Do This EVERY Time You Practice

Whether you have a practice routine planned or not, what I’m showing you in this post is so important that it needs to be done every single practice session. This short routine is something that is going to help you improve your; chords, rhythm guitar, scales, keys and most importantly - your ear... 

Not to mention, if you stay consistent with this, you will have a routine that will allow you to begin playing the music that you hear in your head.


For most guitar students, the end goal is always the same. They want to be able to play the music that they hear in their head.

Whether that’s rhythm guitar strumming, or playing and composing guitar solos, most people pick up the guitar because they have music within them and they want to get the music out through the instrument.

The best and fastest way to achieve this is to build the strongest link between what’s heard in your mind and what you can get out of your fingers.

In this post I’m going to run through an important routine that when it’s done during every daily practice, it’ll help you build the strongest link possible between connecting music that’s heard in your mind and what comes out of the guitar.

The practice routine that I have for you is all based upon learning to bridge the gap between the music in your head and what you can get coming from out of the guitar.

In order to build this connection, I can’t stress enough how important it is to study the interaction that occurs between chords and melody lines.

There’s an excellent drill that I’m going to show you right now that’s based upon major and minor key harmony but it also involves working on generating melody.

We’re going to start by learning how to establish a major sound first by using a simple in position vertical downward move, combined with a 2-fret upwards move and we’ll do this off of the sixth string in the key of “C Major.”

‘C’ Major – Establishing Harmony:

Next, we’re going to place a group of major chords on those 6th and 5th string positions. Off of the 6th string we’ll have this chord (Play the chord shown below).

And, off of the 5th string we’ll use this chord shape:

Next, the plan is to record these chords on either a loop pedal, or into your favorite audio workstation. Then, use a small major scale pattern like this one, (Play the scale shape shown below)…

Use the scale shape shown above to create some kind of a melody line. It doesn’t have to be a spectacular melody or anything. Just as long as you can reach a level of feeling like what you’ve accomplished is the creation of some form of an overall satisfying melodic idea to you.

At this point of your understanding of this practice routine, you’ve learned about establishing a chord progression in a major key, you’ve practiced a series of chords, (and you’ve recorded them into a jam).

Plus, most importantly you’ve applied a major scale layout so you’ve organized some kind of a melody. And, next, what we’re going to do - is shift all of this down into the Minor Related Key Signature and basically, do it all over once more, but in Minor.

To shift this over to the related Minor Key, just take the chord root positions from your Major key (neck location), and drop them down, Three frets lower.

Once the chord harmony pattern has been relocated three frets down, perform Minor chords on the new Minor (root position) locations to establish your Minor key chords that correspond to the Major key that you were just working in.

This process is called establishing, “Relative Minor” harmony.

A nice Minor chord shape that works well off of the 6th string root is this one (Play the chord shown below).

And a nice pattern for the 5th-string root Minor chord shapes can be this shape – (play the minor chord shown below).

The next step is similar to what we did back from when we used our Major key example. It involves recording a jam-track and playing it back.

Upon playback, you can use this layout here of a Minor Scale (Play through and memorize the Minor scale shown below).

Use the Minor scale shown above to apply work on being able to create some kind of invented melody line that you feel happy with.

Learning to play what you hear in your head may not be the easiest thing to do as a musician. But, with daily practice on learning different chord changes in both major and minor keys, through recording yourself, and by pushing yourself to create melody lines out of the correct scale patterns, it can be done.

Anyone can play music that they hear in their mind if they put the work in. So, make it a daily challenge to yourself to learn the neck, learn scales, learn chords, get good at strumming those chords.

On a daily basis, learn to make up melody lines as often as you can. The work takes time but the pay off is totally /absolutely worth it.

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All right guys - I’ll be back here again real soon with another video. Thanks for watching - and we’ll see ya next time.

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