Extreme Guitar Speed In 3 Simple Steps

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Here are the three simple steps you must follow to develop any technique to its fullest.

PHASE ONE
1. Create a loop-able exercise.
– Have it stay in the same place on the neck.
– Make sure you can play it evenly without stopping.
– The more inexperienced you are, the smaller should the exercise be.

2. Practice it with a metronome.
– Work on playing the exercise with perfect timing.
– Focus on getting all the details of the technique right.

Result: When it is effortless for you to play this exercise at a low-level of speed you are ready to move on to the next phase.

PHASE TWO
1. Create a neural pattern out of the exercise.
– This is done by focused practice using a metronome.
– Add a little speed to get better at playing the exercise.

Result: Stay at it until you can play the exercise while talking or reading at the same time. And, without losing the ability to get everything right.

PHASE THREE
1. Practice in front of the TV

2. Follow the rule of NO MISTAKES
– If you start making, even the smallest mistakes, slow down.
– If you find it hard to be 100% accurate, slow down.

If you find that you are slipping away from perfect technique when you practice while watching TV, spend some more time with the metronome.

Practice 3-4 hours in front of the TV each day and you will reach your maximum level of speed.

Claus Levin


Extreme Guitar Speed In 3 Simple Steps

20 thoughts on “Extreme Guitar Speed In 3 Simple Steps

    1. Hi Suzanne. In phase two you are basically doing the exact same thing as in phase one, only this time not with the focus of learning to play the exercise loop, but with a focus of total automation. In order to do this you must remain focused at everything you are doing and listen for any inconsistencies. And, you may increase the tempo all you want – as long as you can get everything right. Increasing the tempo is just a tool to get better at playing it “unconsciously” and it gives you more reps per minute which saves you time.

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  1. Andy says:

    Claus: It is surreal to me how effortlessly and efficiently you play your runs. Bravo! I know there are all degrees of talent and ability and not every one has the same dedication. But if what you instruct could even remotely bring my level of proficiency to half of yours, I will be a happy man.

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    1. Hi Andy. Thanks! I feel completely convinced that the reason for my success in this area came from making the decision to become a master of one tiny lick consisting of four notes up and down. I made the decision not to master the instrument, but just this little thing or die trying. I practiced tons of other things all the time, but every time (For two years) that I sat down in front of the TV I would practice that same simple exercise – and of course using the three steps I described in the article. Once you have brought one thing all the way to the limit of your physical abilities, the world of playing guitar is changed forever. It changes everything and completely clears the pathway to learning anything else at the same level. Tell your significant other (If you have one at the moment) to slap you over the head if she ever sees you sitting in the couch NOT HOLDING A GUITAR. Maybe she will enjoy the job?

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      1. Andy says:

        Thank you Claus. My wife already enjoys that job, that is why the back of my head is flat!! But I am committed to being better tomorrow than I am today. How long it takes for me to be satisfied with my skill is anyone’s guess. All I can say is keep your encouragement and instruction coming, it is making a difference for many, I am sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. MAGIC!! Claus. That`s it. It answers the questions I was going to send you regarding my specialty…….. sloppy playing. You saved me some camera work 🙂 Thanks mate. – Take care….Lindsay

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  3. Pete says:

    Great stuff as always, I was wondering if you might show how to keep the fingers low to the strings to help get your speed up it seems my fingers wants to come up slightly higher than I wish and I always concentrate on keeping them as low to the fretboard as possible when I am practicing these small loopable runs, thanks for your inspiration teaching

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    1. Hi Pete. Thanks for the question. It’s a good idea to keep the fingers close to the fretboard but as speed increases this happens automatically because there simply isn’t time to move very much away from the fretboard before another note is coming. But! Out of all the things you can focus on like precision when you fret the note or doing the hammer on effectively or remembering those accents when you practice alternate picking – the distance of your fingers to the fretboard is probably the least important. Look at how far my pinky travels away from the fretboard when I play – even though it travels about as far as it can when there is time, I experience absolutely no delay when I need it to finger a note. And as you can see I use this finger as much as the others. So even though it makes perfect, logical sense to not have your fingers do all kinds of unneccesary movements, it does not have any significant consequence to your playing in general.

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    1. Hi Ernest. Yes it does but it is not the most time effective strategy there is. If you want to learn some licks and learn them fast you need to learn and forget them, the re-learn them again over and over until they stick. The smaller and the more practice sessions you can create and the better you are at “scrambling” the memory of the lick so you can relearn it again – the faster you learn. The second video on this page is about just that, just think about licks instead of scale shapes: (Click the second video, small thumbnail) http://www.clauslevin.com/fretboard-freedom.php

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  4. Michael says:

    Hi Claus, I have embarked on this method and look forward to ‘unconciously’ ripping through scales at some point in my life. I second the comments made about your teaching style. You are focused, fun, and super-motivating. And it motivates ME!

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  5. Joetobin says:

    Amazing what you can do when you take your time got the loop going i play accouctic picking country. have a fender tellacaster stil in thd case. Must try and learn. Great video. .
    Joe

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carlo says:

    Awesome Claus, just what i was searching for, i´m 65 and after a 40year break started playing again some 10months ago. I´m arrived at stage 2 and have one question about the fretting hand: i don´t use my pinky when i don´t have to. I find it difficult stretching my fingers a lot (stiffness or old age or both…). Is it ok using 3 fingers or should i practice in using all four of them? By the way, i consider myself as a beginning intermediate player and i am not looking for “super speed” , just trying to become a little bit faster, is this the wrong approach and should i aim for the maximum achievable?
    Thanks.
    Carlo

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    1. Hi Carlo. Thanks for commenting. Don’t worry about it at all. There are many examples of people hardly using the fourth finger and it seems to have little or no consequence to their skills. It makes more sense to use all four fingers now that you have them, but if your remaning three fingers are up to the extra work, let them go for it!

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