Stop Practising The Guitar!!!

Did you know you should actually stop practising if you want to improve your guitar playing? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Let me explain…

Think of all the times you’ve wasted playing the same thing over and over, and not getting anywhere.

Think of all the times you got so frustrated or disheartened because you felt like you were playing worse by the end of the practice than you were at the start.

And don’t forget the (probably thousands of) times when you didn’t practise at all because the thought of struggling through the same song again, mindlessly running through the same scales for the millionth time, was just too much to bear.

Did you make progress in all those times? No.

Sure, you might have seen some progress over time, but I’m willing to bet that was in spite of your practising, not because of it.

Practising – that is, playing through ‘exercises’ or repeating the same song a hundred times to ‘get it right’ - is useless bullshit, to be perfectly honest with you.

It’s a lie we’ve all imbibed from our school days, when our teachers (who probably weren’t that good at it themselves) would tell us to ‘just keep practising’ or ‘practice makes perfect’.

Well I’m here to tell you, they were wrong.

They weren’t lying to you exactly, because they probably believed it themselves: but they were still dead wrong.

Not just because practising and repeating over and over is mindless and mind-numbing. Not just because it becomes a huge barrier to practising. Remember all those times you felt like ‘being a guitarist’ was something ‘out there’, in the future?

Remember when you had these dreams of being a guitarist, just picking up the guitar and playing amazing solos or running through songs like they were nothing, but somehow that dream always seemed just a little out of reach?

You probably thought ‘I need to keep practising’, or ‘If I just learn this one thing I’ll be ready’.

But you weren’t.

Just like you weren’t ready when a friend (or maybe a potential boyfriend/girlfriend) found out you were a guitarist and asked you to ‘play something’, and you didn’t feel any confidence in actually sounding good, because there’s no spontaneity in your playing, no real connection, so everything is from memory, not from the heart.

Maybe you fumbled through something, or mumbled your way through an excuse (I play left-handed guitar, so that was always a life-saving excuse for me!). whatever the case, you knew you’d missed an opportunity.

Practising didn’t help you then, did it?

And practising hasn’t helped you with that feeling of not being ‘good enough’ and not knowing why or how to fix it. You hate getting things wrong, and mindless repetition just makes that worse; the mistakes pile up, your frustration grows, until you’re completely fed up. Or maybe you feel you have to ‘struggle through’.

Is that what guitar playing is about? Struggling? Being disheartened? Feeling like you have a whole bunch of ideas in your head, but when you pick up the guitar something seems to be blocking those ideas, stopping them from flowing out onto the guitar?

Is that why you wanted to learn guitar in the first place? Of course not.

So what’s the solution?

Every time you pick up the guitar, play it instead of practise it.

That means not worrying about progress or getting things perfect; it means letting go and letting the music flow.

Playing the guitar should be a personal, musical, creative experience every time.

You should be expressing yourself – who you are, what you’re thinking and feeling – every time you pick up the guitar.

The guitar should be your avenue to connecting with other people through that universal language – music.


How do you do all this?

Glad you asked:

By focussing on the principles and foundations, not the techniques and surface-level stuff.

Specifically, by focussing first and foremost on rhythm. To be clear, by ‘rhythm’ I DON’T mean ‘strumming patterns’ or ‘bars’ or ‘beats’, or any of that stuff. So many guitar students learn strumming patterns and they end up getting stuck in them, because they never work on their rhythmic IQ.

If you never develop your rhythmic IQ, you’ll always sound like a guitar student, not a guitarist.

The second thing to focus on is chords & harmony. Again, this is not your usual ‘learn some chords’ approach. It’s about an integrated learning style that builds on the rhythmic IQ you’ve already developed to combine it with fluid movement of your chords.

It’s about being creative with the chords you play (and the way you play them).

It’s about knowing, understanding, and hearing the connection between all the chords of a song, and being able to move in and out of that connection, weaving your own personal signature into the song each and every time you play.

After this you need to look at melody. Just like every other step of the journey, this isn’t about learning a few tips and tricks, or learning some skill disconnected from everything else.

