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A Getting Started With Guitar Publication

INTRODUCTION and WELCOME A note from Lisa:

Greetings, and welcome! I dont know about you, but when I was a teenager I was the oddball artsy anti-social type. I did okay in school, but by the time 3 p.m. rolled around, I couldnt wait to get home, go to my room, and play my guitar. Nothing was more important. Not sports. Not cheerleading. Not even frivolous juvenile misconduct with like-minded misfits. All I wanted to do was play my guitar, and as much as possible, that is what I did. I was lucky then (if sullen and self-indulged). I had time. I had a room to go to, and a door to close. I had James Taylors Sweet Baby James songbook to pore over until dinnertime. A Mom cooking my dinner, a Dad paying for the roof over my head. Short story even shorter, I lived in (angsty adolescent) luxury. The luxury to do what I loved, with minimal time constraints, in a focused and private space. The luxury to play the same little guitar figure over and over and over until I got it right, until it sounded something like my guitar hero, sweet baby JT himself.

What I know now, a million (never mind the real number) years later, is that I was truly blessed. Sure, I writhed in adolescent self-pity, but truth be told, I was blessed. My mission in writing this e-book is to bring that sense of luxury to you, even in the midst of your busy and complicated life. You love guitar. You need guitar for your heart and soul. And chances are, it is not always easy to fit guitar into the complex mosaic of your grown-up life. I would like to help with that, by offering a bridge, a strategy, and some heartfelt encouragement. Take it from an ex-existential artsy angsty teen turned career proguitar instructor: You can do this. You deserve this. Youve come to the right place. So lets get started.

Its not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; its what you put into the practice. -Eric Lindros

You are about to learn ten simple but powerful strategies to make sure you get the absolute most benefit from the time you put into practicing your guitar. After all, your time is valuable, and your desire to become a better guitar player is real, and important. Even if you only have a few minutes a day in your busy life to dedicate to guitar, this step-by-step guide will ensure you get the maximum benefit out of the time you put in. So lets get busy and jumpstart your guitar-progress by implementing these 10 simple steps. Ready? Lets dig in!

The very first thing you will do in your Perfect Practice Session is

1. SET UP.
Perfect Practice requires focus, and thats hard to do with the TV on and people milling around you. To make the most of your practice time, you must create a dedicated practice space just for yourself. Dont worry this doesnt require a major re-arrange of your whole house! Lets keep it easy, quick, and effective. To create a dedicated focused practice space, all you really need is a basic straight-back chair and a small corner somewhere out of the flow of traffic. If you can retreat to a room with privacy for a while, that is perfect. But that is not always possible. Even so, it is possible to create a dedicated practice space, even in a busy home. Face the wall if you have to, just to shut out the distractions of the room. Cool insiders tip: sit facing a glass window (but dont get distracted by looking outside and watching the world go by!). When you play and sing in front of a glass window, the glass reflects the sound back to you. You can hear yourself better, which means you can pay closer attention to the details and nuances of your playing. Now, gather your gear: Guitar Tuner Picks Capo Music, Tabs, Songsheets

Use a music stand or small table to place your music on. If there are other people in the house, tell them that for the next 30 minutes (or 20, or 60, or) you will be practicing your guitar. Ask them to please leave you alone during that time (unless its an emergency, of course!) Do whatever you can to eliminate distractions and focus your energy, and youll get much more out of your practice time. All set up? Great! Now its time to

My life is busy. Your life is busy. Its way too easy to intend to practice the guitar, only to find that once again the day has come to an end, youre tired, and you wind up putting it off until another time. Fix: Put guitar practice on your schedule! Be realistic about what time of day is best for you, and how much time you can devote to practicing your guitar. Even if its only 15 or 20 minutes. Even if its only 2 or 3 days a week. Then, get out your calendar and write it in. Give it the same priority level as all those other must-do tasks that have a knack of creeping in and filling your day, your week, your life. Guitar is important to you. Honor it. Got your slice of time all set-aside? Super now its time to

Even if youre only able to carve out twenty minutes, stay focused on your guitar for those twenty minutes. Do not answer the phone. Do not check your email. Do not tweet. Do not dust. Do not nibble. Just play, for twenty minutes, or forty minutes, or an hour. Whatever amount of time you decided in advance you could allocate. Keep your promise to yourself and your guitar. Ready to do this, and ONLY this? Perfect. Now lets

Use an electronic tuner to get your guitar in really good tune. An out-of-tune guitar will compromise the quality of your sound, leading to frustration and discouragement. If the music sounds sour, its going to be un-fun. Besides, part of what practicing with an in-tune guitar is all about is training your ear to be sensitive to the nuances of the notes, and their harmonic relationships to one another.

