Guitarist playing guitar

How to improve as an Intermediate guitarist

After playing for a year or two, most guitarists will progress past open chords and simple songs and begin to look for harder things to learn. These are the techniques that you should be practicing after a few years of playing guitar as an intermediate guitarist.


Bar Chords
As an intermediate guitarist, you should have mastered open chords and are moving on to learning bar chords. Being able to play all 12 chords minor and major using both the E and A shapes is the level that you are aiming for. This is a good foundation before you start learning min7, maj7, and other chords variations as you improve. Along with bar chords, you should learn all the notes on the low E and A strings to be able to identify where each chord, for example knowing the 9th fret on the E string is a C#.



Minor and Major scales
You should learn both the minor and major scales and the blues scale if possible. These are very important scales and will lead you to solo and improvising as well as being good practice techniques. Practicing scales in all keys is important to learn and be able to use them while improvising over other songs.
To learn the basics of Minor and Major scales: Click here


Ear training
Combining this with your scales, you should be learning to identify the key of a song using your scales. Once you are able to play bar chords you should start practicing identifying chords out of songs by ear instead of reading chords or tabs.

I offer guitar lessons in and around Cambridge and Te Awamutu, to book one free lesson.


If you couldn’t do everything in this article then perhaps an easier checklist of things to learn is here.