Tech Tip:Advise to Become a Great Guitarist

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Kai A. Hansen, Norway


Q: I am an 18-year-old guitarist from Norway and have been playing guitar for two-and-a-half years. I really admire your guitar work in your programs. I recently bought your Advanced Metal Rock House DVD. I am not really a metal fan, but I do love the work of guitarists such as Satriani, Rhoads, Steve Morse, Hendrix, Van Halen, and, of course, you.


I was wondering if you could give me advice on what's important to practice, how long to practice, workout routines, skills which are important to acquire, exercises, soloing tricks, and anything else you feel important, valuable, and useful to become a great guitarist. I am thinking of buying your Hands of Steel DVD program next.

To give you an idea of where I stand technically; I practice technique three-four hours a day and I am currently playing in 5 bands. Mostly, 80s hard rock, pop rock, and pop.

Would you please spare 10 minutes of your day and answer these questions?


A: First off--WOW!! Playing in five bands must leave you no time to practice or for anything else.


You are practicing three-four hours a day and that is a crucial part for you to progress to the highest levels. Make sure that you keep a balanced diet of scales, rhythm, and exercises to ensure fast and thorough progress.


One thing that really helped me to start creating my own style is jamming with my favorite CDs. I'd put a CD on and play lead over the entire CD trying to fit in as an extra guitarist; I'd try to copy the singers' melody lines to help me discover new ideas for making my own melodies.


Don't think like a guitarist all the time!! Play parts as if you were a vocalist, saxophone player, drummer, try to continuously expand your horizons.

The Hands of Steel DVD contains three complete exercise routines to build up strength and coordination of your fingers and picking hand. These are the exercises that I use every day and they were developed through many years of playing and teaching. They are proven to be extremely effective even for the most advanced guitarists. If you practice these exercises every day consistently you WILL see big results, I promise.


If you need any other help please let me know, you seem very determined to better yourself and this motivation will help make you a great guitarist!!!



Hope this helps
John McCarthy
Rock House
Guitar Instructor