10 Step Practice Routine For All Guitar Players

One of the most important things for your journey of learning to be a great guitar player is to develop or discover a 10 step practice routine for beginner guitar players.

Look For The Answer

You won’t need to look for the answer of how to do this because it will be presented to you here in this post. It will show exactly what you need to practice, in what order & for how long.

A system like this will keep you focused, developing the proper skills & moving you forward toward your goal of becoming a great guitar player.  But first, you must have a goal.  You have that right?

Make sure to have a goal.

If not I would take some time to figure this out.  You can do this by grabbing my free training guide Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals to get you in the right mindset.  Ask yourself some questions. Like:

Why am I learning guitar?  What do I want to accomplish with the guitar?  How much time each day do I want to commit to learning the guitar?  Am I willing to do the work necessary?

If the answer is yes to these questions with a final destination & a definite WHY you will be ready for your 10 step practice routine for all guitar players.

Here it is!

10 Step Practice Schedule for All Guitar Players

1.) Tuning your guitar  2-5 min

2.) Finger warm-ups  5-10  min

3.) Notes review  5-10 min

4.) Chord shapes review  5-10 min

5.) Scale pattern review  5-10 min

6.) Riffs & songs review 5-10 min

7.) Reading the sheet music  5-10 min

8.) Hammer-ons, bends, slides etc.  10-15 min

9.) Rhythm techniques  10-15 min

10.) Lead guitar soloing  10-15 min

** focus on these 10 things when practicing your guitar daily.  If there are some things you don’t know yet, warm up with what you do know & then proceed to work on learning the rest. 

Try to learn something new every day. That way you’ll accelerate your learning & reach your goals much faster.

But this will only happen if you do two things:

1.)  Don’t get discouraged by slow growth in certain areas causing you to quit

2.)  Work on these areas to get better at them so the growth & development is faster.

Lesson Conclusion

You only get better at doing something (anything) by continuously doing it over & over again. So get to work & before you know it you’ll start getting good & having fun in the process.

The beginning is the hardest in learning guitar (acoustic or electric) but if you develop good practice habits you’ll get over the hurdles & feel better about yourself because you will be getting closer to your destination.

Thanks for reading, give it a try & if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email or contact me on Facebook.  I hope you learned something here in this lesson and be sure to join my guitar club, It’s free!

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

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How To Read Chord Charts In 7 Easy Steps

In this post you will learn how to read chord charts in 7 easy steps.  And in doing so you will add to your understanding of how to read music that is created by this wonderful instrument.

What are Guitar Chord Charts?

Guitar Chord Charts are diagrams of chords that relate to playing guitar.  They are usually found in standard notation music books. Their written a bit different than tabs and can be a little more difficult to understand.  So I will do my best to explain how to read them in this post.

Why are Chord Charts hard to  read?

Because of the way they are designed.  When viewing someone playing guitar, the fret board (where the chords are played) is horizontal.  When looking at chord charts, the guitar is facing vertical, as in the picture to the right.  This is confusing because this is not how the guitar is played.  When the guitar is facing upward, the horizontal lines represent the frets (where the chord is played) and the vertical lines represent the guitar strings.  This is opposite from reading guitar tabs.

Is reading chord charts necessary?

If your a serious player…..Yes!!  If you just want to mess around on the guitar than no.  Reading chord charts is important because it might appear in your favorite book of songs and if you don’t know how to read them, you won’t be able to play them.  If you do know how to read them, you can add that to your toolbox of guitar skills.  Which will separate you from the average self taught guitar player.

Guitar chord charts in more detail.

If you look at the chord charts above and you imagine that the guitar is facing upward (as in the picture) You will see a few different things.  The black dots (with the numbers inside) represent where the fingers are to be placed & what fingers to use. The white dots represent which strings are open (played but with no finger put down) & the X’s represent strings that are muted (notes not sounded out)

With this information in hand, we can clearly see that to form the E chord, we place our 2nd and 3rd finger on the 5th and 4th string on the 2nd fret & the first finger on the third string first fret.  For the A chord we simply put our 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings on the 2nd fret.  First and 5th strings are open and the 6th string is muted.  Can you figure out how to form the G, D or the C chord?  If you take a bit of time to think this through, it’ll come to you.  Here’s an other example of how it should look.

