The Fastest Way to Better Guitar Playing...

Do you want to get better at playing and practicing guitar? Of course you do. In this video, I’m going to discuss the simplest way to do that by focusing on two things: compound practice and progressive-stage practice. When these two elements are incorporated into a guitar training program they are particularly helpful for any stage a guitar student is at...



Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or an advanced guitarist, you will always serve yourself best if you incorporate compound practice with progressive-stage practice.

This lesson explains exactly how to go about blending together these two study principles for acquiring guitar skills properly and to acquire skills fast.

WATCH THE VIDEO:



ACCELERATE YOUR LEARNING:
Understand up-front that this is going to be very simple in concept, but it’s not easy to execute because of all the work that is involved.

As musicians, we all need to do many hours of practice in order to become better guitar players that part is never easy - it requires dedicated practice.

But, this idea I have for you today is not complex. It’s based on the fact - we all know - that when we practice exercises which encompass compound ideas we get better at those ideas faster.

Then, when we progressively expand on topics, (as opposed to doing the same thing over and over), we get better - faster. 

So, if we combine working on compound exercises along with progressively expanding on our topics, we can really "super-charge" our guitar skills and we can start to improve our overall guitar playing at a rapid rate and pace!




COMPOUND PRACTICE:
Step One: Let’s run through an example of how to get started with applying a compound practice approach using one of my more popular compound practice exercises. This exercise involves the use of two common chord movements.

The first stage of this practice work-flow will involve switching from a "V-chord" to the "I-chord" resolution in a Major key. And then, we'll also include the; "IV-chord" to the "I-chord" in a Major key.

First, let’s learn the chord movements. Each chord will be played using either barre chord technique, or using a somewhat challenging fretting layout.

NOTE:
Each chord will be performed for one measure each.

Major V-I:


Major IV-I:



Stage Two: Now that we’ve established these chord changes, the next step we’re going to move on to is the “compound” element of this exercise.

NOTE: For many of you trying this, I’m sure that you’ll find at least a couple of those chord fingerings aren’t the easiest, and they’ll take a little getting used to.However, with practice the chord patterns will come along.




Our second element that we will be adding is going to be a simple melodic statement that fits strongly with the chord tones of each chord.

This means, that if we’re playing a “G Major” chord, we’ll want to practice creating a melodic line that fits with the ‘G’ chords’ chord tones, (which are), "G, B and D."

Here’s an example of adding this type of practice element

Compound Practice… V-I Melody:



Next, let’s do the same thing, but this time with the, “IV to I” chord idea that went from the “F” major chord over to the “C” Major root chord.

Compound Practice… IV-I Melody:







PROGRESSIVE PRACTICE:
Next, let’s move on to adding in our “Progressive” stage to this exercise.

What is Progressive Practice?
Just to clarify, when I say Progressive, what I mean is to expand on the practice of the exercise. Increasing it in some way- growing it and even re-developing it.

Progressive Practice Example:
For our example, in this stage, we’ll be incorporating an 2-part Ear Training step that will involve first singing our melody line (to internalize the melodies sound for increasing our recognition and association).

For the second step we’ll sing the melody over-top of a play through of the underlying chord changes.

Sing the V-I Practice Melody:
Start by singing the melody (shown below) on its own. Then, sing the melody while playing the underlying chords that support the melody.


Sing the IV-I Practice Melody:
Start by singing the melody (shown below) on its own. Then, sing the melody while playing the underlying chords that support the melody.



CONCLUSION:
If you always practice guitar in the exact same way (without adding secondary stages to every exercise that you work on), it’s going to leave you vulnerable to stagnation with your skills as a guitarist and as a musician. And, if left unresolved, the stagnation could last for years.

By combining different practice elements and then adding further progressive steps, (additional stages), to your studies, your playing is going to grow much faster. 

And, that growth will lead to; better skill, better chords, better understanding for theory, better soloing and a better ear. 

In fact, the long term result of pushing yourself to higher standards will be so noticeable to you that you'll feel the need to practice in this manner from here on forward.




Check out the web-site:
If you’d like to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher - visit my website and start looking through all my Guitar courses.

There are dozens of lesson plans with very detailed videos along with PDF worksheets that you can download and print out to start learning more about the guitar.

