About This Lesson
To play fast scale passages, one must first learn the technique of “planting”. The definition of “planting” (or “plant” and “planted”) is to touch a string with a fingertip (exactly where flesh and nail meet) and then apply downward pressure onto the string towards the soundboard before releasing (or plucking) the string. This technique is essential when playing scales, arpeggios and chords. The planting technique is quick, precise and undetectable, but first it must be practiced slowly and deliberately (to develop muscle memory and coordination). The repetitive practice of planting allows the guitarist to control and contour sound more easily—and also lessens the likelihood of missing notes. Many guitarists fail to realize that most fast scale passages embodied in songs are short phrases—one, two or three measures long. Thus guitarists should practice shorter speed bursts to start and then gradually increase the quantity of notes in practice sessions. This should be done with a systemized approach (see the following “Speed Studies” exercises).