What can we do improve our fretting hand technique? Often our goal is to play fluidly and increase the range of tempos that we can play in. This includes playing not only fast tempos, but slow ones too. There are a few basic areas to focus on that will help.
Minimize the distance above the strings that your fingers reach between notes.
We can cut down on this distance and lower the amount of time it takes to get from one note to the next. Rather than taking the scenic route we can take the quickest route.
Move the finger as quick as possible at the very moment you want the note to sound.
Train the finger in this way and you will find that the finger trained to move at the same speed independent of tempo. Fast passages or working with fast tempos will sound very natural and easy.
Speed comes from accuracy not from trying harder.
Practice at slow manageable tempos and focus on finger placement. We want to use the very tip of the finger much of the time. We also need to place the finger as close to the fret (picking side) as possible. This allows for minimal effort and pressure on the string and decreases the amount of risk for buzz.
Focus on the hand and three largest fingers.
Watch video of Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery, or anyone one that plays fast lines with ease. Generally, don’t force the hand to compensate for the pinky’s lack of size. The hand should feel comfortable.
Keep the neck pointed up slightly and allow the hand to lay naturally without bearing any weight.
Allow the picking hand side of the body to manage the weight of the guitar. If standing the strap should hold the weight. Try to avoid holding the guitar in any special or unnatural way.
Shoulder to Fingers.
Allow the elbow to rest comfortably below the shoulder. Play the full range of the instrument without moving the elbow too far in any direction. The forearm, wrist, and hand should have very slight angles leading to fingertips that point to the strings.
Take these areas and gradually improve. These things take time. Don’t expect immediate results. Try to play with physical ease.