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No matter what style of music the beginning guitarist wishes to play eventually, a good home practice session will include practice reading standard notation and tablature as well as practice strumming and picking chords.


For parents, beginning students, and young teachers: This is an example of what a good home practice session might look like for a young guitar student who has been taking lessons for less than a year. Unless the student is quite mature and very motivated, private or group lessons or some kind of coaching is necessary at this level for adequate progress. For more general suggestions on practicing music at home, please see A Guide to Great Home Music Practice .


Good practice sessions start with warm-ups. This is a chance to get into the right frame of mind and to practice basic skills as well as get physically warmed up. If your instructor wants you to make changes in your playing style (for example in your left hand position or the way you strum), this is the best time to practice those changes, too. Your teacher may give you warm-ups that are ideal for you right now. If not, below are some ideas for warm-up exercises for beginning guitar students, with an example of each type.


Strumming easy, familiar chords with an easy, familiar strumming pattern is a good first warmup. Start with the easiest chords and strums, and then do some harder ones. Each pattern should be repeated until the strings are sounding clearly and the strumming is steady, rhythmic and confident.

Finger picking

Students who are not ready to use finger picking while changing chords or singing can practice a finger picking pattern on a single, easy chord during warm-ups every day. (Eventually the patterns become easy and can be used in "real music".) Each pattern should be repeated (as slowly as necessary) until it is steady and rhythmic.

Alternating fingers

Alternating fingers can be very difficult for the beginner. Easy exercises that practice alternating fingers are a very useful warm-up.


Guitar students may be reluctant to practice scales. Teachers can point out that improvisation and solo work is based on scales, and can also provide "fun" scales like this blues scale. Scale fingering patterns like this one can be used in many different keys, since they can be used at any fret. During warm-ups, the student can play each scale pattern several times, starting at the first fret, and then moving up the neck until the body of the guitar is too much in the way. After practicing a scale, budding improvisers (even beginners) may want to spend a few warm-up minutes improvising around one of the scales.


After warming up, the student practices the assignments for the week. Weekly assignments for a new guitar player often include:

  • memorizing a new chord
  • practicing a new strumming pattern
  • practicing a new picking pattern
  • working on a piece that requires reading music (and maybe also tablature)
  • working on a song that requires singing and playing at the same time, and changing chords quickly while maintaining a steady strum or picking pattern

For best results, all assignments should be practiced as slowly and carefully as necessary to get a good, clear sound and very steady tempo. Never practice fast and sloppy. Once you are playing something clearly and steadily, speed it up a little, but only as fast as you can still play it well.

Winding up

The ideal way to end a practice session is to play something easy and fun. For a beginning guitar student this will be music that has been mastered in lessons over the previous weeks, perhaps one or two "music-reading" assignments and one or two songs that the student wouldn't mind performing for friends and family. This cool-down session:

  • Relaxes any tenseness and frustration from practicing the new requirements
  • Is a reminder of the rewards of practice
  • Keeps up a repertoire of pieces the student can play whenever anyone asks

Unlike during the practice session, the student should usually play these pieces straight through. The emphasis should be on memorizing and touching up the pieces, so that they are easy and enjoyable to perform.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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Akash Reply
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characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Beginning guitar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 18, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10421/1.2
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