Hello! I have learnt the into to Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson about 5 months ago. I play it quite regularly but I just cannot get the speed. Can you guys give me any tips on how I can play it at the correct speed? Thanks.
Well, counter intuitively speed comes when you slow down and focus on other aspects of your playing. Speed is not something you really practice, it is a by product of other things you practice combined. Just like an athlete work out in many different ways to build themselves up before a tournament, you build other skills in order to perform a piece at to correct tempo, with the correct articulation, sound and feel.

What is giving you problem when it comes to the piece? How tense are you in your body when you play that piece at the highest tempo you can? Do your hands and fingers move more than required to fret the notes and pick the strings? Are the notes coming out cleanly? Is every note articulated as it is on the recording? Are you breathing normally while playing the piece or do you hold your breath? Does the movement of your pick come from the fingers, wrist, arm or elbow?
How are you practicing the piece? Are you practicing it at tempo where you can actually play it perfectly, and if so, how long and how regularly? How many years have you actually been playing before tackling this piece, and can you play something of similar complexity already?

All these factors affect your learning process, speed is not really the important thing here. Relaxation, accuracy, dedication and patience is what is important. You also have to realize that if you chose this piece and are a newer player/are not used to these complex pieces it will be significantly harder to learn it.

If you can, post a video of you playing it. That will help us help you. Otherwise we are too much in the dark to provide any advice that will help you out.

Best Regards,
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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