Tricks to play faster and with better rhythm

  • When you first start playing you will feel clumsy, robotic and stutter from one chord to the next. You are playing the right notes in the right order but the song you are trying to play sounds like a record that is jumping. Guitar music normally requires a mix of swift plucking and strumming to keep the rhythm of the song moving along. With classical guitar it is even more essential that you get your technique right and get your fingers and hands moving at the correct rhythm of the song. 

    If you are having problems with your rhythm, you should invest in a metronome straight away. Set the rhythm of the metronome slow when you start and then gradually start to increase the speed once you have mastered the slower speeds.

     

    Once you feel you are going as fast as you can, you need to try some new techniques such as: sweep picking, ligato and tapping. If you don’t start to string together these techniques with the right pace, your classical guitar playing will sound robotic. 

     

    There are three basic techniques that will allow you to start playing faster. The first is to reduce the amount of notes you are playing.  Play less notes but make sure the notes are nice and close together.

     

    The second is repetition and muscle memory; just keep playing the same scales and get really good at the basics. The third, has nothing to do with your fingers; make sure that you focus on your breathing. Good relaxed breathing is essential to be able to focus on making your fingers move faster.

    Playing scales or using a guitar with a long string action will help you build up your finger strength. This will help you hit the notes perfectly with just the right amount of pressure and to be able to play long sections of fast notes in sequence.

     

    Being able to play quickly and well is a great way to take your guitar playing to the next level and will unlock another level of creativity in your playing.