How do I play an electric guitar

5 speed exercises for the electric guitar - finally play faster

Exercises for striking faster: This is how you play faster and more varied electric guitar

(Image: © shutterstock - Dmitriy_Tsyupa)

The term "speed" may have a somewhat negative connotation in connection with soloing on the electric guitar. Too often in the past the focus of the game was sought in technical virtuosity, so that one quickly had to put up with the accusation of "fuddlers" as soon as one had a solid technique. However, one should not forget that playing fast can be a form of musical expression and also a solo structure and that slower or medium-paced passages often sound much more relaxed if the guitarist still has some "technical headroom".

That is why every guitarist should familiarize himself with a good craft and a certain technical flexibility, because you never know what tasks the everyday musician will pose. For this purpose I have put together five thematically different exercises that should help you to slowly but surely build up "Speed" and "Stamina". Aspects that are discussed here are: alternate picking, changing strings, playing legato and slides

The following applies to all exercises:

  • start slowly and be thorough
  • practices with the metronome
  • try, if you feel safe, to choose a speed that is "too" high in order to explore your limits
  • develops an awareness of your muscles: Am I too tense? Do cramps block my mobility?
  • try different strings, positions, patterns and keys!

With these exercises for more speed on the electric guitar you can learn how to play cleanly and quickly.

1. Alternate picking with one note per string

Here you can see an m7 arpeggio that we usually like to sweep, but we play with consistent alternation:

2. Alternate picking with two notes per string

To extend the whole thing to two strings, the pentatonic scale is of course a good choice:

3. Alternate Picking with Durscale Pattern

The major scale gives us more notes per string and we can try out various patterns:

4. Legato on one string

Now we dedicate ourselves more to the grasping hand. Here we find a legato pattern on a string that is chased through the layers with slides:

5. Legato with major-scale pattern

Finally, I'll show you two major scale patterns that span two strings. The first focuses more on hammer-ons, while the second puts more emphasis on pull-offs.

5. Legato with major-scale pattern