I'm really struggling with improving my hand speed in both hands while keeping the accuracy, anyone got anything that really worked for them that they would recommend?

  • For how long have you been playing? How much time per day do you spend on technique? What speed are you aiming to achieve? Jul 4, 2014 at 20:52
  • I've been playing about 5 years now, spend maybe 30 mins a day on technique, but originally I'm a fingerstyle guitarist. I'm playing in a very good big band next year, which will require me to be very quick! Jul 4, 2014 at 21:22
  • 2
    Sounds like a private teacher is recommended at this stage, since there's not much time to lose... There's no simple recipe other than to practice a lot, and in the right way. It's hard to know what things you do right or wrong in this forum. Jul 4, 2014 at 21:26

4 Answers 4


if you want to play faster than you currently are, you should focus on efficiency.

As you play faster and faster, wasted movement becomes more and more detrimental to the final effect.

Watch yourself in your mirror, and play the passage slowly. Is there wasted movement ? There almost always is.

The fastest guitarist move very efficiently. Minimize position shifts, make the most of your picking patterns. If you are playing legato, make the most of the velocity you build up on the hammer ons. Make the hammer ons onto one quick movement.

If you maintain enough energy with the hammer ons, you will be able to do the pull offs by directly lifting your fingers off the strings (instead of doing mini plucks with your pull off hand ) saving speed and energy.


With five years playing under your belt you hopefully know about starting any thing slowly at first then building speed up once you've got it correct.

But have you tried doing 1 minute drills where you play as fast as you can- short chord transitions, arpeggios, etc.. not worrying so much about accuracy while counting how many times you played thru your drill? Keep track of your progress. The 1 minute drills helped me immensely.

While 30 minutes on technique seems like a lot can you increase it thru out the day? 30 minutes here 10 or 20 there? It all adds up.

Are your fingers strong and limber? Really helps.

Also a good teacher will prove to be invaluable if you decide to go that route. He/she can spot things that you can't see in the mirror and offer suggestions to help you improve and usually quickly with a motivated player. Best to you.


Practice a lot have the right techniques Legatto and alternate picking for speed at the same time helps speed up your playing quite well Use a metronome and play the music at a lower speed and start speeding up toll you get it right I play to backing tracks and I speed then up a bit to challenge myself you can do so too


If you want to play fast, practice slow. Real slow to a metronome. And then count 1/8 notes against it: 1 and 2 and ...

Then triplets. Then 16ths. Use this for scales and arpeggios. Eventually move to cross picked across the neck, one note on each string, with the pick alternating.

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