#1
Ive begun to notice more and more in my guitar playing that I have a speed problem. I don't have any issues playing slower tempo songs (other than a few mistakes here and there) for the most part, but at a certain point I start having major issues keeping up.

Case in point is Killswitch Engage's Rose of Sharyn. I have been able to play the lead guitar portion of the song the entire way through for about 6 months. But, thats only if I use an audio editing program like Audacity and reduce the tempo by 10%. Admittedly I don't practice that exact song every day, but I play 6 out of the 7 days a week for at least an hour, and usually for 2-3.

I notice that even after playing the entire song all the way through at -10% speed, my entire right arm is tired (no problems with the fretting arm though).

If I try and play the song at full speed, I start tensing up which I know is bad.

Any suggestions on building speed? I am pretty sure my main issue here is the ultra fast palm muted downpicked low string in many metal songs. Any good techniques or exercises I should be doing?

Washburn X50PRO FE (GuitarHeads active bridge pickup)
Dean Vendetta XM
Jet City JCA20H head, w Eminence Texas Heat 12"
Danelectro Transparent Overdrive
Ibanez TS7
DigiTech RP-255
Behringer VD1 (Big Muff PI clone)
#2
1. Practice with a metronome. Start slow and build up speed gradually.
2. Relax. If your arm is getting tired after one song, you are still tensing up way too much. You're going beyond your current limit and forcing your body to work too hard.
3. ?????
4. Profit!
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#3
The key to speed is to make relaxation and economy of motion habitual. To do that, you have to practice slowly and make sure that your movements are as small as possible and as relaxed as possible. As these small, comfortable movements become more ingrained in your muscle memory, you can start speeding up. You should notice that your playing is more comfortable universally, which is the most important part. Additionally, you'll find that because your movements are more economical, you'll be able to play faster without nearly as much strain.