Being Famous Takes Some Practice...

In this edition, we're going to start things off with a bang by getting your chops in shape with a new practice regimen that is exclusive to Guitar Tips. I have received so much information on this topic from our subscribers that I've decided to cover it over a three part series so you can get the most out of it. We also have our new feedback booth where you get your voice heard. So let's get started...

It all starts when you pick up the guitar.

How often have we sat with our guitar while listening in awe to our favourite guitarists wondering how they became so good? Chances are we've all done it once or twice (OK, that's the understatement of the century). The key to their success is easily obtainable when we take a look at how they practice and what they use to stay in shape. Not unlike an athlete, musicians need to put in their training time as well.

In the words of John Pertrucci (lead guitarists for Dream Theatre), "As you embark on your practice regimen, there will be times when you hit the wall. It will feel like you're stuck-- you know, the frustrating sense that no matter how long you practiced something, you just can't seem to master it." The key to getting out of this rut that John talks about is having a practice routine that covers all of the necessities. This requires a tool box or "System".

The system is quite simple and is known by the term PACS (pronounced packs), which stands for "practice arpeggios, chords, and scales." It's a system I have developed for you to keep these essentials in mind. I have found that in the past, some of my students felt as if they had run out of material to practice with and as a result they became discouraged. This has held true with many of our subscribers who have emailed us asking for something new and exciting to practice with.

With PACS, there is always new material available and starting now you can find it right here!

Step #1

The first step is setting aside a practice time each day and preferably in a place without distractions. If you don't practice your fingers will become lazy and you will find that your speed and dexterity will decrease. This wastes time that you could be spending on learning new material and even if you can only spare 15 minutes a day you will notice a difference within a week. It is critical that you set up a time each day and try to include at least five minutes each for arpeggios,chords and scales.

Lets make something clear, practice doesn't make perfect. It makes the knowledge acquired permanent. Don't practice the same stuff over and over, it gets boring. Dive into new aspects of the PACS system and become more knowledgeable on various topics. You won't be disappointed. In our upcoming editions we will show you how your favorite guitarists implement this into their playing and how you can too!

Step #2

All of the great lead and rhythm guitarists know their arpeggios and they use them. If you are playing hot leads, you'll find the right notes close by and in the correct key. Also, when playing rhythm guitar, you'll glide through the progression, giving the song a flavor of it's own, not to mention the unlimited number of picking combinations.

Arpeggios by definition are individual notes of a chord played one after the other in a "harp" like effect. Sometimes you add a few notes to a chord to complete the arpeggio(depending on the chord) or use different fingerings but for the most part you can use a standard chord shape and pick out the notes of the arpeggio. Take a look at this A Major arpeggio:

A Major Arpeggio:

...See the resemblance to the chord? Every aspect of PACS is intertwined and dependant on one another. Here are some more examples of arpeggios, along with the chord for reference.

G Major Arpeggio:

G# Major Arpeggio:

B Major Arpeggio:

--They all follow the same fingering but are just moved up or down on the fretboard.


Feedback Booth

Wow this has been one very busy week! We love to hear back from our subscribers and feel it's time that you had your voice heard in this newsletter. I have received over 600 emails from subscribers with compliments, succsess stories and questions. So here's a little tidbit of what our subscribers had to say this week...

Obed Mednard writes:

"Let me tell you how I enjoy the newsletter! It really helps and I would be sorry if I didn't subscribe."

Bob Ferriol emailed us with this wonderful compliment:

"Thanks Jordan, as always your customer service is stellar."

We have also had some great suggestions from our subscribers on what to include in our newsletter.

Nathan Roberts suggested that we do some of the following:

1. Guitarists' mega site where you can look, learn and buy in one stop.

2. Up to date news about industry leading guitarists/gear.

3. Interviews with these guitarists/manufacturers.

4. Online success stories for those select few that made it BIG.

5. Money /equip. giveaways (like this one) great job!

As a side note on the competition. Many of you have been asking me about age restrictions and if location matters. We are pleased to inform you that there are absolutely zero age restrictions and you can live any where in the world!

I have also heard from subscribers who are having trouble with the feedback form and it's just not working for them. If that is your problem, no sweat! Just copy and paste your reason why (along with your feedback) and email it to me. I will enter you manually.

We hope that you've enjoyed this newsletter and don't be afraid to tell us what you think! That's it for now. Until next time keep on rocking!


If you've always wanted to learn to play the guitar but never had the chance, give me 17 minutes a day for 90 days and I'll show you how to play virtually any song you want! Visit