Video: Learn How To Make Fast Guitar Playing More Melodic & Expressive
Want to play guitar fast without sacrificing a sense of melody or expression?
It's much easier than you think, and you're about to learn how to do it by applying fun and simple tips.
Learn how to make your fast guitar licks sound more musically expressive using the tips in this demonstration video:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Now you know that a big part of combing speed with emotional phrasing has to do with:
Emphasizing the last note of your lick!
And here are several important tips to squeeze more emotion from every note you play in your guitar licks:
Lead Guitar Tip #1. Refine Your Vibrato
Your vibrato is the heart & should of your lead guitar playing. When your vibrato is smooth and consistent, your guitar playing always sounds good (whether you play fast or not).
And conversely, the weaker your vibrato, the worse your playing sounds (even if you play very fast).
The secret to good vibrato is balancing its speed with its width. The faster your vibrato is, the wider it needs to be to sound good. And the slower your vibrato is, the narrower it can be and still sound good.
Avoid fast and narrow vibrato. That sound makes your guitar playing sound nervous.
Also avoid slow and wide vibrato. That sounds like slow bends – not vibrato.
Lead Guitar Tip #2. Use More Slides
I don’t just mean ascending slides (sliding into a note from below). Or descending slides (sliding into a note from above).
I mean to also use techniques like:
- backslides. This is where you play the note you want, slide up (or down) from it and quickly return back to the original note. This ornament still sounds like one note (not 3 separate notes), because it’s meant to be done fast.
- re-articulation slides. This means you play the note you want to hear, then slide into it again (re-articulating it with the slide). This phrasing ornament adds a lot of fire to any note.
Lead Guitar Tip #3. Refine Your Vibrato
Now you know how to combine fast guitar playing melody and expression.
The next step for your guitar playing?
Now it’s time for you to learn how to put it all together and become a real musician.
You do it by refining all your other skills (everything from guitar technique to music theory, ear training, phrasing, rhythm knowledge and application)… and learning to be creative with them.
I can help you with this in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons online.
In these lessons, I not just tell you what to do or how to practice to reach your goals.
I hold your hand every step of the way to help you improve fast.
And unlike typical private lessons, in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons online, I’ll see and hear you play a lot more than a typical teacher might.
For example: in private lessons a teacher would only see or hear you play once per week. The rest of the time (in between your lessons) you are on your own.
(This is how bad habits often form without you realizing it. Habits that can take months to solve.)
When you work with me, I'm most active in helping you in between the lessons (when you need my help the most).
- 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 sometimes may ask you to send me a yet another recording of your playing. This way I get to see you play whatever you struggle with and can adjust your lesson strategy (if needed) to help you improve faster.
All you need to do is:
Practice what I teach and train you to do for 30 minutes per day, at least 4 times per week. If you do, then in a few months you may not even recognize the guitar player you have become.
And I daresay – neither will anybody who hears you play.
Look at the results I’ve helped my students achieve:
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my guitar playing by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my guitar playing and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, 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 started lessons when I was a young kid. I was in school. I had a casual teacher, but he only taught us chords, like basic stuff if you want to learn like 3 chord songs. But I wanted more than that, so I went to a local guitar teacher. But he also gave me the same thing. But after like 5 or 6 years of lessons, like I found myself, like if I heard a backing track or something, I couldn’t play with someone. I mean I didn’t feel like a musician, I feel like someone who can just move his fingers from like fret 1 to fret whatever. But with Tom, he’s giving me the tools to become what I want to become, become the musician I want to become. And this is exactly what I want.”
Tom Hess was basically the only guy on the internet with the credentials and the reviews, and basically everyone recommended him. He even had his own students webpage. All his students were like established guitar teachers and professional musicians and they had their own sites and I contacted like 7 of them, and they all recommended Tom Hess, and that’s why I joined him.
I like taking lessons with Tom because he gives me what I want. It’s not like something general for everyone. Like if you want to learn blues, he gives you lessons for blues, but I want to become a metal player and also a neoclassical player, so he’s giving me exactly what I need and what I want. And if I have a problem I just post a thread on the amazing forum, and I get like answers, not just short answers, but really detailed answers. I feel like I am taken care of, I don’t have to worry about anything. If I just follow everything word for word what Tom gives me in all of the lessons, that’s if I have time, because they’re so big, I mean every lesson, people think it’s overpriced, but each lesson, if you want to master it, take everything out of it, is going to take you like 4 weeks of 2 hours of work every day.
Mohamed Karim Koleilat, Beirut, Lebanon
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