It takes a bit to get this figured out but like I said, if you work at it a little bit at time, you’ll soon see how it works and how it can benefit your learning & playing of guitar.

The more you know about reading sheet music specifically written for guitar, the better guitar player you’ll become.  The better you’ll understand the instrument & the quicker you’ll be able to learn your favorite songs.

 learning how to read sheet music for guitar is like a car mechanic learning how to use a tool that benefits his craft. You don’t need to learn how to read standard notation (regular sheet music) unless you want to, but I’d highly recommend you learn the basics of how to read guitar tabs and learn how to read guitar chord charts.

Now, here’s how to read guitar chord charts in 7 easy steps.

Step #1.   Remember, guitar fretboard is facing vertical, not horizontal (look at picture above)

Step #2.   Horizontal lines indicate the frets, Vertical lines indicate the strings (biggest to the left, smallest to the right)

Step #3.   Black dots indicate where to put your fingers (to form the chord)

Step #4.  White dots indicate strings that are open (not played)

Step #5.  X’s indicate strings that are not sounded (muted)

Step #6.  Chord chart covers only 5 frets at a time (look again at picture

above)

Step #7.  Numbers at the bottom of the chart indicated what fingers to use (this important to learn)

 Conclusion

So there you have it.  Seven easy steps to learn guitar chord charts.  If your serious about learning the guitar and playing it for a lifetime, I’d highly recommend you learn how to read them, and by following these 7 easy steps you’ll be able to do it very quickly.  You might even impress your friends. As always, thank you for reading, and your feedback and comments are highly appreciated.  Let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

And as always, if you feel you learned something here today & would like to leave me a review, I’d highly appreciate it.

Thanks again & until next time, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

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How To Stay Motivated To Practice Guitar Everyday

One of the hardest things to do when it comes to learning is how to stay motivated to practice guitar every day.  Practicing here and there is fine, but daily is the objective.

One of the reasons is that today we have so many things to grab our attention.  Google, Youtube, cable television, friends, family, etc.  So we really need to focus & use all we can to stay motivated to practice daily on a consistent basis.

Here are 10 Tips For Staying Motivated To Practice Daily.

1.)  Get a new piece of gear.  This can spark some inspiration into your playing.

2.)  Listen to new songs you like & try to learn them.  Make them a bit harder than the last few songs you learned.

3.)  Play with others.  This can help create new ideas & ways of approaching the instrument.

4.)  Work on flexibility in your practice routine.  This can help you get out of a rut if you are too scheduled.

5.)  Learn a new style of guitar playing.  If you are into rock, learn some jazz or country.

6.)  Create a positive practice environment.  A place that welcomes you home.

7.)  Create a purpose.  Why is it your doing what you are doing with the guitar?

8.)  Find like-minded people. To bounce ideas off of and network.

9.)  Divide up your practice time. To get more done with more focus.

10.)  Hold yourself accountable.  You’ve got to be a self-starter to get it done.  Only you can make your dreams come true.  So get after it & never look back.

If you practice even half of these things on your journey to getting better at playing guitar, you’ll come out way ahead of most.

Be sure to look for more awesome “insider secrets” to improve your playing.

Dwayne.

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7 Tips On How To Make Yourself Play Guitar Everyday

Learning guitar is not always easy & can sometimes be harder than we thought.  So here are 7 tips on how to make yourself play guitar everyday.

1.) Set a Goal for what it is you want to accomplish with the guitar.

Most people don’t stick with it because they think it’s easier than it is and when they come across a hurdle they can’t get over they quit.  But if they had a crystal clear goal of WHY they’re doing it, they’d have reason to press on.  So make sure you follow this first step.  It can make all the difference.

2.) Write it down & put it in places you can see it.

Having it in your head is not enough.  You must write it down & look at it everyday to keep your mind primed on why your doing it.  If you don’t have a strong enough WHY, you won’t stick with it in the long run, especially when times get tough.

