Synchronizing your hands is one of the most important things you will learn to do in guitar. This is because, while the guitar has a lot to do with dexterity, it has a lot more to do with coordination.
No matter how fast and how nimble your hands are, nothing will make up for a lack of coordination, and having such will lead to very noticeable issues with your guitar playing, both for leads and for rhythms.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of left hand and right hand synchronization for the guitar.
Pick up your guitar. Now play the low E open, then play it fretted on the first fret for the note F. You just played using coordination. Both of your hands worked together to play the second note, the F note on the first fret of the low E string.
This was made possible by both of your hands working as one unit. In everything you ever do on your guitar, you want both of your hands working together, never against one another. This will make your playing much, much easier in the long run.
SO how do you develop this relationship between your hands? Easy; by practicing. The metronome is going to be your practice partner. This tool will help you to perfect the coordination between your left hand and your right hand.
A metronome is a time keeping device that keeps a certain given tempo with a steady stream of clicks, each of which counts out a full beat’s worth of the measure. For instance, if you are playing in 4/4, four clicks of the metronome will be equivalent to a full 4/4 measure of the song. That means that each click equals one quarter note of the 4/4 measure.
Playing along to the clicks, using fretted notes in a pattern called the “spider crawl” will help you to perfect your left hand and right hand coordination.
The spider crawl is a special name for the chromatic scale. This scale is the only scale in music that covers the entire fret board, as it is a scale built completely of half step movements. This means that, in order to play the spider crawl, you will have to play every note on the fret board, one after the other.
Start off on the first fret with your first finger, then move to the second fret with your second finger, the third fret with your third finger, and finally the fourth fret with your fourth finger. Now move down a string. This is the spider crawl. Using your metronome, repeat this exercise string by string, moving up one position at a time, to the clicks of the metronome. This will be your best tool in developing hand synchronization.
In this video, Kris covers the use of chromatic and scale pattern exercises you can use to improve finger dexterity and independence. He also explains how different variations of these exercises can help you gain fast progress and provides you with the knowledge to create your own variations.
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