The lessons are all well planned they’re easy to follow – and they all work in a very organized way so that in the end, you’ll increase your knowledge of guitar, and you’ll be able to start incorporating higher end guitar skills for the music that you enjoy.





VISIT THE WEBSITE:
If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

The result is the most comprehensive guitar course that covers every aspect of beginner to advanced playing ideas to help you improve your playing.


LIMITED TIME OFFER:
If you join my site as a Premium member, you’ll receive a FREE copy of my popular Guitar Technique eBook.

My Guitar Technique eBook is 28 pages of jam-packed exercises, drills and studies for mastering all of your technical skills at playing Guitar.

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Ultimate Scale Pattern - Do This EVERY SINGLE Day!

In this lesson, I’m going to show you the "Ultimate" number one scale shape for major and minor that you should do every day. This pattern will help to improve your phrasing, fix common lead guitar imbalances, improve your melodic performance when writing or improvising, and increase your fingerboard mobility... 




If there was one scale that you could be doing every single practice session, and even on your off days, then this would be it.

WATCH THE VIDEO:




For years now, I've been teaching my private students what I call the “Ultimate,” scale pattern for Major and Minor. It's just my nick-name for a scale that has a fantastic fingering layout and it can operate as either Major or Minor. Plus, with a little extra work it could be applied to all the modes as well.

The "Ultimate" Scale Pattern is a scale shape that covers a lot of ground and it’s so straight-forward to learn, that you could run this pattern through every single day, (in less than a minute), to master it on the neck, and if you did that - it will change your life.

How will it do that? Well, a lot of guitarists either don’t have the time or possibly the patience to learn all of the scales all over the neck, (because that level of practice is so incredibly time consuming to do).




However, "all in one" Ultimate scale shape is perfect for players who have limited time, but who still want to have an excellent 7-tone scale pattern, that generates really nice fingerings for lead guitar and functions as a full scale version covering the Major and Minor keys for playing /composing /improvising nice melody lines and solos.

What’s really great about this “Ultimate” scale pattern, (aside from its really nice fingering layout), is if you are a player who’s become bored with using the 5-tone Pentatonic scale then, this shape will introduce the full pattern of the complete 7-tone Major and Natural Minor with an excellent easy to memorize fret-board fingering layout.

Plus, as I stated earlier, you can re-organize the root notes and make this layout compatible for all of the Major Scale Modes as well.





MAJOR LAYOUT:
Let’s get things started with our initial layout of this scale pattern. We’re going to lay this shape out on the neck in the key of “C.” But, once you learn the scales root note locations you’ll be able to play this Major scale anywhere you want on the neck.

Major "Ultimate" Layout:
Key of “C” root located on the 5th string at the 3rd fret.



NOTE: The diagram shown above relates five (5) notes as the color green. Those "green notes" represent scale tones that are located under the root note. They’re still scale tones, just ones that are located in the lower register under the pitch of the root.





MINOR LAYOUT:
Next, let’s take a look at how this exact same scale shape (that we just learned), can easily become the Minor Scale.

The principle behind this is all based upon the application of what’s referred to in music as, “Relative Minor Scale Theory.” This is all related to the fact that every Major Scale shares the exact same notes as a related Minor Scale.

The only difference is, the specific tone that you decide to focus in on as the scales Root.

So, we’re going to perform our pattern again. Only this time, we’ll use the 6th note of the key of “C Major” as our Root, (which will give us an “A”), and again that’s because that 6th note of the key of “C” Major is the “Relative Minor” scale Root. So, here’s that pattern again, but this time performed as “A” Minor.

Minor "Ultimate" Layout:
Key of “C” root located on the 5th string at the 3rd fret.



START USING THIS PATTERN:
Now, that you understand how the “ULTIMATE” scale pattern operates on the neck. Take your time and practice the shape daily in several different keys.

Use a metronome to build your speed and consistency, while you pay attention to the location of the root note for major as well as, the root note for minor.

Also, be sure to practice the scale exactly as shown in the demonstrations. And, most importantly once you learn this pattern across the neck, put it into action by using it over chord progressions.

If you have a looper pedal, record a jam-track in a major key and also in a minor key. Then, practice making up melodies using the Ultimate scale shape.

