How to Increase Your Playing Speed

November 10, 2016

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How to Increase Your Playing Speed

We all want to be able to play super fast like Yngwie Malmsteen, but a lot of times we don’t know how to start and the task seems so overwhelming and time costly that we never even start. We just want to wake up one day being able to play notes at the speed of light. If you’re on this website then you’re probably not super experienced with a guitar, and that’s okay. This guide will be for those that are not that experienced playing guitar.

This is a starting point.

You’re only beginning, the first thing I want you to do is to commit to playing as much as you can and not quitting or getting mad when you can’t play something as fast as you would like.

This is a process that takes many many years. Yngwie Malmsteen himself has stated that he played all day and night, practiced every hour that he could. If you don’t know who he is click here, he is insanely good at guitar. I show you him to show you that playing like this is real and it can be accomplished.

With A LOT of practice. There are NO shortcuts

Let’s get right into it


Metronomes are very important when you want to build speed. Everybody has a phone these days, you don’t need a real metronome you can just download an app on your phone for a metronome.

The way you use a metronome is simple, just turn it on and it’s going to click a set amount of beats per minute. You will have a certain lick or exercise you will be playing and you will play it to the beat of the metronome.

You can play two notes for every click, four notes for every click, or even one, you can do whatever you want as long as it’s consistently on beat.

After you feel like you have a certain clicks per minute down, go faster, go faster until you’re really struggling.

First Lick

You can do this on any string but I like the G and B strings. This is the tab.

———-7—–8——-10—–8—7——–8—–10—8— repeated

———-7—–9——–10—-9—7———9—–10—9– repeated

These will hurt your wrists. They will work though. If you play these to a metronome and get faster and faster, it will have done what it was supposed to do.

Paul Gilbert

Now for a multi string lick.

Back in the days where video tapes existed and you had to pay for them, there existed a company called REH who used to make videos exactly for this purpose. They used to take players who knew how to play super fast and cool licks and have them create lessons for the viewers.

Easily the most famous REH hot lick video is Paul Gilbert’s Intense Rock Sequences and Licks. If you show this article to almost any guitar player who can play fast, they know exactly where this is about to go.

Paul Gilbert is known and thanked by all guitarists for this one lick that he uses to build speed. I’ll tell you how to play it now.

Play this lick with a metronome on.

e ———————————-12—————————

b ——-12——13———15———15———-13——–12

These are the high e and b strings. You’re going to want to play this lick over and over again to build speed. This is going to really show you the frustrations of playing fast. String hopping is the worst! You will learn how to play while string hopping with this lick and plenty of pick slanting.

You will get mad trying to play this but it is okay, you’re going to progress with practice.

Keep practicing every day and you will get faster and faster without even noticing how fast you’re getting.

Watch all of those videos and play all of these licks and you will get faster in no time.


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