Playing guitar faster

#1
The fastest I can go over scales on a good day is 32nd [correction, 16th notes, thank you White Walls, I am a formal music noob] notes at 120 tempo. I've had a few great days where I could go faster, but I don't know how I did it.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to get faster at playing guitar? Exercises, warm up routines? I use a Planet Waves Varipgrip to workout my fingers when I can't play guitar everyday. I try to play at least an hour each day, and usually am able to get in a couple hours of scales/licks/etc three times a week.

Amazon.com: Planet Waves Varigrip Adjustable Hand Exerciser: Musical Instruments
 

Ghonzo

The 47 Ronin
#2
Man i wish i can do what you can and the time :( im probably like really slow compare to you XD
Small hands + jammed pinky not good for guitar atm :(

I use guitar speed whenever i can. Found it off at a guitar forum and got it for free from one of the user.
 

Fasttrak

Staff member
Moderator
#3
The trick is all in muscle memory and that takes repetition. I still play a bit but due to a severe hand injury years ago, I both had to switch to left handed and no longer have a strong picking hand to play off of. I can tell you when it finally clicks, it just clicks. Scales are important but doing them at light speed over and over is not the best way. Varied tempo going up and down several scales over each other to build dexterity is usually best. At the time of my accident I could run through my scales in 64ths pretty easily and was working hard at improvisation of like ascending and descending scales. And don't only work a dozen scales, work as many different ones as you can remember and work their different positions on the neck. Vary up your practices and don't get stuck in a rut of getting bored.


Fasttrak

EDIT: Stay the fuck away from that excercisor. You want light and yet strong dexterity, not Arnold Swartzeneger type brute strength in your finger tips. It's like comparing the compact efficient muscles of a heavy Jiu Jitsu master to a guy who soley body builds, work towards being the Jiu Jitsu master. Also, if you want better musical knowledge and finger strength, grab a nylon string classical and start doing some classical finger picking. This will make you cry with it's difficulty but will produce very strong and dexterous hands.
 
#4
@Ghonzo. Haha, did you hurt it playing basketball? One of the best things I did was use my pinky exclusively for riffs for about a week. Now it's strong and I don't hesitate using it, I actually like it more than my ring finger.

@Fast, I am left handed too, lol, it sucks for finding guitars. Yeah, I need to find some inspiration for varying up scales. About 6 months ago I was writing solos but I kinda got bored of it, so I forgot how to find a lot of sweet notes while improving. How did you go about learning modes? I'm still swamped in that crap.

Alright, I'll ditch it for a little and see how that goes. I do play a little classical on my steel string acoustic. I'm not bad at it, but I always find it hard to incorporate into punk songwriting so I don't do it as much as I'd like.
 

Fasttrak

Staff member
Moderator
#7
Cap, it sounds like you are getting to that point of learning some music theory and the base of all music. Learning the key notes that actually make up each scale and why, what defines a Dorian, Phygian or Pentatonic Minor scale and how they are incorporated into the music you play. As your knowledge grows, so will your ability to step outside your comfort zone and define a sound for yourself. For me, the moment I had the hand injury guitar playing went from hardcore to just a hobby and I now longer work at it very hard. The steel string is good but will never develop your finger strength or touch (the one thing that will allow you to effortlessly move up and down the fretboard with the slightest of pressure) as an old fashioned nylon string guitar. I am well out past twenty years since I used to grind away four hours every day at this stuff, I just play for fun now and honestly have forgotten more then I ever learned.


Fasttrak
 
#9
So I took your advice and am trying to learn a more scales and why they are what they are by reading sheet music (i figured i could brush up on that). Is the harmonic minor scale supposed to sound egyptian on the last two notes?
 

Fasttrak

Staff member
Moderator
#10
So I took your advice and am trying to learn a more scales and why they are what they are by reading sheet music (i figured i could brush up on that). Is the harmonic minor scale supposed to sound egyptian on the last two notes?
Well, scales have been what they are for a very long time. Many in use for longer then the Western world was developed. For this I think you would have to ask Susanna Hoff's and The Bangles musical writers.


Fasttrak