What To Practice On Guitar When Your Practice Time Is Limited

by Tom Hess

You make more progress as a guitarist when you practice skills with a high degree of transferability. Guitar skills with high transferability improve many elements of your guitar playing at the same time. This principle helps you make progress even when your guitar practice time is limited.

Directional picking has a very high level of transferability in many areas of your guitar playing. It improves your picking hand technique, fretting hand technique, 2-hand synchronization, articulation and timing. Directional picking also improves your sweep picking.

This video shows how to master directional picking the right way:

Question: “But Tom Hess, how can directional picking improve my sweep picking? Aren’t these 2 techniques completely different?”

Answer: Directional picking contains elements of sweep picking on (some) 3-note-per-string scale patterns. You change strings using a downstroke when ascending and change strings using an upstroke when descending. This (sometimes) allows you to sweep pick through the string change instead of jumping over strings. It is one of many advantages directional picking has over strict alternate picking.

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