To improve you must…

Yes, this post is in regards to practicing.  Without a diligent practice schedule there is little chance that you improve much on the guitar.  Having a designated place to practice is the first step, assuming you have a guitar already. Find a quiet place that you can set up everything that you need to have a productive practice.  Some things I always have at my disposal are:

– guitar (duh)



-an amp if you are playing electric

-Music stand

-A computer or tablet with an external speaker  (to hear your metronome or song you may be working on)

-Lava lamp (if you need some extra vibes lol!)

Practice materials–

If your taking lessons from a qualified private instructor you should have a head start on a good practice routine.  Your teacher should give you at the most basic level a good routine to go through when practicing.  If you are learning on your own you will have to develop your own routine or find an outline that works for you on the internet.  Here is a sample practice routine that will hopefully help you out.  This is a very basic plan. Depending on your skill level there can be way more to practice and maybe even way less to practice.

  1. Warm up- Play basic scales and or finger exercises with a metronome for several minutes until your fingers feel warmed up. You can gradually increase the tempo/speed and try different picking techniques if you are more of an intermediate player.
  2. Technique practice-  If you are working on a song or riff that has a technique you have never mastered you may want to isolate that technique.  For example, if you are having trouble with slides or hammer ons, ask your teacher for some exercises that focus on those techniques.  If you don’t have a teacher you can find some exercises online.  Just be sure to always practice these techniques with metronome at a slow tempo at the beginning.  Once you begin to improve on the technique you can start increasing the tempo.
  3. Ear training- This can be done a bunch of different ways.  You can try learning a song or a riff by ear or you can go more formal.  Try something like Easy Ear Training and just spend a few minutes each day working on memorizing intervals.
  4. Songs- You need to build a repertoire of songs that are at your current skill level. The more songs you learn the better you will become.  You must learn the entire song. If you are only capable of learning the rhythm parts because of your current skill level, great!  You still need to learn every rhythm part there is and finish each song.  Over time you will apply ear training, technique practice, scale, and music theory practice to each song.

There are many more aspects to a practice routine and a good instructor can completely customize one for your specific needs and skill level. If you have any questions send us an email and we can set up an online lesson to get you started down the right path.


Brett Blakemore




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