Me. Nah, just kidding. I am actually not really into all the string speed racing stuff, but I will admit I am always intrigued when I see guitarist moving their fingers across the fret-board at a lightning speed. When it comes to determine who actually the world’s fastest guitar player is, the opinions vary strongly. However, since 2012 there’s seems to be agreement, at least when we look at the question from an ‘official’ standpoint. What I mean by that is: the guy is certified by world record tracker Guinness, who goes by strict standards, which they had actually revised not too long ago. In order to claim the title, one must perform the famous classical piece “Flight of the Bumblebee” and obviously beat the current record which is at 600 beat per minute.
Yes, you read right. I said 600 beat per minute. I know that’s a hard one to swallow, but there actually is a human being named John Taylor of Westminster, Colorado, who’s a music teacher (surprise!) by day, but has practiced this note-swirl since he was 13. Each day for one hour, and now at the age of 28, he finally accomplished what he had envisioned for himself the first time he picked up a guitar.
Now let’s watch the fastest guitar player at work:
Of course, there are haters who feel that this has nothing to do with music anymore. And I can see why they say that, because the whole piece just transforms into this undifferentiated sound mish-mash. On the other hand, I believe all of us who practice guitar will have to acknowledge the tremendous degree of discipline and self-commitment it takes to get to that level of proficiency. Personally, I can’t even play ‘Bumblebee’ on guitar AT ALL. I mean, I never tried it. But I know it would take me forever to play it at 100bpm. In the video above, John Taylor starts out at 170bpm and cranks it all the way up to a breath-taking 600bpm which is just outright ridiculous.
Mr. Taylor is confident that he can actually push it a little further. With his custom made guitar and angled picks, he will attempt raising the bar to 800bpm. Yes, there will be more hand-cramps, stiff underarm muscles and joint pains – but the man is on a mission and I wish him good luck. Personally, I don’t want to become the fastest guitar player in the world, however, admittedly I am very impressed with all this. While I have my eyes set on other achievements as far as my modest guitar ambitions go, every now and then I will remind myself on what’s possible when you stick to a rigorous practicing routine.