The Best Method for Increasing Picking Speed Using a Metronome

Welcome to the final excerpt from to my brand new course, The Creative Guitarist: "How to Write More Expressive, Emotional, and Melodic Lead Guitar Solos."

In yesterday's blog post, I showed you "How to Prepare Your Guitar for Writing Creative Guitar Solos." In that post, you learned of a great guitar maintenance tool to help you play smoother, faster solos.

And in this final post of this series celebrating the release of The Creative Guitarist, I want to share with you a ground-breaking technique for increasing picking speed.

Read on to find out more.


Tips for Increasing Picking Speed: Subdivisions

I recently learned this awesome speed picking technique from an awesome guitar player named Al Joseph. He recommends using subdivisions in your practice sessions. Take a metronome, set it to a bpm that's comfortable for you, and practice it at that speed, then use subdivisions to increase the speed without increasing the metronome's speed. Mind blown, right? 🤯

The Metronome is Your Friend for Increasing Picking Speed

In other words, you don't have to keep increasing your metronome speed each time to increase your picking speed. You set the metronome on one speed/bpm, and then you change your actual picking hand's speed with different subdivisions.

Start with a small phrase or motif you've already been working on to build up your speed. Phrases that utilize only two sets of strings (like the main phrase I practiced in the video above) makes it a whole lot easier.

After you've chosen your preferred lick, phrase, etc., begin playing each note in quarter notes. A nice, easy pace to start with. Then 8th notes, 8th-note-triplets, 16th notes, 16th-note-triplets (that's about as fast as you'd want to go). Then, after you've achieved the fastest subdivision, start to slow things back down in reverse order of subdivisions, and increase and decrease your speed every two measures or so.

In the video above, what I wanted to practice is not an entire lick but a smaller portion, just the individual shapes and pattern. I didn't know the exact tempo. I just guessed the tempo at around 86 beats per minute.

Suggested Metronomes

You can use online apps like metronome online (shown below). This one's my personal favorite, and it also comes as a smartphone app. Speaking of which, you can also try out smartphone apps like Pro Metronome. I typically use an app on my phone, but in the video, a simple digital Qwik Time metronome (also shown below) was readily available. Whatever works for you.

online metronome for increasing picking speed
digital qwick time metronome for increasing picking speed

One Key Point for Increasing Picking Speed

One key point to remember when increasing your picking speed is adjusting the metronome to the correct time signature. It felt out of sync for me when I was demonstrating the technique in the video, so I adjusted it to 3/4 time instead of 4/4, and it worked out better. 6/8 is also another common time signatures.

You can check out a couple of Al Joseph's videos I've included below to see a how a real pro does it. Practicing with subdivisions to increase your picking speed is definitely a game-changing technique that I think would be very helpful to anyone looking to work on speed picking.

Eventually you will get faster. Just keep at it. Also, keep in mind any phrases on the thinner strings may be a bit more difficult because the strings are a bit more flexible, more flimsy. So be sure to practice your licks on all strings. Octave licks are great for this type of practice technique as well.

So the next thing you can try when addressing any trouble spots for increasing picking speed is get out a metronome and use subdivisions to work out the kinks.

Thanks for joining me on this series celebrating the release of my new course The Creative Guitarist. For a free preview of the course, check out the modules below.

The Creative Guitarist Extras

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You'll also get access to an over 30,000–word course book curriculum that details everything in the course—and which is essential to the course itself.

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I'll also even give you access to my private Facebook Community just for The Creative Guitarist customers. (Don't worry about the number of members, more people will join as the course grows.)

So if you're interested in learning more great tips and insights about how become more creative in general and write creative guitar solos like your favorite guitar heroes, check out the official course page. The first several lessons are available for free preview.

Then, once you're ready to sign up, the checkout process is super easy. Or simply scroll down a little further to the "Buy Now" button below to purchase the course directly.

I'm very proud of this product, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Now, get ready to create some of the most emotional, expressive, and melodic lead guitar solos you've ever written.

I'll see you on the inside.

Start reading this series from the beginning by visiting the post "The Creative Guitarist Course Introduction and Overview."

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Maybe you can relate...

• Do you find yourself frustrated at watching other guitarists play seemingly effortless, emotional guitar solos while wishing you knew how to write your own? (I've felt this way, too.)
• Have you always wanted to play guitar solos in a more melodic, expressive, and creative way? (I can help with that.)
• Is the lack of knowing how to read music notation or learn music theory holding you back in your goals of writing compelling guitar solos? (No need for either in this course.)
• Have you always wanted to learn how to play the most effective notes in your own guitar solos but never understood where to begin? (I cover this and lots more in the course.)

If you’ve found yourself asking these or similar questions and feeling these thoughts and emotions, you’ve come to the right place.

In this Masterclass, "The Creative Guitarist," you'll get access to a wealth of resources that address the concerns and frustrations many guitarists around the world have expressed when trying to write and play their very own creative guitar solos.

Such resources include…

• A 30,000-WORD COURSEBOOK covering everything you need to know about how to write expressive, emotional, and melodic lead guitar solos...
• Brand new INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS that complement the course materials and which will show you the exact process of how I take a solo from inspiration to inspiring...
• Transcribed GUITAR TABLATURE of several of these full-length guitar solos in PDF, mp3, and Guitar Pro format...
• Access to a PRIVATE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY dedicated to giving you the support, accountability, and inspiration you need on your own journey to becoming a creative guitarist—both from myself and others who have already joined the community...
• All this and MORE!

So if you're interested in seeing what "The Creative Guitarist" has to offer, go ahead and start the course below. The first several lessons are free to preview.

If you're so stoked that you want to just purchase the course now, you can do so by clicking "Buy Now" below:
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