3.) Devise an action-plan to get you there.

Knowing what to practice on a daily basis has a huge impact on your ability to stay focused & motivated.  If your just learning stuff off of youtube you’ll get there.  Eventually!!  But you want to get there faster, you’ve got to know how to make yourself play guitar everyday.

4.) Put that plan into daily action at once.

Once you have your plan figured out you can then begin to implement it.  You can get focused on what’s needed to learn.  Start with just a few things.  Don’t take on too much you’ll get overwhelmed, just keep it simple.

5.) Design a productive practice space.

This can make a world of difference in your daily progression as well. If you have  solid place to practice & you can stay focused for say 20-30 minutes a day, you’ll do much better than if you try to practice in a place that has distractions.  Leave that for later when you get better.  For now keep it short & laser beam focused.

6.) Keep it fun.

Practicing guitar should not be a CHORE!! Like any other skill that we choose to develop we should want to do it.  we should want to get better because it’s fun.  But it’s up to us to make it that way.  When were doing exercises & warm ups, they can be kind of boring, but they’re so essential to your learning that you don’t want to overlook them.

7.) Stay Consistent.

This is by far the most important!  without it you will fail.  You must be consistent in any thing you do in order to get better.  Learning guitar is no different.  This where people get off track.  You know why?….  Because they didn’t do what is stated above.  They just winged it without any thought for clear & concise direction.

And eventually drop off or just play once in awhile but don’t get better..  You want to get better??  Get focused & stick with it until you do. When will you know??  Oh you’ll know,…. believe me, you put in the “string time” you’ll know.

And what’s really cool, is that through it all you will build confidence & self esteem.

Conclusion

Follow these 7 steps & I guarantee you can’t go wrong when it comes to getting better.  And if you do it diligently enough, you’ll amaze yourself.  If you have any questions just let me know.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more tips & tricks to improve your playing.

Also, like & connect with me on Facebook.

Dwayne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Play Natural Chords For Beginners

Learning to play natural chords for a beginner is one of the hardest things to accomplish when first starting out. You have to put your hands in weird positions & they tend to cramp in the process. Not a very fun experience in the beginning.

But I’m here to tell you, It gets better as time goes on.

The issue is your using muscles in your hands & fingers & bring to get them to do things they’ve never done before. So naturally they are going to ache during the process. one thing that can really help this is finger exercises.

It’s all part of the learning curve so as guitar players we have to go through it. But it doesn’t have to be a chore.

Here are some tips to help you learn your first natural chords.

Use these as a starting point for your natural chord vocabulary and keep building. As time goes on, you’ll see what I mean as you continue your development

There are literally thousands of chords you can play on the guitar.

Major, minor, diminished, augmented, harmonic,etc, etc, etc.

You don’t need to learn them all, just the most common ones.  And once you do, you’ll have set yourself up with a foundation for playing rhythm & creating all kinds of cool sounds with the guitar.

Never underestimate the power of playing rhythm.  It’s the foundation of all songs & a lot of them use these natural chords.  So take the time & discipline to learn how to play natural chords for beginners & you’ll be set.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me, or connect with me on Facebook.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more “insider secrets” to improve your guitar playing.

Dwayne.

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How To Create Your Weekly Guitar Workout

One of the things that keeps beginners from progressing in a timely manner is that they don’t have a guitar workout.  With the proper workout, you can progress faster & get to your destination much quicker.

But where do we start?  How do we get it all figured out?  Is it really necessary??

Yes it is!!  It can really make a world of difference.  Think about someone who’s trying to get in shape.  They have certain workout they do to get there.  As apposed to just exercising once in awhile.

Same goes with you and your learning.  You want to get on track, stay on track & keep going until you reach the finish line.  Which is your goal you set for yourself in the very beginning of your journey.

Now if by chance you haven’t done that, or need to review it (which is more than ok) you can grab my free action-plan on Goal Setting for your guitar playing.

Now.  How do we create our workout?  Well we need to decide a couple things.

1.) What’s going to be addressed in the workout?

