Tag: practising

Wayne Krantz: How to Practice with a Metronome

A couple of great videos by Wayne Krantz on how to practice with a metronome. You might like his style of playing or not, but you cannot deny that his time feel and ability to ‘lock in’ is phenomenal.

There are great metronome apps these days, so no excuses: you can have a metronome at your fingertips any time of the day for a quick practice session.

10 tips on Practising Guitar


  1. It’s better to practice 30 minutes a day than 10 hours once a week.
  2. Take frequent breaks, distract your mind to then go back and give full attention to what you are doing. Usually 45 minutes practice followed by15 minutes break works for me.
  3. Always warm up and stretch before playing for hours. Start slow with some technical exercises. I did a theatre gig for 3 years that had a 15 minute band call. I used that to warm up with different technical exercises, and I was shocked how just those 10 minutes every day gave a massive boost on my speed and articulation. 10 minutes!
  4. I find that practising tunes (playing actual music) is better than spending hours practising technical exercises. Those are great to warm up. Composing new tunes, finding new ideas , learning and transposing tunes in all keys are by far the best things you can do when practising.
  5. Try playing/practising in the dark (pitch black room or blindfolded). You will become more musical and less dependent on ‘visual patterns’. John Scofield used to do this all the time.
  6. Keep a basic setup ready to go at all times (if you can at home), this is great for impromptu sessions, when you are more inspired to write/record/practice without loosing momentum by trying to find picks and cables.
  7. Record your practice sessions and listen back after a few days to find what you can improve. If you practice with a computer or a phone, video your sessions and you’ll find also you can correct postural problems or see if your performance is visually boring!
  8. Practising should not be a boring task. If you find it boring, don’t do it. You should be curious/excited about improving.
  9. It is better to practice with a friend than along to backing tracks. Invest in a looper pedal (they can be super cheap these days), it can be fun and beats playing to a backing track. Playing along to tracks is not bad, but I find that after a while it’s easy to loose focus and just ‘noodle’. If you practice to tracks, take a short break after each one, don’t let one roll into the other.
  10. Change your practice routine often. Just like working out at the gym, your body gets used to doing the same exercises and stops reacting. Rotate different exercises/tunes/tasks.

30 Days to build a habit

This is something I have known for years, but I have just started implementing with great results. It works wonders if you are having a hard time making a start on things and you are, like myself, a procrastinator. After all we are creatures of habit and all we have to do is allow the time for a new habit to be formed, until it becomes part of our routine.

It takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit, and about 30 to make it become part of your routine. Start with something generic, like ‘I will practice for the next 30 days every day’, to go to something more detailed like: ‘ I will practice  every day for and hour the next 30 days’, or  ‘I will practice transposing one tune a day for the next 30 days’ or  ‘I will practice to learn major scales for one hour for the next 30 days’.

Just do it, do not be to harsh about it, and you’ll see great results. Make sure you stick to it, don’t give yourself a choice! This is great also to remove negative habits, like ‘I will not judge my playing negatively for the next 30 days’ or ‘I will not ‘noodle’ for the next 30 days’ or ‘I will stretch and correct my posture before I play for the next 30 days’

Watch this great video from Ted.com, you can apply this concept to everyday life.

All you have to do is to make a 30 day calendar to to keep track of your progress, and tick a box once you have achieved the result. I use this great little template from this page (the article is definitely worth a read):


I like to print a few an a A4 page and mark the starting date on each 30 day calendar. Most times, I find myself continuing with the new habit after the 30 days without having to keep track.

Good Luck!

Chord scale exercise

Printable PDF: Chord-Scale Ex.

This is an introduction to how to use the right scale for the chord of the moment. I will not be talking about modes yet as I find this creates a bit of confusion at this stage. We have seen how on every degree (=note) of the scale we can build a triad of some kind and add a 7th to it. These are three examples so you can have the most popular ‘chord shapes’ to play with and on 3 different string sets.

The first is an example in G major: the roots of the chords are all on the 6th string.

To find the correct scale for the chords just play a G major scale starting from the degree the chord sits on (like I do in the video).

G maj7 = G major from G to G (1st degree)

Am7     =  G major from A to A (2nd degree)

Bm7     = G major from B to B (3rd degree)

And so on…I am sure you get the idea.

The next is an example in C major: the roots of the chords are all on the 5th string. Watch the video and find the related scales

And again this is an example in F major: the roots of the chords are all on the 4th string. You know what to do…