How To Make Your Guitar Playing Sound Better, Faster And Cleaner In 10 Minutes
by Tom Hess
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You can make your guitar playing sound better, faster and cleaner when you improve synchronization between your picking and fretting hand.
Synchronization is your ability to pick every note at the exact moment your fretting hand pushes the string down (without any delays, inconsistencies and sloppy noises).
The better your synchronization is, the easier it is to play guitar fast and clean.
At slow speeds, keeping your hands in sync is easy because you have a lot of time to line up your hands perfectly for each note.
This means you can play cleanly and accurately, even if your synchronization is less than perfect.
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Problem is, slowing down makes mistakes disappear and impossible to notice. This means you cannot use the traditional approach of "starting slowly and building up speed" to get your hands in sync at higher tempos.
Good news is, it’s pretty easy to improve your synchronization for guitar. All it takes is using effective practice strategies and tracking your guitar technique progress.
Practice this simple drill for 10-20 minutes to improve your synchronization and make your guitar playing sound better than ever:
Here is how to get the most out of each step in this practice drill:
Step 1: Pick a challenging lead guitar lick or exercise to practice.
The lick can be anything you want - a scale, scale sequence or any guitar lick where you use both hands to play notes.
Note: the lick should be challenging enough to play at fast speeds, but not so challenging that you cannot play it at all.
Find the tempo on a metronome where your 2-hand synchronization just begins to break down... and practice at 90% of that speed.
This way the speed is challenging enough to require your full concentration, but not so challenging that your hands can’t keep up.
Watch this video to see how to do this, so you don’t have to guess at what tempo to practice:
Step 2: Play your guitar lick using a clean tone and the bridge pickup for 3 repetitions (from beginning to end).
Practicing on the bridge pickup exposes weaknesses in your articulation and makes them easy to hear. The easier you can hear your articulation mistakes, the faster you will fix them.
Step 3: Play your guitar lick using a clean tone and the neck pickup for 3 repetitions (from beginning to end).
Playing on the neck pickup feels very different from playing through the bridge pickup.
Your goal is to play any lick equally well on the neck pickup and the bridge pickup.
Your goal is to play your lick equally well on the neck pickup and the bridge pickup.
Step 6: Play your guitar lick using double picking (this means pick every note 2 times) for 3 repetitions from beginning to end.
Double picking makes it harder to play the lick accurately, because your picking hand moves twice as fast as the fretting hand.
Step 7: Play your guitar lick unplugged for 3 repetitions (from beginning to end).
Yes, turn your amp off and play your lick on an unplugged guitar. Do your best to articulate every note clearly.
Repeat steps 2-7 for 10-20 minutes. Then either move on to practice something else or increase your speed by 5-10 beats per minute and go through all the steps again.
Keep track of your 2-hand synchronization top speed. This is the fastest speed at which you can play your lick by double picking every note. As that speed goes up, you will be able to play your lick faster, easier and more accurately.
You now know how to get your hands in sync, so you can play guitar faster and cleaner. The next step to becoming a great guitarist is to learn a simple guitar practice hack that smart guitar players use to increase their speed by 35.8%, while practicing less than before. Download this free guitar speed report and unlock the cheat code to incredible guitar playing.
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 guarantee that your guitar playing improves every single time you practice.
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