I’m very new and currently going through some of the stuff Josh has on YouTube (I haven’t started the beginner to badass course yet, but plan on starting soon). When I try to speed up some of the things I’m playing I start getting some extra, unintentional pull-off notes. Any tips or advice?
Sounds like the skin on your fingers is sticking to the string. That’s my first impression, but I could be wrong.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast
I do try to keep slow as I know that’s good advice, but occasionally I can’t help myself and try to see if I can go a little faster.
I do the same thing. Additionally, I have a habit of speeding up and ignoring the actual rhythm, in an attempt to remember the fingering. It works… But it also has the effect of messing up my ability to keep time.
There’s an awful lot going in playing an instrument, and there really aren’t shortcuts (not at all that you’re looking for them).
What I find also helps me is to not play the same riffs and practices every session. Taking a day or two off between riffs gives the gnomes time to install the new firmware in your brain. Remember, this is actually rocket surgery, and it takes time.
Another thing that can happen is when unfretting a note, the string is still vibrating. This is normal, and over time you will develop a feel for this - the proper way to lift your finger from a note is kind of two-stage, where you smoothly unfret the note but let your finger still rest on the string for a moment, muting it, before lifting your finger.
This becomes second nature but is hard to do quickly at first, which is one reason this can be a more noticeable problem when trying to play fast.
Trying to play too fast for your level is the root of lots of technique sins. Sadly, that never changes - no matter how fast you are, there is always someone faster you want to emulate
And to improve speed on a riff, I like to use a BPM ladder like Josh talks about here:
Having a drum machine or metronome for this is key, otherwise you’ll just make your timing mistakes happen more rapidly
This is much, much more effective in my experience than simply flailing away at a full-speed riff.