Dont let your ear develop lazy habits by neglecting to tune your guitar every time you practice! If you are not sure how to use an electronic tuner, watch my free video on How to Use an Electronic Tuner. (click title to view video) Insiders tip: Electronic tuners are fantastic tools, but are also a little fussy sometimes. If it gives you weird answers sometimes, dont take it personally! Learn what the note names of your open strings should be, trust your instincts, and use the tuner as a tool, not as the ultimate word from above. A tuner that consistently gives weird answers probably just needs a new battery. In tune? Excellent. Now lets dig right in and

Now that youre in tune, spend the first few minutes of your practice time doing some finger warm-up exercises. You want to wake up those hand and finger muscles gently before putting them through the main workout. Not sure how to warm up? No problem Ill show you! Watch my free video on How to Warm Up for Guitar Practice. (click title to view video) Fingers all warmed up now? Terrific now lets


Even if its a two-chord golden oldie, play something you can play without much trouble. Play it all the way through. Enjoy it. I like to call this, getting the music into the room.

Relax and enjoy the sound, the feel of your fingers on the strings, the weight and shape of the guitar in your lap. Getting the music in the room helps to focus your attention and energy for working on the more challenging stuff, coming up next in your practice session. Played a couple of easy songs? Good now its time to


Depending on how much time you have set aside for todays practice session, take a moment to choose between one and three specific topics or projects to focus on. These could include any of the following: Working on a specific song, and the details that need to be improved upon in that song Working with a scale or specific fingerboard exercise Practicing making smoother chord changes between chord-pairs that are giving you trouble or slowing you down Practicing achieving the best tone from your notes and chords by working with subtleties of hand-angle and finger-angle Practicing getting better at a particular technique. Example: fingerpicking, or strumming. And much more!

Plan to spend a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes on each topic or project you are addressing in this practice session.

Given the amount of time you have allocated for todays practice session, plan accordingly as to how many topic areas you can cover. Tomorrow you may have a different line-up of topics to focus on, and by the end of the week you should have touched on everything youre currently working on. Got a plan? Excellent. Because now were going to

Start with your first chosen topic or project, and dig in. Listen and observe non-judgmentally as you play. Be your own coach. Make a mental (or physical) note of the details that need more work. Work on each of those details one at a time. Be patient with yourself, and creatively address problem spots. Notice, appreciate, and congratulate yourself on any improvements! Remember, guitar is mastered in baby steps, not huge leaps and bounds. IMPORTANT: Before you move on to another topic, play the whole song or exercise through once more, and try to incorporate all the new learning that has just taken place. By doing this, you are actually building new neural pathways in your brain. Your brain is literally memorizing the new information and technique, so it will come more easily next time, and the time after that. See where this is headed?

As time allows, move on to the next topic or project on your list. Give it your complete attention, diligence, and creativity for a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse, and repeat (and enjoy!). This is how guitar is learned. Okay, were in the home stretch now. In the final 5 minutes of your Perfect Practice Session, you will


Save the last five minutes of your practice time for a fun wind-down. Play something you enjoy, something you can play with relative ease. Think back to when this piece used to be too hard for you! Congratulate yourself on honoring your guitar learning process, and savor the sweet sound of music.


I hope you enjoyed this guide and find it helpful in structuring your guitar practice sessions to be a perfect fit for you. Remember, even just a few minutes spent with your guitar is exponentially better than no minutes at all! And remember:

Its not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; its what you put into the practice. -Eric Lindros Im rooting for you every step of the way! Now, before I let you go, I want to offer you a little parting gift.

On the next page, youll find a mini-tour of my ground-breaking video program, Guided Practice Routine for Beginners. And after that mini-tour, youll find your gift. Enjoy!!


Learn MORE and Learn FASTER than You Ever Dreamed Was Possible, with Lisas Guided Practice Routine for Beginners!
Just put on the video, and follow along as I guide you through all the basic skills you need to practice, step-by-step, note-for-note.

With the Guided Practice Routine for Beginners, you will: Warm-up, Stretch, & Strengthen Your Fingers, the Right Way Master All Basic Chords Perfect All of Your Chord Changes

Exponentially Increase Your Playing Speed and Accuracy Work With a Professional Guitar Instructor in a Structured Learning Environment, Anytime You Want

Just look at this comprehensive lineup of exercises and drills you and I will go through together, when you access the Guided Practice Routine for Beginners:

Guided Practice Routine for Beginners: Complete Lesson List:

* WATCH FIRST: How to Use This Program
What is it? Complete orientation to the program, and how to customize it to your exact skill level, problem areas, and amount of time you have to practice.

