The 4 Foundations of Great Guitar Practice

Learning to play the guitar and learning to get as good as you can is both a dedication to many years of understanding music and a dedication to practice. You can't be a wimp about this. Along the way, it won’t be all fun and good times. What builds skill is devoting long hours and a tremendous amount of energy to doing boring and repetitive work. Without it, players will never reach their highest levels of success on the instrument...

As you strive to advance your playing skills and add more technical perfection to your guitar playing, things are going to times where you either feel like you’ve got the world by the tail, or you could also feel the exact opposite.

The opposite means feeling like your practice is going nowhere fast. I've heard players say things like, "I can't get ahead, it's like I'm pulling a train up-hill." And, it's at those times where you have to take stock in what it will take to break through to the next level of playing.

Falling into these learning traps as a player can be pretty tough to deal with. But, DO NOT be a sissy about it. Don't be a wimp... Plow through those rough areas and things will improve. You will make it to the next level - guaranteed.


In this discussion, I will be sharing some great advice for learning how to keep pushing ahead and always continuing to grow as a player through hard work and lots of practice - so that you get better, as time goes by - even if you’re feeling stuck and you feel down in the dumps because things aren't going your way.

Experience is everything…
Playing an instrument is not an ego thing it’s actually a contribution thing. So, you need to meet people, to get out into your local scene and learn from others. Those experiences will be invaluable to you long term.

You’re not going to like everyone you meet, not every situation will feel comfortable, and you won’t connect with everyone. But, eventually you will hook up with a certain group of core musicians and those people will help you get a lot better. And, I mean way better than you’ll ever get just trying to learn to play alone sitting at your house or apartment.

Sometimes, its that first leap outside of your comfort zone that does it. Or, it might take many meetings with a whole bunch of different musicians. Perhaps it will occur through just meeting up with a music teacher. Maybe it will be through taking a class at a local music college. Or, maybe it’s asking to play a few songs on the band rehearsal night of your church that you belong to.

Whatever that "initial excursion" is, you’ll never be the same after it. You’ve got to make that leap out of your house and hit the street with your guitar in hand. Musicians you’ll meet will have a life-long impact on you.

And, the coolest thing is that it will be the very small – seemingly insignificant things that you’ll do, that people will say to you, and the experiences you’ll have along the way, that will cause you to change musically like you never would have from just sitting at home practicing your guitar!

Attitude check… 
Your attitude is everything, and so is the attitude of the people who you surround yourself with as well. So surround yourself with great people. And, over time you’ll certainly realize that it’s the people who are more positive, more realistic, encouraging, and uplifting (about what you want to accomplish as a guitar player), they will tend to pull you up to that same level of behavior and thinking.

But, people who are negative, full of jealousy, (and those who view only the worst in everything that’s going on), they will rub off on you as well. And, it won’t be good, in fact, they’ll have a terrible effect on you, and on the way that you perceive everything about your skill development.

So, be cautious with who you spend your time with because if people have a bad attitude, parts of that will affect YOU. And, that is not helpful. You need to find successful ways of getting around any musical road-blocks that end up getting in your path. And, the musicians (who you’ll meet) that are; smart, have unique ways of looking at things, and who are experienced and innovative in the ways they do things - those are exactly the types of musicians you’ll want to discover, and hang around with.

Don't Be a Wimp About Hard Work...
Don’t be a wimp about your practice material or your practice time. Because, if you want to get a lot better than you are right now, you’re going to need to study things that are way outside of your general scope of playing.

You’re going to have to start investing a lot of time in repeating material that you totally suck at so that it starts becoming better known to you and to your hands, (so that it becomes a lot more automatic to you physically)...

Basically, what it all comes down to is, the less that you need to think about what it is that you’re doing physically, the easier playing guitar is going to become for you. And, the opposite is true as well, the more that you’re consciously thinking about the mechanics behind playing music, (that’s all the; scales, arpeggios and anything motor skill wise under your fingers), the more you’re thinking, the more challenging it’ll be for your music to come out naturally.

A combination of dedicated practice time, with time spent performing with others, (especially live on stage), is the solution to mastery all of your natural talent, and making it work for you!

Dedication is a Reality and a Necessity...
Never complain to yourself or to others about the dedication that is involved with getting better at an instrument. You’re going to have to work hard on the study, the practice and rehearsing of new skills that will benefit your ability to become a better musician.

Get used to being involved in extremely time consuming deep practice and deep study. A lot of this type of practice time is spent alone, in your studio, recording, working with sequences, layering music, learning to use new equipment, learning new computer programs, new software, how to improve your sound and your style.

It’s a lot of time that you’ll need to apply, and it’s a lot of time that will be very important. And, like all other artists of the past, who become a success, you will be spending this practice time alone, so get used to being alone!

Some people are real whiners about being alone. Some people dread being alone. Don’t be like that. You need this time to work. And, remember, that when you work on things, when you improve your skills, you earn knowledge and that knowledge will send improvements to you in ways you can’t even guess - in ways you'd never imagine.

I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this lesson, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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