When you start electric guitar practice, the initial thoughts are always being on stage and ripping through a Slash solo. The stage is your home and the guitar almost an extension of your body.
All that sounds great, but no one mentions getting to that level unless you start to practice. First, Purchase your classy electric guitar and start playing it. Your daily to-do list should look something like: Eat, Sleep, Electric guitar practice and repeat.
Okay, that was a dead meme and this article is not bringing it back. That being said, that is how any guitarist serious about the art of playing the guitar should live. No matter what your schedule is, you must practice daily if you want to get good and be able to reach the level where you can play almost every song.
In this article, I will be telling you about how you can go about your electric guitar practice. I have been playing for about 10 years and have had a fair bit of advice thrown at me by peers and teachers. So, I will try to add some objectively useful tips and some anecdotes I feel would help you in your daily electric guitar practice.
Exercises for electric guitar practice
Now, let us get into the main topic here: practicing electric guitar and how to go about it.
If you follow the following 4 exercises vigilantly, you will be at a much higher level. There are no shortcuts and it will take time, so be patient.
FINGER AND PICKING PRACTICE
Playing the guitar well requires immense training of both your hands. Simply training your left hand (in case you are right-handed) is not good enough if your right hand cannot match up. Usually, people assume that your picking hand requires much less practice as that is your dominant hand, but that cannot be far from the truth.
You must practice every day. I suggest doing a Chromatic Sequence while alternate picking. There are many other exercises you can choose from. Pick whichever one you like.
That is just your warm-up to get the blood rushing through your fingers.
ELECTRIC GUITAR CHORDS PRACTICE
Practicing chords can be a pain because of all the different shapes. That is completely normal; you will learn to place your fingers into those positions effortlessly. Initially, though, it can be tough.
There is no workaround learning them faster, but the one piece of advice that might be helpful here is to select about 2 to 3 chords and playing them continuously, shifting from one to another. Play them slow, do not rush it. You rush it; you probably won’t be able to play them correctly.
ELECTRIC GUITAR SCALES PRACTICE
Scales are awesome. Without making them sound too complicated, you can just say they are a set of notes that go along perfectly. To know more about scales, you can always read up about them online and increase your theoretical knowledge; we are talking about practice here.
I said scales are awesome because they are extremely fun to practice and the combination of notes sound really good together so it does sound weird like say a simple 1,2,3,4…. 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4 finger exercise might sound.
For beginners, I recommend first learning the E and C major scales. The first scale I learned was E, but you can go with C also. After that, move to other major and pentatonic scales.
The end goal of any musician is to either play songs or make songs, to why wait so long? Songs can be a perfect addition to your daily practice routine. I do not recommend trying to learn an Andy Mckee song when you start off, which is going to be very discouraging.
For now, let’s aspire to that. I suggest you pick out some beginner-friendly songs to start off your journey. Some easy songs are Zombie by The Cranberries, Somebody’s Me by Enrique and so many more. Just Google easy songs for guitar and pick out the one you personally like.
The reason why songs are great for practice is that
1. You will know when you make a mistake while playing
2. You will stay motivated and playing a song is much more interesting than a finger exercise.
Before you start playing, clean your guitar (just a good habit) and tune it (absolutely necessary). You do not want to play a guitar that is not in tune.
Use a metronome. Staying in beat while playing is very important. If you can play a song but you are offbeat, you cannot play that song. So, stay on beat. Slow the beat down, play it correctly and build the speed up from there.
Note: For newbies check the how to clean guitar and how to tune electric guitar article to keep your electric guitar in proper condition.
Well, that is the end of this article. Everyone has a different way of teaching and you should learn something from everyone. Take the advice that suits you and your style and rock on, my friend. Happy playing!