Speed of Light Application Exercise (Guitar Lesson)

Lesson
Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Dan Sugarman

Speed of Light Application Exercise

In this lesson, we put into practice what we've talked about so far in this series. This exercise is designed to help you find your Goldilocks Zone, and practice it enough to put it on auto pilot!

Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 7:49Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

The Speed of Light Application Exercise

Now that we’ve effectively broken down the key components of proper fretting hand technique and interfacing, let’s go ahead and apply what we’ve learned with The Speed of Light Application Exercise.

First off, since we’re focusing on our articulation and accuracy of notes here, let’s make sure we’re playing on a clean channel on our amps.

This first speed of light exercise we’re going to start with is going to help us apply the components of this approach in an easy to digest way. After we've learned the speed of light meditations with your zero point, rest position, and playing position - one of the most important things for us to practice is to now add a little bit of the right hand into the equation to begin working on our two hand synchronization and finger IQ, as well as mastering the sensitivity required for the speed of light.

In the last lesson, we honed in on your Goldilocks zone and discovered how to most effectively and efficiently fret a note, as well as how to effectively mute and stop the note to control its note value and over noise pollution. We also worked diligently on mastering the 3 states of guitar playing: Zero Point // Rest Position // and Playing Position.

Now, our mission is to apply this knowledge to the fretboard and implement a little bit of the picking hand into the equation. A lot of this will uncover some issues in your playing, so take note of them, and trust that I will be covering those details in great length in lessons still to come.

This exercise is made up of 12 different levels, broken up into 4 groupings of 3. Each group of 3 consists of a single finger used as a pivot point while the other fingers dance around it using our Speed of Light awareness, with a shrinking pattern of 4, 2, and then 1 - resulting in quicker transitions, which will require you to think on your toes a bit more. We’ll take this slow at first, breaking down each grouping of 3 into understandable bite sized chunks. I’ll take a few moments now and again to reiterate things we’ve learned previously, as well as add in any helpful tips.

With each new grouping of 3 comes a new finger as a pivot point… and trust me on this, it’s not meant to be easy. Some of these finger combinations are difficult - with focused awareness and a dedication to understanding this, you will most definitely come out on top. Embrace the challenge and lets see where we can take this, together!

Key Notes:

  • Consider that the finger in rest position is a cocked and loaded gun… to fire that gun into playing position, you need to pick the note at the exact same time you finger the note with your trigger finger. Riding the tension back to rest position is the act of cocking and loading your gun again for the next shot fired.
  • The momentum of the downstroke getting just to where you need to be for your upstroke on the following string, and the tiny reverse C motion getting you back up and around for your downstroke. Move only the amount you need - keep it small and tight!
  • When transitioning from finger 1 to finger 2 - how do you make 4 separate actions into 1? It took me some time to figure this out, but the answer is simple. The very moment you finger a note is the exact moment you relax the disengaged finger so the string tension picks it up for you. Instead of thinking of each finger as having an on/off switch, chunk the information in your mind so that the act of putting finger 2 down and relaxing finger 1 IS the On/Off switch - not just the single finger's role, but they are now acting as a single unit. A way I like to think of this is similar to the way a ball rolls - 1 side of the ball is pushing forward and down, while the other side of the ball is moving backwards and up… Instead of making the hand 4 separate square digits, make your hand into 1 ball so that the act of changing fingers is as fluid as a ball rolling. This is almost more of a mental trick than anything, but try it and see if it helps! I’ll be talking about this more in future lessons.
  • The "Lift Off" message vs. Relaxing - it's like turning your used finger "off" when you shift to the next finger. You should never send the message from your brain to your hand to LIFT -- you should tell it to RELEASE and RELAX...the relaxing is from literally turning that finger off. The finger then "releases" and and becomes sensitive enough to ride the tension of the string. It will then sit on the string in a relaxed manner like the "light finger" idea from the Speed of Light. Although it may sound right to "lift" your finger, you are really just causing more work for yourself. Your brain has to conceive the message, then the hand has to receive that message, then the finger activates and the muscles required to LIFT your finger are activated. WE WANT TO GET RID OF THIS. By merely "releasing & relaxing" all you are doing is shutting your finger OFF -- there is no muscle use in doing that...in fact it is the opposite -- thus minimizing the amount of work, motion, and effort from your brain to get the message to your hand and get your hand to respond to that message. By doing this, you will be discharging the energy between every note by relaxing and "turning off" that finger so that the energy or "tension" does not build up in your hand, shoot to your arm, your back your neck your shoulders etc. we are discharging it so that it has no chance to build up and cause a lock up in your hand or fingers (which is caused by over-exerting yourself).
  • To see if you are only engaging one finger at a time -- if there is pressure on the finger that is disengaged then your fingernail will be white...this is not what you want. You need to watch your finger go from white to red when you "turn it off" when you release and relax. It's like a domino effect passing the "whiteness" over to the next finger that is being used.

