Skip to main content

Speed up your guitar playing in 3 steps

Guitar
(Image credit: Future)

Guitar lessons: If you want to build some serious speed in your lead, focus on one hand at a time. And that means fret placement on your fretting hand to ensure the economy of movement and alternate picking with your picking hand.

1. Fret hand

Guitar

(Image credit: Future)

Get acquainted with the exercise by placing your fretting fingers on the right frets. For bar 1 of the exercise below, use your first, third and fourth fingers; for bar 2, use your first, second and fourth fingers. 

Warm up by using hammer-ons and pull-offs to produce the notes. Don’t pick yet!

Guitar lesson: Getting started with hammer-ons for lead and chords


2. Pick hand

Picking

(Image credit: Future)

Alternate picking means never playing two downstrokes or two upstrokes in a row. Try muting the strings all together with your fret hand so that you can focus on picking evenly and transitioning to a new string cleanly. 

Remember, no fretting for this stage of the exercise!

Essentials Lesson: Alternate picking


3. Combine them for this exercise 

Click in top right of tab to enlarge

(Image credit: Future)