Can you suggest any beginner-level exercises which are not too boring to listen to for other people, but which gradually build experience in scales and solo playing? Any books and video suggestions are welcome, but in essence I need exercises which are easy to memorize and then practice without looking at a screen or sheet.

I am a hobbyist player. I have learned basic rhythm & arpeggio accompaniment from my brother and from some tabs. I have been playing for my friends and family for 15+ years. I have some basic understanding of theory and enough musical ear to pick up some pop/rock songs, and I even wrote a few songs myself (which I am too shy to share).

Still, I have very poor technique, and even a simplest instrumental intro or solo of the kind that often go between verses is beyond my current ability. I remember the basic chords, but naming a specific note on the fret requires mental calculations. I would like to improve this, to bring more life and variety to the songs I play.

Currently, the only opportunity for me to find any time to practice guitar is when I play occasional "home concerts" for my wife and kids. I usually play some of a few dozen songs I remember, which keeps my hands remembering the strings, but doesn't improve the technique much. I could fit in a few technique exercises, but they have to be:
1) easy to memorize, so I can play them without looking up notes
2) pleasant to listen to (not plain scales or 16x repeat patterns)

Hence my question written way up there in the first passage. Can you recommend any pleasantly sounding and at the same time instructional exercises?

I have an acoustic guitar, so not a big fan of bends currently.

My favorite songs come from bands like Pink Floyd, Nirvana, early Radiohead and the like. I am also interested in blues (Jimi Hendrix, The Doors) but it's not the main point.

Thank you very much for any suggestions in books, videos or exercises!
for me running scales is warm up and actual songs are either practice or performance. no offense, but imo practice is boring to listen too. i'd much rather call the cops on some pimply faced youths discovering their first power chords over and over and over again vs. somebody playing music.

you need woodshedding time by yourself. take a guitar to work and play on breaks then come home and do some sing along stuff with your pack. you'll get even more practice and they're not bored. the family that plays together stays together -and everybody wins!
Last edited by ad_works at Oct 2, 2015,
I'm not sure how many of these would necessarily be "pleasant" to listen to, but I'd imagine there would be a few that could pass as melodic.


At the same time, I'd echo what AD_Works said, that it's not really easy or feasible to have both exercises and performance pieces coincide. They're just two entirely different things. It's like trying to find a drill in soccer that'll work perfectly during the game as well - it just doesn't always come out that way.

That said, you can definitely have melodic exercises that aren't completely annoying. Hopefully you'll find a few in the post I linked.

All the best.
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Thanks for the exercise suggestions, those definitely look useful. Maybe some will sound nice, as well - I'll have to try.

I agree that all in all, I will have to find some time for more concentrated practice, learning new pieces and such.