I want to introduce you to what I’m hoping will be the first of many monthly challenges.
The monthly challenge is a way to make practicing more interesting. It consists of a series of what I’ll call exercises, for lack of a better term, to help you practice different aspect of playing guitar. Each month I’ll pick a new theme. For example, this month the theme is basic blues.
Regardless of whether you want to play blues these exercises are designed to be a valuable part of your guitar learning program. They’ll help you be more accurate with your finger placement, timing, changing chords, strumming and other aspects of playing guitar. The theme just makes it more interesting and allows you to use the exercises in context.
For each exercise I’ll create three versions as a play-long video… A slow version, a medium version, and a faster version.
Here’s the key!
I want you to practice just 10 minutes a day using the play-along videos. It’s not a lot of time but it’ll keep you moving forward. The goal for this challenge is not necessarily to master the exercises. The goal is to reap the benefit of the development you’ll get by just by working on it a little each day.
Once you feel you’re ready go ahead and check off the exercise… then move on to the next one. You can always go back if you’d like. Don’t worry if the faster one is too fast. Just play along with the ones that work for you.
I’ll release a new exercise every few days so those overachievers don’t get too far ahead of themselves.
Here’s a couple of tips:
1) You’ll find each of the exercises also has a sheet with written chord diagrams or notes and tabs. I encourage you to download the sheet before you start the exercise, though I understand that for some it may not be necessary.
2) Be sure and tune your guitar to standard guitar tuning before attempting to play along with the exercises. I find it best to use electric guitar tuner for this.
3) You get the most benefit from this if you do a little bit each day… Even just 10 minutes. You could consider this a warm-up before practicing other things you’re working on.
4) For this month’s challenge I’ve also included three play-along audio tracks that you can download… or play directly on the website. They are the same play-along tracks you’ll hear in the background of the videos with three different tempos (60, 80 and 100 bpm… that’s beats per minute).
You can use these to practice along with in addition to the videos. For extra credit and fun you can even try jamming along with the tracks using the techniques from the improvisation course.
Feel free to leave questions and comments in the fields below the exercises. I would love to hear your comments on which themes you like, and how it is for you working with the exercises.
You can either pay these directly on the webpage or download them. They are great to practice along with. For extra credit try improvising along with the track using the Warmup Blues Scale in the first couple of practice sessions.