Sunlight over clouds

Harness the Power of Your Mistakes

When I’m practicing something on the guitar, I often like to think of myself as a scientist doing lab work. I experiment with things, observe what happens, modify the experiment, and eventually zero in on what needs to be done. Mistakes are one of the main forms of feedback I receive during this practicing process. […]

Close up of electric guitar player's hands

Exercises to Keep Your Lead Playing in Shape

Being a guitarist is a lot like being an athlete. A certain amount of practice has to go toward general maintenance of your playing on both a physical and mental level. You have to do exercises that will keep your skills in a state of readiness, so that when the time comes to go out […]

A metronome on a desk

6 Reasons Why You Should Practice with a Metronome

One thing I emphasize with all of my guitar students is the importance of using a metronome when practicing. Most of my students are initially resistant to the idea of using one. Some remain resistant to it, while others eventually embrace the metronome as a practice tool. I can usually see a clear distinction in […]

A guitar on a bed with sheet music

How to Develop an Organized Practice Routine

Back in 2006 and 2007 I went through a period of intense practicing and musical growth on the guitar. Most serious musicians go through a similar ‘wood-shedding’ period like this at some point, where they hole up and put in consistent days with numerous hours of practicing. During my wood-shedding years, I managed to sustain […]

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Strength Training for Guitar Success

A great way to supplement your guitar practice is by doing strength training exercises to strengthen the fingers in your hands. Assuming you’re already putting in the time needed with practice on the guitar, strength training can help you along the way. Having more strength in your fingers makes the things you need to do […]

Guitarist singing

Tips for Learning to Sing and Strum Chords

Being able to sing while playing the guitar is a great skill to have. In fact, I’d say that having at least a basic ability to sing while strumming chords is a skill that any experienced guitarist should have. Learning to do it is tricky at first, though. It involves developing some basic pitch control […]

Creating your own exercises for the guitar

Creating Your Own Exercises for the Guitar

Looking back at my development over the years as a guitarist, an important skill that I acquired was the ability to create my own exercises that target whatever I want to improve on at the moment. This is a skill that most advanced guitarists eventually develop. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to this because […]

Playing vs. Practicing

Whenever you pick up your guitar, it’s important to be aware of whether you are planning on ‘practicing’ or ‘playing.’ These are two distinct mindsets that will determine a number of things: how you think and feel while playing, whether or not you try to fix mistakes, how critical you will be, and so on. […]

Zen and the Art of Guitar Practice

“So the thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one’s self from one’s surroundings. When that is done successfully then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce […]

Becoming a Better Musician Through Listening to Music

We’re all busy. We all have multiple commitments and interests that constantly vie for our time. No matter how committed you are to becoming a better guitarist, the time available to practice is very limited. So, it can be beneficial to look for ways to improve yourself as a musician even when you are unable […]