Can I Improve My Lead Speed--Guitar?

by Mike
(Tulsa, OK)

Is it possible that some people just CAN'T get it? I've been playing roughly off and on for about 20 or so years and I STILL can not do leads if my life depended on it. I just can't get my finders to move fast enough. I struggle keeping up with some of the lessons that "slow it down".

So is it possible that some people just do NOT have the ability?

It's not that I can't play guitar. I can jam. But the problem is all the cover songs I play are rhythm only. I'd give anything to be able to pick up a guitar and just wail like you see other guitarists do. That's what you typically imagine when you picture a guitarist right? Instead I'm all "Chug chug chug chug"...


Hi, Mike--

It's difficult to answer your question without knowing more specifics--like how fast are you trying to be, how fast ARE you, and what measures have you taken to improve your speed?

Of course, we all have different abilities as far as finger dexterity is concerned, but I have never seen ANYONE who could not improve their playing speed.

Have you tried practicing with the metronome. Scale practice is essential if you want to do fast solos. Why? Because solos are essentially just scales in various configurations.

Please visit Practicing Guitar Scales for free lessons in how to practice scales to improve your speed.

You will also find some valuable information about picking speed at Fast Alternate Picking Exercises

Another thing that you need to do is to isolate exact passages that you are having trouble with and determine exactly what the problem is. You can divide passages into shorter segments and practice them as suggested in the above lessons.

Try these suggestions and if you have more speicific information that you can give me, respond in the "Comments" section of this page and I will try to help.

Best Wishes,

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