Speeding up.



Speeding up or slowing down doesn't actually matter as long as what you're playing fits. That's where you have to stop treating it like an exercise in athletics and make it musical.

There are exceptions; playing in a studio (as you'll often be the first to track) or playing a gig where you have to stay right in time because of other cues (e.g. loops or lighting effects, etc) but the vast majority of your playing time should be spent listening to the rest of the band and responding and/or leading as appropriate. 3BPM over a song is splitting hairs, to be honest. I wouldn't worry about that kind of level of perfection. I seriously doubt I've ever played a song at a gig where I've wandered fewer than 3BPM - it's never mattered that much to me that I've bothered to measure. What is important is that what you're playing feels right.

I would call 3BPM excellent tempo consistency, actually. Pay attention to everything but yourself and stop worrying about it. You'll be a much better player as a result.