Learn How To Play Guitar Fast And Clean Using Excellent Two Hand Synchronization
Your playing will sound sloppy whenever you try to play guitar fast until you know how to: eliminate excess string noise AND play with perfect two hand synchronization. Fortunately, this is not as difficult to do as you might think. You simply need to make a few key adjustments to your guitar playing.
Watch the video below and learn exactly what you need to do in order to play guitar fast and clean by maintaining synchronization in both hands:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Here are a few more 2-hand synchronization tips that will make you a cleaner and faster guitar player:
2-hand Synchronization Tip #1. Use Directional Picking.
Directional picking means: you alternate pick when you are on a single string.
And when you change strings, pick in the direction of the string change.
This means: when you ascend (in pitch) you move to the next higher string with a downstroke.
When you descend (in pitch) you move to the next lower string with an upstroke.
And sometimes you will have an opportunity to sweep pick through string changes – making your playing much more efficient.
Question: “Tom Hess, if directional picking is the best guitar picking technique, why do so many great players use strict alternate picking?”
Answer: Directional picking is a relatively new guitar speed 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 when they were beginners.
They developed their guitar speed picking skills in spite of the inefficiencies of strict alternate picking… not because it is a better technique. They had to work much harder (and longer) to reach their goals.
But you don’t have to.
Many of my guitar students now teach guitar speed lessons to their students.
Here is another common question I get about practicing directional picking to achieve effortless guitar speed:
Question: “Tom Hess, does directional picking 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 works for everything you play (with zero exceptions).
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.
And other times…
…the shortest path may be to use sweep picking to change strings and NOT use alternate picking.
Directional picking gives you maximum efficiency and speed with the least amount of effort. (No matter what you play.)
2-Hand Synchronization Tip #2: Practice Guitar Picking Unplugged
Spend some of your guitar technique practice time playing without your amplifier.
Articulate the notes loudly enough to be heard acoustically.
Articulation inconsistency is a common cause of sloppy 2-hand synchronization in your guitar technique.
Playing guitar unplugged exposes inconsistencies in your guitar speed picking articulation that cause your hands to get out of sync.
Pay attention to the specific notes where your hands aren’t in sync. This helps you focus like a laser on specific problems that hold your guitar speed back.
Note: pay particular attention to articulation of your upstrokes. Articulation of upstrokes is usually much weaker than downstrokes (for most guitar players).
This is particularly common for guitarists who play everything with strict alternate picking.
2-Hand Synchronization Tip #3: Use Double Picking
This is just like it sounds:
Practice all your scales and scale sequences by picking every note two times.
Example (regular scale):
Example (double-picked scale):
Picking every note 2 times makes your 2-hand synchronization more difficult.
Your picking hand is forced to move twice as fast as the fretting hand.
This makes it hard to articulate every note clearly while playing with guitar speed and makes any mistake more obvious. When you go back to normal playing, your guitar picking feels much easier and your 2-hand synchronization becomes much tighter.
You can apply this strategy in 2 ways:
- Replace your normal guitar warm up routine with double picking training. Play through your guitar technique exercises using double picking for 10-15 minutes. After the warm up time is done, go back to playing at your usual guitar speed.
- Schedule specific time to apply this strategy in your guitar practice schedule. Select specific guitar technique exercises and practice them using double picking.
Now that you know how to get your hands in sync, the next step is to transform the rest of your guitar playing skills, so you can start playing guitar the way you’ve always wanted.
I can help you with this in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Here is how it works:
First, you fill out an in-depth evaluation form telling me about yourself as a guitar player. I ask you dozens of questions about your guitar playing strengths and weaknesses, musical knowledge and goals.
Don't worry, you don’t have to (and likely won’t) answer all the questions correctly. The evaluation from isn’t a test.
It’s a way for me to see what you know and don’t know, so I can do the next step for you.
The next step is:
I create an in-depth guitar lesson strategy for you for what I intend to teach you for the first 3-6 months.
Next, I create your first guitar lesson and you begin practicing it.
And as you do, you’ll get a ton of support and feedback on your playing.
- You can show me your playing every single day if you want – just post a recording of your playing on my student forum.
- You can also send me recordings separately for in-depth feedback on your playing and practicing on a regular basis.
- You can ask me questions and show me your playing every week in live video Office Hours. I hop on Zoom for an hour to help you with whatever you feel stuck on. You show me your playing (and ask about your guitar playing challenges) during this time and I help you.
- Every week I do live video training classes where I can see you play guitar as well and give you more personal help with your playing.