2.) How long is it going to be

Well when it comes to guitar, their are quite a lot of things you can learn but you want to start with the fundamentals.  I know they are not always the most exciting (and can be boring sometimes) but they are essential to your learning & I recommend you DO NOT OVERLOOK THEM!!!

So lets say we start on 7 things to cover during the week.

Day 1.) Getting in tune & finger exercises.

Knowing how to get your guitar in tune & knowing how to keep it that way is vitally important to your success as a guitarist. Finger exercises & hand warm ups are vitally important as well.  So be sure to take some time to focus on these.

Day 2.) Forming & moving chords,

Knowing how to form & move chords is vitally important also.  Be sure to take some time to learn your different forms & shapes.  Majors, minors, etc.  This is the foundation of playing rhythm.

Day 3.) Picking & strumming 

After learning how to form chords, you want to work on developing your picking hand.  This will make a world of difference in your rhythm playing.  So be sure to take time to practice this.  As it will pay huge  dividends in the end.

Day 4.) Scales & soloing

If you like the lead guitar stuff.  This is what you want to study.  Scales, guitar licks & improvising.  This is a bit more advanced & requires much discipline.  You can do it.  You just have to get focused & dedicated.

Day 5.) Reading music

Being able to read sheet music for guitar can really be a huge asset to you as a guitar player.  You can just watch youtube videos which is ok, but if you learn to read the written word (at least the basics) you’ll discover things that you won’t find watching videos.  So be sure to spend some time on this one.

 Day 6.) Learning Songs

To me this is where the fun comes in.  After you’ve done all your finger exercises, formed & moved chords etc, etc, etc, you can now start learning your favorite songs by your favorite artists( like say Metallica) that inspired you to play in the first place.

Day 7.)  Crating your own sound

This is what it’s all about in the long run.  To be able to create your own sound, possibly music & just bring you & your personalty out through the instrument.  That’s what all the greats have done.  You will want to eventually do this too.  So study this as well.

Now that we know what to work on, how long is our workout going to be each day?  Well let’s say we work on each thing for just 20 minutes a day.  That would come out to 140 minutes.  Which is roughly about a two hour workout. If breaks are taken, maybe a bit longer.

Now that’s a long workout session for just starting out.  I’d wait till your fingers get conditioned (finger exercises) to try that long of a session.

But if you broke it down into a weekly schedule.  Then you could practice for 20 minutes a day & cover one topic each day.  That way all topics are covered & not too much practice is required.  What is required will be FOCUS!!

Lesson Conclusion:

The more focused you are on what your trying to accomplish & where your trying to get too is what’s going to get you through the learning curve (everything you learn, no matter what it is, has a learning curve) when things get tough & hurdles need a bit more work to get over.

Now we know how to create a weekly workout that’s not going to leave us exhausted practicing 10 hours a day.  If you want to, that’s fine.  But if your just starting out, you want to take it easy.  Don’t rush your hand & fingers development.  It will only disable you in the long run.

Do all this stated above & I guarantee you will see some leaps & bounds in your improvement.  But you must get focused, set your goals & keep at it until they are reached.  You can do it, you just have to believe in yourself.

If there is more I can do, be sure to email me or connect with me on Facebook.

Be sure to join my guitar club to be updated on “insider secrets” to improve your playing.

Dwayne Jenkins

 

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WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR NOTES ON THE FRETBOARD

One of the most important things to to master when learning guitar, is knowing all your notes on the fretboard.  By learning  your notes on each string you step into a much better world of understanding.  Your able to understand how chords & scales are formed.  How to alter chords & scales & most importantly, how to communicate your musical ideas.

Here are 7 reasons why you should know your notes on the fretboard.

1.)  Understand what your playing. This goes back to what I mentioned above.  The better understanding you have of the guitar, the more you can do with it.

2.)  Simplifies reading sheet music.  By knowing your notes on the fretboard, you’ll be better at understanding how sheet music for guitar (tablature) is written.  In doing so, you’ll discover a whole new world of how things on the guitar work.