That "jamming" style of approach will be the best way to thoroughly memorize the scale and it will also be how you’ll start being able to become fluid with it when it comes down to creating melody lines using the excellent fingering of the “Ultimate” scale pattern shape on the neck. 





CONCLUSION:
Well, I hope that you enjoyed this ultimate scale pattern... If you’d like to learn more about how to further develop your guitar playing - join my web-site as a free member and start taking a look at all of my “Guitar” Courses.

They cover a ton of specific information on improving general and advanced playing skill. And, I’ve got a wide assortment of lesson plans that all come with very detailed videos along with PDF worksheets that you can download and print out to start covering all kinds of; exercises, Music Theory, rhythm training and technical drills.

The lessons are all very well planned they’re easy to follow – and they work in a very organized way. To help you get better at playing guitar quickly and easily.





VISIT THE WEBSITE:
If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

The result is the most comprehensive guitar course that covers every aspect of beginner to advanced playing ideas to help you improve your playing.


LIMITED TIME OFFER:
If you join my site as a Premium member, you’ll receive a FREE copy of my popular Guitar Technique eBook.

My Guitar Technique eBook is 28 pages of jam-packed exercises, drills and studies for mastering all of your technical skills at playing Guitar.

___________________________________________________

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Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes

Theory and Practice (WORTH IT OR NOT?)

Music Theory and Guitar Practice Routines are often considered as the "be all and end all" of musical training. But, are they? Yes, I'd have to agree. Because once you develop your basic theory and combine that with a solid practice routine, your skills for music and for playing guitar will skyrocket. I've witnessed this hundreds of times...




The main problem with why players neglect these two important areas has to do with the initial period of low reward.

Theory is always a little confusing at first, and being consistent with an "honest" practice routine takes a massive amount of dedication and diligence!

In this post, I'll show you one of the most important elements of music theory that you need to learn as soon as possible, and I'll discuss the benefits that come from establishing a serious practice routine, as well as, the rewards of sticking to it.

WATCH THE VIDEO:



"2" Important Concepts:
One is more music based and the other is more focused upon your guitar practice approach. The first idea has to do with music’s chord movement strategy. 

Chord Movement is a system that (when learned) helps a musician better understand almost every piece of music that they'll ever listen to (and work at learning on the guitar), forever!

The second idea is the approach that you’ll use to practice everything you ever play on guitar, including that “chord movement strategy,” and really anything else that you ever work on.

So, let’s get right into this, by learning the first part of the lesson, dedicated to the principle behind the very important topic of chord movement within a key…




KEY and CHORD MOVEMENT:
Learning all about the basics behind chord movement is probably one of the most important things that anyone who’s serious about practicing music could ever study. 

And, the good news is that it can be studied the easiest by simply using the circle of 5ths to practice the whole idea.

The Circle of 5th's:



You can isolate the chords into their keys off of the circle of 5ths. And, once you know how to isolate them, (which is actually very easy to understand), you can start putting them into practice! 

Which is a lot of fun, because that involves making up chord progressions and listening for these chord movements across literally every song that you’ll learn going forward into the future.

So, let’s do a quick theory lesson on this topic to demonstrate /explain to you how easy that this chord movement strategy really is.





Step 1). Pick a Key. For this example, we'll pick the key of "C." After picking the principle key, relate it to the each key name on either side of your principle selection.

This means that the key of "C" would also include "F" and "G" (the keys next to your principle selected key). 

Along with those, you will also include each related minor, (Dm, Am, Em). However, we will not be associating the, "F" and "G" and the Dm, Am, Em, as "keys" in this case. They will be thought of as chords related to the principle.



Step 2). We've now isolated all of the popular chords that are found within our key. We can write songs with them, we can create chord progressions and we can learn new pieces of music in the key far easier than ever before. 

All due to now being more aware of the chords that are associated to the key we've selected.



Now, that you understand the basic idea behind chord movement within a key, let’s move onto discuss practice approach.




PRACTICE APPROACH:
So first, let me state up front that the main reason for why I feel this particular topic of guitar training stands as one of the most important, is centered around one core fact. 

If a practicing musician does not have a foundation that they can follow (when practicing guitar), musicians are going to have a very slow learning curve that will rob them of both their time and of their energy.

