10 Unique Guitar Practice Ideas

Unique Guitar Practice Ideas

If you don’t have a guitar handy, but have time to kill and are near a ticking clock, here are 10 unique guitar practice ideas.


All of these timing and rhythm exercises will enable you to develop your sense of time while strengthening your internal metronome.


Again you don’t need a metronome present to work on any of these ideas – although I do recommend having one.


My top suggestion is the Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome, which is cheap, reliable, and offers two functions. Once you have a metronome, you’ll soon won’t know how you lived without one!


OK, maybe not! But having one is highly useful.



How Does It Work?

The basis behind this timing working out:


A clock ticks 60 times a minute, once per second, in fact. This is the same as setting your metronome to 60 BPM.


You can (at best) make a little noise either clapping or clicking your fingers.


So, let’s get down to business!



#1: Simple – Quarter Notes

Time length: 5 minutes


Start by clapping (or clicking your fingers) once per click. Each clap is a quarter note. Try this for 5 minutes. That’s 300 claps! Make sure you get each clap in time with each click. Also, ensure that each clap lasts the same length.



#2: Double – Eighth Notes

Time length: 5 minutes

Now let’s try 8th notes. So that is two claps per tick. Again make each clap count, make it even and just as good as the last! Try 8th notes for 5 minutes.



#3: Division – Sixteenth Notes

Time length: 5 minutes

How are we doing? Good. I hope!  Next up is 16th or 4 claps per tick. At this point, you should be able to feel the timing. Continue clapping 16th for 5 minutes.



#4: Mix #1 – Quarter and Eighth Notes

Time length: 5 minutes

Let’s mix things up a little. How about trying to clap, two bars of ¼ notes followed by two bars of 8th notes, then repeat. You’ll be doubling then halving every two bars! You might need to concentrate a little harder on this as it can be tricky. Again 5 minutes for this one!



#5: Mix #2 –  Eighth and Sixteenth Notes

Time length: 5 minutes


Now try, 2 bars of 8th notes, then 2 bars of 16th notes, keep repeating this for 5 minutes.



#6: Hard Mix – Quarter, Eighth and Sixteenth Notes

Time length: 3 minutes

Getting harder now, let’s have a go at this: 2 bars of 1/4 notes, 2 bars of 1/8th notes, 2 bars of 16th notes, 2 bars of 1/8th notes, keep repeating this pattern until you’ve been doing it for 5 minutes.



#7: Harder Mix – Quarter, Eighth and Sixteenth Notes

Time length: 2 minutes


Instead of two bars, let’s try the above just with single bars. Hard! Give it a go!



#8: Triplets

Time length: 5 minutes


Triplets are just three notes in the space of two. If we try to play 8th note triples over the tick, we will play three notes per tick. Make each clap even, equal, and just as good as the last one. Give it a go for 5 minutes!



#9: Shuffle

Time length: 5 minutes

Got the 8th note triplets happening? Try to not play the second one. You’ll be clapping a blues shuffle. Sound good huh? I do hope so!



#10: Advanced – Try If You Dare!

Time length: 2 minutes

Now for a really advanced exercise. Even I struggled at the start!


The first tick is now beat 2, and the following tick is beat 4. So, you’ll need to find and feel where beats one and three are. Tough? You bet!


Start by counting out loud. Keep going until you start to feel the beat. As you gain more confidence, the number of mistakes will fall.


Next, try the rhythm presented in exercises 1 to 9. It will get harder and harder. However, when you return to 4 ticks, everything will be much easier and your timing will improve.



Use These Unique Guitar Practice Ideas To Improve Your Playing

By trying all of these unique guitar practice ideas, you’ll see your timing improve. This is a great way to practice without a guitar that will benefit you’re playing noticeably.


It’s worth trying this as often as possible, even if you can only complete one or two of the exercises. Just a simple way to use dead time!


I came up with this in bed the other day; I woke up to hear my clock ticking and was struck by how I could use this common device to improve my timing!

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