There are several things you need to keep in mind when buying a guitar for fast guitar playing. The choice in your guitar will depend on the style of music you want to play. For example, a country player will probably want a Fender Telecaster for fast guitar playing while someone who is more into hard rock might want a Gibson Les Paul style guitar.
You can also buy guitars that are specifically setup for fast guitar playing and make the best choice for those who want to play extremely styles such as metal guitar. Many guitars that are setup for this fast style make playing arpeggios and extreme finger tapping much easier. In this article we'll examine some of the things you need to look for when buying an instrument for fast guitar playing.
The Guitar Neck
Most players who want to play fast will want a 24-fret guitar neck. This makes is easy to hit very high notes that are found in many metal guitar songs. Most metal bands use 24-fret guitars but there are some exceptions to this rule. Most guitar makers offer some great 24-fret guitars. Ibanez, ESP, Jackson, and many others make 24-fret guitars. You can still play fast on guitars that don't offer the additional frets but having a full neck gives you more options when playing fast passages.
You also want to look for guitars that have a cutaway feature in the body. You don't want the guitar body getting in the way of the guitar neck and your hands. You need the freedom to move quickly up and down the neck without having to cramp up your hand to reach the higher notes. Many 24 fret guitars offer this additional room for your hands and will make fast guitar playing much easier for you.
Fast Guitar Setup: Your Strings
One thing you need to look at when you want to play fast on the guitar is your strings. You should use .008 gauge strings or .009 gauge strings on the G, B, and E strings. This will make it easier to play fast sweep picking or do some tapping. When you have light strings you can bend the notes faster and play legato without too much difficulty. Of course the strings are a preference for each player but as a general rule lighter strings will help you play faster on your guitar. You might want a guitar with a tremolo system so you can play guitar tricks like dives that are associated with some fast guitar playing. You can use heavier strings on the bass side of your instrument for playing rhythm passages. For some players strings don't seem to matter like the great Stevie Ray Vaughan who was able to burn through blazing blues guitar phrases with very heavy strings.
Choose the Guitar Right For You
Many guitar players can take a specific guitar and make it work for them for fast guitar playing. Take the neo-classical shredder Yngwie Malmsteen who is able to use a scalloped Fender Stratocaster to create insane fast phrases. Other fast players like Steve Vai prefer the Ibanez guitars. Don't just assume that one specific guitar will make you play fast. You'll need to visit a guitar shop and try out many different models before you find one that works for you. While certain guitars are designed to help you play fast, you might require something completely different for your style. Take the time to check out various guitars before you make your final decision so you don't regret it later. There are many excellent guitars for fast guitar playing and you'll find one that works for you.