So, here’s a way to nail down a solid study approach. Think of every new thing you set out to practice as having three areas you’re going to push it through.

(1). The first area is a knowledge of the idea
(2). The second is associating how it works on the guitar
(3). And, the third is building the physical skill to play it

Let’s get into this, and run through a few examples of how to break down this concept…

Knowledge of every musical part that you’re working on comes down to having a clear vision of what the design of any chord or scale idea will look like on the on the guitar neck.

It can also include any theoretical principles that are important to what you’re learning as well. So, let’s say, that you need to learn a chord progression that applies the chords of; “C, F and G.”

The first thing that you'd need to know is the look and construction of those chords. Know the fingering, know their notes, and know how you’ll start working through the movements of one to the next.

Know the fingering so, that you could draw the shapes on a piece of paper. And, then when you begin practicing the chords, work in time frames, isolate movements, associate notes, learn related fingerings.




All of this builds a very high level of awareness. Finally, the last area is all about the motor-skill development.

You’ll need several days of work on any new playing concept. You’ll need to focus on having relaxed movement, and repetition, and you’ll definitely want to incorporate working with a metronome to build the endurance.

If you apply this type of diligence to learning new material, your skills will improve much faster, and the entire experience will feel a lot more relaxed.

Well, as you can tell, I’m a big believer in knowing how to develop these two areas.
#1, basic chord movement strategy (in music theory it’s called harmonization of a music key), and #2, having a methodology for you practice plan.

These areas are ones that involves a solid sense of knowledge, a high physical playing level of awareness, and a system for building all of the skill with each of the movements necessary to (over time) establish excellence with you motor-skill development.

If you’d like to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher - visit my website and start looking through my Guitar courses.

There are dozens of lesson plans all with very detailed videos along with PDF worksheets that you can download and print out to start learning more about the guitar.

The lessons are all well planned they’re easy to follow – and they all work in a very organized way so that in the end, you’ll increase your knowledge of guitar, and you’ll be able to start incorporating higher end guitar skills for the music that you enjoy. 




VISIT THE WEBSITE:
If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

The result is the most comprehensive guitar course that covers every aspect of beginner to advanced playing ideas to help you improve your playing.


LIMITED TIME OFFER:
If you join my site as a Premium member, you’ll receive a FREE copy of my popular Guitar Technique eBook.

My Guitar Technique eBook is 28 pages of jam-packed exercises, drills and studies for mastering all of your technical skills at playing Guitar.

___________________________________________________

GET GOOD NOW - JOIN THE MEMBERS AREA


Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes

"My Rhythm Isn't Improving" (HERE'S WHY!)

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you practiced rhythm guitar it just won’t get much better? In this lesson I’m going to show you the two biggest reasons why I believe your feel for rhythm guitar is not where you want it to be... 




This lesson covers topics centered around:
  • the number of times that you are knowingly and unknowingly training
  • learning rhythm guitar exercises for hitting the beat perfectly
  • developing greater control over your feel for rhythm

WATCH THE VIDEO:



WHAT IS RHYTHM TRAINING?
In this lesson, I want to help you get a lot better with your ability to perform rhythms. When we dive into the different aspects of what’s involved with rhythm training, I like to think of this topic as being more of a part of Ear Training rather than guitar technique.

- The Mechanical Side:
There is (of course) a side to rhythm development that involves mechanical training. This includes concepts such as how your hand moves, the development of the feel of the pick’s strum across the strings, and achieving a relaxed, loose feel of the hand, wrist and arm.

- What's Holding You Back?
Those are all important mechanical areas. But, in this lesson, what I want to tell you about are two things that you’re probably doing wrong. Things that will hold back your rhythm ability.

These are the frequency (or what you could think of as your regularity), of how often you study each rhythm duration, in your practice routine. And, any sort of lack of variation when it comes to studying different rhythms...




TRAINING FREQUENCY:
First of all, when it comes down to training frequency and being constant and persistent with a daily rhythm studies routine – this is an area that is easily neglected.

Guitar players need to establish a regular routine, for not only running through all of the different rhythms I’ll be discussing in this lesson plan, but, also (if you’ll recall I said earlier), I feel that the Topic of rhythm is more associated to Ear Training.

