Alright I have been working on improving my speed alot, so I have been playing with a metronome. Sometimes I can go up to like 116 BPM and not have much trouble with it. Other times I just get really sloppy and can't go up nearly that high. It feels like I can move my hands fast enough and am comfortable doing so, but I always feel like the pick is getting caught on the strings. I have tried different thicknesses of picks, a slightly different hand positions but this problem keeps coming back. any ideas?
Try Dunlop Jazz IIIs, they're practically made for shredding
ohai little sig.
I was having trouble with this too. I just took a day off from practicing, than started back the next day at a tempo a little slower than i had been before and it was fine.
Actually called Mark!

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yeah, it's not the pick's fault. I had this problem aswell earlier, the only thing to do is practice slowly, not just one lick but everything you play, eventually it will stick in the muscular memory
Just stop and play really slow, slow enough where you can iron out those little problems and raise the tempo ever so slightly.

If you can only sometimes get up to 116bpm that shows that you're not really comfortable playing at that speed yet.
Just take it a bit slower when you can play it perfectly and consistently and work from there.
Thanks. The weird thing is that I genuinely am comfortable at playing at higher speeds sometimes. I think when I get tense, that hurts me too. It seems like I usually have to warm up a little bit, but then if I play too long or stop for awhile and try to pick up at the same speed I have trouble. It's the time in between where I am warmed up but not too tense where I am most comfortable.
Another suggestion, make sure your pick is slanted just a little bit. Your pick meets a lot less resistance that way than if you pick with it flat agaisnt the string.
do not try to play fast, that will never work. simply realize, there is no guitar.......
How ong have you been playing? Speed comes with time, and practice. I dropped my quest for speed a few years ago and started trying to make every note say something, no matter how many or few of them I play. That's a lot tougher than playing as fast as Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alan Holdsworth or Al DiMeola...

Speed comes to those who wait, grasshopper...

Try practicing in total darkness. Can't see your hand 6" away darkness...This makes you get to KNOW where everything is on the neck, and improves your accuracy greatly. It's probably the one thing that helped me most in trying to develop some speed, accuracy and smoothing out my leads. That and playing onstage regularly 5-6 nights a week for several years.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
I have been playing guitar for 11 years, but that is somewhat misleading. For the first 8-9 years I only knew how to play basic chords and play worship songs for my church and stuff. I started learning other basic things like power chords like 2 1/2 or 3 years ago, and I didnt start learning theory till like 2 years ago. And I just started practicing with a metronome in the past few months.
OK it'll take some time, if you're just starting out on lead. I probably tried to play lead and slide for 12-15 years before I could consider myself "good" at it, a lot of that time onstage several nights a week, and I'm still not as good as I'd like to be but I can hang with any band in town.

Try my suggestion above, playing in total darkness is probably the one thing that helped me the most. Being able to KNOW where I am on the neck helped me a lot in accuracy and smoothing out my leads and chord changes too. You'll fumble around at first like you've played no more than 2 weeks, but after you adjust and start getting the feel of the guitar in total darkness, you WILL improve, you'll have no choice. And don't think it can't be done, Jose Feliciano was totally blind, Jeff Healey is too, Ronnie Milsap, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and I'm sure there are others playing guitar, bass and keyboards who would knock your socks right off, and they play in total darkness every time.

It helped me tremendously, I recommend all guitar players practice in the dark for a while. I'm sure you won't regret it. You might cuss me for a few weeks though But then you'll get accustomed to it and start playing decent...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...