Build Your Speed: 4-Chord Practice Drill

This lesson is a speed-building playalong exercise, designed to work on developing physical memory in your fingers. You may wish to come back to it regularly as part of your regular practice routine.

Speed-building exercises also help develop the smoothness and pacing of your fingerpicking.

I will play the chords in this order, using the fingerpicking variation #1:

//: Am / Am / C / C / G / G / D / D ://

I'll play this cycle once at a modest pace. When I begin the cycle again, I will increase the speed just a little bit. I will do this for five rounds, getting a little bit faster every time.

In the beginning, you may only be able to make it through Round One, or Round Two. With repeated practice however, you should be able to stay with me all the way through Round Five.

As you speed up, play close attention to your accuracy. Try not to let your playing get sloppy. Also, try to relax and not think too hard. Let your fingers do the work.

As we are working on developing physical memory with this exercise, you want to get to the point that your fingers "know" the moves without your supervising them too closely. Playing along with me is a great way to develop that skill.


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