TRANSCRIPTION:
In order to push your skill up to a new level, you’ll also need to transcribe rhythms on a daily basis. And, when you do that, make sure you’re doing it from several different styles of music, because, every music style applies rhythms differently.

What's important to understand is that it’s going to be the exposure to several different forms of music that will really push you to become a much better; listener, interpreter and eventually performer of all types of; rhythmic feels, beats and syncopation.




RHYTHM IS A PART OF EVERYTHING:
Another important area I need to mention is that when it comes to playing the guitar, pretty much anything that you’re doing - involves rhythm. Chording, soloing, learning a riff, reading music, working on technical drills, everything we do involves the use of rhythm.

This means that if you’re sloppy and if you never focus on rhythm (with an intention of perfectly performing every beat of every part that you work on), what’s going to happen is you’ll burn a series of bad habits into your memory that will be incredibly difficult to undo later on.

Study with a Metronome:
Understand that, if you’re not working with a beat in the background, (metronome), you really need to start practicing with one as much as you possibly can.

My first choice and my personal preference would be a basic click track – a metronome. Have it clicking away in the background as much as possible. 




YOUR RHYTHM WORKOUT:
When it comes to establishing a rhythm work-out (before we get started), we really need to think about something called the law of diminishing returns.

Most musicians who get head-strong about studying difficult topics (like rhythm), also tend to push themselves too hard, and during the practice period they start experiencing diminishing returns.

In other words, they start getting worse at what they’re practicing because the level of benefits gained starts becoming less than the amount of energy that they’re investing.

ESTABLISH A SOLID ROUTINE:
Because of the concept of, "Diminishing Returns," you need a set routine and you need to stick within that routine.

So, grab your guitar at this point and let's lay out a solid rhythm study routine. Learn the following exercise and once it is developed up to playing level, do it at a minimum of 6 days a week, for at least 3 weeks




STEP 1). SYNCHROCIZE
Begin by synchronizing your feel for the quarter-note to the click of the metronome.

Make sure that your foot is tapping in time to the quarter note and only use scratch rhythms on covered strings.



STEP 2). BALANCE THE DOWN / UP
Once the quarter-note is smooth and is able to be played perfectly in time, switch over to feeling the 8th-note pulse.

For the 8th-note feel, use scratch strumming and strum down and up moving smoothly with how your foot is moving down and up tapping on the floor along with the 8th-note beat.







STEP 3). TRIPLET FEEL (3-IN-ONE)Once you nail down the 8th-note feel in perfect time, switch into feeling and performing the beat of the 8th-note triplet feel.

The 8th-note triplet is felt as a count that applies a “3 over one,” pulse.

With triplet time, there needs to be 3 equal attacks over the pulse of the metronome. Continue using scratch strumming and strum; “down, up, down” – on beats 1 and 3, then perform, “up, down, up,” on the beats of 2 and 4.






STEP 4). 16th-NOTE FEEL (4-IN-ONE)When the 8th-note triplet feel is becoming an overall decent groove for you to perform, switch into the feel of the 16th-note count.

This feel requires 4 equal attacks over the click of the metronome. The scratch strum for the 16th-note feel would be a consistent; “down, up, down, up.”




CONCLUSION:
I hope that this lesson on rhythm will help you go forward and become a much better interpreter of rhythmic feel... If you’d like to learn more about how to further develop your guitar playing - join my web-site as a free member and start taking a look at my Guitar Courses.

The courses cover a ton of specific information on improving general and advanced playing skill. I’ve created a wide assortment of lesson plans that all come with very detailed videos along with PDF worksheets that you can download and print out to start covering all kinds of; exercises from, Music Theory, to rhythm training and technical drills.

The lessons are all very well planned they’re easy to follow – and they work in a very organized way. To help you get better at playing guitar quickly and easily.




VISIT THE WEBSITE:
If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

The result is the most comprehensive guitar course that covers every aspect of beginner to advanced playing ideas to help you improve your playing.


LIMITED TIME OFFER:
If you join my site as a Premium member, you’ll receive a FREE copy of my popular Guitar Technique eBook.

My Guitar Technique eBook is 28 pages of jam-packed exercises, drills and studies for mastering all of your technical skills at playing Guitar.


___________________________________________________

GET GOOD NOW - JOIN THE MEMBERS AREA


Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes