In this lesson, Dan helps us apply some exercises to the home application that will help it become second nature in no time!
Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 8:59Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Home Position Application
Mastering the way we operate across the strings is integral to clean two hand sync, and this exercise focuses on all the habits we’ve picked up along the way and forces us to use them in real time all across the fretboard. As we inch along, adding more and more details and commands into the mix, we can slowly chunk and compartmentalize this information into digestible pieces.
In the last lesson, we got acquainted with what the home position really feels like, and what it is made up of… But we used it in a single note fretting hand setting to really perfect our usage of recycled energy and the pulse to clean up our notes in between - let’s go ahead and get a bit more notey, and musical, so we can actually bring in some more of the finger IQ into this equation.
First, I want to take a moment to talk about a Picking Hand Master Key… this is about holding your pick in the ideal way… with the 45 degree angle to slice through, not too much pressure, no more then it takes to hold a piece of paper between your fingers, and the cross bracing with the index and thumb.
Now, the exercises we’ll be doing here are very pattern based, so once you understand the two string fragment, you’ll understand how to repeat it. The exercise is broken up into 5 Levels of the 8 NPS practice, and 3 levels of 6 NPS, ending with a musical way of ascending up the D minor scale. First, I’ll break down those 2 string fragments, and then we’ll go through them.
Level 1 is a basic 8 NPS pattern that plays notes 5-8 and then shifts up with the pinky to fret 9 and descends back to fret 6, it then followed by frets 9-6 descending on the following string, and then ascending on 5-8 on that same string. I take that pattern all the way up the strings, and back down.
Level 2 is the exact same pattern, but with string skipping! Here’s my trick for this… using our home position rules, instead of setting up on the low e string at first for your home position, set up on the string BETWEEN them - this way you're splitting the distance down the middle, and the different of tone and position on your hand is barely noticeable. This way is highly effective in many instances, and you’ll see it here for sure. All of this is meant to be practiced slowly and perfected so that you can turn it off and do it on automatic.
Level 3 introduces a new variation into this pattern which alters everything. This time we’ll start on fret 1, to make room for what's to come. A two string pattern into 4 parts with 4 notes, the last piece of that - the last 4 notes - now shift UP one fret instead of back down. You’ll be amazed at what this does to the pattern, as we wind up ending on fret 12.
Level 4 is very similar to the last level, only if you break it up into 4 pieces again, the 2nd and 4th piece of that 2 string fragment BOTH shift down one fret… this will get us from fret 12 back to fret 1!
Now let's go ahead and tackle some 6 note per string exercises!
Level 5 is a simple repeating pattern of 4 5 7 / 5 7 8 and then on the next string 5 7 8 / 4 5 7, before looping the pattern over and over on the following strings.
Level 6 is a variation of 5, with 4 5 7 / 8 7 5 and then on the next string 8 7 5 / 4 5 7, before looping the pattern over and over on the following strings.
Level 7 takes all of the ideas we’ve just worked on and will now use all 3 of the scale shapes we’ve discussed, shapes 1, 2 and 3, and we will play from fret 5 on the A string all the way up to fret 15 on the b string by playing one shape and shifting to the next connecting shape on the same string before doing the same thing on the string above it in pitch.
Things to Remember About the Home Position:
At this point, everything should be coming together. Make sure you practice all of this stuff with a metronome on your own time - the trick is to play at a tempo that you can play PERFECTLY. Learn it and perfect it at that tempo, and then bring all those good habits with you up 10bpm… perfect that, drop it 5bpm and feel how easy it is… then shoot up 10bpm again, back down 5bpm to feel good with it. This method will help you get comfortable with shifting up in speed quickly while still maintaining good habits along the way.
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.
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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.
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