Young Beginner Practice Routine


It’s quite common for students to not really understand how to effectively practice guitar at home. So we recommend that parents run the practice session to best help their child.


  • This guide is designed for students follow Ultimate Guitar Method
  • Remember that your child is only new to guitar, so don’t expect them to get everything right. I’m constantly saying to students that you have to get tit wrong before you can get it right
  • Ensure the focus is on having fun and just giving it a go
  • Feel free to mix things up and modify the quizzes or practice drills

Prefer Video?

Watch a quick video that explains how young students should be practicing.

The Routine:

  • Duration: 10-15 minutes
  • Frequency: 3-4 times per week

1. Quiz

  • Ask your child to point to these parts of the guitar alternatively, you could just point to a part and have them name it):
    • Body
    • Neck
    • Head
    • Bridge
    • Strings
    • Frets
    • Tuning Keys
  • Ask your child to name the strings (EADGBE or Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy)
  • Ask your child to find various fret numbers (stick between 1 and 5 for the really young students)

Variation:   Instead of asking your child to find something that you’ve identified, try reversing the rolls and have them name something that you point to.

2. Exercises

  • Ask your child to play Picking Exercise A. Ensure their picking hand remains firmly planted on the guitar. Aim to get a certain number of notes without that hand coming off (e.g 50)
  • If your child has other exercises, practice them here in a similar fashion to above.

Variation:   If your child is finding things too easy, try changing the string (e.g the B string)

3. Scales

NOTE: Not all students will have learnt scales at this point. Simply skip this step if they haven’t learnt any yet.

  • Ask your child to play the E major scale at least three times.
  • If they struggle with the numbers, try reading it aloud to them as they play.
  • If they still struggle, just start with the first three numbers (0 2 4) and build from there.

Variation:   Have your child play the scale forwards and backwards (ascending and descending)

4. Songs

NOTE: This is where the majority of time should be spent and will likely be the most enjoyable element of practice.

  • They’ve most likely only learnt one or two short riffs – so just try playing these at least four times each, making sure students are:
    • Getting the right fret numbers
    • Keeping the picking hand resting on the guitar
    • Holding the string tightly with their index or middle fingers
    • Keeping their fretting-hand’s thumb pointing up

  • Try playing with the practice videos if possible. You can even slow down the video using the Youtube player settings.

  • Don’t worry too much about the overall sound. Focus more on the technique that students are employing (as listed above)

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