How To Play Guitar At Your Best In Real-Life Situations

What is the ultimate test of how well you can play something on guitar?

Answer: your ability to play at your best when it really matters most – I call this “real life guitar playing”.

Real-life guitar playing means:

  • Playing guitar in front of other people without embarrassing mistakes.
  • Playing guitar at or near your best, accurately and consistently…even on your worst days

It’s helpful to practice for real-life guitar playing even if you don’t want play guitar professionally. Mastery of real-life guitar playing makes you sound good in any environment… and you do want that, right? 🙂

Here is how to practice for real-life guitar playing:

  1. Train yourself to play guitar at your highest level. This means to continuously improve every area of your guitar and musical skills.
  2. Use guitar practice circuits to simulate real-life guitar playing conditions. You can customize these circuits to your needs, goals and experience level.

    Guitar practice circuit training is both very effective and very fun. This article explains how guitar practice circuits help your guitar playing.

This sample guitar playing training circuit prepares you for playing guitar in real life. Do the following steps using a metronome (or drum backing track). Play everything at your desired goal tempo, unless indicated otherwise.

Step 1: Choose something specific you want to master and play it while standing up for 6 repetitions.

Step 2: Play the specific item you chose in step 1 while practicing your stage presence and movement. For example, hold the guitar up in the air and make cool arm and hand gestures to the audience. Do this without looking at your hands. Repeat this 9 times, but don’t play anything else other than the specific item you chose in step 1.

As soon as this is done, immediately move to:

Step 3: Play your item while walking around the room. Repeat 8 times in a row.

As soon as this is done, immediately move to:

Step 4: Play the item for 7 repetitions with your eyes closed. Do your best to play without mistakes (although mistakes will happen in this step). If you make mistakes, do your best to play through them while keeping your eyes closed.

As soon as this is done, immediately move to:

Step 5: Insert a specific guitar playing mistake into your playing of the item. Yes, you read correctly: select a specific guitar playing mistake and intentionally insert it into your playing. Repeat the item 4 times through with the specific mistake you selected. (More about how to do this below.)

As soon as this is done, immediately move to:

Step 6: Play the item 5-15 beats per minute faster than your top speed of consistent playing. Repeat 4 times.

(Don’t know what top speed of consistent playing is? Read this guitar speed report to find out.)

Repeat this circuit nonstop for 15-20 minutes.