Pattern Obsession and Music Weaving

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Beginner Path


Do not get overwhelmed! This site is designed to prove that noone can completely master the guitar. The exercises here purposely get so complex that no one could ever do them all. As a beginner, take a few simple exercise and work on those, then the next step will unfold naturally.


Begin with the finger exercise Finger Yoga.

This will help you learn to place your fingers in a relaxed manner. Spend about five minutes a day learning to place the fingers. The exercise has several sections of increasing complexity, but do not do all the exercises at one time. Just work first activity in the exercise, and add more complexity every day. Like stretching for exercise, Finger Yoga is never completely mastered. Expert players need to relax and place their fingers also.


Before moving on to chords, learn to tune the guitar using the Tuning activity in the Techniques section. Again, just worry about the first part of the activity, using an electronic tuner.


Next, start working on simple chords in the Learning Chords section. This is a very long section, so do not feel like you should be working through a lot of it. Weeks may pass before you feel comfortable with just the first three chords. Even just learning one chord is enough to star working on rhythm.


Early in the process, start working on rhythms. If you have learned four chords and have not stated working the rhythm exercises, you are beginning to ingrain bad habit that will have to be undone later. Get a metronome and begin the Learning Rhythms section immediately.


One you know the first four chords and are able to play in rhythms, start learning some simple scales. Before starting the scales, look at the first section in the Efficient Picking section on Alternating Picking. Make sure to use correct picking when working on the scales.


In the Learning Scales section, begin with the chromatic scale in open position, and use this scale as a finger-training exercise.


Then begin adding new chords, rhythms, and scales one at a time. Learn a new chord, then switch over and work a new rhythm, then learn a new scale. The scales and chords work together. As you learn a new chord, learn the scale from that key. Incorporate the rhythms you are learning onto the scale and chord practice, always using a metronome to ingrain good rhythm practices early, and always playing with a relaxed hand without extraneous finger movement, as learned in the Finger Yoga.


After you know a few scales, begin adding some of the Finger Exercises to the mix. The next finger exercise to add in the Finger Murder Part 1 activity. Finger Murder is like going to the gym; do not overdo it at first! Really five minutes a day is enough to start strengthening the hand.


Continue adding chords, rhythms, and scales a little bit every day. Make sure to review the chords you already know. The Chord Weaving exercises built into the chords section make sure that you are not forgetting the old chords as you learn new ones.


Once the Finger Murder Part 1 activity is fluid, it is time to start with some new techniques. Begin working on the Hammers and Pulls section, just the first exercise.


The site builds around six main sections


1 Finger Exercises

2 Chords

3 Rhythm

4 Scales

5 Techniques

6 Theory


Try to work at least one of the first five sections every day for five minutes. Progress sequentially through the larger documents (Learning Chords, Learning Rhythms, Learning Scales). These tutorials have external tables that are linked from within the documents.

For the Finger Exercises and the Techniques sections, choose one exercise or technique to work on each day. Some are long, like the Hammers and Pulls and Efficient Picking sections, but many are just short tutorials. Here is a general guideline about when to start what.



2 Finger Yoga Start immediately and never stop doing these.

3 Finger Murder After learning the basic modal scales

4 Pick Madness After exploring the Efficient Picking techniques page

5 Spot Finder When you get to the position shifting in the scales section

6 String Mayhem After Finger Murder and Pick Madness is firmly established



1 Tuning Basics right away, then revisit occasionally

2 Hammers and Pulls Initial exercises as indicated above. Progress as needed, with two have tapping after scale patterns are established.

3 Efficient Picking Initial exercises as indicated above. Progress as needed, with efficiency picking after scale patterns are established.

4 Vibrato When working on melodies.

5 Bends After basic pentatonic scales have been established.

6 Muting After bar chords

7 Harmonics Any time this interests you.

8 Finger Picking After basic chords established.

9 Slide Any time this interests you.

10 Alternate Tunings Any time this interests you, but early after basic chords for acoustic specialists.

11 Looping Any time this interests you.

12 Percussive Any time this interests you, but not too early to avoid confusion.

13 Guitar Synthesizer Any time this interests you.

14 Miscellaneous Tricks Any time this interests you.


Build your own path


The great advantage to a web based course as opposed to a book is that the exercises need not be learned in a sequential order. Access the Extended Table of Contents, and just poke around until you find something interesting. A lot of it will not make any sense, but maybe it will motivate you to work the more basic exercises to see what is possible. Remember, this is a data-driven site with way more exercises than anyone could possibly do. Do not get overwhelmed with the4 possibilities. Everything here is just a complex pattern built on permutations of simple patterns. After learning the simple patterns, everything else grows organically. Just enjoy what you are doing and your plating will improve naturally. Have fun.

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