Guitar instructors say that a good player is made in the practice room. This is because it's the only place where you can build the muscle memory, stamina, and dexterity you need to advance your guitar skills.
But the thing is, beginner guitar students often don't know what they are supposed to practice.
Even if you have a private teacher or take part in an online course, having a go-to daily practice guide that provides clear direction in a well-structured way is a big plus. Your practice sessions need to be efficient and targeted, so you can get the most out of your practice time.
This is where the top-rated book "Guitar Exercises for Beginners: 10x Your Guitar Skills in 10 Minutes a Day" promises to help.
I have been a guitar teacher for 20+ years now, and am always on the lookout for things that can help my students. Seeing that this book is the #1 Best Seller in the Guitar Songbooks category, I decided to buy it and see if it deserves this title.
Find out in my review of the book below.
Outline of the book
As the title implies, the book contains 100 exercises to improve your guitar skills. In 10 minutes a day.
Who doesn't have 10 minutes a day, right? 🙂
Ok, that may be a bit of marketing hype. Obviously, you're not going to become Eric Clapton by practicing 10 minutes a day.
Regardless, the exercises in the book are, indeed, what a beginner guitar student should be working on from day 1.
As I mentioned, all of the exercises are aimed at beginner guitar players learning basic guitar techniques. Everything is written down very clearly, the instructions that come with each exercise are easy to understand.
I really like the ordering of the exercises in the book, since they build on each other in skillset and difficulty. It is how a live guitar teacher or an online course would be structured.
The exercises start from the early beginner level and increase in difficulty naturally. Here is the outline of chapters:
- Guitar Tablature
- Let's Play Some Melodies
- Let's Play Some Chords
- Getting Rhythmic with Time Signatures
- More Open Chords
- Let's Scale Things Up
- More Advanced Chords
- Let's End with Some Songs
Downloadable audio files
We all know that learning to make music is an audible experience. You can't learn guitar by reading about it.
There are a lot of guitar books that do not offer any sort of audio whatsoever, which is very frustrating. How is the student, especially if he/she is an early beginner, supposed to know what the exercise sounds like correctly?
The Guitar Exercises for Beginners book has audio samples on each of the exercises in the book. They are in the form of audio files that you can download directly from the author's website.
You will be downloading a large zip file, and unzip it on your device. It's large, but downloads very quickly.
Each audio sample contains the exercise played at 2 speeds, so you can practice it slowly first, and speed up as you improve.
Here is a sample exercise so you have an idea of what to expect. It is early on in the book, and aims to teach finger independence:
Here is another exercise halfway through the book, where you get into 7th chords and changing between them:
And another one from the last chapter of the book, which covers the basic 12-bar blues form:
The audio samples are very helpful, and a must for any guitar student.
I think it would be more convenient to make the samples available in an online audio player instead of a downloadable format, since it would make it easier to play them on a mobile device. I have sent this suggestion to the author, they said they will look into it.
How can you benefit from the book?
If you are just starting out with the guitar, you are hopefully learning in a structured way with a live teacher or an online course.
In this case, I can honestly recommend you get this book.
- It will be a useful supplement to your main learning method, as it will give you a daily exercise program that will help improve your guitar skills.
- When you don't have enough time to learn the next lesson in an online course, you can still grab this book and do a few exercises. It's important to practice every day, even if there are days when you can only squeeze a few minutes in.
- The author recommends you practice each exercise for 3 minutes at a time. I agree with this, as it will give you enough time to practice a given skill, without becoming boring. You can, of course, spend more time with any given exercise.
- Aim to complete each exercise with perfection, not speed. This is how you can get better at the guitar. Speed will come naturally once you can play things perfectly.
- Make sure you follow the order of exercises, and not skip any of them. One of the strengths of this book is the meticulous structure.
If you follow the exercise plan, aim for perfection, and do not skip over anything, you can expect results in just a few weeks.
- Your calluses will start forming, so your fingertips won't hurt so much
- Your finger strength and coordination will greatly increase
- Your hand's muscle memory will develop
Put in the effort, practice, and you will be rewarded.
What others think about the book
One of the best parts of shopping on Amazon is getting to read the opinion of people who have already bought the item you are considering.
At the moment of writing this article (December 2021), the Amazon.com stats of this book are:
- 1,100+ ratings
- Average rating of 4.5 stars
- 89% of the ratings are 4 or 5 stars
These are very good ratings. Actually, they are the best out of all of the guitar books I have reviewed.
About the author
The publisher/author of the book is Guitar Head Inc.
They have a number of guitar learning books published on Amazon, 15 in total at the time of this review.
You can get savings on bundles when you buy more books at the same time:
Playing guitar is a fun and rewarding hobby, but as with everything worthwhile in life, it is not handed to you. Getting good at it takes time, effort, and practice.
If you are a beginner guitarist, you will need something to help make your practice sessions efficient and effective. The "Guitar Exercises for Beginners: 10x Your Guitar Skills in 10 Minutes a Day" book is a great choice for this.
It is made for beginners, it's easy to understand, and the exercises are structured well. If you do the exercises every day, I can guarantee that you will get better with each day of practice.