If you want that extra edge that makes you a dangerous guitar gunslinger. If you are always on the lookout for “new” secrets to increase guitar speed. Then, you should be doing these five things as a foundation to increase guitar speed picking.
1. Play With Alternate Picking
You cannot play guitar fast without using up/down pick strokes. While you might be able to play some runs quickly by picking only down strokes or up strokes, you can never substantially increase guitar speed without using alternate picking.
2. Use A Proper Pick
If you want to increase guitar speed, then you must use the right kind of pick. A flimsy pick does not lend itself well to fast alternate picking. This is because a flimsy or very thin pick tends to get hung up on the strings because when you pluck a string, the pick actually bends before releasing from the guitar string. This “hang time” slows your guitar picking and is a limitation if you want to increase guitar speed.
A thicker pick is less likely to bend when picking, and therefore, does not get delayed with each pick stroke. So, if you want to increase guitar speed, use at least a medium thickness pick (0.84 mm or 0.033 inches).
3. Sandpaper Your Pick
You want to sand your pick using a medium grit sandpaper. By sanding the business end of your pick, you give the pick more of an edge and allows the pick to grab onto the strings better.
I find that sanding the entire pick not only adds edge and grab to strings, but also helps you get a better grip on the pick and cuts down on having the pick slip out of position between your thumb and finger.
4. Get A Metronome And Use It
There are any number of online metronomes you can use. Practicing with a metronome is critical not only to increase guitar speed incrementally, but also using a metronome trains you to keep the proper time when playing. After all, the drummer doesn’t always keep proper time and as a guitarist, you must be able to maintain proper time or else your band’s performance will suffer. There are all kinds of tricks and techniques to using a metronome to increase guitar speed. Find a technique that you are comfortable with and practice.
5. Have The Action On Your Guitar Set Low
Adjusting the action on your guitar by moving the strings nearer or farther from the fretboard is a major undertaking. If you are reluctant to start tampering with the machine parts on your guitar, take your guitar to a reputable tech to have the adjustment done. If you want to adjust the guitar’s action yourself, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly and buy the proper tools, if you don’t already have them. You will find that you can increase guitar speed when the strings are as close as possible to the fretboard without causing fret buzz or fret outs. Put another way, make sure your guitar strings are adjusted as low as possible to the fretboard to accommodate your playing while still fully sustaining notes.