So I got myself a guitar recently. Rather i picked one up from my sister who always wanted to learn but never did. I fortunately am willing to learn. I've been playing for a few days now almost a week, already developing the callouses on my left hand, and I'm learning a few songs, mostly just to be able to move my fingers around the strings properly. Which is getting to be an issue to do with speed. I want to know what a good method is to develop better accuracy, and also I'm going to have a friend of mine teach me as he's been playing for about 8 or 9 years so I figured he'd have enough experience to teach me something. All i've got is an acoustic guitar but i'm finding it very fun learning all of this and thinking with enough work and elbow grease I can be doing things vaguely similiar to Andy McKee.
get alternate picking as soon as possible, i didnt, and i regret it. I'v been playing two and a half years and a few month back started alternate picking! Thats got to be essential

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Yeah, like he said, learn alternate picking as soon as you can, it'll help with speed, alot.

Here are a few exercises to help you with accuracy and such, I do a few of these every time I pick up my guitar.

Hammer on's

I'm not taking credit for either of those lessons, someone else posted them, they have just helped me progress so far. Do them at your speed/comfort level. I'm sure someone else has better advice since I've only been playing for a little while, but I gave it a shot
Quote by 666-JoE-666
get alternate picking as soon as possible, i didnt, and i regret it. I'v been playing two and a half years and a few month back started alternate picking! Thats got to be essential

alternate picking?
Quote by Zimboki
alternate picking?

Yeah. All it is is alternating between downstrokes and upstrokes while picking. It will help with playing faster. You might also want to learn economy picking.

Here's a lesson on accuracy:

To develop your accuracy with chords, you just have to keep practicing switching chords and study how your fingers move, then make adjustments to be quicker and more accurate when changing chords.
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Last edited by maninthebox24 at Oct 28, 2008,
There's no such thing as "speed" on the guitar, at least not as far as your own technique is concerned. Speed is dependent on your ability, but isn't an ability in itself. It's governed by lots of other things, namely...

Ability to synchronise both hands

All those are things you can actively work on to improve, speed isn't because it's just an abstract, you've got no direct control over it. If you try to play faster you just screw up, because all you're actually doing is trying to play "better" than you're actually able to, however if you work on the things listed above then that will allow you to play faster.

Most important thing to do is slow things down, whatever it is you want to learn there's always going to be a speed at which you can play it flawlessly. It might be really, realllllly slow but it'll be there and that's where you always have to start. Always teach yourself how to play something correctly before you worry about playing it at full speed. Use a metronome and gradually build up speed over time, as in days or even weeks, if you start making mistakes then you're going too fast and you need to slow back down.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 29, 2008,
Quote by 666-JoE-666
I'v been playing two and a half years and a few month back started alternate picking!


Have your friend show you the basics...but look into getting lessons from a professional instructor. The reason I say this is there are guitarists out there who play like they've played for a hundred years, but haven't a clue about good teaching methods. There's more psychology to teaching that doesn't come from hours of guitar practice, it comes from hours of teaching.

Use the internet as a supplement, and steer clear of the adds that promise you'll be playing like Kirk and scoring with groupies in 21 days....
Yes, the comments about alternate picking are absolutely true. I started playing with all downstrokes, and I eventually made the change to alternate picking, but it was very difficult.