Beginner’s Guide and Tips on How to Play Fast on Guitar

If you are wondering how to play fast on guitar, you’re not the only one. Not only does every guitar player want to develop seamless guitar playing but to also develop the ability to play guitar with speed.

Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t actually have to be an expert guitar player to play your guitar fast.

playing guitar

Increasing Your Picking Speed

Trying to increase your picking speed when playing guitar is not only for the experts and professionals. It can also be a skill practiced by wannabes and beginners.

When your picking speed increases, you will likely feel more comfortable while playing. Your fingers will also be more flexible and light, giving you more freedom and confidence.

However, you have to keep in mind that like every guitar playing skill, working on increasing your picking speed includes some ups and downs that will require a lot of patience and dedication.

  1. It is important to try building your specking up, starting from playing slow, instead of pushing the speed directly. Make sure that you have the proper posture and hand position as well.
  2. To develop your speed in picking, you can practice the alternate picking technique. It is the most common picking technique, and it can produce a unique sound than other techniques. This technique simply uses alternating up and down strokes.
  3. Playing your guitar fast without accuracy is never good. You shouldn’t compromise accuracy. For this, you can try playing your guitar using a metronome. You can either buy it from a local guitar store or download from the web.
  4. Once you are more comfortable playing slow but playing correctly, you can now try playing faster. You can increase your speed as much as you can handle.

There are great speed picking exercises you can do, but regular practice can always help too.

9 Guitar Playing Fundamentals to Master for Speed

For every guitar player, it is always fun to be able to play with speed, and it sounds brilliant especially when done right.

With enough time and effort, these guitar-playing exercises and techniques can be your way of achieving that goal of playing fast.

Fretting Hand Efficiency and Independence

Training your fingers to use your fingertips to fret notes while also keeping them as close to the frets as you can will help you fret notes using the least amount of effort at any given speed.

You should also minimize unnecessary motions of your other fingers that are not used in playing notes. It will help you accurately fret notes and avoid mistakes in playing your guitar.

Picking Hand Efficiency

When practicing playing guitar with speed, you have to be efficient in your picking. The pick must stop in between strings for each finished note without unnecessary movements.

Picking Hand Articulation

Your picking skill must be on point if you want to increase your guitar-playing speed. For this, you have to maintain the same amount of articulation and power on both your upstrokes and downstrokes. You can also practice alternate picking to achieve guitar-playing speed.

Synchronization of Both Hands

In playing guitar, synchronization of both your hands is extremely important, especially if you want to train for fast playing. For this, you must master having both your hands move in perfect sync for each note that you are playing.

Cleanliness in Playing

Accuracy should always come with speed when it comes to playing guitar. You have to eliminate any excess pick motions and string noise as much as you can.

Excessive Tension Control

Fast guitar playing can often be tiring after some time. As such, you have to relax your hands and body in between notes so as to avoid fatigue build up. You need the strength to play fast. This means that you must eliminate the tension in other parts of your body that are not being used when playing.

Integration of Skills

Guitar-playing skills that are mastered alone will be little to no help when you are actually playing your guitar. It is important that you practice integrating skills that you know, making them usable for any musical context.

Metronome Practice

Practicing using metronome correctly when playing a guitar can be a fundamental technique to help build up your speed in playing.

Consistency in Playing

Remember, playing your guitar fast takes time and a lot of practice. Every time you get your guitar to play, you have to learn to play it much better or faster than the last time.

Tips for Fast Guitar Playing

If you can’t play your guitar well while playing it slowly, you can’t just start playing as fast as your fingers can and expect that it will be much better. If you want to be a better guitarist which means that you can also play fast, there is simply no jumping ahead. Here are some tips that can help get you in the right direction towards increasing your guitar playing speed.

Breath and Relax

Trying to play fast on your guitar is not easy. It takes a lot of effort and it will give you a lot of tension. As such, you need your fingers, even your joints, to be flexible to prevent any unnecessary obstruction that can slow you down.

Stretch Your Fingers Before Playing

Stretching your fingers before you grasp and play your guitar can help you a lot especially when it comes to joint dexterity, blood flow, and finger independence. Practice stretching and your speed while playing your guitar will become much easier and will also be less painful.

Practice Finger Twisters

When playing your guitar, especially when learning how to play fast on guitar, your fingers will most likely find themselves in some awkward movements. To help with both your vertical and linear speed, you can practice a technique called tongue twisters but for your fingers. It can serve as a warm-up to make your fingers more flexible.

Rest and Do It Again

Taking some much-needed rest between speed playing your guitar is a must-do. Rest those fingers from time to time but don’t forget to practice regularly.


So, you are now in the right mindset and direction to develop your guitar-playing speed without too much stress and frustration. All you need now is to get that guitar and start practicing how to play fast on guitar.