#2 Components of Your Ritual

What Does A Guitar Ritual Look like?

Let’s use the analogy of a bucket for the space you set aside in your life for this ritual. Were going to fill the bucket with different “exercises” (I use this word loosely). We will divide these into three categories.

  1. Warm-up
  2. Daily Development
  3. Final Closing

There is no one set of exercises that will work for everybody. What you include in each of these areas will vary depending on your level, interests and what you’re working on. However I’m going to teach you how to choose the exercises that are best for you, and how to decide when to substitute new ones.  First I’ll describe a little more about each of the sections.

Warm up

Start with something that won’t put strain on either your right or left hands. It helps to use something that will support proper finger and hand placement throughout the rest of your routine.

I’ll use as an example an exercise I often suggest for beginners… the basic Speed Developer Finger Exercise. This is the exercise where you play one note at a time starting with the open sixth string. Then first finger on the first fret, second finger on the second fret, third finger on the third fret…

Then you do the same thing with the fifth string, the four string, the third string… And so on.

You’ll find more complete instructions on the Speed (Accuracy) Developer #1 exercise here.

When doing this exercise as part of your Daily Guitar Ritual you would want to go slow and make sure you get the fingers in the right place. Check that your hands are relaxed and there’s no tension (or very little) in your wrist and fingers.

Take your time and get each note to sound good… Clear and clean… Without buzzing or strange noises.

The same idea applies to any exercise you choose for the warm-up.

Daily Development

This is the body of your routine. It will contain a series of exercises… More if your rituale is longer and less if it’s shorter.

These exercises can be some combination of technique, chord changes, scales, guitar licks or riffs… even parts of songs. The focus of each exercise you choose is to improve some aspect of your guitar playing by repeating it daily and making small improvements.

Final Closing

Close up your session with something that you enjoy doing. This could be a song, or particular exercise that you enjoy doing and you feel good about.

I like to create something new and expand on it in each of my sessions. That’s fun to me, but it can be different for every person. For you it could be playing a cool guitar lick, or a portion of a song that you really enjoy, or perhaps improvising along with a backing track.

The idea is to close with a feeling of having fun and looking forward to your next  session. It also gives you something to look forward to as you go through your guitar ritual. Kind of a reward for going through the boring but useful stuff.


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