#1
Hey all,

Just thought I'd post a note on my current progress with getting my finger speed up a bit. My finger speed has long been a "bottle neck" with my playing and hampered my ability to learn more exciting songs and it doesn't seem that any amount of practice has been able to get me past a certain pace.

I'm not a very quick player and I'd also like to point out that good technique and practicing slow to begin with should always be the priority NOT speed. However on the flip side it ceratinly helps if you can move your fingers in a coordinated fashion at a reasonable tempo.

SO..what I've found is nothing to far out of the norm. I'm creating a series of chromatic like exercises on the B and E strings. Simply going 1-2-3-4 and then maybe 1-3-2-4 and mixing that up into whatever combinations I can find and going back and forth between the two strings. This is nothing new so far, but what I've found has REALLY helped me out is this.

Lets say you can play 1/16th notes in chromatic runs cleanly at 95bpm, next increase it to say 100bpm, whereby now it's bit harder. From there I've found it really helpful to play only 1/8th notes at the new tempo, for say 3-4 runs and then throw in just 1-2 runs at 1/16th notes. So I'm playing runs at a very easy pace and then suddenly doubling the tempo. This has somehow enabled my brain to play 1/16th very cleany (if only just briefly). I'll continue doing this until I can just sit there playing continous 1/16th note runs easily at the new tempo and then up it by a max of 5bpm.

In other words, I'm not just going to a hard tempo and contstantly trying to play at that speed until I can. I mix and match between the 1/8th notes, which focuses my mind and then briefly double the tempo. As it gets easier I can increase the amount of runs of 1/16th notes I can play in a row whilst keeping it clean.

Hope that helps, it has for me!
#2
You sound too enthused, as if you've already mastered speed. You might be dissapointed when it becomes evident that you haven't improved much.
#3
Be careful, as i have found with my solos, when my speed got A LOT better, my solos got progressively worse, as i was just trying to play fast all the time, its getting the balance between style AND speed that i still struggle with.
On the bright side, im glad you've found something that has helped you progress, and i might try your suggestion to see if it helps me at all...
#4
Sounds like you've found a good method at the moment, however, you're only at about 100bpm, so far, if I've read correctly. Getting past the 150 mark might prove more difficult than you expected, the faster you go, the harder it will be. Recently, I've just mastered a bloody difficult solo after weeks of trying (Unholy Warcry by Rhapsody), and I hit a few brick walls when slowly increasing speed. Just know that your technique may not work as well as it has already, and don't be disappointed when it becomes less effective, in my opinion, improving at guitar is like a big slope with a cliff in the middle of it, if that makes sense. You slowly progress to a point where you don't know how you could improve (the cliff), and then up high, you realise that's there's a whole new realm of playing to explore, and to get there it'll take hard work.
#5
All good points.

No I'm not too enthused! I certainly haven't mastered speed and I'm sure that I'll need to rethink my methodology as I get quicker. So far I'm at 110bpm. I can play probably as fast as maybe 130-140 but just not very clean.

I'm being very careful to practice only about 5bpm faster than I can play cleanly.

This is just something that has made this stage of my improvement progress much faster. I'm aware some people will find playing at 110bpm very easy from the word go, but if your in my shoes and are a bit of a slug on the fret board this method may or may not help you out.
#6
Personally I'd say you should change chromatic runs to 3 notes per string runs, because 3 notes per string is a bit more useful in 2 respects:

1. You'll find 3 notes per string crop up a lot more than 4 notes per string
2. You'll practice your inside picking and your outside picking. Being able to pick an even number of notes per string really fast is great and all but you're screwed when it comes to the more common 3 notes per string because it's vastly different.

Improve 3 notes per string and your ability to play 4 notes per string will follow, it can't be said so much the other way around.

Other than that, all sounds good (though you definitely shouldn't play above a speed you can play cleanly for an extended period of time, merely to test the water). If I were you I'd stick at a speed you can play cleanly while staying relaxed, keeping good technique in the process. Speed will come over time.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#7
You do realise that 16th notes at 110bpm is not actually that fast.

It's good that your improving but my greatest speed improvements happened when i wasn't even trying to improve speed. They came when i started to work economy of motion, finger indeoendance and muting technique
#8
Finger "speed" is not your, or anyone else's, bottleneck.

The problem is always finger control.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Quote by steven seagull
Finger "speed" is not your, or anyone else's, bottleneck.

The problem is always finger control.

Yeah its kinda counterintuitive but so true. I've been playing seriously slowly for the past few weeks and the speed I can play at has improved greatly. Speed wasn't even my focus or goal it just happened.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)