5 Things EVERY Amazing Guitarist Does

Getting to a level of being "amazing" at playing the guitar is not as complicated as some people might make it out to be. In fact, it can be boiled down to just five things. In this post I’m going to show you the 5 things that every amazing guitar player does that you can start copying in order to get amazing yourself and stay that way forever...

Today we’re going to get you organized with a collection of ideas that will help you work on learning how to better understand the ways that the guitar relates to musical concepts like; rhythm, intervals, chords, scales and keys for both performing and creating music.

These areas of practice are the foundation for getting good at performing and understanding music. But, the majority of guitar players never think about them as a series of topics for practice, and that’s what we’re going to do in this video.


The five workout ideas I’m going to show you will help you better understand how every amazing guitar player has made it to be able to develop their high level skills and ability, and all you’ll have to do is copy these things down - and integrate them yourself.

Luckily I’ve already witnessed these principles in action. I’ve had the experience of working with some of the best players in the world at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood California and I know that these concepts work.

I’m passing these ideas on to you. And, all you need to do is take out a pen and copy these down, and then start applying them.

Organize your practice into 3 Month Blocks with 22-day cycles of material /month. In between, be sure to take some days off from practice.

In other words, have a routine - and stick to the routine. Make sure the routine is balanced with the learning of songs (from several styles of music – even styles you don’t care for – learn those songs too).

Include technical studies, rhythm studies, music theory, guitar neck theory and most importantly Ear Training.

Every other day do a speed building exercise that involves taking into consideration some element of chord involvement as well as, an element of single note playing.

This can involve switching from one chord pattern to another (as quickly as you can). And also, playing through a section of a; scale, or a segment of notes from a synchronization drill – but again doing it as quickly as you possibly can.

Strive for as much perfection as you can possible produce from your "fast" playing. But the principle is really all about playing fast.

Go through the ideas with as much speed as you possibly can do while still maintaining the most decent sounding performance of the part.Don't play sloppy, but by all means push yourself to the edge of your ability.

Every day, take a group of up to 5 notes from a single key signature and place them on the guitar neck in a random position. You’ll want to have this formation of notes be a group that is not any type of common chord layout that you’re familiar with.

It should also not be of any type of scale formation that’s known to you. Instead, this should be a note shape that’s random.

Once you’ve selected the key signature, and the specific tones on the guitar strings, the next step is to analyze it all and learn the intervals that exist from the root of the group of notes that you’ve laid out.


On the diagrams shown above, I've outlined a random collection of tones from the scale of “C Major.” The specific notes are;"G, B, C, E and F."

Once you’ve analyzed the group of notes, and you understand the intervals, record a simple jam-riff from the root of the key that you’re in and play from the key signature tonic chord (in this case “C Major”), to the keys V-chord. In our case, we’re in the key of “C Major” and that means our V-chord is a “G Major.”

Once you’ve made your recording, play it back, and practice performing some random, "off-the-cuff" melodic ideas using the notes... Watch the video at [08:30] where I play an example of how you could do this.

Working out an analysis of notes on the neck like this, along with understanding the key, understanding the interval distances and also forcing yourself to play chords and make up short simple melodic ideas - will go a long way toward slowly upping your game within the realms of polishing up your ability to improvise on guitar.

Every great guitarist that I’ve ever met has worked on ideas like this and once you start trying this routine, you’ll notice the benefits that come from this type of work and why it’s a popular exercise among amazing guitar players.

Practice both Singing and Learning melodic ideas that are from famous pieces of music. Every amazing guitar player out there has spent an incredible amount of time dedicated to learning songs by musicians that they feel are important to learn on the instrument.

If you’re not spending time listening and transcribing the music of other musicians that inspire you, then it’s definitely time that you started doing this.

Even if you feel like you can’t perfectly nail down the exact chords and the specific melody lines of a song that you like, then at least try and get as close as possible. Basically the more that you practice doing this sort of training, the easier it will eventually become for you.

Hearing a melody line or a group of chords and being able to copy that note for note is a high level skill for any musician. But, even if you find it incredibly frustrating, you still absolutely need to make this a regular part of your practice routine.

The last area I need to touch on has to do with stretching yourself as a player, and what I mean by this is getting into musical situations that force you out of your comfort zone.

Every great musician will absolutely 100 percent confirm that one of the main things that they did to get them to where they are, is they forced themselves to do things in music and as a guitar player that they thought they couldn’t do.

Once you start getting into musical situations that are just slightly beyond your level of skill, there’s going to be major changes happen for you. So, jam with people that are better than you, ask to sit in with a band and play a song that you’ve been preparing.

Practice music that seems outside of your ability zone. All of this type of work will force you to work harder, and it’ll give you real world examples of what it’s like to be playing and performing at a higher level of expertise.

Stretching yourself is a huge factor in reaching new levels of musical ability and it’s a driving force for your own personal improvement as a practicing musician.

Let’s review these five things one more time so that you’re perfectly clear on what you’re going to need to start working toward in order to begin reaching new levels of playing and new levels of musicianship.

First, organize your practice schedule into Three Month Blocks with 22-day cycles of material. In between, make sure to take some days off from practice.

Second, every other day do a speed building exercise that involves taking into consideration some element of chord study as well as, an element of single note playing.

Third, every-day, take a group of up to 5 notes from a single key and place them on the guitar in a random position. Analyze their intervals, their names and set-up a jam to create some musical ideas.

Number four, practice "Singing and Learning" (Transcription), melodic ideas that come from famous pieces of music.

Finally, number Five, at least once every 3 months, force yourself to do something in music (and as a guitar player), that you think you can’t do.

If you get into doing these practice principles, you’ll notice a huge shift in your ability - for the better.

I hope that you enjoyed hearing about these 5 practice concepts for developing the skills and attributes of the world’s best guitar players.

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