Home Position Application (Guitar Lesson)

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Dan Sugarman

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!

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:

  • It's a battle of finding the sweet spot on the guitar - it's snap vs. warmth and finding the sweet spot.
  • Standardize your movement so as to unify the mechanisms that are making your string to string and pick action happen.
  • Your elbow opens as your shoulder moves forward, with your wrist squared up to your arm, with the pick as the engine driving the whole machine forward
  • Your elbow and shoulder are the string to string movement, while the wrist handles the pick movement itself.
  • FIND THAT SWEET SPOT PER STRING: it is a 45 degree angle from the 6th string right after the bridge picking, in a downward sloping 45 towards the inside bottom corner of the bridge pickup on the high E string.
  • 2 points of contact (+ the 3rd temporary p.o.c). The under forearm arm of the picking arm is point 1, the hand butt is point two - these are axels that travel across the guitar body as one unit, like a car driving on the road.
  • The down stroke of even number strokes (in alt picking) is the MOVEMENT from string to string making the arm open and shift.
  • In odd strokes, the upstroke of the following string grab pulls you forward - like a rock climber grabbing a rock and pulling himself upwards.
  • Move with the elbow for the big movements from string to string, and your wrist for the small movements of the pick.

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.



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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.

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