Learn How Practice Guitar Effectively To Make Faster Progress
Practicing guitar effectively leads to better results and faster progress. However, many guitarists make slow progress in their playing not just because they practice inefficiently, but because they do not isolate their main problems and practice them enough times. This approach only takes a few minutes and will almost instantly improve any guitar playing issue you are working on.
Watch the guitar practice video below and learn how to inegrate this approach into your playing, so you can quickly become a better guitarist:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Here are some more guitar practice tips to help you get better in no time:
Tip #1: Fix Weak Guitar Picking Technique Causes Sloppy Playing
Why is a weak picking attack a problem?
It allows mistakes to go unnoticed.
Using a weak picking attack to play notes prevents you from hearing them clearly and allows subtle mistakes to occur without you knowing it.
In some cases, guitar players are unaware that they are actually using a weak picking attack in order to not have to face the mistakes they are making.
In other cases, guitarists simply never learned to pick with strong articulation.
When you pick with power and articulate the notes clearly, it brings all your mistakes into the forefront.
It forces you to confront them and correct them if you want to play cleanly.
For example: you might find that picking strongly makes it a lot harder to keep both hands in sync to play with good timing.
When you aren’t using good timing, you miss notes or they sound muffled. This tells you that you need to work on two-hand synchronization in order to clean up your playing.
It Increases The Chances Of Using Inefficient Picking Technique
Picking with weak articulation is harder to get away with when using efficient picking technique such as directional picking. Directional picking means always picking in the direction you are moving while changing strings (and using alternate picking on single strings).
This approach reinforces articulate playing to make mistakes and inconsistencies obvious.
What To Take Away:
Your guitar playing becomes cleaner and sounds better when you use efficient picking and strong articulation to play notes.
Practice using power in your picking attack for just one week and you start learning about many mistakes that need to be corrected in your playing. Good news is, using strong articulation becomes second nature very quickly.
Tip #2: How To Clean Up Your Guitar Playing By Practicing At Fast Speeds
You don't need to “practice guitar slowly and work up to speed over time” in order to play fast and clean.
Here’s how to achieve this goal without slowing down:
Work On Mentally Processing Notes At Fast Speeds
Playing guitar fast and clean requires being able to mentally process the notes your fingers are playing.
Whenever you are unable to do this, you begin missing notes, playing out of time or playing notes unclearly.
One way to improve your ability to process notes at fast speeds is to break down the exercise/lick you are working on into smaller 3-5 note segments.
Then, while playing at your top speed, focus on practicing each individual segment in isolation from the others by repeating it for several minutes. As you do this, insert a moment of rest in between each repetition.
Using this approach helps you identify mistakes in your playing that only occur at fast speeds.
While you briefly rest in between each repetition, you give yourself a moment to identify and correct the issues that kept the segment from being perfect.
Some examples of issues you might spot could be: missed notes, hands being out of sync or notes bleeding together. As you repeat the segment at a fast speed while focusing on correcting the problem, you train your mind to look for and correct these things automatically.
Once you are able to play a single 3-5 note segment perfectly, begin integrating it together with the other segments. Before long, you master half of the original lick, 3/4 of the lick and the entire lick. This approach is especially effective when combined with different types of practice strategies.
Your guitar playing cleans up very quickly after improving your ability to process notes at fast speeds. Playing fast becomes much less of a struggle and you break through any plateaus that were stuck on. Combine this approach with a powerful picking attack for even better results.
Note: There are even more ways to clean up your guitar playing.
Tip#3: How To Make Arpeggios Feel Creative Without Playing Fast
Playing basic major and minor sweep picking arpeggios eventually becomes boring.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to make your sweep picking more creative and interesting.
Here are three ways to do it:
1. Add Other Notes From The Scale Into Your Arpeggios
You are not limited to using the same basic major or minor sweep picking arpeggios every time you play. Your guitar playing has more potential for expression when you use 7th chord patterns and other patterns with added notes (such as the 6th or the 9th).
Look for at least 3 different ways to play basic arpeggios with one or more added notes. This is often as easy as moving the highest note up or down by a couple of frets or so.
It also sometimes requires playing two notes on a single string. The more creative you get, the cooler your sweep picking sounds.
2. Stop On Individual Notes Of An Arpeggio Using Tremolo
Using tremolo adds tons of intensity to your arpeggios without playing the actual patterns very fast. Additionally, isolating individual notes with tremolo helps you articulate them better and play more accurately while playing the arpeggio as normal. Whenever you feel like an arpeggio needs to be cleaned up, use this approach to fix the notes that are causing you trouble.
