All guitar practice is not created equal.
Throughout your journey as a guitarist you will, no doubt, have many things that you will need to learn along the way.
Beginners will need to learn simple exercises and basic chord shapes while struggling through the tough times of just getting their hands to do what they want.
As intermediate guitarists go through the phase of learning their favorite songs and emulating their guitar heroes they will need to learn to read tablature, lead sheets, and even basic rhythm.
And finally, you get to the “advanced” level as a guitarist. This is where you get to put up your feet and coast to greatness, right? Not even close… The advanced level is actually where the real work begins… where you spend the painstaking hours of honing you practice skills and diving deep into your goals and musical preferences.
Yes, it’s true… you will need to learn a whole bunch of stuff on your way to guitar greatness. But there are certain items that can be considered universal. The things you’ll need to accelerate your guitar playing no matter what genre your into, or how serious you want to take it.
How do you become great, no matter what?
Now, being the clever guitarist that you are, you probably think you know the answer… practice, right?
Yeah, you’re absolutely right… practice is the key to progress… for most things in life, and especially for the guitar. But as you’ll soon find out, I like to dive deep into everything I do. I like to go beyond what your average guitarist would do and figure out the essential keys to greatness.
So I’m not just talking about practice here. No… that’s much to broad. I’m talking about the necessary components that all guitarists should be aware of in order to level up their practice habits so fast that they run circles around other, ordinary guitarists.
I’m talking about 9 powerful and essential areas of study that will enhance your learning no matter what your musical interests and guitar playing goals are.
I’m talking about giving yourself the freedom of learning how to learn your instrument.
I’m talking about how to have the power to teach yourself anything you want and never again wonder what you should be practicing.
No more staring at the wall wondering what to work on… No more dreading practice sessions because you feel overwhelmed with everything… No more feeling stuck in a rut because you just don’t know where to go next with your guitar playing.
Now you can turn your anxiety into excitement. You can be prepared for anything thrown your way… and even if you don’t know how to handle it, you can feel confident in knowing that you’ll get there… confident in knowing how to practice and learn anything you want.
Do you face the same problem most guitar players face in practicing their instrument?
It’s Saturday morning…
You’ve just put in a long, crazy week at work and you’ve decided that the perfect thing to help you unwind is to spend a couple hours playing guitar.
So you sit down to play and one of two things happens…
1.) You haven’t played all week and you have no idea where to start or what you should even be working on. 2.) You haven’t played all week and you have to spend time relearning everything you’ve been working on.
Either way… there goes your entire practice session.
Now, even though you may still get the benefit and enjoyment of unwinding a stressful week with a little guitar playing, this scenario starts to play itself out week after week… after week… after week (you get the picture).
Until one day you realize that you’ve been playing guitar for a few years now and you don’t really have anything to show for it. Probably just a handful of half-assed riffs and chord progressions and maybe a sketchy version of a song or two.
What went wrong? Why do you have so little to show for your years of guitar playing?
Because every time you sit down to practice, you have to spend your entire practice session either figuring out what to practice or relearning everything you learned the week before.
Don’t be ashamed. It’s not your fault. It’s just that no one ever taught you how to actually practice guitar… how to get results and build upon your skills week after week.
Look, we have all been there, and many guitarists are in the same situation… life is just too unpredictable for most of us to know when we are gonna have the time to sit down and practice. And that makes it too hard to get reliable, steady results from your guitar practice.
What is the path to reliable, steady results in your guitar practice?
The answer is simple… Daily Practice.
Wait a minute, daily practice? But how is that supposed to help when you already find it difficult to practice once a week… let alone once a day.
The trick is to make it so unimaginably pain free to practice everyday that it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your daily life… to have a fool-proof, reliable plan day-in and day-out that is insanely easy to implement.
Which is what my system is all about…
The 11 Minute Guitarist
Just about everybody can find 11 minutes in their day. And the key to making this work is to think of the 11 minutes per day as preparation for your longer practice sessions once or twice per week.
So I don’t want to mislead you. You will have to do more than 11 minutes a day to accomplish your goals and become great.
But these easy to manage daily sessions will make your longer practice sessions more productive and more enjoyable. And who knows… you just might do more of them.
11 minutes of focused daily practice that targets specific areas of your guitar playing will give you everything you need to create highly efficient, highly organized practice routines.
Like I said before, it’s hard to predict when you’re gonna have time to sit down and play for a couple hours.
But wouldn’t you want to be prepared for it when the time suddenly appears?
Wouldn’t you want to know exactly what to do to sit down and learn an entire song in just an hour or two?
These short 11 minute practice sessions are basically practice maintenance sessions. They’re meant to keep the best practice strategies fresh in your head so when you do finally get time to practice… you know exactly how to go about learning songs, techniques, or whatever you want.
So what’s with the 11 minutes?
Honestly you can do 10 minutes at a time if you want, but I do have a method to the madness with the whole 11 minute thing. Here’s the story:
A while back I got the idea to organize my guitar practice into three, 33 minute practice sessions each day. One session in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Apparently it’s a popular thing for writers to do 33 minute writing sessions sprinkled throughout the day. It helps them focus their energy into short bursts of free writing and increases productivity.
One writer said she likes to do these short bursts of free writing just a few times a day to keep her skills sharp and never run out of content. Then she schedules longer periods of editing once or twice a week to go through her content. She uses this method for short stories, novels, blog posts… pretty much anything.
After I heard this, a light bulb went off in my head… why not organize guitar practice sessions that way?
So I started making a list of general skills that I wanted to keep sharp… technique, music theory, improvisation, etc.
Then I would set a timer for 33 minutes and get to work on one item at a time… working my way through the items on my list one practice session at a time.
This became a daily habit and on top of that, I would schedule longer practice sessions several times a week to work on materials for gigs and whatnot.
Long story short… I recently reduced my list down to 9 essential areas of study that I deemed ultra-important to the success of any guitarist. These areas are:
So then I did a little math (not exactly my strong-suit) and realized that I could get through every area each day if I just did three areas in each practice session, and did three practice sessions a day (morning, afternoon, and evening).
And since I was already experimenting with 33 minute practice sessions… just a bit more math and I arrived at 11 minutes per practice item. Pretty cool, huh?
But fast forward a little bit and I started to realize that trying to get through all 9 areas every day was a bit much for anybody. Especially when you’re trying to keep time available for the fun stuff like learning/writing songs and jamming with friends.
So I reduced it down to one area per day within a 9 day rotation. And with this 9 day rotation of just 11 minutes per day you can become a practice wizard.
So my advice...
Dig deep into these 9 areas of study. They are what I've found to be the most essential areas for guitar mastery, and you can literally customize them any way you want to.
Get ready to understand how to unlock the most powerful, productive and efficient guitar practice known to man.
Get ready to learn the secrets to teaching yourself anything you want to learn on the guitar…
…and to becoming the most confident, kick-ass guitarist you can be.
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