Guitar Practice – 10 Essential Tips

Wondering how to practice? This article WILL show you 10 awesome tips to help you maximise your guitar practice! 

guitar practice

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 10 essential tips that will make you sound amazing.
  • Why going slowly will maximise your guitar skills!
  • 2 secret tips which will enhance your guitar knowledge.
  • How jamming and practicing with songs makes you learn the guitar FAST!

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Confusion about practice is one of the main road blocks in guitar playing which can stop you from improving, but practice is the only way to help you get better at guitar.

It may sound silly but people often don’t know how to practice and can find it really difficult make progress on the instrument.

We’ve created 10 simple tips which will help you MAXIMISE your guitar practice.

Guitar Practice Tip 1: Organise A Practice Schedule

Organising a practice schedule is a quick fire way of speeding up your progress as a guitarist.

When organising a practice schedule it’s important to organise your time efficiently.

Here are a few tips and tricks which will help you organise your practice schedule

  • Look at your week and find time each day to practice.
  • Make time in and around your schedule, don’t replace other activities!
  • Be realistic about how much time you can practice each day.

The most important thing about organising a practice schedule is being realistic about your time.

If you’re in work all day, have a family and plan to see friends, you won’t have much spare time to practice the guitar.

It’s far better to do 5 minutes of practice a day than 3 hours for one day, and none for the rest of the week!

If you can do 3 hours of practice a day, that’s great, but it’s ESSENTIAL that you are realistic about your time.

guitar practice

Guitar Practice Tip 2: Set Goals

Setting guitar practice goals is essential to help you progress.

By setting a goal you know EXACTLY what you need to practice.

When setting a goal it’s important to set a primary goal, this could be anything from ‘wanting to play live’ or ‘mastering lead guitar’.

It doesn’t matter what your goal is, all that matters is that it’s achievable and fun.

Once you’re happy with your goal, think about what you could do to help you reach it.

These are sub goals.

For example your main goal could be to learn your favourite song’.

To do this we have to have smaller goals to reach this target.

Those sub goals could be:

  • Learn each chord in the song.
  • Learn the structure.
  • Learn the strumming pattern for the song.

As well having a having a sub goal, you could have even smaller goals, to help you reach the sub goal.

For example:

If you were going to learn each chord in the song, you might need to spend a bit of time on each chord.

So your smaller sub goals would look like this.

  • Learn the E chord.
  • Learn the A chord.
  • Learn the D chord.

Haven’t learnt many chords yet? Here’s a great guide on 14 essential chords for beginners: Guitar Chords For Beginners: 14 Easy Chords

This may seem like a lot of work, but breaking your guitar practice into smaller chunks is a great way to maximise your progress.

 

guitar practice

 

Guitar Practice Tip 3: Use A Timer

If you have limited time during the day, using a timer can really help you focus your guitar practice.

If you don’t have a timer, google has a great one which is simple and easy to use, click here to find out more: Google Timer

When you first start to use a timer, we would strongly recommend setting your timer to around 2 -5 minutes.

If you’ve never used a timer before, setting it to 30-40 minutes can be quite intense.

By using a shorter time, it means you can be focused and nail your guitar practice.

Make sure that you pick a small topic to work on during this time.

This could be anything from learning an E chord or playing a major scale.

By doing this you focus on exactly what you want to achieve and your guitar practice WILL be more effective.

guitar practice

Don’t pick a topic which is too big, like “Learning a song”.

Learning a song in 5 minutes is unrealistic, it’s better to choose smaller goals and achieve them, rather than choose big goals and miss the mark.

Guitar Practice Tip 4: Use A Practice Space

Having a dedicated practice space is an awesome way to make progress.

If you have a place where your amp and guitar are ready to go, it makes practicing EASIER.

guitar practice

This area could be anywhere in your home. Here are some items which are essential for ANY practice space :

  • A comfortable chair, NOT a stool or chair with arms. 
  • No devices! This is a practice space for practicing! Not for social networking. (If you use your iPad or phone for practice make sure it is in aeroplane mode)
  • A good practice amp with an aux jack and headphones.
  • A music stand.
  • A guitar stand.
  • A guitar.

Guitar Practice Tip 5: Go Slow

This point is IMPORTANT!

Going slow is the key to success.

