The Ultimate Guide To Guitar Practice

by Frederik Nielsen, Jul 1, 2019 . 6 min read

The Ultimate Guide To Guitar Practice

Practice makes perfect, and clichés will forever be used in blog posts like these. But just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true!

Read on to learn how to…

1. How to find the right acoustic guitar

Experienced musicians will tell you that it’s not about the gear, but about the ear. While that’s true to an extent, you also need an instrument of a decent quality to get a good sound.

Here are some of your best options when it comes to affordable guitars:

Each of these three options looks great and will definitely give you bang for your buck in terms of the sound they produce.

Further reading – Read 3 Great Acoustic Guitars for Beginners to learn more about each of these guitars.

2. How to plan your practice sessions

Now that you’ve got an axe, it’s time to put it to work. But how do you get the most out of your practice sessions? Every minute counts when you’re a busy musician.

Here are the three founding pillars of good guitar practice:

Create a routine by setting aside a set amount of time (whether 10 or 60 minutes) per day to practice your instrument.

Set yourself goals by being very specific about what you want out of a given practice session, as well as what you want to accomplish in the long term.

Track your progress by having a notebook handy every time you practice, write down what you did, as well as what you found easy and/or challenging.

Further reading – Read 3 Tips to Improve Your Guitar Playing Routine to learn how to practice more efficiently.

practicing guitar

3. How to stay motivated

All new things are fun in the beginning until they become routine. Although routines are important, they can also be the cause of boredom and the death of motivation.

Here’s what you need to do in order to stay motivated:

Further reading – Read Bored of Guitar Playing? Here’s How You Stay Motivated 

4. How to practice rhythm guitar

Rhythm guitar is the backbone of many a genre, from rock’n’roll to funk. And while it can seem easier than shredding, it takes a while to get really good at hitting the grooves.

Here’s how to practice rhythm guitar like a pro:

Further reading – Read Get Into the Groove: 3 Steps to Playing Better Rhythm Guitar to get in the groove.

5. How to practice lead guitar

Rhythmic grooves are easy to learn but hard to master. Lead solos are often an entirely different beast. You’re the center of attention and every little mistake will stick out like a sore thumb.

Here’s how to practice lead guitar and kick ass:

Further reading – Read 3 Top Tips for Great Lead Guitar Phrasing to make your guitar sing like a rock star.

6. How to practice pentatonic scales

Major scales, natural minor scales, chromatic scales, diminished scales, and boy, are there a lot of scales. Pentatonic scales are a bit different, however, and can be a bit more exciting.

Here’s how to practice pentatonic scales and write some amazing folk songs:

Further reading – Read Tapping Into Pentatonic Scales to learn more about this technique in-depth.

band jamming

7. How to practice downpicking

Downpicking, also known as down-stroke picking, is simply the practice of ditching the up-strokes when you play. You guessed it — that makes playing the guitar twice as hard.

Here’s how to master downpicking and rock out with the hardest:

Further reading – Read How to Master Downpicking for a more in-depth tutorial on each of these techniques.

8. How to expand your practice repertoire

Practice is important, but how do you keep things fresh and exciting. By expanding your repertoire and trying out some songs and solos from the pros.

You could, for example, delve into 25 Best Guitar Songs From TakeLessons to build a solid repertoire out of these hand-picked guitar classics.

Once mastered, you can move on to practicing these 3 Simple Guitar Solos You Need to Learn before you go on to compose your own solos.

If you’re feeling cocky, then try your luck with these 2 Notoriously Difficult Songs to Learn on Guitar and see if you can succeed where others have failed.

Finally, you can broaden your cultural horizons by Learning a Song in a Foreign Language and follow the step-by-step guide we’ve laid out for you.

Ready to practice?

You should now be ready for your first (or next) guitar practice session. We’ll expand this guide as we go along, so be sure to check back in regularly.

If you’re in the mood for some more, check out our Tips & Tutorials section of the blog.



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

This guide to understanding the types of electric guitars will shed light on a topic that can be confusing for many.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 9, 2021 . 4 min read

Today we’re going to talk about 5 ways musicians get inspired. The term inspiration refers to being mentally stimulated to do something, especially in the creative realm.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 2, 2021 . 4 min read

There’s a ton of stuff you need to learn if you’re a guitar beginner. You have to learn the riffs, chords, and different finger techniques before you even learn to play your first song.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 25, 2021 . 4 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

The 4 ways to develop relative pitch are quite easy to apply. Like most things music related, all it takes is practice and dedication.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jun 4, 2021 . 3 min read

The 4 lies musicians tell themselves are truly baffling. Each of them are indefensible and together they form a sure stairway to failure. However, all these lies have a common denominator: lack of any kind of work ethic.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 24, 2021 . 4 min read

The top 5 young guitar players today seem to defy the odds. You need a lot of time to get really good at something like playing an instrument.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 10, 2021 . 3 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!