How To Play Guitar Fast With Much Less Effort Using Directional Picking
Playing guitar fast should NOT be a struggle... it should be easy and effortless! If you struggle to play guitar fast, it's not because you aren't a good player or lack natural talent. You simply need to learn how to use directional picking technique. By learning directional picking, you will combine both alternate picking and sweep picking together to make fast guitar playing smooth and effortless.
Watch the video below and I will show you exactly how to make fast guitar playing easy using directional picking:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Question: “Tom Hess, does directional picking technique only work for 3-note-per-string scales? What if I want to play pentatonic scales or other scales that don’t have 3 notes on every string?”
Answer: Directional picking technique works for everything you play. The principle of directional picking is to use the shortest possible path to the next note you need to play. Sometimes the shortest path to your next note is to use alternate picking. Other times, the shortest path is to use sweep picking to change strings and NOT use alternate picking. Integrating both mechanics achieves maximum guitar speed & efficiency with the least amount of effort.
The principle of strict alternate picking is to alternate your pick strokes no matter what…even if doing so forces your hand to make larger and inefficient motions. This forces you to work much harder (and practice a lot longer) to achieve the same amount of guitar speed.
Question: “Tom Hess, why do so many great guitar players use strict alternate picking over directional picking?”
Answer: Directional picking is a relatively new guitar picking technique. Alternate picking has been around a lot longer. Most guitar players from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000’s did not have anyone to teach them directional picking technique when they were beginners. They developed their guitar speed in spite of the inefficiencies of strict alternate picking… not because it is a superior guitar picking technique. They had to work much harder (and longer) to reach their goals.
Question: “Tom Hess, should I master alternate picking first before doing directional picking?”
Answer: No. Here is why: it makes ZERO sense to practice a guitar technique that is 1. Not as efficient and 2. you will have to unlearn/change later ANYWAY. I don't know about you, but I don't like wasting time learning things twice. It’s far easier and more time efficient to simply make the switch to directional picking - getting all of the advantages that exist in normal alternate picking, without any of its downsides.
Now that you know the best way to practice directional picking and improve your picking speed…
… the next step is to transform the rest of your musical skills and become a true musician instead of just a guitar player.
I can help you with this in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Here is how it works:
First, you fill out a detailed evaluation from telling me about your musical background and everything you want to achieve as a guitar player. (Your short & long-term musical goals.)
This from takes about 20 minutes to complete.
After you fill it out and become a student – I go to work for you.
I will carefully study your evaluation form and create your personal breakthrough guitar lessons strategy that is specific to you.
Then I create your first lesson based on your lesson strategy.
As soon as I’m done, I will upload your lesson into your student account on tomhess.net and email you letting you know it's ready and waiting for you.
All of this typically takes between 3-5 hours for me to do for you. (Please be patient with me on this part. I want to do as thorough of a job designing your lesson strategy as possible. The better your lesson strategy – the faster you improve. That’s why this process takes time.)
What goes into your 1st lesson?
Exercises, concepts, drills and techniques that begin moving you from where you are as a guitar player today to where you want to be.
Each lesson is a step towards reaching your musical goals.
In addition, as a guitar student of mine, you also have access to:
- Weekly live video Office Hours. This is where you can ask me anything about guitar playing or music. I'm there to help you – live on video.
- Weekly live video training classes. In these classes, I take the hardest guitar playing topics and break them down to make them easy to master. Plus, I get to see you play and answer your questions live on video.
- We also do live guitar practice sessions for you, me and my other students. We all practice guitar together and work on things each of us may struggle to practice individually. This helps you to get stuff done and improve more quickly.
- If you have questions – email me anytime - day or night. I answer your questions in detail and you always get a detailed reply from me directly.
- You can send me recordings of your playing for feedback. In my feedback, I help you diagnose and remove bad habits from your playing and erase all obstacles slowing down your progress.
You also get access to our exclusive community on my students’ forum. There you can get support from my top guitar students – many of whom are now professional guitar teachers themselves.
Then you begin practicing. You don’t have to practice for hours per day – 30 minutes per day (4-5 times per week) is enough to see results.
All you have to do is follow the steps I lay out for you in your guitar lessons. And keep doing this not just for the 1st lesson, but in all the lessons that follow.
Check out the results my guitar students are achieving:
“Before the online guitar lessons, I had a lot of trouble with phrasing. I couldn’t make good note choices, I was always fishing for the next note. I was trying to think of ways that I could play, but it didn’t sound good. I didn’t know how to write songs, it was absolutely terrible, everything sounded the same. I couldn’t really… I didn’t feel confident with my playing. I definitely couldn’t build speed for anything, I was really sloppy and I was dissonant… and it was really painful to play.”
I chose Tom Hess because when I read his articles they blew my mind away. I got so much out of that, that I didn’t get anywhere else.
The main reason I like taking lessons with Tom online is because, number one: yes it was the personalized lessons strategy… I read everything about it, and it was so compelling, just like that he really takes everything that I can or can’t do into account, and then he’ll take what I want to be able to do and then basically map out every step of the way until I get there. And that was just really powerful, and that I’d be able to get feedback every 6 weeks, and the fact that we’ve got the forum. We’ve got instant help and they all really know what they’re talking about… they’re not just like anybody… they… I mean some of them are virtuoso guitar players... I mean, they know their stuff and then of course the mindset of this whole environment. The friends I’ve made here just… I can’t really put into words.
I didn’t have a budget when I started. I had a good enough job that I could take lessons for however long I wanted, so that wasn’t a problem, but I feel like I’ve gotten 100 times what I paid you know.
Matteo Miller, San Diego, California, 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
“Honestly, a lot of the guitar teachers that I took lessons with, they were great at the time, but eventually they just kind of ran out of stuff to show me and teach me or whatever.”
One thing Tom Hess does that a lot of other teachers don’t do is he guides lessons in such a way that they fulfill your personal goals as a musician. Since I start taking lessons with Tom, my playing has gotten a lot cleaner, and he's given me a lot of strategies for building speed on the riffs that I've been having trouble with, and exercises to work out all kinds of different issues that I have in my playing.
Tom’s goal oriented approach really helps to focus your practice into things that you know, honestly things you really want to do. It forces you to really stop and look at, you know, “Hey, I want to get into this style or I want to do this with my musical career, I want to get into this or I want to get into that.” You know just basically whatever directions you choose to go, he gives you the lessons that’ll give you the straight path to that. There’s entirely no BS with other stuff. There’s no useless stuff. It’s all stuff that’s going to help you.
Daniel Cruzan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
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