“There is no trick," says Tom Morello regarding building your finger speed as a guitar player. But there is a very clear method. "Memory comes from accurate repetition," he continues. "So if there’s a thing you’d like to play, the key thing – and you can do it with a metronome – is to slow it down so you can play it absolutely accurately, however slow, until you’ve completely mastered it and can play it 200 times in a row at that slow speed and then go one click up. Then do it again, and then up another click.
"One of the things I’ve learned is not to rush it. If you want to master it , you just have to be patient. There’s nothing you can’t play – at any speed – if you’re willing to put the time into it.”
Our simple speed-building exercise follows Tom’s method to the letter and will improve your alternate picking and fingering synchronisation. We start out nice and slow at 80bpm then build through to 200bpm. Remember, this is just a simple exercise for you to have a go at – but make sure to apply Tom’s process to the music you want to learn.