How To Practice Guitar

Table of Contents

Useful tips and tricks to help you become a master!


If you’re like me and you spend your time watching professional guitar players on YouTube, it’s likely that you’ve questioned your own skills. Something you need to remember then is that they were once right where you were, it probably took them years of practice to get where they are right now. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. With that saying, let’s get into today’s article, where we will learn how to practice guitar!

How much should I practice?

The obvious answer to this question would be to practice as much as you can, right? Well, not really. Studies show that shorter practice sessions yield better results than longer ones. What we recommend is one hour of guitar practice every day, spread out over 3 sessions of 20 minutes each. After every 20 minutes of playing the guitar, take a short break.

If you’re struggling with a technique, try taking a break and take your mind out of the process completely. You’ll notice that when you come back and practice what you were having trouble with, you’ll be much better at it.

Problems with practicing too much

While practicing hours and hours a day might seem like a sure-fire way to become a guitar hero, it actually does more harm than good. Over-practicing can lead to burnout, sadness, feelings of self-doubt, self-loathing, and even physical injury. A good rule of thumb is to practice till you’re in the zone and are having fun. As soon as you feel like you’re getting too frustrated or annoyed with yourself (or with the instrument), take a break and come back later. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a way to avoid learning difficult techniques, it is just a measure to avoid burnout. Have patience with yourself, not even the greatest guitar players have become what they are within a day.

How to practice guitar

Important Finger Exercises

If you’re someone who wants to shred their guitar like there’s no tomorrow, you should pay attention to these finger exercises!

Practicing Scales

Practicing scales on your guitar will help you transition between strings smoother, resulting in a more pleasant sound.

Spider Exercises

Spider exercises for the guitar are designed to boost finger dexterity and will help you place all your fingers on the guitar accurately. This is especially useful for the pinky, as most beginner guitarists have the “flying pinky syndrome”.

Practicing chords

A key part of learning how to practice guitar is focusing on getting perfect at playing chords. Playing chords will become much easier if you’re familiar with all the chord shapes. These shapes should become second nature to your fingers and you should be able to switch to them in the blink of an eye.

Go slow at first, focusing on getting the frets right and making sure all the notes are heard clearly and aren’t muddy or blocked by your fingers.

Practicing all the basic open chords in varying progressions will help you get the hang of switching through the various shapes. Try to surprise your muscles by randomly switching between chords and not having a set pattern.

Add a metronome to the mix and you can also practice changing chords on time!

How to practice barre chords

I hold no doubt in my mind when I say this; barre chords are a beginner guitarist’s worst nightmare. While I wish I could give you some magic trick that would make you a pro at barre chords, there really is none. As with regular chords, getting better at barre chords depends on how much time you dedicate to them. Make sure you have your basics clear. Start with an easier barre chord and really see to it that your finger is completely pressed up against the fret so that each note rings clearly. Practice playing the chord, then once you improve there, practice switching to said barre chord from a regular chord. Afterward, switch between and practice barre chords like you would with regular chords using a metronome.

Final Thoughts

All in all, sincere and repeated practice over a long period of time is the only way to master the guitar. Keep your practice sessions short and effective, run through finger exercises regularly, practice both regular and barre chords with a metronome and you should see yourself becoming a better overall player. We hope this article has helped you learn how to practice guitar, and keep strumming!

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)