Accelerators for Your Guitar Playing

I am always looking for simple ways to speed up the process of learning & here is the first in a series of articles on various ways you can hasten your development as an artist, musician & guitarist (you realize you are all three, right?).


There’s a lot to be said for the simple action of writing things out on paper to increase one’s cognitive association with said thing.

Simply put, if you write out a chord shape or scale pattern on a neck or chord diagram over & over, you will eventually be able to visualize these shapes when you look the fretboard.

Here’s an example…

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When you engage your brain in this kind of activity, you are creating the experience of having to deal with all the parameters of note location:

• string number

• fret number

• finger number

So whatever scale patterns or chord shapes you are currently in the process of internalizing, just write them out by hand using dots to map out the notes of the scale or chord & include the finger number next to the dot. And then do it again. And maybe again. After a while, you’ll find you won’t have to refer to whatever original sheet you stared with.
Just like when you are actually playing vocabulary on the guitar, focus on being accurate, not on how fast you can do it or if you can do it by memory.

If you are in the beginning stages of learning new patterns & chords, this is a very effective way of accelerating the process of getting them into your brain & fingers. It’s the kind of thing you can do when you don’t have your guitar around (but don’t do this while driving, for pete’s sake!).
Of course, it’s not a substitute for actually running patterns repeatedly on your instrument.
But you knew that, right?

Playing music is a combination of conscious & subconscious activity and this kind of work will strengthen the former, so that the latter has a solid foundation from which to act.

Here are some neck diagram sheets & some chord diagrams sheet to get you started…

fretboard diagram

chord diagrams-improved



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