Instead, it’s about integrating melody with the harmony and rhythm you’ve already covered, so that

  • You can hear the movement of a melody and how it connects to every other part of the song
  • You can weave your own melodies in and out of the song
  • You can work out melodies by ear
  • You can improvise a solid, connected, melody in an instant

The good news is, if you focus on them for just 6 weeks, you’ll be able to play with more confidence, more comfort, more independence, and more music than ever before.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have anything new to learn, of course, and it won’t mean you’ll have completely mastered them either.

But by exposing yourself to the language of music, opening yourself up to it, you’ll find it starts to sink in super quickly, and start flowing through you – it’s an amazing experience!

That’s why I created the 6-week Creative Guitar Bootcamp, to give you the tools to stop practising the guitar, and start playing it.

With these tools you’ll become a better guitarist no matter what your current skill level, and you’ll have a solid foundation and ‘big picture’’ ability that will help you with any style of music or guitar playing.

Now, you might be feeling a little sceptical about this.

Maybe you’ve tried other courses or books before, and they haven’t worked for you: I get it, believe me.

I’ve been there, and I spent literally years trying everything I could find, until I realised that my mistake wasn’t my material, but my approach.

I was always working on the guitar, never with the guitar.

Let me give you an example. If you ever went to high school, you probably studied a book in your English class – maybe Animal Farm, by George Orwell, maybe another book. Think back to that experience, and take a moment to answer these questions:

  • Did you end up hating the book?
  • Have you never picked it up since?
  • Do you now find reading boring or painful?

If you answered ‘yes’ to ANY of those questions, then you’ve just found out for yourself the first problem with practising (and the way most people learn in general): they over-analyse.

This effectively kills all interest, and creates a barrier between you and the thing you’re trying to learn.

And yet, we all keep trying. In music we learn scales, arpeggios, theory, we practise finger drills, and so on. And then we wonder why we’ve never reached our goal of actually playing the guitar, or why we’re losing interest.

It’s just overkill.

It’s a lot like learning a language, actually. At the start you don’t know a single word of the new language – let’s say you’re learning Spanish. So when you go to your first class, by the end of it you can speak and understand a few simple sentences, and it feels AWESOME.

All of a sudden, you know some Spanish! You can actually speak it! You can understand it!

So you race back for your second class, but soon you’re learning about conjugations, vocabulary, grammar, etc. – and all of a sudden you’re not learning the language anymore, you’re learning about the language, and you’re not getting any better at speaking it.

This gives us the second mistake people make when learning (including learning guitar):

They don’t immerse themselves in the content.

In the case of language, if you read and speak and listen to Spanish a lot, you’re going to learn it, even if you don’t know a word of grammar (how do you think Spanish babies learn?).

In the case of guitar, if you jump in and start creating music every time you pick up the guitar, you’ll start improving very quickly, because you’re giving your brain and your body the exposure it needs to adapt and connect with the guitar.

That’s why in the Creative Guitar Bootcamp I’m focussing on playing and making music from day one.

Let me take you through what you get inside this course…

  • Strumming patterns are the best way to learn, right? Wrong…

  • A simple way to improve your rhythm & chords in just 5 minutes!

  • The 6 chords all great musicians have been using for centuries and how to use them yourself...

  • How to improve your chord playing without touching the guitar…

  • A simple ‘gamified’ way to end the frustration of constantly struggling to find the right notes on the guitar

  • How to build multiple layers into your rhythm & accompaniment playing by mastering the art of scratch styles

  • Why you practising songs is the WORST way to become a better guitarist…

  • How to use 4-note chords to play anywhere on the guitar, without any barre chords

  • Why improvising from day one is the real secret to progress as a guitarist…

  • How play guitar with someone else… Even If They’ve Never Touched A Guitar Before In Their Life!

I know that sounds incredible, but it’s true. Playing guitar really isn’t that difficult… in fact, Module 2 will show you…

How to Improvise Entire Songs or Write Your Own Easily

This is no joke.

