Guitar Speed Picking and Synchronizing Your Hands

Published: 15th February 2006
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So how do you get faster with your picking? How do you get both your hands synchronized when you play guitar? A few simple exercises are all it takes. That and the proper guitar practice methods.

In this article I'm going to demystify the whole process. Learning to play the guitar fast or to Shred is not rocket science...just follow some simple steps. And you will be well on your way to becoming a Guitar God... heheh


  • BPM stands for Beats Per Minute.

  • Always practice in 16th notes.

Step 1

Buy a Metronome if you don't already have one! You can use one of the free online ones, but if you are serious about your guitar playing, invest the money into a metronome.

Step 2

Set aside at least 30 minutes a day 6 days a week to do your drills. Getting fast is no different than anything else...IT TAKES PRACTICE AND DISCIPLINE!


Step 3

SLOW DOWN! This is probably the most important step!

Find a picking speed with your metronome that you can COMFORTABLY PLAY with NO mistakes. You need to learn to play your guitar correctly before you worry about going fast. I know from personal experience that I like to play guitar fast, and push my limit and ability until I get so sloppy it sounds like hell. Here's why this is such a bad idea... If you practice fast and wrong, you will play WRONG. That's it. So SLOW DOWN and PRACTICE GUITAR with 100% accuracy. The speed your looking for will come on it's own!

Step 4

Once you have a comfortable practice speed do your drills (several listed at the end of the article) for at least 5 minutes NONSTOP. Take a few minutes break then fire up your metronome and start another 5 minute drill session. Continue doing this until you have finished your 30 minute speed drill session. (Tip: Use a Timer: you want to limit your drills to ONE part of your practice, not the whole thing)

Step 5

Keep a detailed record of your guitar drills progress! This is important so you can track your improvements. What do you record?
1) Date and Time of Guitar Practice Sessions
2) Metronome Speed Setting and your Target Goal for the 6 day period. Be realistic... if your starting at 50bpm don't expect to play your guitar at 240bpm in 6 days.
3) I find it helpful to keep notes on muscle tension and mood, as I had developed poor guitar playing habits over the years. When I review my notes I can tell what days my playing will be On or Off based on my mood, plus Unlearn the bad habits ;o)

Step 6

Practice consistently 6 days a week and try to push your speed up by 2 to 5 bpm each week. Remember that when you move your speed up you MUST keep playing your guitar cleanly. I.E.: NO MISTAKES. If your making mistakes, your going to fast! See Step 3 again.

Thats about it, keep at it and be consistant and you WILL see improvement.

Keep Practicing that Guitar!

2 Simple Exercises to Get you Started.


Continue up the fretboard to the 12th fret then back down

Repeat for 5 Minutes

Video Source: Youtube

Sally on September 14, 2011 said:
This is great. I realy want to be able to play my guitar quickly but I guess I will have to just work hard at it and practice.

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