What to practice: Rockin’ Robin, Surf Rock

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Focus on alternate picking (down, up, down, up, etc…) and making smooth transitions between the string changes – this may require slowing things down a bit at first. Chunking the song up by each line and looping them is also a good strategy especially for Surf Rock which is very “riff” based.



What to practice: Iron Maiden – The Trooper, Megadeth – Symphony of Destruction, dexterity exercises

Recommended practice time: 15+ minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Keep practicing and play the Trooper. Our goal is to keep that in our pocket as a difficult piece to play that keeps our playing chops up to speed. For the Symphony of Destruction the tricky part will be mapping out your fingerings. Take a moment and do this. If at some point you find you’re using your index to slide up and down/all over the place, there’s likely another fingering available to mitigate this that in the long run will be more effective!

Bonus videos: Marty Friedman on Japanese Guitar Show with Paul Gilbert      +    Marty Friedman speaking with child prodigy Li-Sa-X


What to practice:  For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Call out the notes before playing, and write them above in an illustration program! Then count as you go. Also, remember to try your best to emulate a human voice singing. This melody is meant to be sung, and to get the most out of it we should try to be as “vocal” as we can while playing. This means smooth connected playing like a breath.



What to practice: Worried Man Blues

Recommended practice time: 10 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Because we are just getting into this new string, be sure to review the notes and their proper frets for the D string – check out the beginning of the chapter. Otherwise review the notes written about pickup bars (starting on beat 4 for this song) and dotted notes!


What to practice: Led Zeppelin – Black Dog, Iron Maiden – The Trooper, and dexterity exercises.

Recommended practice time: 15-20 minutes daily

Keys to effective practice: Continue playing and jamming on Black Dog and inching it nearer and nearer to the real tempo. Doing this will be a means of practicing musicality and guitar that’s both more fun and effective than straight up scales (although these are also useful). For the Trooper be sure to be using position shifts for the intro and pulling off on the correct notes (take a close look at the articulations). Similarly, simplify the hammer-on, pull-off bit of the B section to just 4 notes for now while focusing on getting the overall riff set in time – we will embellish the prior part afterward!

Bonus: A fantastic playalong video with tab!