Tips for smashing your guitar goals in 2019 // Another Guitar Show Episode 9

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​Welcome to Another guitar Show Episode 9 where we look at how you can smash your guitar goals in 2019!

ANOTHER GUITAR SHOW is your FREE weekly guitar lesson going live every Sunday. 

This show is made in partnership with the fantastic guys at Your Guitar Academy

In this episode we look at;
 - Practice routine for beginners and intermediate players
 - in depth look at how to EASILY play great sounding barre chords
 - How to create long and short term guitar goals for fastest progress
 - General advice for moving your playing forward in 2019

Tips for smashing your guitar goals in 2019

How to play perfect barre chords

  • Keep your elbow into your side (chord playing hand)
  • Stay on the side of your first finger with a slight curve to the first finger
  • Stay right on the tips of fingers 2, 3 and 4
  • Train fingers 2, 3 and 4 by playing easy open chords such as E major and A major with fingers 2, 3 and 4 rather than 1, 2 and 3! (as an exercises)

Be wary of trying to make progress by learning songs alone

We all get into guitar because we want to play songs, typically because these songs make us feel great when we hear them.

However, if you feel in a rut; if you feel like you just play the same thing over and over again - this can be a symptom of learning too much through songs alone.

Instead, balance learning songs with working on the core guitar techniques and knowledge that make up the songs you are trying to learn. See more of this in the practice routines written out below.

Create a practice routine

Most guitarists don't create any kind of practice plan to follow. Therefore, practice becomes repetitive, dull and leads to little progression.

See our guidelines of a great general practice routine for both beginners and intermediate players below!

Practice routine for Beginners

Time: 20 minutes, four or five days a week

Absolute beginners can get MASSIVE results by playing just 10 minutes a day. Don’t believe me?

>> Try my 100% free 10 Day Guitar Starter Course here

Practice items

  • Open chords (E, A, D, G, C, Em, Am, Dm etc)
  • Simple strumming patterns
  • Simple single note riffs and scales (E minor pentatonic, C major scale
  • Simple songs using these core elements

For a structured guitar program with practice routines that change as you progress, check out Andy’s Beginners Guitar Course here

Top tip: Focus on picking up your guitar as close to four or five days a week as possible, rather than playing for 2 hours once a week.

Practice routine for Intermediate players

Time: 30 minute to 1 hour, four or five days a week

Practice items

  • Barre chords
  • Advanced open chords (A/Dsus2 and 4, maj7 chords, dominant 7 chords etc)
  • Major scale position 1, major and minor pentatonic position 1 + extensions
  • More advanced players should work towards learning these scales in all 5 positions, particularly the pentatonic shapes (both minor and major!)
  • 16th strumming, syncopated rhythms and accents
  • Learn basic music theory focusing on the chords in the 5 common guitar keys (diatonic chords aka Nashville number system) The five common guitar keys in order are C, G, D, A and E (which goes in order of the amount of sharps and flats each key has!)

Top tip: Balance practicing songs and building your song repertoire with practicing the core guitar techniques and knowledge that make up the songs you are trying to learn

For more ADVANCED players!

Why learn all 5 positions of the pentatonic or major scales?

Thomas makes the valid point that typical guitar players will hit a wall if you only learn position 1 of the pentatonic scale. I 100% agree.

However, I was already playing lead guitar in a band and nailing fairly complex solos BEFORE I completely learned all 5 positions. I did this from my general music knowledge (from learning piano, reading music and singing) and through learning scale extensions, which is a far easier and practical way to move up and down the fretboard.

  >> Learn the most common scale extensions with Andy's lesson here to get started!

Finally, when learning the 5 positions, a great tip to ‘connect the dots’ is to find the licks you know in position 1 and play them in positions 2, 3 etc. That’s what the pros do - can you do it too?

How to make scales sound musical?

Here’s a few tips on how to bridge the gap between learning and practicing scales and turning these scales into badass lead guitar solos!

 >> More tips in Andy's lead guitar course here

  • Add phrasing such as bends, slides and vibrato
  • Shake up the rhythm 
  • Focus on melody an equal amount as you focus on licks

Enjoy this episode? 

  >> Watch more episodes of Another Guitar Show here!