Guitar Lesson Expert. How to Practice on GuitarWhen guitarists consider how to practice on guitar, there are a couple of main focal points that I’d like to concentrate on in three consecutive posts on how to practice for guitar. The first, and possibly the most important concept I’d like you to grasp is to play within your means. What I mean by that will become clear as I tell you a little story.

I had a very talented student whose name I will withhold. He was used to playing at a pretty high level. He also had the type of personality that wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. In other words, he wasn’t particularly patient. During one of his lessons, he let me know that he really wanted to learn the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Little Wing.” I knew that this piece was a departure from his regular playing style, in that it wasn’t a single line solo part, nor was it a typical rock accompaniment. Hendrix had developed a kind of fluid, chordal, embellishment style of playing that was hyper-focused and really upfront in the song. I knew that this student was going to have to learn an entirely new approach to playing a non-jazz, kind of chord-melody style.

I went ahead and transcribed the song for him and began to teach it to him with all the different inversion approaches, using double and triple stops. As I taught him the song, it became clear as it is with almost every advanced song, that some of the measures or bars were easier for him to play than others, and some were downright difficult. Unfortunately, this student’s impatient personality took over, and the rest of the story became a fairly predictable outcome. Continue reading »

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