The Fastest Way to Better Chords & Solos...

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.


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!

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.

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:

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.

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.

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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.

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