“Tempo Hopping” & How to Get Faster On Guitar

Whether you’ve been playing guitar for a few months…

Or you’ve been rocking out in bands for the last 20 years…

Everyone hits a point where they struggle to get faster… no matter if you’re playing chords or the most complex guitar solo.

The traditional approach to trying to smash through those glass ceilings is to do either:

Persist until you go insane from trying to get it right for hours and hours

Start slow and gradually speed up, only to hit the same brick wall time and time again

… and there’s nothing wrong with either of these two approaches.

Depending on the problem you’re trying to solve, they can both work…

But I want to share with you an exercise my students love called “Tempo Hopping…”

And how it’s helping them to smash through some speed barriers, and to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. (Most students see an increase in speed after just a single hour of training with me.)

Interested?

Here’s how it works…

Grab your favourite guitar and pick something you want to improve at. This could be a chord change. Scale sequence. Arpeggio. Strumming pattern. Picking pattern. Etc...

Download a metronome if you haven’t got one already. (Despite what you might have heard, these are incredibly useful. You can get some for free on your smartphone.)

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Then go through the following steps…

  1. Turn your metronome on to 60BPM and begin practicing your chosen thing for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the timer is up, change the metronome speed to 90BPM and practice for another 2 minutes.
  3. Then you’re going to go down to 75BPM and practice for another 2 minutes. You’re going to keep going like that. Plus 30, minus 15. Plus 30, minus 15…
  4. All the way until the exercise begins to become uncomfortable… then you’re going to keep going.

I know…

You might be thinking - “But Darryl, if I can’t play it any faster won’t I train bad habits if I keep going faster?”

… and that’s a great point. The answer is no.

What we’re doing here is trying to get your brain to think faster. It’s the only way you get your fingers to move faster. And to get your brain to think faster, you have to go beyond the speed you normally play at.

“Tempo Hopping” - How to Get Faster On Guitar

Once you’ve gone to the speed where you can’t keep up and your hands resemble that of a fish out of water…

You can stop.

Now turn the metronome off and try playing the same exercises as fast as you can.

You may notice a difference…

Maybe you don’t…

If you did, congrats! You just got faster. If you didn’t, don’t worry. It can take a few days for the muscle memory to fully kick in. Sit with it, and you’ll notice a difference.

This article was a little different to what I usually post...

I’m sharing with you something that works with my students to get them results, in hope that you can experience the same thing too.

If you enjoyed this content, let me know and I’ll do more of it.