At this point, the sensitivity of your fingertips and the back of your fretting hand should be completely evident - and hopefully the muting technique of “the pulse” is helping you differentiate and clarify your note changes.



Video Subtitles / Captions


Comments

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


Sugarman's Shredding Revolution

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Sugarman's Shredding Revolution is all about discovering and creating ways to develop a new and unique level of understanding of two-hand synchronization, which is one of the core foundations of clean playing.



Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

Length: 5:13 Difficulty: 0.0 FREE
The Speed of LightLesson 2

The Speed of Light

Dan begins his series by revolutionizing the way we approach our instrument. In this lesson, Dan shares a concept he calls The Speed of "Light".

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The PulseLesson 3

The Pulse

Finding the "Goldilocks" zone is key to getting your hands in the best position possible to shred, by finding the right amount of pressure to apply to the strings. Dan helps us find the touch that's "just...

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Speed of Light Application ExerciseLesson 4

Speed of Light Application Exercise

In this lesson, we put into practice what we've talked about so far in this series. This exercise is designed to help you find your Goldilocks Zone, and practice it enough to put it on auto pilot!

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Perfect Practice PostureLesson 5

Perfect Practice Posture

Contrary to what some say, good posture feeds into good technique, which feeds into great guitar playing. In this lesson Dan gives us examples of good posture for two different ways of holding the guitar.

Length: 5:21 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
50/50 Finger FrenzyLesson 6

50/50 Finger Frenzy

Distributing the right amount of pressure throughout your hand is a key foundation to achieving two hand sync. In this lesson, Dan analyzes this concept and helps to get us on the right track.

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chromatic Finger CrawlLesson 7

Chromatic Finger Crawl

This lesson is designed to work on the hand to brain connection during the string change, and to help you "fall" into position as opposed to "flail" into position.

Length: 2:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Finger IQ: Hammer-OnsLesson 8

Finger IQ: Hammer-Ons

Now it's time to sprinkle some legato playing into the proceedings. Starting with hammer ons, Dan shows us how to use "weight" not "strength" to achieve this technique.

Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger IQ: Pull OffsLesson 9

Finger IQ: Pull Offs

Now Dan shows us the next element of legato playing: Pull Offs.

Length: 3:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
True Legato: Three Notes Per StringLesson 10

True Legato: Three Notes Per String

Using hammer-ons and pull-offs that we learned in the previous lessons, Dan now gives us an introduction to true legato - using three note per string patterns.

Length: 5:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Home PositionLesson 11

Home Position

Now that we've spent a good deal of time on the fretting hand, it's time to turn our attention to the picking hand. Dan starts with examining how to get the best tone from our instrument, using what he...

Length: 11:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Home Position ApplicationLesson 12

Home Position Application

In this lesson, Dan helps us apply some exercises to the home application that will help it become second nature in no time!

Length: 8:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm and KonokolLesson 13

Rhythm and Konokol

A solid rhythmic foundation is a must when addressing the basics of good technique. In this lesson, Dan shows a very fresh and cool way to approach rhythm, with the ancient Indian method: Konokol.

Length: 7:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Time and Rhythm TableLesson 14

Time and Rhythm Table

Now, Dan moves the Konokol rhythm system that we looked at in the last lesson to the guitar, exploring different rhythm configurations along the way.

Length: 3:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Polymeter and PolyrhythmLesson 15

Polymeter and Polyrhythm

When it comes to complex rhythm, understanding the difference between polyrhythm and polymeter are very important. In this lesson, Dan gives us a crash course on how to tell the difference.

Length: 3:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 1Lesson 16

Sync or Swim Part 1

Now it's time to put our hands together (so to speak). We're bringing what we've worked on for the left hand, and what we've worked on for the right hand together to get a firm grasp of our two hand sync....

Length: 8:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 2Lesson 17

Sync or Swim Part 2

In this lesson, Dan continues to emphasize two hand sync, adding the new ideas of inside picking and outside picking.

Length: 10:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 3Lesson 18

Sync or Swim Part 3

Now Dan introduces some 2 string patterns into our two hand sync exercises. In each lesson, he's ratcheting up the difficulty level!