- Depending on what you write in your feedback form about each lesson (I ask you to leave me feedback about each part of what I teach you) I often adjust your lesson strategy (if needed) to help you improve faster.
If you practice what I give you for 20-30 minutes per day, it becomes almost impossible for you not to improve.
Here are the results my guitar students are getting:
“Before I found Tom to take online guitar lessons, I was exposed to a lot of information, but it wasn’t necessarily in the right order. So, Tom is the teacher who saw what my weaknesses were just by answering simple questions and was able to get me the information I needed in the order that it was supposed to be learned in.”
Tom knows my weak points so he provides lessons to, not turn them into strengths, but just make them so they’re not my main weakness. Without that I don’t I would be anywhere near the level that I am today.
Rhythmically it’s definitely more solid… I can manipulate rhythm more to what I hear in my head. I had a tendency to just naturally write things in time signatures that aren’t common like 4/4 time, and besides rhythm, just theory in general. For around a decade or so I played without any traditional lessons, so I didn’t have any knowledge of theory or why stuff that I thought sounded good, sounded good. So he’s kind of given me the tools to know why what I like sounds good.
Derek Rush, Indiana, USA
“I wasn't really at the level I wanted to be at, and I didn't really know how to get there, and Tom just showed me the way, how to get to that level, how to practice properly, how to improve.”
Tom is a great teacher, he knows what he is talking about and he doesn't just, like a lot of other guitar teachers, teach songs. Tom tells me what to practice, what's good for me to practice. There is a lot of free stuff on the internet, but there is nobody really telling you what to do, what's good for you, and that's what Tom is great at. Tom just knows so much about teaching, he knows how to deal with all the problems. Other teachers are not able to help me in the way that Tom does.
Ike Biedermann, Guitar Teacher, Leipzig, Germany
“July of 2012, I had been managing in a retail store and was kind of reaching this point where I was really getting frustrated because I had been struggling to progress in my guitar playing. I had this mindset that I had to teach myself everything... you know and the best players are all self taught and stuff like that...”
...and I remembered Tom Hess from that book, and I said “You know, it’s time to look this guy up and see what he’s all about.” And it didn’t take me very long to figure out that this is the kind of person that I needed to get on board with.
My playing has definitely improved technique-wise, but probably the most important change I have experienced is just in my overall mindset as a player and as a practicing musician. I just feel like I have a much better frame of mind and a much better idea of where I am going and where my guitar practicing is taking me. Whereas before I just felt like I had to practice everything and I had a whole bunch of stuff going on. It’s a lot more focused now.Being in the environment that Tom has created with his other students is incredibly motivating. I had always been in my own little shell, kind of just stayed on my own. Coming out here... like when I came out here last year was a big step out of my comfort zone. Getting around all these other musicians... it’s unbelievable how great some of these guys are, not just as players, but as people.
Andrew Tintle, Richmond, California USA
“Before I started taking correspondence lessons I was basically stagnant in my playing. I had kind of reached what I thought was a pinnacle and I started looking for what’s next, what’s bigger and better… and I just happened across Tom’s lessons and since then I’ve realized that this plateau that I was feeling was way down here and now he’s helped me tremendously. I know I can do things on the guitar that I could’ve never dreamed of five years ago.”
I chose to take guitar lessons with Tom over anybody else because a) Tom is a professional musician, and I want to learn from people who are making a living as a musician and b) he just had a wealth of knowledge that he freely gives to you to kind of say here, you know here is the golden nugget.
The biggest change in my playing that has happened since I started taking lessons with Tom is playing like a true musician, phrasing like a true musician, and kind of separating myself away from all the wannabes.
So if I were to compare Tom’s correspondence lessons with just taking private lesson in a local market, it’s night and day. For one thing, Tom’s lessons are easy to understand, they’re very in depth and they’re tailored to what you want to learn… versus private lessons, a lot of times the teachers are using their students as guinea pigs to figure out how to teach… and Tom’s not doing that, he’s knows what he’s doing.
Thoughts when I started with Tom were “Is this going to work for me?” because it was definitely not the norm. And my thoughts now are “Hell yes it’s going to work”, because you see results.
Tom’s goal-oriented approach has helped me, I guess break horizons and get results that I could’ve never gotten before. Only because he helped me flesh out how I want to play and how to get there. He gave the goals and the path to get there, and it’s been excellent. Tom is like he says, an ordinary guy, but he’s doing extraordinary things, and I know in my life that’s what I want to do. I just want to be an ordinary guy that is impacting lives, and that’s been huge from Tom.
Ty Morgan, Phoenix, Arizona
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