Thursday, June 25, 2009

What to practice

Sometimes I go for periods of time without playing and then when I do play it will be for hours. I think it is better to stay consistent and practice each day. In this way you build upon lessons and your strength and technique improve incrementally. I think a great thing to practice is to record comping some chord progressions and then playing and soloing over them. You can also use backtracks to play over from software. Purchase a Jazz fake or real book and learn to play over these progressions. Learn the melody and break down the chord progressions into scales and modes. Learn to play around the melody and use phrasing and licks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


One of the toughest things is practicing consistantly and deciding what to practice on. Are you being productive with your practice time or are you spinning your wheels playing the same thing over and over. There is no magic formula but I have been thinking alot lately on how I can be the most productive I can be given limited practice time. These are my current thoughts concerning practice and they may change in the future as I make new distinctions.
Most important is being consistant. It is like working out and to develop muscle memory and build strength or build anything you have to be consistant. Once in awhile will not help you near as much as consistant practice
play what you dont know instead of always playing what you know over and over.
Play to backtracks or your own comped chords and work on improv. It can take years to get good at improvisation and to develop your ear so start now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today I want to establish atleast a minimum practice routine that I can consistently do everyday. In order to get better its vital to improve everyday and build your technique up. If you practice just here and there you dont build anything and its hard to improve. Its the same as if you exercise regularly or just once in awhile. So today Im going to list some keys for practicing I hope to improve on it in time.
Keep a journal of what you practice on each day
Practice scales and all possible intervals all over the fretboard
Practice chords, playing them clean and switching back and forth
Finger chords using your finger tips, thumb hlfway on back of neck.Play along to some musicbacktracks, comped chords, recording chord progression and playing around it and work on ear training
Practice dynamics and accents
learn note reading
transcribe solos
learn songs
picking every note
hammer on and pulloffs
playing to a real book or fake book
play all possible chord inversions
play scales

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Learn to play with and without a guitar pick- You will find that your guitar picks will magically disappear from time to time and you cannot find a guitar pick to save your life. Dont even waste time looking for one, instead learn to play without one in these times of despair. In classical style guitar you use your rh thumb for low strings 6,5,4 or low E, A and D and your first (index) finger for 3rd string, 2nd (middle) finger for 2nd string and 3rd (ring) finger for 1st string (high E string). By learning basic classical guitar fingering you will develop your right hand fingers to bring out individual notes within chords. When playing scales without a guitar pick, alternate your right hand 1st and 2nd (index and middle) fingers. Learning some classical guitar will also help you to learn to read music and Jazz cheat sheets.
When you do have your guitar pick- I like to also play using a guitar pick and middle, ring and pinky right hand fingers. I believe its important to develop your rh Pinky finger as much as the other fingers. When playing with a guitar pick your thumb and index finger holds the guitar pick and plays on 6,5,4 strings and your middle finger plays 3rd string, ring finger plays 2nd string and you use your pinky finger to play 1st string(high E string). This allows you to accent the low strings louder and is way more convenient when playing with a guitar pick. So if you cant find a guitar pick you wont be immobilized and not be able to play. When playing scales with a guitar pick alternate up and down stroke-down, up, down, up, etc.You will develop your favorite and best right hand techniques. I believe its good to know them all. Some guitarists in jazz use the rh thumb (or a guitar pick) only to play chords and scales or different combinations. They use alot of hammer-ons and pull-offs so they dont pick every note. You could develop your thumb to do an upstroke-some bass player do this.You will have your favorite and probably one you are the best at. Its good to know them all though. You might develop your own way but learn these ways as a starting point to develop and utilize all fingers.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Endless guitar tips and lessons to help u learn guitar quick

Guitar practice routine summary so far-right hand and left hand individual exercises. Learn C major scale all over the fret board. Learn to change guitar chords quickly by practicing them slow and creating a nice sound. Play on your finger tips. Play along with your favorite guitar music or any music by ear and find scales by noticing which notes sound good and which ones sound bad. listen for the bass guitar notes and learn bass lines. This will help u find the structure or progression of a song. Practice technique alot of the time while watching TV or muliti tasking after learning the technique well of course first. Play for fun of course. Good guitar technique will only help u sound better whatever u play.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Guitar Tip #3-Makes sure u learn how to play by ear. Play what u sing, Play to ur favorite music and pay attention to what guitar notes sound good and which ones dont. Notice the difference in sound beetween minor chords and Major. Learn the major scale all over the guitar fret board. By learning Major scale u will naturally learn the relavant minor which starts three half steps below. Other forms of minor will be shown later if u dont know them. U will learn quick the pentatonic scale by knowing the major scale.
For know do guitar exercise 1 and 2 daily. Also practice playing and creating a nice sound.
Practice switching chords quick and still have a nice sound, this is actually done by playing slow and slowy increaseing speed. Focus on learning to make a nice guitar sound and having smooth transitions from chord to chord. Learn these chords first cause they are all built upon the C major scale and utilise the most open strings. M=major and m=minor-CM,dm,em,FM,GM,am,bm,and back to CM. Learn 2-3 at a time.

Friday, March 03, 2006

T-bones free guitar lessons and quick tips #2

Guitar right hand execiseses- Developing the right hand is just as important as the left hand. You probably have your own way by now of holding a guitar pick or you may play using your right hand fingers. If not I hold my guitar pick between first finger and thumb by coiling 1st finger in towards palm and resting guitar pick on 1st finger and pressing thumb down to hold guitar pick. You want to hold guitar pick firm and use ur wrist motion to sound the strings. eventually this allows u to play scales and arpeggios faster. You do not want any wasted motion. Practice picking down on low E string over and over for 1 minute, then do same with an upstroke. Then practice alternate picking on low E string for 2-5 minutes. To alternate pick down, up, down, up over and over staying as close to the string on either side of string. Rember no wasted motion. Now play all the guitar strings one at a time over and over using wrist motion to move up and down strings. always alternate down stroke then up stroke even when changing strings. Increase pracice time as u get better. U can practice all down strokes and all up strokes when playing each string consecutively but mainly practice alternating up, down, up, down strokes as a rule when playing string to string or skipping strings or on 1 string. This will allow u in time to play fast and clean. Play slow at first creating a nice clean sound. Use a metronome and slowly increase your speed. Focus on getting a good sound before increasing speed.