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. Dan starts us out with a basic exercise to solidify this foundation.
Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 8:40Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Sync or Swim Part I
Now that we have our bearings on the left and right hands - Lets dive right in with our fingers and get our hands wet, because this portion of our lesson is called “Sync or Swim - Part I: Getting Synced Up”.
As we know by now, the fretting hand + the picking hand = 2 hand sync… now that we’ve split apart the two hands and differentiated their core components - we now have a more solid foundation to build upon as we put it all together.
In the last lesson, we fine tuned the way our picking hand will be interfacing with the strings so that we could more effectively and efficiently play the best that we can, and we got acquainted with time & rhythm… In this lesson, we’ll be taking our knowledge from there, and move forward by tying the two hands together in a single position, in all 3 shapes, so you don’t have to think about moving around and can just focus on your picking hand… with just a litttttle bit of finger IQ and thinking happening just so this isn’t too easy for you… From this point out, things are going to continue to get more and more challenging, and musical. This will also be our first “lead playing” introduction to a polyrhythm vs a polymeter!
Set your first finger up on the b string, fret 3 - this finger will be our root note for all 3 shapes that we will be moving through… remember - do NOT anchor this finger. We need each finger to be independent and free to move about as it needs to, and not be hindered and slowed down by carrying this anchor around its neck. Remember to let the picking action come from the wrist, and make sure you’re in lead playing position as we want these notes to ring out loud and clear and not be affected by the palm. Be sure to find the sweet spot on your B string!
The first shape we’ll be playing through is shape 3, which is a whole step and half step. The pattern will be frets 6, 3, then 5, and repeating with alternate picking. We’ll do this pattern of 3 in 8th notes meaning that every click you, 2 notes will be played. This will displace the beat a little bit forcing you to think and feel what you play with a high level of focus. This, is a polymeter! We’re playing a pattern of 3 in groupings of 2! That means that the pattern repeat gets pushed back until the downbeat of the following measure comes in again. We’ll shift through Shape 3, then 2, then 1.
We’ll repeat the exercise again, this time playing 8th note triplets with the same shapes. That means you will play through all 3 notes in the shape & pattern within each click… give 3 notes per beat. This is a polyrhythm! We are fitting the 3 notes INSIDE of our clicks… Not hanging over - see the difference?
Experiment with playing 2 picked notes for every 1 fretted note - in other words play every note twice with your picking hand before changing the note with your fretting hand - This will force you to feel the 2 hand sync even further, and then going back to single notes will feel even easier.
Lastly, we’ll take it up to 16th notes - another polymeter! We’re playing 3 notes in rhythmic groupings of 4 - count 16th notes in takadimi… then replace that with 1 2 3 in the same rhythm - see what I’m saying?
Your 2 hand sync on a single string should be feeling pretty new at this point, but the idea should make perfect sense to you! Make sure you are lining everything up between your hands - taking it slow, bringing all your good habits with you from each lesson so that you are using good left and right hand techniques and your mechanics are sound and solid. Be sure to review any of the previous lessons if you feel you missed something!
Moving forward, we’re going to get into connecting some single string lines.
After getting comfortable in a single position on a single string, we’re going to begin shifting that position around in a few different ways so that we can expand on our knowledge. We’ll also be playing in D harmonic minor, speaking in standard (though I’m tuned to Drop C), so that we can begin to use these ideas in a musical sense. I personally love the harmonic minor sound, so I hope you guys enjoy playing this one.
In the last lesson we were able to use the 3 standard shapes from the major scale… I want to expand on that by introducing 2 more shapes that will help us get into the Harmonic Minor sound.
First is shape 2b which is a half step + a step and a half. then we’ll be adding shape 3b which is a step and a half + a half step. We’ll be playing through a bunch of connecting single string lines that will help you build your two hand sync, as well as see how these shapes connect in a linear way on single strings which is an extremely helpful way to get more acquainted with the neck. I’m not going to go very deep into all of the scales and reasons why, as tons of teachers and lessons have covered that on jamplay already… I just wanna get us jamming and playing already!
We’ll get comfortable connecting shape 2 on fret 2, to shape 3 on fret 3. We’ll be playing 8th note triplets so you’ll play those 3 notes on every click - We connect each shape with a position shift on the pinky - you’ll be shifting with the lightest touch so as not to get stuck. You’ll also be alternate picking through all of this so for now I don’t want to hear the slide sound. We’ll ascend all the way up the octave to this shape in d harmonic minor.
Next is Shape 2 to shape 1, in the same pattern. The pinky needs to get over a whole step, so again make sure you’re not pressing with any pressure as you shift, and make sure your thumb comes along with you so your thumb stays squared up with the thumb to middle finger alignment to insure the best posture and control.
Then shape 3 to shape 2b - this is a really large jump for the pinky so as you’r playing shape 3, which should be ingrained in your mind at this point, look ahead to fret 14 so the pinky has an invisible wall that so it from going beyond it that you can visually enforce. The shift down is the same thing, so look where you’re going before you get there!
Then we have shape 2b to shape 3b, which is close, and similar to what we’ve done before, but slightly different with this whole step and a half between them, which is the quintessential harmonic minor #7 sound.
Then we’ll do a larger shift from shape 3 on frets 3,5 6 on the b string to shape 1 on frets 6, 8, 10 with our largest shift yet. Really make sure you’re looking ahead here and playing cleanly and with tight 2 hand sync. Take it slow and build up speed as you perfect this, slowly bring up the speed as you bring your good habits with you along the way.
Now, we’ll do a variation of these patterns, but with the same shapes, just quicker changes. Starting with shape 3b on frets 15, 14, 11, we’ll descend down to shape 3 on fret 8 and ascend to 10 and 11, before sliding back up to shape 2b and descending down 14, 11, 10, and shape 2 on frets 8, 6, 5.
Lastly, well connect all 5 shapes by starting on fret 2, ascending shape 2, then descending 6 5 3, ascending 5 6 8, descending 10 8 6, then descending back down, ascending back up to the same spot as we continue all the way up to the octave - going to 8 10 11 then descending 14 11 10 then sliding up to 15 14 11, then the last shape before our octave at frets 14 15 17 before we end on our root note - D on fret 15 on the b string.
Right now, the idea of changing positions should be coming to you, and the string shifting with the 2 hand sync should begin to feel more and more complete and together as we move forward. Review this lesson often to help continue building and perfecting your two hand sync. Consider taking all of these lines and playing them on different strings to get in your uncomfortable zones and develop a sense of natural ease in those settings.
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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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
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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
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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