* STATION 1: Tune Up and Get Ready

What is it? Lets get tuned up together, and work on learning the names of the strings, both by note-name, and by number. No more sour wince-inducing notes and chords.

* STATION 2: Let's Warm Up the Fingers

Warm-up Exercise Playalong, Skill Level 1 Warm-up Exercise Playalong, Skill Level 2 Warm-up Exercise Playalong, Skill Level 3 What is it? Choose your challenge-level, and jump on in with me to get your fingers warmed up, stretched, and strengthened. And as your skills get better, you can up-the-ante and move up to the next level of challenge. Progress is guaranteed!

But waitwere just getting started!


* STATION 3: Chord Clarity Inspection!

Master Chords w/6th-String Bass Note Master Chords w/5th-String Bass Note Master Chords w/4th-String Bass Note What is it? Well go through every basic major and minor chord you should know, and Ill teach you powerful insider strategies for getting the very best tone and clarity out of each chord. No more clunkers, thuds, and buzzes.

* STATION 4: Chord Change Boot Camp: Faster!

D & A7: Strategies & Practice Drill D & Em: Strategies & Practice Drill C & D: Strategies & Practice Drill C & Am, C & Em: Strategies & Drills C to F and C to Dm: Strategies & Drills The G Chord, Played Two Ways. G & D: Strategies & Practice Drills G & C: Strategies & Practice Drills G & Em: Strategies & Practice Drills G & Am: Strategies & Practice Drills G & F: Strategies & Practice Drills G & A: Strategies & Practice Drills A to E and A to D: Strategies & Drills What is it? The most comprehensive and detailed guide to changing chords smoothly and quickly that youll find anywhere. Choose the chord changes that give you trouble, and discover the insider secrets to making the change on time, every time. No more awkward pauses and broken rhythms. Progress is guaranteed!

* STATION 5: It's Music! Speed-Building Playalongs

Speed-Building Playalong: Three Chords Speed-Building Playalong: Four Chords (Part 1) Speed-Building Playalong: Four Chords (Part 2) What is it? Well work with some common chord progressions, and gradually increase the speed of the chord changes. You keep up as long as you can, then rewind and keep practicing. Before you know it, youll be able to make it to the very top speed level. No more fumbling to keep up, you speed-demon, you.

* Watch LAST: Where To Go From Here

What is it? Well strategize on how you can continually update and customize your Guided Practice Routine to accommodate your rapidly growing skills, and tailor this program to be a perfect fit and a perfect companion to your guitar-playing dreams and goals. No more feeling stuck; youre on the move now!

So What Does This One-on-One, Customized Guided Practice Routine for Beginners Cost? Like, a Million Bucks? NO WAY! I Could Tell You I Could Get You In for About a Dollar a Day, But Even That Would Be Way Off.
Warning: Hot Offer Coming Up

Okay, heres the skinny. First, you probably wouldnt want to jump right in without getting a chance to try it out for free, would you? Me neither. So lets start there. Please accept my gift of a FREE 2-WEEK TRIAL to my Guided Practice Routine for Beginners.

(more on how to access your backstage pass in just a moment)


But since Im so certain that your guitar skills are going to start to explode from all this awesome structured practice youll be doing, let me toss in a FREE ALL-ACCESS PASS to all of the thousands of guitar lessons on the top online guitar instruction website on the planet,

That way, youre not only getting a great practice workout, but youll be like a kid in a giant candy store full of guitar lessons of every type, level, and style. Thousands of em! Apply your new chops to learn to play things you never before thought possible for you!

Warning: you may become tempted to quit your day job


So lets cut to the chase. Grab your gift: Your 2-Week Free Trial at this link now: This is a limited time offer from GuitarTricks. I have no idea when they may take it down, and it is not up to me. This offer is not made available to the general public. I am able to offer it to you as a special perk, because I am one of the principal guitar instructors at When you go to sign in for your 2-week free trial, I will meet you over there and talk you through it. (You think Im joking? Im not just click on over and see for yourself! For site security reasons, you will be asked to provide a credit card number. YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED unless you decide youd like to stay on past the 2-week free trial. At that point, the charge goes to about $15 per month. Fifty cents a day. Best deal in town. Once youre in, you will feel like a kid in a giant candy store. Once youre in, you can get started with your Guided Practice Routine for Beginners at this link: (Or, stuff your mouth with every flavor of candy you could possibly imagine.) I truly wish you all the very best with your guitar playing! You biggest fan, Lisa
2012 Lisa McCormick Music, LLC