If playing your guitar like your favorite guitarists – Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimmy Page have been your ambition over time. Rocking to guitar solos as fast as they do. It is easy if you can go through the sacrifices they all paid to play that fast. Getting along with the tested guitar scale exercises will get you ranked among your favorites.
That sounds impractical, right? Yeah, I know, but trust me you can do it because these guitar scale exercises are well beaten and tailored to make that possible for you.
Get your goals and purposes in view and be intentional about it and see yourself living your dream. Playing fast doesn’t come so naturally.
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Get Your Four Fingers Drilled
This is more like daily warming up, the process to increase the speed and dexterity of your four fret fingers. In it lies the foundation to all other exercises, so you need to get it undestroyed.
The exercise is one of the simplest and easy to do scale exercise, which helps to get fingers jerked up. This is not only good at helping your speed at playing, but also helps to keep your fingers parted.
More so, the principle is based on playing four notes with your fret fingers along with the metronome. Pick each note individually without the use of any legato technique such as the hammer-ons and pull-offs. This is achieved by going one fret higher every time you reach the high or low E string.
You should try starting on a very slow tempo or the one best convenient for you. When you get comfortable playing on that tempo while keeping up with time, then you can increase the beat gradually till you start to play very fast.
Get Your Three Fret Fingers Trained
Getting your three fret fingers drilled is one sure way to playing fast. It gives your fingers dexterity and flexibility. It is very much about the first exercise, the only difference is that three fingers and not four are used.
Practice using the 1-2-4 pattern and the 1-3-4 pattern. Ensure repeating the process, numbing out of the pains, and focusing on the glory.
Practising this constantly keeps your fourth and third fingers apart and this would lead to you racing so fast on your guitar. Just like with the four-finger drill, be sure to mix it up by ascending strings with descending fretboards and descending strings with ascending fretboards.
Strengthening Your Fingers
When fingers are not feeble, you can be so sure of speed with those fingers. The index and middle fingers are usually the strongest of fingers, with the ring and little fingers being the weakest.
Having your fingers built and well stuffed with strength could be a problem to speed. But there are guitar scale exercises to get them running with vigor like Usain bolt
The impression is to only pick the string once for each group of notes. To let your notes sound louder, you are forced to apply a greater amount of pressure to your fingers. Restart after the first exercise with your middle finger. So hammer-on from the 6th to the 7th fret, then the 6th to the 8th.
Get Familiar with the Fret Board Dots
The fretboard dots are found by looking down the aisle of the neck. They are normally found on the third fret. Fifth fret, seventh fret, ninth fret, and twelfth fret.
The dots allow you to move faster and accurately while playing. They can serve as references or markers for common root notes.
Get Your Fingers Close To the Fret Board
When your fingers fly while playing, it reduces your accuracy. Just as pros get their fingers so clingy to the fretboards, you should also learn to do that. This would help you hit the right notes quickly.
There are a few things you can do to help yourself play like the pros. How then do I do that?
This is done by sliding your hands through the fretboards without moving your fingers off the strings. Ensure to learn to place your left arm and wrist properly on the boards.
Lastly, when moving from one fret to another, ensure at least a finger slides on top of the thicker strings.
If you already practice this, keep doing it. And if you are yet to place this exercise into your practice routine, you should include it. This together with all other guitar scale exercises will place on top, wilding with your guitar.
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Major and Minor Interval Exercise
This includes the minor second, which it notes are separated by a semitone, and then the major second, which is all about notes separated by a whole tone.
Getting the Weakest Finger Strengthened
It is aimed at strengthening your feeblest fingers, which are obstructing your energies to play faster. The ring and little fingers are usually the weakest fingers for most guitarists.
Regardless of the fingers at stake, practicing on any finger will go a long way in improving your playing.
It follows almost the same pattern as with the first exercise, that is the four fingers drilling. The only alteration is that rather than playing your four notes per string, you play two. These two fingers should be your identified weakest fingers.
So if it is your ring and little finger, you play using the two fingers.
The Legato Technique
The legato technique involves the use of hammer-ons and pull-offs. This technique is usually employed by some great guitarists like Gary Moore playing the blues. This increases their speed while playing.
Although a legato style of playing is harder on your fretting hand and easier on your picking hand. You need to have the strength and dexterity to fret each note without picking. You must also do this, putting in mind the timing and your speed.
The legato technique can therefore be easy when you apply them to every exercise above. In no time with enough practice, you’d get so comfortable playing with the legato technique.
All you need to do is play each string once and use hammer-ons and pull-offs to fret the notes and avoid alternate picking of notes. Apply this to every exercise above to get the best out of it.
Skip Your Strings
The unique ability of this exercise is that you skip between strings. In this exercise, you do not play up and down in order on your strings.
Skipping strings is a very common thing to do whilst soloing because this exercise gives you your shot at increasing your speed.
This exercise is your plug at tackling fast descending runs on the same string. You should do it repeatedly for long
Practicing your arpeggios on every of your known chord in your practice routine goes a long way in helping you play faster.
You should start using a metronome at a tempo very comfy. Then you can speed up the reaction rate by increasing the tempo gradually.
During your daily practice, ensure to familiarize and learn to play every available scale patterns such as the major, minor, pentatonic, blues, and chromatic scales. Have them acquainted with your fingers till they become intimate friends then brothers.
Playing Your Scale Patterns at Speed
This is an advanced circle of the preceding exercise. It is not enough to know the pattern, you should train your fingers to play very fast. A metronome is advisable in which you increase the tempo gradually.
Analyze Your Progress
This is a great exercise, yeah it is. This because you get to assess yourself by being sincere with yourself. You can do this by asking experts questions such as ‘Is it sounding right’ ‘am I on the right keys’ and many more puzzles.
Finally, learn to resist the urge of playing fast. Absorb each process patiently. Speed is usually a byproduct of your intense practice back to back. So start slow and the process naturally teaches you to go faster.
Kindly share with us in the comment section what guitar scale exercises you do daily to improve your speed.