[Guitar Speed Lesson]: 3 Ways To Keep Your Hands In Sync When You Play Fast
By Tom Hess
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“I LOVE it when my fast playing is sloppy!” – said no guitar player ever.
So then, why is it that many guitarists struggle to play clean & fast?
Here is the answer:
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After you finish this short article, you’ll be one of the few who do.
And you'll find, just like hundreds of my guitar students found:
...playing fast & clean is not very hard. And you don't have to practice 8 hours a day to get there either.
All it takes is:
1. Knowing what to do
2. Understanding how to do it
3. Simply doing it.
To begin, watch this video to learn 3 bulletproof ways to keep your hands in sync when you play fast:
You now know how to quickly get your hands in sync with any lick you practice.
But we are not done yet.
Here are 3 of my favorite “ninja-style” 2-hand synchronization hacks for building guitar speed & accuracy:
2-Hand Synchronization Guitar Practice Strategy #1: Double Picking
As the name implies…
Practice all your scales and scale sequences by picking every note two times.
Watch this guitar picking video demonstration by one of my top students that shows double picking in action
Why does double picking work so well?
When you pick every note 2 times, it becomes harder to keep your hands in sync.
(That’s because your picking hand moves 2x fast as the fretting hand. So every mistake becomes more obvious.)
And when you go back to normal playing?
Your picking feels much easier and your 2-hand synchronization becomes tight, like a straitjacket.
You can apply this strategy in 2 ways:
- Practice double picking while warming up (for 10-15 minutes). This way you improve your technique while you warm up (and get ready for serious playing more quickly).
- Practice all your licks using double picking from time to time. This not only helps you play these licks faster & cleaner, but makes your synchronization better on everything you play.
2-Hand Synchronization Guitar Practice Strategy #2: Practice Guitar Unplugged (Sometimes).
Spend some of your guitar practice time playing without your amplifier. Articulate the notes loudly enough to hear them unplugged.
One mental trick I like to use is…
…imagine you are on one end of a football stadium playing guitar for an audience seated on the opposite end.
And you don’t have an amp.
Pick loud enough to make the audience hear you :)
Playing guitar unplugged exposes inconsistencies in your pick attack that cause your hands to get out of sync.
Don’t practice unplugged all the time. You also need to practice with the amp (using the exact tone you use in real life). This is how you clean up sloppy string noise in your guitar paying.
Note: Be careful to not tense up your fretting hand when you play unplugged. Keep it as relaxed as you do when playing with an amp. If you have trouble doing that, this free eGuide on mastering fretting hand technique will help you.
2-Hand Synchronization Guitar Practice Strategy #3: Practice Single String Guitar Picking Licks
What is the ultimate test of your synchronization?
Answer: your ability to keep your hands in sync on one string.
Track how fast you can play a lick like this (before your hands get out of sync).
Then use the other tips in this article to tighten up your synchronization on one string.
As your hands get better at staying in sync on one string – all your licks start to sound better (and cleaner).
You now know what it takes to keep your hands in sync while playing fast.
The next step is to develop effortless fretting hand technique. How do you do that? I show you in my free eGuide on mastering fretting hand finger independence. Download it right now and learn guitar playing secrets most guitarists never know.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.Want to play guitar better? Take guitar lessons with rock guitar tutor online.