Are there any exercises or some tips on how to improve speed? If yes then please tell me! I'm already fairly good at guitar. It's just that I'm struggling a bit with the speed of my fingers.
Speed isn't about fretting faster. It's about RELEASING faster. If you release too slowly, then the muscles on the front and back of your hand fight, and you get that "try-hard tendinitis claw."
Thanks for accepting. Maybe I can add a couple more points:
the way to know if you're overtrying is to check the back of your hand. That should be relaxed, all the time.
none of the power should ever come from tightening your wrist.
your fingers should move independently. Your palm should never feel tight or strained, ever.
the muscles in the web between your fingers is a pretty good tell, too: they should not be doing any of the work
Short version: If you focus on relaxing constantly, you'll find that the fingers move pretty darned fast on their own.
There is a standard answer to this. It is fairly simple. You need to practice with a metronome.
- First set the metronome for a much slower speed than the one the piece of music you are practising requires and which is just a bit quicker than you are comfortable with.
- When this becomes comfortable increase the metronome speed by a small amount, say 5 beats per minute, and repeat.
Keep doing this and eventually you will reach the required speed.
How one picks is an important factor. Sometimes alternate picking is advantageous, but not always. Changing from one string to another, it's worth adressing whether the pick on the last string is going in the same direction as the next string. Last note on a G string works better when playing B string next if that stroke is down. It also makes the playing smoother. Fast by itself doesn't equal good. Fast and smooth is better. That's r.h.
L.h needs fingering to be examined, as often that can be improved: try out different fingering, but also consider if you need to change strings more often, or move up and down the same strings.
Guitars with lower actions are often easier to play fast and smooth as the strings are easier and quicker to press down.
Playing legato also speeds things up. There's no need to pluck every note - hammering on, pulling off, sliding, can help. As can hybrid picking, using fingers as well as pick. I find that particularly useful when playing consecutive notes on non-adjacent strings.
The way I was taught to practice and learn fast runs is to practice them in a dotted fashion. So let's say for a run of quavers, practice it as a run of "dotted quaver - semiquaver - dotted quaver - semiquaver - ...", and then as a run of "semiquaver - dotted quaver - semiquaver - dotted quaver - ..." (repeating the practice in each pattern several times before switching).
That way, you learn and practive the quick moves necessary, but there's enough "breathing space" between them so that mistakes don't accumulate. I've used this practice techique successfully in several pieces.
The way I teach speed development is to use two tactics together.
Many people will tell you "to get fast, practice slow". This is true, because slow practice allows you to focus on your technique: distance = time. At any given speed, the farther you are moving, the longer it will take.
So the first tactic is to practice slowly, and pay attention to minimizing distance. Lift your fretting hand fingers as little as possible. Make the strokes (with pick or finger) as short as possible. By reducing the distance, you'll reduce the amount of time needed to complete the sound production.
But slow practice isn't the complete answer, because it doesn't help with the mental part, which is shortening your reaction time. For this, the second tactic is needed...
Play at a speed you can execute perfectly. Let's say it's 80bpm. After playing it once, double the speed and try it at 160. As soon as you make the first mistake, stop. Set the metronome one mark faster than your first speed (so now you're at 84). Do it again. If you can do it without a mistake, go to 160, then try 88 after the first mistake.
By really forcing the tempo, the reduction to 84 will seem more manageable. If you get it up to, say 92, and make a mistake, start it all over again at 80. Over time this will improve your reaction.
But quick reaction without proper execution leads to sloppy performance, so you want the bulk of your speed work to be slow, and focused on technique.