Building Up Endurance Songs?

In my quest to be able to play Hysteria some day, I’ve been working on my endurance. I was interested to know of songs others play to work on this (if any). My current main song for endurance building is “White Wedding” by Billy Idol. I can play the whole song, but start feeling it about half-way through and about 75% through my fingers start co-operating less. I know if I keep working on this it will improve though. Any other fun songs to play that help you work on your endurance?


I’m curious. If your end goal is to play Hysteria, why not develop your endurance by practicing that song?
Just wonderin’ :thinking:


Great topic! I often use “endurance songs” as practice. White Wedding is a great one.

For plucking hand speed/endurance, here’s a few songs I’ve used.
Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
Social Distortion - Ring of Fire
Offspring - Kids Aren’t Alright
Rick Springfield - I’ve Done Everything for You (randomly fun to play)

For fretting hand endurance, making it through all of Billie Jean (sorry) is obviously a great one. Or really anything with stretchy fret patterns that uses all 4 fingers. “Guitars, Cadillacs” by Dwight Yoakam is another that comes to mind.

Anything with repetitive “disco” octaves is great for building endurance in both hands, one I use is “Danger! High Voltage” by Electric 6/Jack White, or maybe “Love Rollercoaster.” “Shake a Tail Feather” by Ray Charles (from Blues Bros) is also great for this.

I’d say Rancid’s “Time Bomb” improved my plucking+fretting hand speed/coordination/endurance probably better than any other song. Took me forever to nail it but felt great once I did :slight_smile:

Godspeed on Hysteria!


Practice, practice and practice some more. Even after 12 months I’m still suffering cramps in my fingers with some tunes where fast chugging is the go.


Was gonna ask. Hysteria is my endurance workout :slight_smile:

Just play it at half or 2/3 speed until you can work up to full speed, using a BPM ladder approach. That’s what I did. (And what I need to do again most likely as I haven’t played it much in a while and have likely regressed).

Bonus is it’s a killer bassline even at half speed.

Good choice - though I think that’s played with a pick. Still, can be plucked too :slight_smile:


Yeah it’s definitely played with a pick, same with the Offspring song. But good for practicing speed either way. I use Ring of Fire as a workout for both plucking and picking… still got a ways to go with the pick.


“Cold Feelings” is a fun picking song that’s a bit easier too.

1 Like

Alright, kidding… Sorta :slight_smile: But really, some of the pauses are to this day, tricky for me, despite this being an exercise in doing the same three or four things, over and over and over again, for 15 minutes.


I can’t listen to that anymore @chordsykat without immediately thinking of Homer Simpson :joy:


Hahaha – yes!! And I can relate to the organ lady very much. This is her kind of thread.


What you need is to step back in time to 1985. Load up Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on your ZX Spectrum and get playing.

You’ll have the fastest fingers in the west in no time. Yes this is a super niche comment :grin:


lots of workouts in the land of videogame music :slight_smile:

lots of fantastic music there too.


I don’t practice Hysteria yet because I know it is out of my league and would probably frustrate me and possible make me dislike the song out of trying it so many times. If I play stepping stone songs that I’m able to complete, but improve my endurance to eventually do Hysteria, then I think that’s a smoother journey for me personally. Being able to complete those intermediate songs will keep me motivated. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not going to wait until I can sight-read Hysteria and nail it first try. Just not quite ready yet.


I understand not wanting to be frustrated, but I wouldn’t look at it quite like this. I followed Josh’s advice here - started out playing it slowly and worked up via a BPM ladder. This was both fun and effective and let me work on the song I wanted to play.

If you don’t start working on it until you are organically able to play at that speed, you will likely never get there, or take months or years longer to get there.


I’m not going to wait until I can play it full speed for sure. I’d just rather work on full songs I can play at normal speed than snippets of songs I can’t play right now on half-speed. I don’t think me starting to work on Hysteria is too far away though.


Particularly for the cramps I was suggested an exercise to increase the flexibility of fingers and hands. This video helped me a lot… It also helps with playing faster and longer.

Suggestion is doing them before and after the workouts…

Now I do them even at work!

As endurance building goes I suggest playing any song till the end. It doesn’t have to be particularly crowded like Hysteria…

Gorillaz - feel good inc
Knack - Sharona
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Pink Floyd - Money
James Brown - I feel good

Due to their repeated riffs you go on autopilot to a level that you stop to notice what you are even doing…

Endurance ia not for 100m dash but for marathon


[Under My Wheels - YouTube](https://)
These used to be two of my favorite play alongs.

Dennis Dunaway (Early Alice Cooper) and Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad)
were two of my early endurance inspirations.

Hmmm links don’t show but they woik. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

Filter - Hey Man Nice Shot
Like Hysteria 16th notes from start to finish. And a tiny bit slower (92 bpm vs 89 bpm ;))

Also, someone made a very good video about how you can approach Hysteria and build up your speed and endurance:


I’ll add that one to my list, @JT . . . :slight_smile:



Am I the only person on the planet who has no interest in playing Hysteria?