Does it seem nearly impossible for you to play both fast AND clean on guitar? A lot of guitar players have this same issue, and try to fix it by moving their hands faster. However, this will not help you play guitar both fast and accurate. To do this, you must identify the most fundamental cause of your struggles. Note: this means fixing your technique, not practicing more speed exercises.

There are 2 fundamental elements all guitarists need to master in order to play cleanly:

-The first one is minimizing all sloppy guitar string noise (find out more about this by checking out this instructional column about how to eliminate sloppy guitar string noise).

-The second element is playing with flawless two-hand synchronization. This means being able to fret and pick a note together at exactly the same moment. As soon as you master two-hand synchronization, you will be able to effortlessly play guitar at high speeds without the sloppy noises that come from not picking the string exactly as it is being fretted.

Before you learn how to develop excellent two-hand synchronization, check out this video demonstration so you can see the MASSIVE difference it makes in the quality of your guitar playing:

Once you’ve watched the video above, perform the following (easy) adjustments in your playing in order to play faster, more accurately, and more precise while gaining greater synchronization in both hands.

Adjustment #1: Stop Holding The Guitar Pick Close To The Tip

Many guitarists face challenging guitar playing problems coming from their habit of playing guitar fast while holding the pick really close to the tip (so that only the very end brushes the string). This makes your guitar playing sound extremely weak - PARTICULARLY if you are playing without distortion. Rather than doing this, hold the pick closer to the middle.

How This Adjustment Will Improve Your Two-Hand Synchronization:

When you hold the pick close to the middle, it guarantees that only the pick comes into contact with the string as you are playing (instead of your thumb or other fingers). This helps you to not accidently play harmonics or mess up your two hand synchronization. Also, this will help you feel with complete certainty whenever both hands are in contact with the string at the same time and when they are not. Identifying this feeling is (or needs to be) the number one most important goal for you while practicing two hand synchronization.

Even though it may feel “unnatural” to hold the pick like this, keep holding it this way for a couple of weeks straight. This tiny adjustment will make a BIG difference in the quality of your guitar playing. Check out the video above to see the how this can greatly improve your guitar playing technique.

Adjustment #2: Put The Pick Deeper Into The Strings

Place the pick down into the strings (closer to the guitar body) every time you pick a note - don’t simply brush the tip over the top of the string. After doing this, you will instantly enhance the volume and clarity of your notes (with no extra effort). This adjustment is completely easy once you get used to holding the pick away from the end.

See the picture below:

Notice: You don’t want to stick the pick “too” deep into the strings – this would be just as bad as barely brushing over the top of them. You must find a balance by angling the pick around 45 degrees as you can see in the picture above. This keeps you from going overboard and going too deep into the strings.

How This Adjustment Will Improve Your Two-Hand Synchronization:

Holding the pick further from the tip and sticking it a bit deeper into the strings causes you to play with better articulation. This will make it much easier to feel when your hands are in complete sync (as opposed to brushing the strings with the tip of the pick). It’s extremely difficult to articulate notes clearly if your hands aren’t in sync, so once you develop great articulation, it will cause your two hand synchronization to improve as well.

To better understand the benefits of this, implement the next adjustment:

Adjustment #3: Pick With Greater Force

A frequent mistake people make while playing guitar fast is unknowingly using too little force in their pick attack. Unlike in your fretting hand, your picking hand needs to be using a LOT of force to articulate every note you play. This will make your playing sound crystal-clear and stop it from becoming a mess whenever you play guitar at a high speed.

How To Put These 3 Ideas Together To Improve Your Two-Hand Synchronization:

Step 1:Think of any short exercise (such as the one below) and practice it by utilizing all the adjustments you learned about in this article. It’s crucial to use something that is very basic and easy to memorize, so you can pay close attention to the technical elements you are practicing.

Hear It

Step 2:Play the lick in the tablature above for an entire minute using A LOT of force. Then, play with very light force for another minute immediately after. This will help you to pay closer attention to the articulation of your picking hand (and will make it much easier to keep your hands in sync).

Step 3: Pick every note in the lick with only downstrokes for a couple minutes.

Step 4:Pick every note in the lick with only upstrokes for a couple minutes.

Once you pick with great force AND use exclusively downstrokes / upstrokes, you will greatly improve your skills with playing articulate, crystal-clear notes at fast speeds and flawless two-hand synchronization.

Step 5:Repeat these steps for fifteen minutes or so.

After reading this article, you understand the steps needed for playing guitar fast and accurate with incredible two-hand synchronization. Now, use the ideas you have learned whenever you play a lick, exercise or solo. Eventually, you will start seeing massive results in the overall quality of your speed guitar playing.

To find out how you can go far beyond playing guitar faster and start improving all elements of your guitar technique, take lessons with an excellent guitar teacher.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a professional musician, composer, and highly successful guitar instructor who trains and mentors guitarists with online guitar tuition. Visit to get free guitar playing tips, guitar playing resources, mini courses and more guitar playing articles.