Speed Up Your Soloing. Part I: Warm Up And Synchronisation Excercises

Welcome to "Speed up your soloing"! In the first of these lessons, I'm going to show you some warm up and synchronisation excercises that will help you to improve the coorperation of your picking and fretting hand.

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Ultimate Guitar
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If you listen to guitar players like Eddie van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen, you can often hear these guys playing very fast. Some of you will have wondered how they do that. The answer is very easy: they just practiced for years.

1. Warm Up

If you want to become as fast as the "Speed Kings", you should start with warmup exercises. Here are a few.
  I. Position
E-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-I
B---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------I
G-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------I
D-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------I
A---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------I
E-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------I

E-----------------------------------------1-3-4-2-I
B---------------------------------1-3-4-2---------I
G-------------------------1-3-4-2-----------------I
D-----------------1-3-4-2-------------------------I
A---------1-3-4-2---------------------------------I
E-1-3-4-2-----------------------------------------I
Important: Use alternate picking here (Down-Up-Down-Up). Try other variations. Practice backwards, too. (4321)

2. Synchronisation

Synchronisation means improving the coorperation of your picking and fretting hand. This is very important if you want to be fast at picking licks. Here are some synchronisation excercises:
n=downstroke v=upstroke

  n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v
E-----------------------------------------------------------------I
B-----------------------------------------------------------------I
G-----------------------------------------------------------------I
D-----------------------------------------------1-----1-2---1-2-3-I
A---------------1-----1-2-------1-1-2-3-4-2-3-4---3-4-----4-------I
E-1-2-3-4-2-3-4---3-4-----2-3-4-----------------------------------I

  n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v
E-4-3-2-1-3-2-1---2-1-----1---------------------------------------I
B---------------4-----4-3---4-3-2-4-3-2-1-3-2-1---2-1-----1-------I
G-----------------------------------------------4-----4-3---4-3-2-I
D-----------------------------------------------------------------I
A-----------------------------------------------------------------I
E-----------------------------------------------------------------I
Practice these excercises up and down over all six strings. Also try them in different positions. Here's another good exercise. It's from the Deep Purple song "Into the fire". At the end of the guitar solo, Ritchie Blackmore plays this. e=8th note er=8th rest
  e e e e e e e e   er e e e e e e e 
E-----------------I------------------I        Use alternate picking.
B-----------------I------------------I
G-------------3-4-I------------------I
D-----3-4---------I--------------0-1-I
A-1-2-----1-2-----I----0-1-2-3-4-----I
E-----------------I------------------I
  I. Position
I hope this lesson was helpful. The next lesson is about easy single string phrases. Goodbye.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jooles
    yay! first comment ^_^ anyways, great job beatrocker, keep it up this lesson helped me warm up my fingering for songs such as "welcome to bucketheadland" by buckethead and a misc. traditional song called "spanish romance" thx again ^_^ Jooles
    justinpunk
    good lesson.. its actually pretty challenging and changed my perception about how good i thought i was at guitar because when i saw figure 1 i was like aha pretty easy ill just try it then i did and it was pretty challenging with the pinky coco loco i know what you mean
    coco-loco
    GREAT! But one problem... For some really annoying/odd reason, when i try diong figure 1, when I go to put my pinkie on the fourth fret, my pinkie "jolts". I don't really know how to describe it though. Does anyone A) Know what im talking about, and B) Have/had the same problem?
    crimson205
    I never would have thought how useful going 1-4 on all strings is until i actually tried it with a metronome..Awesome lesson, thanks.
    synrocker
    why cant i still sync my right hand and left to do speed picking?!ITS SOOO HARD!!!
    daysman4ever
    Hey dude...im needin a lil help with fret control. U got any advice 4 me? I can play songs like Sweet Home and Stairway but when it comes 2 ripping my own solos i have a lil difficulty. Ur response is apprecited.
    yatezy
    i got this and it helped heaps my soloings faster by about 20% and it took me a few times to read it so explain a bit more next time.....
    VHfan98
    great lesson but pretty hard to accomplish. 5* lesson. awesome job, bro.