When you first began to practice guitar, you quickly observed that you’d need to practice several techniques and skills for a long period of time (even for years) in order to become a great player. That said, even though you've now invested a huge amount of time into practicing your guitar skills, you still keep freezing up while improvising, recording or playing in front of other people. Studying new materials doesn’t seem to solve the problem. Have you wondered why you can't get better at guitar despite how much you practice each day?

Here’s why: You lack guitar playing fluency. You may know a few guitar skills, but you can't combine them together. This happens because the vast majority of guitar players practice a skill to “get it right”... and only to get it right once... then they want to move to new materials. Achieving guitar playing fluency with this approach is nearly impossible.

Do you know the kind of students who study to merely pass the final exam rather than acquire knowledge from the study materials and master it? As soon as the exam ends, the students forget everything... you don’t want to be this type of student. You must learn how to effectively practice guitar and get the maximum return from every hour you practice – otherwise you will never stop struggling with guitar playing fluency.

Two Groups Of Guitarists Who May Never Achieve Musical Greatness

One group is made of guitar players who don't put much effort into achieving any level of mastery - they only want to “learn more new things”. This attitude will get you nowhere and prevent you from learning how to integrate your guitar skills together (I explain more of this below).

Another group is made of guitar players who are perfectionists. They focus on mastering every tiny single aspect of a skill before even considering practicing a different skill. In reality, you are not going to master any guitar skill if you practice it in complete isolation. Watch this video about the most effective way to practice guitar to get a deeper understanding of this.

Now you've learned which approaches do NOT work, so I'm going to show you the practicing approach that the greatest guitar players use when building guitar playing fluency:

1. Isolate the skill. Don't bother applying it or integrating it with other skills (at this point). This is what is done by the vast majority of guitar players, but the problem is they never go further, they got stuck in the first step.

2. Apply the new skill. Recreate a real-life playing situation and practice applying this new skill. As an example: if you are learning a new tapping pattern, apply it over backing tracks - play many different phrases with the new tapping pattern you just learned.

Integrate the skill into other aspects of your guitar playing. Concentrate on using many skills at the same time by practicing them all at once. Here is an example: Play a scale sequence ascending while picking every note and then come back down using legato. The possibilities for combining different skills together are infinite.
To achieve guitar playing fluency, practicing integration is CRUCIAL - you must do it regardless of which skill level you are at. Not knowing how to integrate skills together is one of the most common problems guitarists have.

4. Measure and refine any new skill. Go back to the starting point and practice the skill again in isolation, only now you'll be practicing it with a whole new perspective and better understanding about what needs to be trained. Go through step 2, 3 and 4 all over again. This will allow you to massively improve your guitar playing fluency.

ATTENTION: Be careful not to fall into the trap of being a perfectionist and spending too much time on each step. Likewise, do NOT skip steps to focus on “learning new stuff”. Here is exactly how you should proceed:

- Switch up your exercises when practicing guitar so that at any given time, all your exercises are in different stages of mastery. To do this right, use the best guitar practice schedules possible.

- Study with an experienced guitar teacher who will give you the right guitar exercises for improving your guitar playing. Read this guide and learn how to choose the best guitar teacher for you.

- Become aware that getting better at guitar is not a linear process. Becoming great at guitar is the end result of overlapping the four aspects of guitar playing mastery. Look at the diagram below:

Increase the overlap among the four aspects as shown in the previous image. They work stronger by reinforcing eachother, and this will help you enhance your playing fluency. Like this:

Here are two essential things for you to do to benefit from this article right now:

1. Learn how to make your guitar practice routines more efficient by taking a look at this guitar practice video.

2. Let me to show you how to utilize these effective practice approaches and lead you towards guitar playing fluency. Get started taking the greatest guitar lessons online by telling me more about your guitar playing goals.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author: Tom Hess is an expert guitar teacher, composer and guitar teacher instructor. He teaches electric guitar online lessons to guitar players around the world. On his website tomhess.net, you can find tools for guitar playing, and guitar playing articles.