3.)  Moving chords to other positions.  By knowing your notes & understanding chord forms & scale patterns, you’ll be able to find where you might be able to play something easier in a different position.  This is why you see people play things differently.  Because by knowing your notes on the fretboard, you can do that.

4.)  Improve improvisation.  Being able to fully express yourself on the guitar is what its all about & improvising can be made much easier by knowing the notes on your fretboard.  It gives you a road map on where to go.

5.)  Open up creative possibilities.  This is important if you want to write your own songs.  Now you can just fumble around until something sounds good, or you can do it the professional way & learn your notes.  The latter will serve you much better.

6.)  Apply concepts from knowing theory.  Of course you need to learn some music theory first, but once you did (let me know if I can help in this are) you’d be able to come up with some interesting concepts by knowing your notes on the guitar fretboard.

7.)  Improve communication with other musicians.  This is vitally important if you want to play in any type of band or ensemble.  Communicating your ideas to others is not always easy.  But taking time to learn your notes & real understand the fretboard, will allow you to do this task much easier.

So there you have it.  7 reasons to know your notes on the guitar fretboard.  Let’s look at the diagram below to get you started.  But first we must know our musical alphabet.

A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#  As you can see there is no H I J etc.  Just A-G  wth sharps (#) in between except for two.  Can you see which ones they are??

Once that’s done, take a look at the fretboard diagram & see how this alphabet works on every string.

Make sure to memorize this.  It will really help you out in the long run.  If more help is needed be sure to grab my free action-guide on how to memorize the fretboard quickly.  

And as always, If you have any questions, be sue to let me know and I’ll be sure to guide you in the right direction.

Be sure to join my guitar club to keep informed on “secrets” to help improve your playing.

Dwayne.

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HOW TO READ AND PLAY POWER CHORDS

When it comes to learning guitar, one of the most important things to work on is chords. Chords are essential to playing guitar and that’s why it’s best to start with open & closed power chords.

These chords can really help get you started with the least amount of discomfort.  When it comes to chords, there are literally thousands of them that can be played on guitar.

Crazy huh?  I know.  Who would of thought?  Anyway,  it’s not necessary to learn them all.  Just a few will get you headed in the right direction.  That is why we look to open & closed power chords.

These are chords that stay the same shape once you learn to form them.  The open power chords all stay at the second fret while the closed power chords allow you to move up & down the fretboard.

Lesson Goals:

♦  Play the chords clearly and visualize the chord patterns

♦ Learn the proper fingering for the E5, A5 & B5 chord

The first chord we will work on is the Em chord. Look at the diagram below.

One Finger Chord (first finger)

This is the easiest chord to play because it is played with one finger.  The guitar neck is facing upward and the strings are from left to right (6-1) Biggest string to the far left, smallest string to the right.  If you have a problem understanding this, view my post on how to read chord charts.

In this diagram you place your first finger on the 5th string second fret and strum the top two strings.  This is called a open E chord. The reason for this is because when you play a string without putting a finger on it, it’s called “open”   In this example, the 6th string (E) is not being fretted therefore, is open so the chord is called a “open E chord”

Now if you place your finger one string down on the 4th string (same fret) and strum the 5th and 4th string you will now be playing a open A chord.  Same reason as above.  The 5th string (A) is being played open and the fourth string is being fretted at the 2nd fret.

As you can see the chord is exactly the same as above, just one string down.  Instead of playing the 6th and 5th string you are now playing the 5th and 4th string.  In the picture above, you can also read the chord facing sideways.

This is a very good way to start building your chord vocabulary because they are played with 1 finger and you just strum 2 strings.  Learn to read how this is written & thoroughly understand it, and you will reap some great rewards.

These kinds of chords are very popular in rock music. These types of chords are called Open Chords because one of the strings being played is open. Meaning that you do not put your finger on it as the diagrams to the left note.

Also notice the diagram shows a 0 for the string being played open.  The x means the string is not to be played.  Now lets move on to the two note chord.  The Power Chord! After you learn how to read and play easy 1 note chords you can move on to easy 2 note chords.

