Lesson : Speed Building
So i have decided to write some lessons for you guys. This is more for beginner guitarists, i know there is a few on this forum.
A common mistake for beginner guitarists is to try and go to fast to quickly. This is something i think all of us has struggled with at some point or another. Speed does not mean anything when its messy and notes are not stopped from ringing when they should. One must always remember to start slow and work up to speed and not be cocky believing that you can play something at full speed from the beginning.
The most important tool ( next to your guitar ) when playing is a metronome. Yes i know, half of you guys just decided to stop reading this lesson now. A metronome improves playing in various ways, one of which is better understanding of rhythm but also something not allot of people point out and that is using accents in your playing. When playing slowly you can clearly hear this accents which creates a really nice “texture” to your playing. But at high speed you don't hear it that clearly but you can definitely hear something is missing when accents are not played.
Right, so now to the actual speed lesson. For this we will use shape one of the minor pentatonic as an example.
A Minor Pentatonic :
The basic concept of getting up to speed is to start at a very comfortable speed then work up to your max speed. Lets say for this example this would be 40bpm on 8th notes. This is very slow indeed but this is fine, because you don't know your max speeds yet ( in actual beats per minute ). Play the scale up and down twice without making any mistakes. Then move the metronome up by 2 beats and repeat this process till you reach your max speed. Your max speed would be the point where you are really struggling to keep up to the metronome or you cant keep the notes clean anymore. Please always remember to always alternate pick.
When you reach your max speed, take a 5 minute break and then move the metronome back 20 beats and play the scale again. Once again you play it twice and move the metronone up by 2 beats and play again, but after moving it up by two and playing the scale move the it back down by one beat. You repeat this step until you reach your max speed, but you must remember to not stop there. See if you can go further than your max speed, you should be able to push up your max speed up by a couple of beats after that.
In basic terms this would be the workout :
1.Set metronome to a comfortable speed and play scale
2.Move up by two beats at a time repeating scale until you reach your max speed.
3.Take a break.
4.Set back the metronome by 20 beats and start again.
5.Move up by two beats
6.Move down by one
7.Repeats steps no. 5 and 6 until you match or exceed your max speed. ( Remember to keep playing cleanly. )