In fact, if you want to be able to write songs and say goodbye to running out of ideas… then jump immediately into Module 2 and learn the solution!

Here are even more great secrets inside the Bootcamp…

  • The strange way of thinking about chords that will change how you hear music forever…

  • The relaxing ‘time-waster’ that secretly builds your ear and your improvising skills at the same time!

  • The one thing the great Classical composer Schuman would focus on to make all his (and his students’) music the best it could be

  • An easy way to use scales WITHOUT needing to memorise them or run through exercises

  • How to play melodies by ear, and never do another exercise again!

  • Learning solos from guitar tab is the worst way to master improvisation (I show you a better way in Module 8)

  • Playing what you sing – the sure-fire way to improve your musical ear and your soloing chops at the same time

  • See, hear, and feel the connection between chords and melody… And How To Let That Connection Shine Through Your Improvising

  • How to work out melodies by ear on the spot

Speaking of working out melodies by ear… Module 8 shows you a number of melodic ‘games that show you…

How to recreate any melody on the guitar almost instantly

For most guitarists, this has been their dream for as long as they can remember… so if that’s you, jump in and start discovering!

Let me show you what else you get access to when you sign up for the Creative Guitar Bootcamp:

  • The same technique used by Bluegrass guitarists to create one of the most driving accompaniment and solo guitar styles in the world!

  • Why only playing with a pick stunts your guitar playing

  • The #1 worst thing you can do as a fingerpicker is play the same old patterns over and over (I show you a better way in Module 10)

  • Double and triple time ‘pluck styles’ that every guitarist should learn… and then forget! (And why…)

  • A clear path to ragtime fingerpicking that avoids all the frustration and despair

  • How to fingerpick an accompaniment to any song on the fly (and sound good while you’re doing it)

Playing songs on the fly is really the ultimate goal for a creative guitarist because it gives them freedom and independence. That’s why in Module 10 I show you…

How to make your own fingerpicking arrangements of a song in two different styles


In fact, if you want to play impressive and awesome-sounding guitar but you don’t want to sing… then the advanced fingerpicking ,module is for you!

Why ragtime is the best foundation for classical guitar… Easy exercises to read sheet music… 12 classical pieces to impress your friends with… 4 variants of the blues shuffle… Introduction to solo blues… basics of slide guitar… advanced chords to take your playing to the next level… And more!

I’ve distilled twenty years of guitar playing and ten years of teaching into this course.

If you’re motivated, you can even finish it in as little as 6 weeks (but you don’t have to – it’s up to you)!!

Anyway, here’s the bottom line.

You can get lifetime access to the Creative Guitar Bootcamp for just $197 USD.

You can also get it for 3 payments of $67.

This is an absolute steal compared to what you’d pay in years wasted trying to figure it out on your own.

It’s also a drop in the bucket compared to how much it’d cost you to learn it from me one-on-one: if you came to me to teach you this stuff directly it’d set you back a good $1,200.

Not kidding.

Plus, in person you couldn’t get a refund if you didn’t like the lessons, so all that money would be wasted, right?

But when you purchase the Creative Guitar Bootcamp, you get a full 30 days to try the course out, and if you don’t like it for any reason, just shoot me an email before 30 days have passed, and you’ll get your money back, no questions asked!

But look, I know this course isn’t for everyone.

It’s not for the victim-mindset guitarists who are always blaming everyone else for their failure to make progress.. the people who call everything that disagrees with them ‘scams’… the guitarists looking for a hack or trick or ‘secret technique’ that will suddenly make them guitar gods without playing a single note…

Yeah, if any of that’s you, this course isn’t for you.

I mean it, don’t buy from me, I’m not interested.

There are other courses out there for you, but it’s NOT MY COURSE.

But if you’re a guitarist who’s willing to put in the time actually playing the guitar,; if you’re willing to put up with some difficulty, some frustration… If you’re willing to really give things a try and work things out for yourself when you need to, then this is the course for you.

So which are you? The tire-kicking guitarist or a real guitarist?

Once you’ve answered that question correctly, go sign up below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Creative Guitar Bootcamp?

