There are a lot of technical exercises out there in the land of learning guitar.


Most are too complex and too intricate to be beneficial to most guitarists, beginners, and intermediates alike…

Especially when guitarists do them the way most people teach them.


There are two issues I see a lot:

  1. Most exercises are too complex (they have too many notes and finger movements, making remembering them hard).
  2. Most exercises are taught wrongly (students are often taught to play them too fast and do not focus on the fundamentals).


I much prefer simple exercises that are easy to learn.


Complex exercises done badly can cause bad habits and inflict more pain quicker than a fastball to the privates.


I see it all the time.

Especially back in the early 2000s when I used to subscribe to Total Guitar magazine.


There was some good stuff in the magazine, but each month they would fill it out with new exercises and ideas.

Each would take me an hour or so just to process, then if I didn’t practice it a lot, I would forget it…

Have to relearn it…


That was before I even made any progress with it!


To make matters worse…

There was no advice on how to play it with proper posture, a light touch, relaxed fingers so they would move fluently, etc…


No wonder I used to think I was awful.

I honestly don’t think Clapton would spend hours practising these over the top exercises.


It was 95% wasted time at best.

These days, YouTube seems to have taken over this mantle of excessive exercises.


Anyway, for me, I much prefer a simple exercise done well.


That is what I teach students and what I recommend for you too.


This includes a couple of exercises that you can learn quickly, remember easily and practise with confidence…

Knowing they will help build up good habits and technique, rather than possibly causing hours of frustration (and boredom usually) like I experienced.


Although most exercises out there are as overblown as a Pink Floyd gig (and unlike the Floyd gigs, not in a good way)…

There are a few that I recommend you do.


The “Octave Jump” (for accurate picking of strings), and the “Walking exercise” (for finger dexterity and fluency) are two of these…

You can learn exactly how to play them in my In Focus Essentials Course, which is available as an exclusive course in my membership programme.


Check it out HERE...


Have a great day, and remember, with exercises, keeping it simple most of the time is the best way forward!


Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination



P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.


3 Random Thoughts This Monday (January Blues, Learning as a 5-Year-Old, and Improving Your Fretting Hand) – Guitar Domination
January 11, 2021 Reply

[…] Cliff and I were talking about technique and improving the fretting hand. […]

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.