How to practice this: Go through an arpeggio and isolate the highest note (in pitch) to by using tremolo technique. Then go through the pattern once more and apply the tremolo to the second highest note. Keep doing this until you’ve played through every note of the pattern.
3. Play Your Arpeggios On Lower Strings
Playing on lower string gives your sweep picking arpeggios a different texture that sounds unique even when you are only using basic patterns.
Look for several ways to play a given arpeggio all over the fretboard by starting the arpeggio with the lowest note on the fifth string. Use inversions (playing arpeggios with different notes used as the lowest note) to think of creative ways to give your arpeggios more variety.
Here is how some of my best students have benefited from taking guitar lessons:
“I've played guitar for several years and I think I've taken it as far as I could take it and I was going on the internet and found Tom, I take Breakthrough Guitar Lessons from him and I have to say it was the best thing that I've ever could have done. There is nothing better than Breakthrough Guitar Lessons with Tom.”
Tom has the innate ability to hone in on whatever problems you have and immediately fix it for you. The lessons are very goal oriented, very detailed and Tom is very approachable. I consider Tom to be a master teacher. A master teacher is someone who cares about their students, who talks to their students, who shares with their students and gets them to the place that they need to be as a guitar player. And Tom, I will tell you, does all of that and more.
Rovan Deon, Rahway, NJ, USA
“I found Tom Hess on the net through articles, and I read quite a few of those before I went to Tom’s website. Even though I’m not a metal player at all, and Tom is obviously a metal player, I could still see that his ideas and way of teaching could really benefit me. So I pretty much signed up for online guitar lessons with Tom straight away once I’d gone through the website, and it’s just been a real eye opener with the way he teaches…”
... the integration of concepts that he’ll give you and having a really structured strategy… not just week to week lessons, but things that - you can see from one lesson to the next - really develop and continue to work on your technique and your theory and aural skills and those types of things. So I’d played a long time… 20 years before I really caught onto Tom, and I’d had a lot of lessons, and I’d taught and played but I can really see improvements in my technique, sweeping, and picking which weren’t strong parts of my playing.
I feel like Tom has a good gauge of where you’re at as a guitar player and what you need, and there just seemed to be so much more stuff in the lessons week to week than what you’d ever get in an hour or so in a one on one lesson… way more. So yeah I think that and the forum. I think, I’d pay the money just for the forum. That alone would be fine… I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. So that alone is massive!
The price for the lessons, that’s nothing... nothing. You know, I think it’s, pretty cheap to be honest. I don’t mean that in a bad way, cheap. Cheap is not a good word, but I just think it’s great value… awesome value. I mean, you know, you could pay that for one-to-one lessons and you just don’t get the same results and support of the forum and the content and the strategies.
Other teachers I’ve had have been good players, and some have become good friends too. But when I’ve started lessons with Tom I’ve got something to compare that to and a lot of it is just sort of teaching songs from week to week… a lot of the lesson will be left up to you… you’ll go to your lesson and they’ll be like what do you want to do today? At the time I said, oh do this song or that song, but with Tom you start to realize that you know, there’s more to it… the goals and you know he’s sort of more in contact with what you want to be able to do as a player, because he’s asking you the questions and then setting up the strategies, so I find that really good.
Yeah I can see more results in 18 months in a lot of areas in my playing than you know 20 years. So it’s sort of, you know, would’ve been great 20 years ago to have met Tom.
Simon Candy, Melbourne, Australia
“I was looking for help, I played a lot in the 80’s, and I didn’t touch guitar for 15 years maybe. And I decided to get back into it. And I was an OK player. But I decided I wanted to take it to a new level, I was looking for hobby I could spend time on.”
After playing around for a few months, I decided I needed a teacher. I had taken music theory classes in college. I understood a lot of the basics of music. I felt like I needed a jump start... something to get me going and keep me practicing every day. So, I’d been to the websites and YouTube, on my own, sort of seeking teachers and I came across Tom Hess, saw his videos, and so I gave that a shot.
The online guitar lessons are very high quality lessons, there’s plenty there to keep you going from lessons to lesson, it forces you to practice a lot to keep up with the lessons.
My guitar playing improved immensely! I knew some of the theory, I knew I was a fairly good player, but a lot of this just tied it all together. The typical teacher was just some guy in a band, who was sitting in a music store room, who kind of showed you whatever you asked or what he felt like… there were various techniques used. This is much more professional. You have more of a specific plan the second you walk in, what your goals are, what direction you want to go, you’re kind of mapped throughout your progress and pushed in the right direction.
Daniel Kunde, South Beach, Oregon, USA
Practicing guitar effectively while following a schedule made for you by an expert guitar teacher means you make incredibly fast progress. Get started dominating guitar today by getting your own teacher for electric guitar online lessons.