Guitar Practice Tips

This is where I lose everybody…. Well, not everybody… There are no tricks and gimmicks to learning how to play guitar. AWE SHUCKS! REALLY RIFFMASTER? If you don’t practice what you’ve learned, then you’ll never get better, and that is the simple truth. You can have a whole library of instructional material, guitar mags, videos, DVD’s, etc… However, what good is it if you don’t practice the material? You have to be ready to pay some dues. Set some time out of your busy schedule to practice and play. Let everyone know that this is your time and you don’t want to be bothered. If guitar playing is what you love to do… don’t let anybody take that away from you. Playing the guitar is good for the soul and has a magical way of taking you away on a journey of musical sounds. My friend Ilan has written us an article on Guitar Practice Tips… To help open your mind to the importance of practicing. - Riffmaster

Guitar Tab


by Ilan Ashkenazi

Guitar Practice Tips... Practicing the same lick over and over the beat of a metronome is usually one of the easiest ways to sharpen up your chops.but it can also be one of the most frustrating.

Through my own experiences as a young guitarist, I have found that by using short compositions like Bach's inventions, Handel, Paganini etc. every once in while to practice technique as opposed to the traditional guitar methods quite liberating.

Not only do you get to practice your chops, but you can get a great lesson on musical structure, composition, theory, and more...all in one package. You might find that while practicing, I.E. an invention or Caprice, that instead of gradually becoming frustrated over the course of time, the opposite will be're enthusiasm might even increase!

Even if you are just concentrating on the technical aspect of the piece, you will be able to give your ear a good work out as well.

Whether you practice a small composition by breaking it up into sections and piecing them back together slowly according to your progress level, or playing from the beginning to the end, until you have it up to par, they have a huge variety of chop building licks and make for excellent, well rounded practicing. As a teacher I always try to include this method of practice in some of my lessons, especially when a student finds him or herself in a rut, and loses patience with practicing technique.

Having a warmup that has continuity with the other things you do is very important. Of course, this stuff prepares your improvising chops and is sort of designed for you to take the idea and apply it to other scales and such.

One simple concept can go a long, long way. A lot of the concepts here can be found all over the place, and as recommended study material, I encourage you to go out and buy every piece of video footage featuring Paul Gilbert play guitar. His videos are absolutely inspirational, and his technique is flawless.

Do it, before anyone else on your block gets the same idea! Oh yeah, try not to break any strings or fingers or anything, OK? Also really good are the Yngwie Malmsteen 'Young Guitar' vids. Have fun...

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Paul Gilbert playing Colorado Bulldog... Brought to you by Billy

"Learn to play with intensity, speed and finesse! Paul gives advice for beginners as well as plenty of challenging licks for intermediate and advanced players."

Paul Gilbert: Intense Rock - Sequences & Techniques - VHS Video - sheet music at Paul Gilbert: Intense Rock - Sequences & Techniques - VHS Video Performed by Paul Gilbert. For guitar. Format: instructional video (VHS). Instructional and Metal. 4.5x8 inches. Duration 60m. Published by Warner Brothers. (WB.REH805)
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Intense Rock Ii Video - sheet music at Intense Rock Ii Video Performed by Paul Gilbert. Edited by Tim Landers. REH video (NTSC video). Published by Warner Brothers. (REH822)
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Terrifying Guitar Tips Video - sheet music at Terrifying Guitar Tips Video Performed by Paul Gilbert. Edited by Tim Landers. REH video (NTSC video). Published by Warner Brothers. (REH862)
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"Extremely handy and valuable guides for any guitarist!"

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Guitar Daily Practice Handbook - sheet music at
Guitar Daily Practice Handbook by William Bay. For Guitar (All). technique. Value Line. All Styles. Level: Intermediate. Book/CD Set. Size 8.75x11.75. 32 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (94135BCD)
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Practice Trax For Guitar - sheet music at Practice Trax For Guitar Written by Danny Gill. For guitar. Includes instructional book and accompaniment CD. With chord names, scale patterns, instructional text and introductory text. Soloing. 32 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Musicians Institute. (HL.695601)
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"I grew up in the '40s and I heard all these great speeches, like Winston Churchill. His most famous, or infamous commencement exercise speech was one that consisted of seven words. He stood before this graduating class and said: "Never, never, never, never give up." - Johnny Cash

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Updated: 2/19/07