But the time has come to reign my wrath down on a new group of people so if you're easily butt hurt, please leave now, or have your burn cream at the ready!
I don't have any issue with people wanting to play fast. Not even those who want to play fast at competitive levels and try to get records. There's merit and admiration in that too.
I actually really enjoyed digging into the National Guitar Flat Pick Championship after enjoying Troy Grady's interview with Carl Miner. You're talking about people who have taken their technique as far as they can, then taken it further for shits and giggles. Not only are they better than I'll ever be, but they sound great make great music.
I'm sure you've all seen them though - these clowns like Randall Padilla who hold onto that one title that they were awarded by a governing body who has absolutely no fucking idea what they're hearing. The sorts of assholes who brag about being the fastest guitarist in the world in 2001 then run around NAMM like that's enough of a credential to justify all the endorsements in the world... and yeah... we're still waiting on some musical output.
Metronome Speeds - Flight of the Bumblebee
So I've seen every speed from 300 all the way up to 1600 as being record holders - so lets address those numbers, and then try them back to notes per second (because you know how much these guys love to bang on about how many notes per second thy can play!)
Flight of the bumblebee is 16th notes, that means for every beat you're playing 4 notes. So 1000bpm is 4000 notes per minute.... which is 66.6 notes per second. PER SECOND!!! Can you imagine making 33.3 individual down strokes every single second? hahaha
That guy claiming 1600bpm is actually trying to make you believe that he's playing 106.6 notes PER SECOND. You're not that stupid. The guy doing the video either thinks you are though (which means he knows he's trying to deceive you) or genuinely believes he's doing it, in which case he's fucking deluded. It's a lose lose scenario.
As I said in my video, I'm not an engineer, but I can't imagine you could make a machine that could pick a vibrating string 106 times per second. I'm not nearly smart enough to calculate the speeds needed or energy required, but if we assume the pick needs to move about 2mm and then change direction you're talking about accelerating from 0kmp/h to a given speed, then coming back down to 0kmp/h to change direction and repeat.... 106 times per second.
At 2mm 106 times per second you're going to need to be doing 212mm per second, which is 127.2m per minute or... 76.32km per hour (that's almost 50 miles per hour... which is amazing when you consider Ricky Hatton's average punch is 25mph and the world record punch is 43.3mph).... and that's before we factor in the need to accelerate from 0 to speed and then change direction.
In short. To play that fast just sweep picking... you'd need to move your picking hand faster than the hardest punch ever recorded.... derp derp
180bpm - 12 notes per second (pretty impressive!)
250bpm - 16.66 notes per second (not unheard of)
300bpm - 20 notes per second (record breaking)
500bpm - 33.3 notes per second (errr all picked?)
1000bpm - 66.6 notes per second (are you fucking high?)
1440bpm - 96 notes per second (go play in the road)
You see, it's really not about playing fast. As I mention in the video, listen to guys like Jimmy Rosenberg or Andreas Oberg play. These guys are fast, and sophisticated. They're lead by their ears, and not the technique.
If someone tells you they're the fastest guitar player in the world, what that means is they can alternate pick patterns (either 3nps Gilbert stuff or 4nps chromatic stuff) at speed. Their technique doesn't facilitate anything, it means they can play one thing. True technique is the freedom to play what you want. Take an ascending 3 note per string scale and play 3 notes on the E, 2 on the A, 3 on the D, 2 on the B etc and your technique should allow you to play that at your maximum speed. THAT is what technique is, it's the ability to execute all your ideas flawlessly.
Also... who the fuck are Guinness? They make alcohol, they're not reputable musicians, so why do you give two shits that you fooled them into agreeing you're fast?
Thankfully you don't know any of these guys, and that's the point right? At most you've got Tiago Della Vega who managed to jump on this stuff online first. One guy defended him when I posted the video saying he was legit and a great player. I commented how your life goals should be more than going to NAMM and being an utter nuisance on all atendees playing your god awful crap over backing tracks with MIDI drums. The following video actually made my ears vomit.... you read that right. My EARS.... Vomited. Skip to 1 min 3 seconds...
And you'll notice in the description that he's made sure you know, he's "OFFICIAL THE WORLD FASTEST GUITAR PLAYER "Guinness World Records"... prat