What to practice on guitar

Do you ever get stuck wondering what to practice on guitar? I often have problems deciding what it is I should be playing or working on the most.

What is the most important thing for me to work on today?

I really want you to get this point…lean in…come on…closer…OK…ready?

It doesn’t matter what you work on…as long as you just PLAY GUITAR

The thing is, when we play guitar (or anything we do for that matter) we get better at guitar. Not just that specific thing we’re working on that week. We get good at every aspect of guitar when we play or practice.

After about six months of learning guitar with me, Jon (a student of mine) had a folder with about 20 songs and Tabs for his guitar playing. Some of them were sounding confident, and others were more of a stretch and needed more time for him to perfect.

Recently, we met for our weekly session and I asked how his week had gone.

“Oh, not bad, but I didn’t get to do that much on guitar – I did work on that picking pattern a lot though”, he told me.

So we got into the lesson and he played the picking pattern stuff he’d worked on so much. And it was sounding and feeling great.

But the cool thing was, the stuff he didn’t even touch during the week, was better than ever. We even tried out some songs he’d never even attempted, and they came together really quickly.

I love to occasionally go back to the early songs we’ve worked on and have a go at playing them together. Without fail, every time it’s astonishing how easy they are to play, even though we haven’t played those songs in months.

There’s no need to be overwhelmed with all of the things we have to perfect or improve on the guitar. Just work on something. That something will make you a better guitarist overall.

So to put it simply: Play Guitar and you’ll be fine. Every aspect of your playing will improve.

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  1. David Plante

    Thank you Mark…for a beginner (age 58) it’s easy to get over whelmed. I really like your approach and look forward in progressing through the beginning courses. Thank you

  2. Robert

    I have been watching your lessons through so i know more of what is involved & i have to say that i am looking forward to start the courses this week from the beginning. never even held a guitar but you make it easy to do. Mark you have inspired me to continue a dream of mine. Thank you

  3. benjamin g williams

    programme is great, I’m hoping the exercises will improve my playing quickly. I haven’t noticed any actual songs on here to learn yet. would be good to find songs that a at a progressive level according to difficulty.

  4. Peter Kimball

    I don’t see any video on changing strings on a fender or les Paul?

    1. Jon Coursey

      Hi Peter,

      We’ll be putting more videos together early next year so I’ll run this past Mark as something to add to the site.


  5. Ashok Mahadik

    I focus on practicing two or three chord easy country songs for just 30 minutes.Practicing regularly with patience has improved my guitar playing though I am a beginner.

  6. Paul

    I have experienced that, too. Practiced other stuff, then the first thing sounds better. It’s not every day, some days I am just putting it together. But most days it comes together better than I guessed.

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