Sooner or later we get the fever to play fast, most of the time without being technically / musically prepared to fight it.In this Youtuber era in which we see more and more speed, the syndrome “Fast and Furious” sticks very easily, especially in those who just begin to take their first steps with an instrument. It is not negative to want to do it, but to do it without being prepared, or in the right way can lead to problems greater than just a musical cacophony, such as tendinitis or other types of physical damage.

In my experience and opinion, the “Musical Speed” is a result of the musical situation in which we are playing and in turn, the musicality of each one. However, I propose below 5 tips that always help me develop speed and musicality on a passage, for when it is necessary to apply it, to be prepared.


PLAY SLOW: the importance of playing and understanding any quick passage in a slow way is very necessary. It helps to visualize and reaffirm the fingerings we choose, as well as our body to adapt to each new musical situation that we face.


GRADUATE THE METRONOME: gradually increasing the BPM of the metronome is an interesting way to gain speed, and what is more important, to discover as we do what is our physical (momentary) limit on the musical passage that we are working. An easy way to do it without stop playing is to use some app or programmable website like the ones I share here, Best Drum Trainer. (Courtesy of Santiago Hernandez)


REPETITION: again and again, since it is the best way to acquire skill over the same passage. If done consciously, for example using the two previous items, in a short time it is possible to appreciate the difference that this practice generates.


USE SLURS: using ligatures of expression in a melody helps many transitions to be more “gentle” (smooth) and this is directly related to “speed”. According to the experience, taste and technique of each musician, the ligatures are used to a greater or lesser extent.


USE RHYTHMIC FIGURES: speed can also be achieved by changing the rhythmic subdivisions (figures) on the same notes of a melody. For example, if the melody is developed in eight notes, play the same notes in triplets, sixteenths or sextuplets.


Until the next post!