20 Guitar Exercises That Will Make You A Better Guitarist

Guitar Exercises #11 Learn To Remember Chords

An essential part of guitar playing is guitar chords.

Chords make up 99% of all music!

To learn guitar chords, go here: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

Sometimes getting chords down can be a huge challenge.

To help you with your chord practice we’ve come up with an awesome exercise to help you practice your guitar chords.

Here it is:

  1. Practice your chord correctly.
  2. Make sure that each note is nice and clear.
  3. Once your satisfied with how the chord sounds, squeeze your left hand.

Squeezing your hand engages your muscle memory, muscle memory is vital for us as guitar players as it helps us to remember chords.

However, it’s important that you play your chosen chord correctly. Muscle memory can’t tell if your chord is being played correctly or not.

If you squeeze your hand to remember the chord when it’s wrong, you’ll be training your hand to remember the incorrect chord.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

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  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Guitar Exercises #12 Don’t Look At Your Guitar Chords

Most guitarists struggle to remember chords. Here’s a exercise which will help you NEVER forget guitar chords.

  • Practice your chord until it’s spot on.
  • Once your satisfied, try playing your chord without looking.

Once you’ve played the chord, you’ll immediately be able to tell whether the chord is wrong or not. If it’s wrong, try again. If it’s right, great job. Keep practicing.

You can try this exercise with ANY chord!

For quick & easy guitar chords go here: Guitar Chords For Beginners: 14 Easy Chords

guitar exercises

Guitar Exercises #13 The 1 Minute Game

Practicing chord changes is one of the most difficult parts of learning the guitar.

However, there is an awesome way to practice this.

To do this chord exercise:

  • Pick a set of chords that you’re working on.

This could be a set of chords from a song, or some new chords that you’ve learnt. Don’t pick more than 4 or 5!


  • Set a timer on for 1 minute.
  • Try to change between your chords as many times as you can in one minute.

Keep track of how many times you change, it’s good to keep a note of how quickly you did it, that way you can monitor your progress.

Make sure that:

  • You don’t rush!
  • You play each chord correctly.

It’s far more important to play less chords correctly, than play more chords incorrectly in one minute!

guitar exercises

Guitar Exercises #14 Leave A Gap Between Your Chord Changes

Try this, let’s say we have a chord progression which goes:

G – C

Learn these chords here:

For each of these chords, we’re going to have four beats.

G          | C

1 2 3 4 |1 2 3 4

Within those four beats, you’re going to try and change between them.

Sometimes adding an element of time pressure can really spur you on to change your chords quickly.

You could monitor this time with a metronome.

If you don’t have a metronome, try this: Free Online Metronome

It should sound like this:

Guitar Exercises #15 Practice Down Strokes

One of THE best ways to add musicality to your guitar playing is to add strumming.

Learn how to strum here: How To Strum A Guitar

The first exercise you’re going to do consists of just down strokes.

For this example we’re just going to use a E major chord:

guitar exercises

To learn the E chord, go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

Here’s the exercise:

strumming-pattern-downHere’s what it should sound like:

Remember, just use down strokes for this exercise. If you fancy an added challenge, apply these down strokes to other chords.

Guitar Exercises #16 Adding Up Strokes

Once you’re comfortable with down strokes, try adding some up strokes.

If you can nail these two strokes, you will be a strumming master in no time.

Some people think that an up stroke needs to be a direct mirror image of a down stroke.

This is not the case.

When you play an up stroke, you only need to play the top the 3 strings.

Try this exercise, for each strum you’re going to down, up, down, up down, up etc.

Here’s the tab:

strumming-patterns-upHere’s what it sounds like:

Guitar Exercises #17 Using Your Thumb and First Finger To Finger Pick

Finger picking technique is a great way of adding extra dynamics and texture to your guitar playing.

In this exercise, we’re going to be using our thumb and first finger!

Let’s check out the tab:

guitar exercises

  • For every ‘p’ on the tab, you’re going to use your thumb.
  • For every ‘i’, you’re going to use your first finger.

Here’s how it should sound:

Guitar Exercises #18 Using Your Thumb,  First Finger and Second Finger To Finger Pick

Most guitar players spend a lot time developing their fretting hand and often neglect their picking hand.

The picking hand controls what you play.

This finger picking exercise will get your finger picking strength up to strength in no time.

Here’s the tab:

guitar exercises

For every ‘m’ which is used, use your second finger.

Here’s what it should sound like:

For more finger style lessons, go here: Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons 5 Easy Ways To Sound Amazing

Guitar Exercises #19 Use Your Ears To Learn A Chord Progression

One of the MOST useful skills you can learn as a guitar player is to learn music by ear.

As guitarists, it’s important that we use our ears. It allows us to develop our musicality.

As a challenge, here’s a chord progression. Try and figure out what the chords are:

Here are a few quick tips and tricks you can use to help you:

  • Work out how many chords there are in a progression.
  • Work out whether the chords are major or minor.

Does the chord sound happy or sad? 99% of the time in music, the chords are going to either by major or minor, so if you can work that out, you’re halfway there!

  • Find the root note in the chord.

The root note is the first and lowest note in a chord, this can help you find out what key your chord is in.

To learn more about root notes, go here: What Is The Root Note of A Chord?

Did you work out the chord progression?

Here’s the answer, it was…


G, E minor, C and D

Guitar Exercises #20 Learn a Melody By Ear

This one is a little trickier, as we have to try and work out single notes rather than whole chords.

This is difficult, but the results are so worth while.

Here’s a melody which you may recognise:

Here are a few tips and tricks to bare in mind when working out this melody:

  • Try and find the key to the melody.
  • Try and find the first note of the melody.
  • Does the melody use any open strings?
  • How many strings could the melody use?

The best way to work something out by ear, is by trial and error. Listen to at is as many times as possible. Then, try and find the notes on your instrument.

Got it yet?

guitar exercises

Here’s the tab:

guitar exercises

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