Advice on increasing fretting hand speed and synchronisation

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I have been playing for around 3 years, I can play loads of songs and solos but anything with any fast parts I struggle getting up to speed. It's like my fingers will go no faster.

Anyone got any good drills to do to work on speed with my fretting hand, picking hand and synchronisation between the two to get my speed up.

As an example, I can play Ace of Spades really well except the solo, I can play it at 80% no issue but can't make that 20% jump as there is one fast lick near the start that I just can't do fast enough.

Thanks
Chris


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Comments

  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 2383
    I found by looking at pick grip styles online and changing how i held my pick suddenly my picking speed increased massively.  Really does make a big difference how you hold it.  Once I was flowing with my pick grip and picking motion I was able to practice syncing much more successfully as I wasn't straining to keep up anywhere.
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  • I'm going to say it before anyone else does. Practice.

    There really is no substitute, no short cut, no magic technique, no silver bullet and no internet course that will make it happen. You need to be playing, little and often sat in front of the tv, when you get up in the morning, when you finish work, after you finish dinner!

    Yes it's a pain but there is no other way.


    Good luck!

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  • DeeTeeDeeTee Frets: 736
    I found by looking at pick grip styles online and changing how i held my pick suddenly my picking speed increased massively.  Really does make a big difference how you hold it.  Once I was flowing with my pick grip and picking motion I was able to practice syncing much more successfully as I wasn't straining to keep up anywhere.
    Was this Troy Grady or something else? 
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 2383
    DeeTee said:
    I found by looking at pick grip styles online and changing how i held my pick suddenly my picking speed increased massively.  Really does make a big difference how you hold it.  Once I was flowing with my pick grip and picking motion I was able to practice syncing much more successfully as I wasn't straining to keep up anywhere.
    Was this Troy Grady or something else? 
    No one in particular,  just researched different players and noticed they all held their pick a certain way that I wasn't and when I changed it made such a difference to me.  
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 502
    Try playing just upstrokes when picking then try just downstrokes ...you see straight away where you are lacking ...most people it's upstrokes ...try practising that only for a week or so or until both up and down come as natural as each other ....then do the alternate picking again ....
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  • TheMadMickTheMadMick Frets: 40
    The usual advice is to start about half speed and build up slowly. Bit of a pain, I can tell you from personal experience. It does work.
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  • CoffeeAndTVCoffeeAndTV Frets: 121
    It’s just controlled and regular practice, it’s surprising how much you can accomplish working on something everyday.  

    I think the hardest part is ensuring the technique allows you to get faster.  If you’re playing inefficiently it’s harder to progress.  I basically ripped off Paul Gilbert’s posture in the Intense Rock 1 video. 
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  • HWMHWM Frets: 2
    I got to the point where I was despairing at my lack of progress, especially speed. I abandoned my practices and started asking questions. What is my hand actually doing? was the main one. I ended up sitting with my eyes shut slowly moving the tip of the plectrum over the profile of each string for about an hour. I swear I thought I was losing it. 

    Looking at classical musician practice advice I came across a classical guitar lesson that dealt with the initial lesson. It advised on a technique for placing the fingers on the strings, not making any sound, just placing the fingers. The instructor went on to say that should be practiced every day for 3 hours for at least seven days. I went back to my crazy practice method and thank fully it paid off. My picking became more accurate and mistakes decreased so enjoyment and speed increased.

    The whole point is the brain has to be trained to know where everything is accurately for any physical activity and this starts with conscious effort. Tying your shoelaces is a good example. Really hard as a kid requiring lots of effort. Instinctive in later life.

    However, at a certain point the conscious approach has to be abandoned as the body does these things best instinctively. Once I reach a level of playing with any single exercise I realise now I have to move from thinking about what my hands are doing and let them get on with it as I did when I was originally stuck.

    Looking back, my problem boiled down to trying to learn how to play songs rather than learning how to play guitar.

    One important thing I discovered is that peoples hands are not the same. Some people have tendons connected in one way, 30% will have a different connection. Some people have tendons joined as they run through the carpal tunnel limiting independent finger movement but increasing overall strength, others don't. The variations are considerable. The upshot of this research was advice to piano players that some exercises that benefit one group of players can harm others. The example given was with a hand flat on a surface trying to raise the third finger independently to the same height the rest could achieve individually. This was good for developing independent movement in most cases but about 20% risked tearing tendons linked in a certain way.

    If it hurts, STOP. Just because someone else can do it doesn't mean you can. Those connected/disconnected tendons may mean you have a natural ability in one area but limitations in another.
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  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    It’s a common classical practice technique to alter the rhythm. So if you’re playing something that demands semiquavers, try playing it dotted - ie humpty-dumpty rhythm; then when you’ve got that right and up to speed, try it the other way (badum-badum). Then go back to straight semiquavers. 

    It’s very effective. 
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 5606
    … and as an extension to that try left hand damping (press and release) to shorten the duration of each note
    Known here as Old Misery Guts or the Big Bad Classified's Sheriff. Also guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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