ways of holding the pick, try different picks, try a different angle of the pick to the string, try turning the pick to different angles, try resting your hand in different positions on the guitar, and definitely focus on making smaller motions with the pick.

With the fretting hand it will be essentially the same thing. You need to find what is most efficient and most effective for you. This includes the angle of your fingers to the strings, how far from the strings that you lift your fingers, and also try moving your thumb around to find better hand positions. I could tell you what works for me, or what works for some other guy, but it's not going to be what works best for you - only you can find that.
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#4
You should aim to be able to play fast both picking and legato. If you want to work on one of those first, it should be legato. There are some great licks you can play without too much picking, but there's no point having a machine gun picking hand if your fretting hand can't keep up.

One great way to gain speed is to practice 'bursts'. Basically you take a short sequence of notes - perhaps three or four - and play it as fast as you can. Don't tense up when doing so. Playing bursts is a great way to teach your body what it's like to play fast - and soon you'll be able to play longer sequences of notes at the same speed.

However for 'bursts' to be really effective, you have to have good technique in place to start off with. For that you have to slow down and analyse your playing - make sure you're making small movements, make sure you're not just spazzing from the arm, etc, etc.
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#5
All the info you need has already been said.
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#6
Do everything said above, but I would make sure to use a metronome.
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#7
One thing that needs mentioned is to record yourself. You can see your progress, and what needs to be worked on. Usually I record myself on the weekends to see how my weekday practice is going.

And other tip: is watch the video the next day so your ears are more fresh, and youll be able to hear what you need to work on.



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#8
I always say that doing exercises for speed is like riding a bike when you cant even walk.
Speed comes naturally when youre relaxed with your guitar playing. For me, speed came after months of improvising, so thats the experience i got. I wasnt focusing at speed, but it comes naturally if you play enough
#9
Quote by p8ntballsniper8
Certain riffs in powerglove, (to be more specific, the ones in their Omnishred song), are obviously played rather fast. Should I pick these, and just start slow and work my way up?

The only way to build speed is to build muscle memory and get used to making small, economical motions with your hands. The only way you're going to build muscle memory will be to slow down and focus on making those small motions at a low tempo until they become second nature, then gradually speed up and get used to playing at various increasing tempos.

In a word, yes.
Or are hammer-ons and pull-offs the way to go? I've watched some videos of people doing covers, and it's too fast for me to tell what they're doing.

Legato (hammer-ons and pull-offs) are the way to go if that's how the passage is written. A lot of players use legato (usually mediocre legato) to cover up a lack of synchronization in their hands when they (try) to play fast. That synchronization is absolutely essential to being able to play rapidly with any sort of consistency. If the passage in question uses hammer-ons and pull-offs extensively or in certain places, definitely use them. But do not use legato as a crutch because your picking hand isn't able to coordinate with your fretting hand or vice versa.

It's gotten cliched on here to say this, but it seems appropriate: speed is a byproduct of accuracy and economy. Small, precise movements are the bread-and-butter of rapid playing. Practice those small movements at a low tempo and get used to making those motions until it is second nature, then speed up slowly. As you begin to approach your former maximum speed, you'll notice that it's much easier and more comfortable using smaller motions than larger ones. More likely than not, having practiced those smaller motions, your maximum speed is going to increase somewhat. That is the secret to speed.
#10
Quote by GaryHB
I'm not familiar with Powerglove, but generally speaking the way to practice speed is to start slow and build it up to the correct tempo.

The only answer is practice, and lots of it.

Also don't just focus on a single tune, or you'll end up being able to play that quickly but not anything else. Work on a couple of tunes, scales & finger exercises etc on a regular basis and work out a practice regime where you start each session at a certain tempo, then each repetition gets faster throughout the session, so you do your first set at 120bpm, then a set at 140, then 160 (or whatever works best for you & the tune you're learning). When you start reaching a good level of competence at those speeds, change the practice sessions to repetitions of 140, 160 & 180 bpm.

If you don't have a metronome to control your speed, I'm sure there are plenty of online or downloadable apps you could use.



I've found a bunch of metronome's. And at the very least I can always just use the one in the powertab software. My only question is is what are some good scales and finger exercises? I've only ever learned the A minor pentatonic, but never any real finger exercises.

Also, thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it