Letandrsquo;s start by defining what we are after, what we are trying to accomplish. When you are admiring your favorite guitarist playing fast you will probably notice that there is a clarity of execution and a rhythmic stability that makes whatever they are playing very easy to comprehend. So itandrsquo;s not just about playing fast, but playing fast and having a clean execution of your musical idea on the instrument.
The myth of speed
In musical lingo speed is expressed as tempo. Let me give you a little tip thatandrsquo;ll get you on your way to playing fast: slower crystal clear playing is perceived as faster and better than up-tempo unclean mumbling on the guitar. You will always give your audience the impression of playing faster by being clean in your execution. So how do you do it? Where do you start? I am going to give you the secret to playing fast on the guitar, and I am going to do it with a one-word: SLOW! Yes, I said SLOW. If youandrsquo;re sitting there dumbfounded, you are not alone. How can slow be the secret to fast? Any guitar teacher worth anything will understand the value of what I just said. Very few however can explain clearly why this is the case so letandrsquo;s take some time and understand this principle:
Slow is the key to fast!
When you are playing fast itandrsquo;s the reflexes that are taking over and doing the job. Itandrsquo;s more like being on autopilot. You can think of it like this: a computer program can do millions of computations and get you the result in a split second. However, you first have to write the program which is always a slow process. Putting in all the information of what makes up the program and, if youandrsquo;ve written a program well it will do what it was designed to do in a second. In much the same way you must slowly put in the information needed so that your brain can create the right reflexes. The slower you do it, the clearer and stronger you will build your reflexes. This in turn leads to greater speed on the guitar while at the same time retaining clarity. Start by playing slow and with great care for clarity. Keep in mind that you are learning material that will ultimately be played at much higher speeds. As such it is very important to think ahead. For example, use alternate strokes instead of down strokes only if youandrsquo;re picking or alternate the fingers if you are fingerpicking. Now we come to our next point:The Gameplan