What to practice: Chords for Let it be/Hotel California, first chapter of Guitar Method (Hal Leonard)

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes per day

Keys to effective practice: While playing chords remember to look for moments where you can move numerous fingers as a set unit vs individually, and how fingers are often paired up in said movement (usually Index/Middle, Index/Ring). For the Guitar Method book take time and keep beat while playing, counting 1, 2, 3, 4 evenly as you go. Remember to review and say the notes out loud before playing to help ingrain them in your mind!



What to practice: Iron Maiden – The Trooper

Recommended practice time: 15 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Start at a comfortable speed and aim to have your rhythm/technique at 90% accuracy, and then push your metronome and the tempo by 3-5bpm and aim to keep that accuracy or build it up to that level. This songs difficulty lies in its tempo and will require a bit of patience to nail it, and the aforementioned is the key! Once you feel you have it at a tempo above where you started loop it a handful of times before pushing it further to really ingrain it. Otherwise pay attention to how and where you position shift, and moments where a finger can take on more than one note (economy of motion) like in the section right after the intro for your index.

Iron Maiden – Trooper play along



What to practice: Up to and including Surf Rock

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Alternate picking! Aim to keep things even between your up/down picking. To do this keep counting as smoothly and evenly as you have been, not letting your picking hand dictate the speed but your voice. It may be difficult at first to switch between strings while alternate picking, so instead of practicing the entire line for instance, try just looping the first 2 bars of the first line practicing going between the B and G string. Similarly, you could practice the first two bars of the second line going between the E and B string. Iron out those harder tricky bits and you’ll be set!



What to practice: Up to and including Aura Lee

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: This song jumps around a lot between strings and notes, moreso than previous material. While playing Aura Lee it will be important to use the correct fingerings (index for 1st fret, middle for 2nd, ring for 3rd fret), otherwise we will end up hitting dead ends where we have to hit a note and the finger we ought to be using will be tied up somewhere else. Keep track of your fingerings though and you’ll be good!



What to practice: Led Zeppelin – Black Dog

Recommended practice time: 15 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Practice alongside the recording or playalong video on youtube at a comfortable tempo and work your way up! This song will end up being the quickest and likely hardest one we’ve learned so far, but to get it to full speed it will take some patience and dedication to approaching it bit-by-bit, day by day. Once you’ve found a comfortable tempo where you can play the song with about 90% accuracy or so, nudge the tempo/bpm by about 5. Once you attain the same accuracy, loop it a few times for extra measure and if all is well nudge it again. Rinse & repeat! Remember, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

Black Dog play along video