20 Guitar Exercises That Will Make You A Better Guitarist

Make sure you play these notes first, before bending the note!

Looking for guitar exercises? We’re going to show you 20 exercises that WILL make you a better guitarist.

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 5 must-know guitar tricks that will boost your progress.
  • 3 quick & easy picking drills that will enhance your technique and dexterity.
  • 5 essential warm up tricks up that will make you sound amazing.
  • The no1 secret to playing guitar fast.

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Guitar Exercises #1 Warm Up Tips & Timing

Before you even touch a guitar, it’s important that you warm up.

Here are 5 essential guitar stretches that will enhance your dexterity:

It’s just as important that we perform these exercises in a way that will help us progress on the guitar – that’s why using a metronome is important.

Metronomes emit a “click” at a set speed that will help us lock-in the exercises below and play them with good time.

As a recommendation, we love the Korg MA-2 Metronome. It’s easy to use, and quite loud. It also has a headphone jack so you don’t have to annoy your family members with the constant clicking (unless you want to, of course.)

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Guitar Exercises #2 The Finger Twister

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to get those fingers moving around the fret board.

When you play this exercise you must:

Assign a finger per fret.

For every fret that you play, place a specific finger on it.

Like this:

  • 1st fret = 1st finger.
  • 2nd fret = 2nd finger.
  • 3rd fret = 3rd finger.
  • 4th fret = 4th finger.

guitar exercises

Here’s what it sounds like:

Try and play this exercise at a variety of tempos, from slow to fast.

Guitar Exercises #3 Alternate Picking and String Skipping

To play guitar fast you NEED to know how to alternate pick.

Watch this video to learn how to alternate pick:

To learn more about alternate picking, go here: Alternate Picking

For this guitar exercises, we’re going to use the G major scale. Scales are perfect for practicing your alternate picking.

To learn more scales, go here: Learn Guitar Scales In 8 Easy Steps

guitar exercises

Don’t know how to read tab? Go here: How To Read Guitar Tabs

This exercise is a finger twister. But if you can nail it, you’ll be firing around the fret board in no time.

guitar exercisesHere’s what it sounds like:

If you’re not too sure what the symbols above the tab are, here’s a guide:

guitar exercises

Be strict! Keep to down and up strokes.

Guitar Exercises #4 Alternate Picking Major Scales in 3rds

To take your alternate picking to the next level, practice your scales in ascending major 3rds.

Like this:

gutiar exercises

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It's hard to understand which scales work with which keys.

So we created a cheat-sheet! A key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

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Pro Tip: Are you comfortable with the pick that you’re using? You should be if you want to excel at these guitar exercises. We recommend using a pick that’s a nice mix of thin and stiff.

We highly recommend the Dunlop 1mm Maxgrip Nylon picks for beginners as they’re stiff enough to hold steady with a bit of flexibility. This makes for a durable pick that won’t slip from your fingers when you’re playing.

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Guitar Exercises #5 Major Arpeggios

Practicing arpeggios is a great way of drilling your guitar skills. This major arpeggio is in the key of C.

guitar exercises

Practice this arpeggio sequence with alternate picking.

For more arpeggios, go here: Guitar Arpeggios: The Ultimate Guide

Guitar Exercises #6 Minor Arpeggios

For every major arpeggio, there’s a minor arpeggio.

In this guitar exercise, we’re going to practice the C minor arpeggio.

guitar exercises

Make sure that you alternate pick each note.

Watch out for the 8th fret on the G, B and E strings. You will have to use your first finger for each of those frets.

Guitar Exercises #7 Practice Hammer Ons

A essential technique that every guitarist must know is hammer ons and pull offs.

Watch this video to learn how to play this powerful guitar technique.

To practice this essential technique, we’ve created a guitar exercise to help you nail it!

guitar exercises

Notice that the first note on each string is picked. The rest of the notes are hammered on.

Guitar Exercises #8 Practice Hammer Ons and Pull Offs

In this next exercise you are going to practicing hammer on’s and pull offs together.

This exercise is trickier but if played correctly you will have TOTAL control over your guitar playing.

Make sure that you pull down on each note with authority, the same goes for when you hammer on.

Each note MUST sound punchy.

guitar exercises

Guitar Exercises #9 Two Note Bends

A must know technique for any guitarist, is string bending.

Watch this video to learn the essentials of string bending:

For this exercise, we’re going to use the A minor pentatonic scale.

Here it is:

guitar exercises

Learn more about the A minor pentatonic scale here: A Minor Pentatonic Scale: The Essential Guide

Find The Target Note

When you bend a guitar string it’s important to find the target note BEFORE you bend the note.

For example, if you wanted to bend up two notes on the 7th fret of the G string. (3rd string.) To make sure you were bending up to the correct note, you would play the 9th fret of the G string (3rd string.) first.

This helps you get the correct pitch of the note you’re aiming for before you attempt the bend.

Here’s a bending challenge will help you get this technique up to scratch in no time:

guitar exercisesFor each string, you are going to bend up two notes.

These are the notes you want to be targeting for each string:

  • For the high E string (1st string) your target note is on the 10th fret.
  • For the B string (2nd string), your target note is on the 10th fret.
  • For the G string, your target note is on the 9th fret.

Here’s how it should sound:

Guitar Exercises #10 One Note Bends

This exercise is very similar to exercise 9. However, this time we are going to be bending up 1 note!

This means that our target note is different. This type of bend is great for adding a bluesy feel to your playing.

Here’s an exercise which will help you nail those 1 note bends.

guitar exercises

In this case, your target notes are on the:

  • 8th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • 8th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • 8th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

Make sure you play these notes first, before bending the note!

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