How to Fix Your Bad Habits in 4 Moves

If you're like most guitar players you have bad habits that need fixing. The good news is that once you become aware of the habit, the more likely you would be to welcome an easy way to fix it. And, that's exactly what we're doing in this lesson...

In this lesson post, I will be showing you four popular bad habits along with ways that you can use to correct these flaws in order to give you better playing skills a lot sooner than you think.

I’m going to show you how to play your guitar phrases so they are smooth and natural feeling when performed anywhere on the neck. 

We'll also discuss how to become more "Note Aware," and how to correct poor rhythm and groove. Plus, we'll cover the best place on the neck to learn any new idea for maximum results.

When you apply the easy tips shown in this lesson you will instantly start to feel a whole lot better about your playing. And, the best part is that your guitar playing will shift towards permanently fixing all of your bad habits.


Today we’re going to talk about bad habits. And, what you can do to fix the most common ones that plague your practice time along with your performance.

These bad habits are ones that will ultimately end up holding you back from being able to play guitar the best that you can. And, for a lot of guitar players, bad playing habits are overwhelmingly misunderstood.

The reasons behind why a guitar player might not “focus on” certain short comings in their playing will often simply be due to the fact that they just don’t know of any other choices to make.

In this lesson we’re going to examine four moves that you can take right now to fix the most common bad habits that tend to exist within almost every guitar student.



The first bad habit that we’re going to explore involves the treatment that you give to every new idea that you learn on the neck.

There’s an importance (when you study new ideas), of turning them into a moveable geometrical shape, as soon as possible. Never keep them in just the sole place that you initially learned them!

Rather than, learning the idea in just one key, or in just one fretting location – learn it all over the guitar moving it fret by fret horizontally across the fingerboard. For example, let’s say you learned this key of “D Minor” guitar lick.


You could just keep it there in the 5th position. But, the level of skill for that part would increase by 10x if you moved that idea laterally up and down the neck.

Plus, if you understood that the part was in the Minor Tonality (and you knew specifically which note was the root), you could also understand how the lick could shift along the guitar for use as a more flexible statement within any other key that you’d like!


That brings us to the next bad habit that you might have… which is not being fully aware of the notes that are involved across the different guitar ideas that you learn and you play.

Understanding notes is really not as complicated as it might seem. But, it does take some extra study. Luckily, these days you can use a number of great online web-apps to discover the notes that you’re using in all your riffs and licks.

With a few amazing online apps, you can learn the notes, and then notate the idea directly (onto a chart) and then the app will play the idea back for you!

It's not only tons of fun, but you will start discovering the rhythm that are involved with a guitar part as well.

For example, take that guitar riff I just played. Suppose that you didn’t know any of your notes on the neck, and you set out to discover what notes were involved with that lick.

By just heading over to a site like “” you could look over the neck and determine your notes.

Fret Map

Then, you could establish a free account over at “” and use their free online TAB editor to create a chart that not only plays back the notes, but it shows you the music notation.

Sound Slice

If you plot out the part with the TAB tools in sound-slice, it will also allow you to work on developing the rhythm feel that’s related to what it is that you’re playing.

You'll "kill two birds with one stone" by learning the notes as well as, getting a solid handle on what the rhythm is for the part.


The next Bad Habit I absolutely need to cover involves counting the underlying beat, both before, and while you play. Sounds easy, but it isn't.

For a lot of guitarists, rhythm is a really terrible “Bad Habit” that needs to be fixed.

Essentially, rhythm is one of those topics that absolutely MUST be targeted for true success as a player. So, if this is a bad habit topic for you, then make sure that you dedicate some focus on what I’m about to share with you.

If you want to get better at rhythm, then you’re going to have to work on it for quite a lot of hours so that you achieve some good - successful - progress.

My suggestion is to go out and open a free account at a website called, “”


On the "Noteflight" website you can create music scores for free. It costs nothing to join and you don’t even need to enter a credit card or anything!

Once there, create yourself a 4 bar idea that starts simple with a mix of quarter and eighth notes. You can use any pitch, it doesn’t matter.

After you create the part, set it to repeat and play along. You could play one note or a chord, it’s up to you. Just make sure that you count in and play to the beat perfectly… Over time, you can make the rhythms more and more complex.


The final “Bad Habit” is a very simple one to fix. And, this one is really something that very few guitar players even know about.

However, it is one of those things that when it’s fixed, it will make a big difference when it comes to adding new stuff into your guitar playing.

What this repair move deals with is "where" on the neck that you play new ideas!

New guitar riffs and licks and chords that you’re learning can be made a few percentage points easier if you play them in the central region of the fingerboard, (frets 4 - 9).

Play Central

This works so well because it’s more difficult to play notes and chords down lower, (closer to the guitar’s headstock). There’s a lot of tension down there, (where the strings roll over the nut), plus the frets are farther apart, adding to the necessary reach.

If you go up higher on the fret-board, the frets start to get really close together, and the string height gets higher, which makes it a lot more difficult to fret-out each note.

Now, in the central zone of the neck, (frets 4 - 9) the string action is really nice, the frets are spaced at a comfortable distance apart and if you start learning ideas here, you’ll find that the level of difficulty will drop by more than a few points!

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