How To Play Guitar Fast And Clean Like A Virtuoso Part 2:
3 Reasons Why You Struggle To Achieve Flawless 2 Hand Synchronization In Your Guitar Playing And What To Do About It
by Tom Hess
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It’s no secret:
To play guitar fast and clean, your hands need to be in sync.
But if you struggle to keep your hands in sync – what should you do?
There are 3 causes of sloppy synchronization that cripple most guitar players.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to fix each one.
Best of all:
You can learn them in a few minutes and make your playing better today.
(Even if you don't have much time to practice.)
Ready to start?
To begin, watch the video below.
It shows how to prevent most 2-hand synchronization challenges before they start:
Here is why your hands may get out of sync:
Reason #1: Using Lazy Motions During Slow Practice
You know how everyone says you have to practice slow before you can play really fast?
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Most assume that slow guitar practice = “moving your hands slowly”.
This isn’t always the case (I explain why below.)
And that is where “lazy motions” come from.
Slow practice, done incorrectly, can (and often does) hurt your 2 hand synchronization.
Here is what causes this:
Cause #1: Your pick may strike the string a moment sooner or later than the fretting hand.
A sloppy sound (that isn’t obvious at slow tempos).
This makes your technique fall apart when you start to play fast.
Cause #2: Both hands might move sloppily to play the notes, creating noise before and/or after the note.See Figure 1 below:
This diagram shows what happens when your hands move in a slow and lazy way to play notes.
See those squiggly lines right before and after each pick stroke? They show sloppy noise.
It means that your hands are not in sync in these moments.
Here is what this sounds like (notice the nasty hissing noises between notes)
What is the solution?
Move your hands QUICKLY to play each note.
Yes, you read correctly.
But: let each note sustain for a long time.
To be clear: you are NOT playing the whole exercise at a fast tempo!
Move your hands quickly for each note, but leave space between notes.Look at Figure 2 below:
See how there is no sloppy noise before or after each note?
That is the result of using faster (and tighter) pick attack. Your hands stay in sync and your playing sounds better. Here is how this sounds.
Reason #2: You Aren’t Using The Best Picking Technique To Play Guitar Fast
There is a simple hack to keeping your hands in sync most guitar players don’t know.
What is it?
It’s directional picking.
Why is directional picking better than alternate picking?
When you alternate pick, you often have to pass over the string you are going to play and then reverse your picking motion to play it.
Why is this bad?
This makes you lose momentum and slows down your playing.Here is an example:
Pay attention to string changes.
See how in the alternate picking example, your pick has to skip over a string it just played to move to the next string?
This takes a lot of work, makes mistakes more likely and hurts your 2-hand synchronization.
Directional picking solves this problem. Your pick moves less, which keeps your hands in sync and makes your playing cleaner.
Note: sometimes directional picking and alternate picking are the same. This happens when you play on a single string or when you play 2 or 4 note-per-string licks.Watch this guitar technique video to see how:
Want to know more about directional picking and how to master it? This guitar picking technique article is for you.
Reason #3: You Aren’t Tracking Your Guitar Playing Progress FULLYTrack your 2-hand synchronization progress the same way you track your maximum speed, music theory knowledge or anything else.
How do you track your progress with 2-hand synchronization?
Find the fastest speed you can play something with your hands perfectly in sync. This speed is different from your true maximum speed (the fastest speed you can barely play something 1-2 times before it falls apart).
This tells you the gap between your 2-hand synchronization top speed and your absolute top speed.
Practice 2-hand synchronization drills to close this gap. Watch this video to learn how:
(To learn the best way to track your guitar playing progress, check out the Guitar Playing Accelerator.)
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.Learn how to reach ALL your musical goals fully by working with me in my electric guitar lessons online.
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