Length: 3:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 4Lesson 19

Sync or Swim Part 4

In this lesson, Dan explores more two string patterns, this time emphasizing odd two string patterns. Finger twisters and brain teasers for sure!

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 5Lesson 20

Sync or Swim Part 5

Endurance is the name of the game in this lesson. Dan shows us one of his favorite techniques he calls "Phalange Laps".

Length: 4:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rhythm vs. Lead PlayingLesson 21

Rhythm vs. Lead Playing

Subtle hand positioning can go a long way in determining the proper position for lead playing or rhythm playing. Here, Dan analyzes this concept in great detail, getting you on the right path and putting...

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Picking Hand Muting TechniquesLesson 22

Picking Hand Muting Techniques

Now we get to muting techniques. Starting off, Dan gives us all the details on muting techniques for the picking hand. These are a must if you want to truly reign in that beast of an instrument!

Length: 12:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fretting Hand Muting TechniquesLesson 23

Fretting Hand Muting Techniques

Switching our muting attention to the fretting hand, Dan gives us the essential techniques we need to get the cleanest result.

Length: 14:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learning to Fish for OurselvesLesson 24

Learning to Fish for Ourselves

In this lesson, Dan teaches a great way to analyze our own playing, focusing in on our mistakes and how to correct them. It starts with quarantining our playing.

Length: 9:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
NuancesLesson 25

Nuances

What gives you your unique voice on the guitar? Well, there are a number of things that go into that equation. In this lesson, Dan takes a look at some of the key techniques that will go a long way in...

Length: 18:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 1 - Rhythm vs. Lead PlayingLesson 26

Substrate 1 - Rhythm vs. Lead Playing

Now Dan will help us focus on growing our weaknesses. First up is Rhythm vs. Lead Playing.

Length: 5:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 2 - LegatoLesson 27

Substrate 2 - Legato

Up next in working on strengths and weaknesses? Legato.

Length: 3:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 3 - Alternate PickingLesson 28

Substrate 3 - Alternate Picking

Up next in the world of substrates - Alternate Picking.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 4 - Directional PickingLesson 29

Substrate 4 - Directional Picking

The last substrate Dan takes us through is Directional Picking.

Length: 7:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Creative Application of All TechniquesLesson 30

Creative Application of All Techniques

In the last lesson of the series, Dan gives us a musical, full band exercise that ties in all of the techniques that we've learned throughout the series.

Length: 6:25 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
JamPlay Interview with Dan SugarmanLesson 31

JamPlay Interview with Dan Sugarman

Who is Dan Sugarman? Get to know a little about Dan - his background, his music, and what drives him to excel at guitar in this JamPlay interview.

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Dan Sugarman

About Dan Sugarman View Full Biography

Dan Sugarman is a 26 year old guitarist, producer, teacher and songwriter hailing from the South Bay of Los Angeles, CA. His tenacity and dedication to the art of music and guitar led him to the lead guitar position in the internationally touring band, As Blood Runs Black. Now as a solo artist, Dan continues to work on his original music being released through Patreon, and is currently producing and engineering other bands & artists at Sugartone Studios, and composing for film & television. He also maintains an ever-growing student body as a private guitar teacher, mentor, and educator in the crafts of songwriting, creativity, and modern day recording techniques.



Dan is currently working on his "living album", Inside Out - Part I, available on patreon.com and completing an album for his new group A Mind Made Me, featuring singer//actor Sarah J Bartholomew.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.


Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

Free LessonSeries Details
Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

Free LessonSeries Details
Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Welcome to the Phil Keaggy Master Course! In this series introduction, Phil shows and tells us what we can expect from this...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.


Mark Brennan Mark Brennan

Mark Brennan teaches this classic rock song by Jethro Tull. Released on the album of the same name in 1971, this song features...

Free LessonSeries Details
John March John March

Take a new look at the fretboard and learn where to find a voicing that works. There are techniques that simplify the fretboard...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dennis Hodges Dennis Hodges

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord...

Free LessonSeries Details
Paul Musso Paul Musso

JamPlay is proud to welcome senior professor and Coordinator of Guitar Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

Free LessonSeries Details
Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

Free LessonSeries Details
Rex Brown Rex Brown

Dive into the playing of Rex Brown. As the bass player for Pantera, Down, and Kill Devil Hill, Brown's real world experience...

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

Free LessonSeries Details
Lita Ford Lita Ford

Lita Ford, guitarist for The Runaways, presents a fantastic and in depth series on what it was like and what it took professionally...

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 524687 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Series
Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 124 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"
 

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


Bill

"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."
 

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!
Signup