On Practice: Speed in Arpeggios
By Daniel Roest

Before you read about speed in arpeggios, make you've checked out the Right Hand, Arpeggios and Planting Mini-Lessons. Assuming you know what planting is all about, here are a few ideas to get you going faster than you thought possible. Have you ever watched a guitarist playing so fast you just couldn't believe your eyes  your eyes and ears couldn't agree, your mind was blown? Well, if it's not fast scales you're hearing, it's probably arpeggios. Arpeggios are chords broken up, right?  There are two secrets to fast arpeggios: hand position and planting.
·The best right hand position is the optimum position for the strings being played, Obviously, there will be one place where you can get through a string or set of strings with the least effort. Find it. Make sure everything, including your fingernail shape and length, is geared for economy of motion and speed.
· Now, here's the extra-special touch that makes the arpeggios really rip: a little "English" in the forearm and wrist as the arpeggios repeat, and planting ascending arpeggios. Take an ascending p-i-m-a arpeggio as an example. You plant i, m and a on p  then you roll out the arpeggio one finger at a time, moving your hand up a bit as you do. There's a little rolling or stirring motion that appears as you cycle arpeggios.
Here's something that you really need to know as you go faster and faster: At slower speeds you can afford to move each finger through its stroke with a longer follow-through; at faster speeds you can't. "Distance equals time." The faster you go, the shorter stroke is needed to return to start the next note with the same finger.
This lesson in fast arpeggios wouldn't be complete without your reading the Planting Mini-Lesson.

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