How to play faster pieces

I’d be grateful for any advice on how to improve my ability to play more quickly.
I’ve been playing for 2 1/2 years and this past year have focused on tone and done specific exercises (10 minutes of long tones every day, slow scales using a tuner to make sure I’m in tune while changing volume.)
Now I would like to improve my speed and wonder if there are specific exercises that would help. I have decided to practise scales and arpeggios at speed using a metronome, but is there anything else I could incorporate into my practice regime. I practise for an hour a day (retired person) and am around grade 4 Trinity.

Sounds like you’re off to a great start! To play faster make sure that your instrument is in good repair, so that you are not being forced to compensate for a poor response caused by leaks. Play with the most correct hand position you can muster. Be aware of where you place your fingers on the rings and return your fingers with the same placement each time you press a key. This should help you to avoid squeezing the keys closed. Play without squeezing, using just enough pressure to close the keysceffectively. Lifting the fingers will then be quicker and more even.

Regularly practice a variety of material at tempos that allow you to play mostly correctly. Fix mistakes by playing small, difficult passages slowly and correctly. Don’t play them incorrectly a bunch of times in an effort to get them right once. This kind of “un-practicing” is counter productive.

Distinguish between reading mistakes and technique mistakes. This can give you some perspective on how to fix them.

Be patient. Speed comes gradually with careful and informed practice. Enjoy your successes. You don’t have to be a virtuoso to play wonderful music!

Thank you so much - some really useful tips here. I have been very careful about hand position but hadn’t been conscious of the need not to press too hard, so I’ll check what I’m doing with this. I’m lucky enough to have just bought a new wooden clarinet so I can’t blame my instrument!

Start out slowly and increase the tempo a little at a time and practice it untill it becomes smooth and easy for you.

Rubank method books have good excersices in them to work on technique. Play the exercises at a comfortable speed and once mastered then increase tempo. Master it at that tempo and repeat.

If there is a specific section in any sheet music or any excersices etc that’s more difficult than the rest, work on it backwards. Start playing slowly at the end of the section, playing the last two or three notes. Practice those notes and rythms at a comfortable tempo that you can play correctly and easily, concentrating on technique and fingerings. Increase tempo a little at a time and repeat the process until you get it up to the goal tempo.

Then add the note just before those two or three. Practice those notes and rythms at a comfortable tempo that you can play correctly and easily, concentrating on technique and fingering. Increase tempo a little at a time and repeat until you get it up to the goal tempo. Repeat the process untill that whole section gets easier.

Thank you for all the good advice which I will put into practise and I’ll have a look for the Rubank books too.

You didn’t ask about tonguing, but eventually that can become a speed issue for some. I wasn’t the greatest touguer (sp?) back in high school. In college my instructor showed me the “tonguing exercise”. Start on low C. Play CCCDEEEFG and hold the G a bit. These are the 5 easiest notes on the instrument. Play this as fast as you can with no “slop” in between notes. When you can do it every time correctly, try it now a bit faster. Not to much to fast. The idea is you are tonguing 3 notes in a row that are the same (which is easier), but then 3 in a row that are different, so tongue & fingers must be coordinated. Later go up & down the scales and then 2 octaves & other scales.
Within a few weeks my tonguing went from so-so to really good, and has been a strong point in my playing for decades.

Thank you. I’ll give this a try.