Tag Archives: guitar exercises for speed

Guitar Exercises For Speed # 1

There are as many guitar exercises for speed as there are guitars is the world. One of the most common is the regular old 4 finger pattern where you use 1 finger on each fret and play across the strings.

For example, start on the 6th string first fret with your first finger. Continue on with your second finger on the second fret third finger on the 3rd fret etc. Then repeat on the 5th string, 4th string etc.

Now this guitar exercise for speed can be done 2 different ways.  Some players will do all 6 strings and then move up to the second fret of the first string with their first finger and continue on with 1 2 3 4. Some players will move up a fret but reverse going 4 3 2 1.  Click here to see a great shred guitar program doing this. I like the first way because then I can play all 24 patterns of the 4 finger combinations on all frets and string. Either way is good and both are beneficial guitar exercises for speed

Things to remember.

  • Always use alternate picking it’s a must when practicing this exercise.

Using a metronome is a really important. Not only will it improve your timing tremendously, but also this way you can monitor your progress. I teach my student to write down the date and the metronome setting that they are using for any guitar exercise for speed. Motivating yourself to keep practicing will help keep you motivated when you could potentially get burned out on the same exercise.

Remember remember remember “repetition is the mother of skill” its so true and I cant express enough how important it is for you to keep on keeping on when you get burnt out on any exercise for guitar speed. This one trait or attitude towards practicing is one of the most important traits that will set you apart from all the wannabes in the guitar shred world. It’s a tried and proven fact, that the most successful people in anything are the ones who do what needs to be done whether or not they feel like doing it. Its true in business and its true with guitar exercises for speed.
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Guitar Shred – Learn the Inventions

For those of you studying your guitar shred, here is some new material you need to spend some time on. Bach’s 15 inventions

. If nothing else you need to learn Invention # 4 in D minor.  The first two measures alone make an awesome picking exercise,  But on top of that, they’re great tunes.


Learn at least the right hand part of the inventions. (the top line) And learn it in all positions. This can be a time consuming process, but it is well worth it if you do it. And if you are feeling even more ambitious, record the right hand part and practice the left hand part along with your recording.


Getting together with a friend to jam on the inventions is a great way to improve

.  You will really have to be in sync with each other or they aren’t going to sound good.  They can be technically challenging so go slow and take your time.


Players like Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai and Mike Stern have all mentioned practicing bach.  That should be enough to let you know that if you are serious about guitar shred, you need to learn some or all of these.




Guitar Shred – The Half Speed Workout

One of the guitar shred practice techniques that really works

, but involves some patience is practicing a lick or scale or riff at half speed. what you will be doing here is taking something that you are practicing and slow it down to roughly half the speed you can play it perfect. I know that many times you have been told to practice something at the speed you can play it perfect, but here I’m asking you to go even slower.

In this guitar shred practice technique, what you are doing is really focusing on each movement your fingers are making

. You don’t want stop and think “this is too slow” or “whats this doing for me”? Just go ahead and do it and i recommend doing it for about a week. It’s a great idea for practicing guitar and I have even heard about about drummer who had practiced at half speed for an entire year! I should also mention that this guy is a highly sought after studio drummer. So i think his testimonial is good enough evidence that you should be doing this.

Every time you hear about a great guitarist practicing they always mention practicing slow. So the proof is right there in those stories and interviews that practicing slow is a must for you. This is just taking it a step further. Ok many steps further and asking  you to really slow down and to make sure that every movement you make is a good movement. You will see great results in your guitar shred ability.

This type of practice will also force you to focus on the sound. You will be hearing the notes of what you are playing and then when you speed it up you wont be just hearing a mash of notes, you will be hearing the lick that you have practiced all week slowed down. Again I must say that this will take some patience but try it for a week and then report your finding hear. I am certain that you will have good results.

So lets get an example. Supposed you have a really fast pentatonic lick that is driving you nuts.
Step one is to slow it down to the point where you can play it perfectly. Get in the groove with it at that speed and spend a little time playing it there. Then cut the metronome setting in half and practice the lick at the new speed. This is going to feel really slow but do it anyways. Really pay attention to what you are playing. Make sure that you have no wasted motions and all the notes are clean. Stay at this speed for an entire week. Believe me you will notice some results. At the start of the next week bring the metronome setting half way between your speed you play the lick perfect and this new speed that you were practicing at. spend the week practicing in the middle. By the end of this week you are going to see serious results.

I’d love to hear your results, please post them here and share this article with all your guitar shred friends. Click here for the ultimate guitar shred workout!

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