Eventually you will move on to 3 and 4 note chords but that’ll be for later.  For right now lets stick with 2 note chords.  The example below shows a diagram of a two note chord.  Two fingers on 2 strings with a fret in between.

Two Finger Chord (first & third finger)

As you can see you are now playing 2 strings.  In the picture above it shows how the chord is formed.  It’s just up a fret so it’s actually playing a C chord.  But it’s there for reference.  One on the 5th string 2nd fret and one on the 4th string 4th fret.  This chord is usually played with the 1st and 3rd fingers, but you can also use the 1st and 4th if it’s easier for you.

This chord is a bit harder to form than the open chord because it requires two fingers instead of just one, but that’s the whole point.  Your progressing from using one finger to using two.  Be sure to spread out your fingers & watch for spacing.

What’s great about this chord shape is that it always stays the same.  This is called a 2 note Power Chord.  What’s a Power Chord you ask?  It is a simple 2 note chord that has a lot of power behind it when played properly.  Especially when you play with hi gain or distortion.

This chord type is very popular and once you learn it you can play many, many rock songs.  So I’d recommend learning how to play these types of chords to start.  Then you can progress to playing natural chords.  These are popular as well but a bit harder to form & move.

Conclusion:

Like stated before, these are great chords for starting out with and many songs can be played from learning them. If you feel you are having difficulties with them, email me and I will do my best to help you further.

Remember, it takes time and effort to learn guitar and you must be patient. Take your time and don’t get frustrated.  Playing music is a lot of fun once you get it down and like anything else their is a learning curve.  Go through the learning curve and you will come out a victor.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more awesome tips to improve your guitar playing.

Until next lesson, take care.

Dwayne

 

 

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HOW TO READ GUITAR TABS IN 5 EASY STEPS

What are guitar tabs?

Guitar tabs are the universal way that guitar players read sheet music.  It is a simplified version of standard notation (regular sheet music your normally used to looking at in music books) and resembles a framework that is specific to the guitar.

Is learning to read guitar tabs important?

Yes!  The reason why, is because it allows you to discover musical passages that you otherwise might not of learned.  Watching someone play guitar on video is fine, but when your looking at the written page, your brain processes this information quite different.  If you can learn how to read tabs, they are not only going to open your eyes to something more, but also allow you to be able to remember what you are playing.

How to understand guitar tabs.

 

 

As you can see from the pictures above.  Guitar tabs are the same thing as regular notes.  They’re just written differently.  Look at the chart above and see clearly at the top you have regular notes, and on the bottom you have numbers. In the guitar picture you can clearly see that the numbers represent the frets & strings.

These numbers, represent the notes, just presented in a different way to make it easier to read.  The only thing that’s confusing about tabs, is that your biggest string is on the bottom, but on the top of your guitar fret board.  So when reading tabs you must remember this.  The reason for this is because in sheet music, the lowest note is always on the bottom.

The lines above are on what’s called a musical staff that are made up of five lines.  The tab below represents the 6 strings of the guitar, and the numbers represent where to put your fingers on the fret board.  So basically, we’ve converted hard to understand notes, into easy to understand numbers.

This is great fro kids (because they understand numbers) and great for adults, because they do too.  Also If you notice. the numbers are in the same location as the notes above, meaning they are the same.  Just written differently.

What do the number’s mean?

The numbers mean that’s, where your going to place your fingers on the guitar fret board to play the written music.  In this example above, the 2 represents the 2nd fret, the 3 represents the 3rd fret and the 0 represents no fret (open)  This means you pick the string without putting a finger down on the fret board.

 

In this example, there is no staff line above, just the guitar strings and the numbers.  This makes it even easier to read, and how it’s now commonly written.  As you can see, this is a musical passage that uses all 6 strings and 1-4 frets.  The vertical lines in between, represent the measures, or break up of the beats of music.

You know, 1 2 3 4.  In some books you’ll see the count underneath, but not always.  In this example you have 8 beats per measure (1-8) 0r 4 (1&2&3&4&) depending on how you count it.

So in remembering how to read guitar tabs, I recommend these 5 easy steps.