Think about it, if you were training for a marathon, you wouldn’t run 25 miles straight away.

You would start off slowly with 2-3 miles and would gradually increase your distance.

It’s EXACTLY the same for guitar practice.

By going slow and double checking that everything is right, your hands are able to remember the subtle details you tell them.

Whether you’re playing a scale or learning chords or mastering a song, you MUST go slowly.

guitar practice

Guitar Practice Tip 6: Use A Diary To Monitor Your Progress

Using a diary is a great way of monitoring your progress.

It’s difficult to tell how much you have achieved. By using a diary, it’s easy to tell what you have done and how well you have achieved this.

Here are 3 quick and easy tips to help get the most out of your practice diary.

  • Write down what your main practice goal is.
  • Write down what practice you did each day to help you achieve your goal. 
  • Write down what you achieved and what you think needs work.

It’s important to evaluate your own guitar practice. If something works well, keep it in. If something doesn’t, cut it out.

 

guitar practice

 

Guitar Practice Tip 7: Practice To Your Favourite Song

Playing to your favourite songs is a fun and easy way of way to learn the guitar.

Not only is it enjoyable, it’s an awesome way to monitor your progress.

If you’re absolutely nailing the song and you feel like part of the band, that’s great! It may be time to find some material which is more challenging.

However if you find playing along to the song difficult, you may have to practice more on your own.

It might be that you find changing chords difficult. So, you may have to go back and practice those chords individually.

guitar practice

Looking for songs to learn? Go here: 10 Easy Songs On Guitar

Guitar Practice Tip 8: Jam To Backing Tracks

Practicing to backing tracks is a great way of practicing scales and jamming new ideas.

Picture the scene; you’ve just learnt a brand new scale and all you want to do is rip it up and solo like a god!

But there’s something wrong, your band is nowhere to be seen and you can’t just solo on your own.

This is where backing tracks come in.

Here’s a step by step guide to help you find the perfect backing track:

  • Learn a scale.

This is important, as backing tracks are vital if you want to practice guitar scales.

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again. Click here to download your copy.

  • Google that scale in YouTube and add the word “backing track” after it.

Let’s say you’ve learnt the “Minor Pentatonic Scale” in A.

You would search YouTube for a “A Minor Pentatonic Backing Track.”

  • Select one of the backing tracks.
  • Jam to your hearts content.

A lot of backing tracks come in a variety of keys and tempos, so make sure you experiment with each one.

Guitar Practice Tip 9: Practice Away From The Guitar

Practicing away from the guitar is a great way of testing your guitar knowledge.

Now this may seem a little strange. If you’re going to practice guitar, surely you want to have your guitar with you!

However what do you do when you don’t have a guitar?

You can’t play guitar whilst you drive or wait for the bus!

How do you practice when you’re away from the guitar?!

Here are a few things you can do to help you practice away from the guitar.

  • Visualise a chord in your mind.

If you’re really struggling with a certain chord, try visualising how to play it in your mind. If you can visualise it in your mind, when it comes to actually playing the guitar it WILL be easier.

  • Visualise how to play a scale in your mind.

If you can picture a scale in your mind, it WILL be easier to play.

  • Listen to a song you’re trying to learn.

By listening to the song you engage with the music and immerse yourself within it.

It’s like trying to learn a new language. Without hearing a word of it, it’s simply not going to happen!

However if you immerse yourself in that language, you’ll soon pick it up.

This is the EXACT same for music, if you listen to a song on repeat, you have a higher chance of knowing exactly what that song sounds like and therefore a better chance of being able to learn it.

guitar practice

Guitar Practice Tip 10: Learn Music That You Enjoy

When practicing guitar you should learn music that you enjoy.

This is one of THE most important things you will learn in this article and often one of the things that people don’t realise when they learn the guitar.

If you spend all your time focusing on things you don’t enjoy, guitar playing will be boring.

However if you spend time doing guitar practice that you enjoy, you will love it.

Here are a few tips to help you learn to love guitar practice.

  • Pick your 3 favourite artists.
  • Pick 1 song from each.
  • Begin to learn each song.

By picking songs from your favourite artists, you’ll already be interested in picking up your guitar.

You could also apply this to ANY guitar technique.

The most important thing here is that you’re practicing something that you love.

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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