A comprehensive video course for guitarists of all ages, levels, and experiences, containing over 50 videos organised in 10 modules that cover everything from the ground up. In addition there are loads of downloadable and printable pdfs with songs, reference material, ;lessons, and practice material.

Why do I need the Creative Guitar Bootcamp?

The Creative Guitar Bootcamp gives you the perfect foundation in the essentials of guitar playing – Rhythm, Harmony, Melody, Improvisation, and Fingerpicking. Unless you’re already an incredible guitarist, chances are you’re weak in at least one of these areas, and the Bootcamp is the perfect solution to improve all areas of your playing, both where you’re strong, and where you’re not.

How does the Creative Guitar Bootcamp work?

The Creative Guitar Bootcamp has a very clear goal: to make you a more creative and independent guitarist. Most people just want to ‘teach you guitar’, which is just too vague, so their stuff is too theory heavy, or moves too fast, and lacks clear direction. Or they seem to think you have 3 hours to practise in every day… yeah right. The Creative Guitar Bootcamp is different, and even gives you playing guides to help you incorporate this into your busy schedule.

The Creative Guitar Bootcamp works by connecting with the natural musical ability that we all have, but most of us have lost connection with. Right from the first video, you’ll learn to create and improvise, while building your ear for rhythm, harmony, and melody. Along the way you’ll improve your technique and strengthen the ‘hand eye ear’ connection!

What if it doesn’t work for me?

I’m confident that if you follow the learning plan I give you inside the Bootcamp, you’ll make progress. But the good news is, if you’re not sure about anything, or if you have any questions at all, you’ll get access to me via email and we’ll talk it through! I never leave my students in the lurch 

This is BS - how can I learn guitar without scales and theory?

Scales have worked for some guitarists, but it’s important to remember that music is creative, so music should be learnt creatively. Scales were never meant as a foundation of music, they’re a description of how the music worked that people were already creating naturally and spontaneously.

The fact is, a lot of ‘the masters’ of blues and folk music didn’t know any scales! I’m not against scales, but they’re like grammar for a language; they describe the language, they don’t create it. When you try to teach a language through grammar, or guitar through scales, you put theory first, the cart before the horse, and the student loses the connection with the language or music in the moment.

There’s no way you can teach someone to play something worth listening to from day one, right?

I get this question a lot, but the truth is, everyone is musical. You’ve just been trained over many years to believe the opposite, and to think you need to work at music to be good at it. The Creative Guitar Bootcamp reconnects with your innate musical talent through the use of creative ‘games’ that enables you to make something sound musical even with very simple techniques.

How can the Creative Guitar Bootcamp be so simple?

Great question! The reality is, truth is always simple. But as people we just really like to overcomplicate things all the time. So many people want to find some esoteric cool ‘secret’ and when they see a method as simple as mine they can very easily brush it off as ‘too basic’ or ‘nothing new’ or ‘what I already know’. But the reality is, because it’s so simple, the system forces you to build your own unique sound and unique connection with the guitar. Where you take it is up to you!

What kind of musical style is the Creative Guitar Bootcamp for?

All styles. I know that sounds like a big claim, but the purpose of this course isn’t to teach you any particular style, but to give you everything you need to be a better, more creative, more confident, more independent guitar player, no matter what style you want to play. That’s why I take you through the elements of rhythm, harmony, melody, and fingerpicking, to give you the best possible foundation (even if you’ve been playing for a while)

Is the content available immediately?

Yes! Once you hit the buy button and fill in your credit card info, you’ll receive an email with the login details (don’t forget to check your Promotions tab and junk folder, and give it an hour just in case).

I’m a complete beginner - is this course for me?

Absolutely! The material in this course is extensive and in-depth, there’s plenty here for everyone!

What if I’ve been playing for a while?

Great! You can use the material in this course to deepen your creativity, breadth of ability, understanding, and skill in all areas of guitar playing.

Play Better by Practising Less with the Creative Guitar Bootcamp!

Copyright Alexander Westenberg. All Rights Reserved.


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