Step #1.  Guitar tabs are written like standard notation (just simplified)

Step #2.  They don’t give every bit of information (but enough to get you started)

Step#3.  The numbers represent what frets to play on the guitar fret board.

Step#4.  0 = Open (pick the string without putting a finger on the guitar fret board)

Step#5.  Horizontal lines represent the 6 strings of the guitar (biggest on the bottom, thinnest on the top)

So there you have it.  5 easy steps to learning how to read guitar tabs.  Follow these steps and you can’t go wrong.   If you want to learn standard notation, great it’ll just make you better.  But start off with tabs first.  You’ll get to playing faster with much less frustration.  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more awesome tips to help your playing.

Dwayne.

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HOW TO DEVELOP GOOD PRACTICE HABITS

unknownHow to develop good practice habits in anything you choose to learn is very important. This is especially true for playing guitar.  Playing guitar is one of the easiest to get started with, but one of the hardest to master

The reason for this is because of the wide variety of approaches you can take to playing the instrument.  By knowing how to develop good practice habits, you’ll be able to progress your learning faster and ultimately progress your playing quicker.

Practice Time-when to practice

It is always best to start out in very small increments of time.  This will allow your muscles to develop.  Muscles in the hands, wrists, and fingers need to be developed and this can only be done through time.  With proper practice habits, this can be accomplished which will allow you to progress more rapidly.

Start with 10 to 15 minutes, then proceed to 30 minutes, 45 minutes and so on and son.  This will accomplish two things.  Develop your muscles consistently, and develop retaining the information you are learning on a day to day basis.

One of the most common mistakes that people make with learning guitar is that they practice for an hour or two for one day and then don’t practice for two or three days.  Don’t make this mistake!

Practice Space-where to practice

Have a specific space to practice in.  This could be an extra bedroom, basement, or a garage.  It doesn’t really matter where it is as long as it’s a place that makes you want to pick up your guitar and learn how to play it.  A place where you can play what you have already learned.

Having a place to practice is helpful because when you sit down to learn, your mind gets focused and you concentrate better.  With the proper environment, you will see that you progress much faster and more easily.

Practice Daily-learn faster

You’ll progress faster if you practice a little every day and retain the information.  You’ll notice your progress, start having fun and will feel motivated to keep going.  Practice what you’ve learned, and work on learning new things.

Another common mistake is for students to only practice what they are already good at.  This is fun and all but progress in learning is stopped.  Don’t make this mistake either!  It’s best to review what your good at, continue to work on things that your not so you can get better, and work on putting it all together in application.

Know Your Notes and Chords 

Get to know how all the notes work to form chords and scales.  How songs are constructed.  Why putting together some things work, and putting together some things don’t. This is a bit more advanced if you’re just starting out, but be sure to retain your basic fundamentals at all times.  What string are you playing on?  What chord are you playing?  ?Major or minor  What type of chord is it? What notes are in the chord?

Practice Routine-what to practice

Practicing guitar should be much like working out in exercise.  Knowing how to develop good practice habits allows you to plan out what you are going to work on and work on each thing for a specific amount of time.  Example:  Basic chords (5 minutes) Finger exercises (5 minutes) Songs you already know (10-15 minutes) Knowing your notes (5-10 minutes) new songs your currently learning (10-15 minutes) and any scales you might know if your at that level.

Practicing just these few things that have been mentioned above will allow you to put in plenty of time to continue getting better on a daily basis.  If you have something specific that you want to accomplish (a specific song perhaps) then work on that for the duration of time.  The main point here is that you practice consistently.  Do this and you will see good results in your playing.

Practice Habits Conclusion

If you get focused, set goals and practice a little bit daily, you will see clearly and quickly why this is important and continue to do so.  Work on getting a clear tone when forming chords. playing scales, and developing your signature sound.  Follow these examples, learn how to develop good practice habits and you will progress forward faster.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will  guide you in the right direction.

Additional lessons:

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How to switch between guitar chords faster

How to hold your guitar pick better

Until our next lesson, develop good “practice habits” and see your fun of playing guitar progress.

Dwayne

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