"The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar"

'The Principles" was published in 1998. Immediately, players around the world began to write to Guitar Principles to tell us what they thought of the groundbreaking guitar instruction they had discovered. Here you will read stories of amazing transformation players around the world have experienced by using "The Principles"...

NOTE: Although you have never seen reviews like this for any guitar book, we guarantee that every review is 100% authentic. 

cynthia testimonial

You are a guitar genius!

I wanted to thank you for your work in your classic book "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar. I purchased this book and honestly it has revolutionized my musicianship just applying the relaxation techniques.

 You are so right that we get to playing for so long with the tension we think this is part of it. You have figured this out and I am so grateful for your sharing it. It is absolutely invaluable!!! You are a guitar genius! These gems you are passing along are worth their weight in gold! I thank the Lord for such an abundant talent and understanding!! You are truly gifted!!


amazon review

professional review for guitar principles.

The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar
Reviewed by Shawn Bradshaw (2006, Author and writer for Cyberfret.com)

"The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" by Jamie Andreas is an invaluable resource for any student of the guitar. After reading a sentence like that, I know all of you are proceeding in a calm and orderly fashion to GuitarPrinciples.com to order your copy of this revolutionary book. For those who were not convinced by my opening statement, read on. 

There are literally hundreds of books currently available on how to play guitar. And as a student of the guitar and a professional guitar teacher for the last 20+ years, I have certainly read a good number of them. Some are valuable additions to your home library, and others only have value as kindling for your next campfire. "The Principles" is a book unlike any other I have read, and holds a unique status in my library.

"The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" is not a method book in the traditional sense. You will not find scales, chord charts or licks of any kind. But you will find a book filled with insight and exercises to help you overcome common pitfall of hand position and muscle tension. Issues that lead to incorrect practice, and are detrimental to your progress as a guitarist.

The material in the book is broken down into 3 categories: Understandings, Tools, and Exercises. Understanding helps identify a problem area, often one you might not have thought about. Tools are the solutions to these problems, and the Exercises give practical ways to incorporate the Tools into your practice routine.

Jamie Andreas is a gifted writer and music educator, and has the unique ability to analyze the problems that plague guitar players and break them down into their core components. This book will help you prepare your body and mind for the journey of learning to play the guitar, and is required reading for any serious student of the instrument.

professional review for guitar principles.

The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar
Reviewed by Guitar Techniques magazine
(Spring 2006 Issue)

EVERY NOW AND again we at GT come across a tutorial product that is a bit different to others in the shops. This was the case with Jamie Andreas’s book, The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar as it doesn’t contain a single exercise in tab but is full of useful advice and tips. 

Clocking in at over 100 pages, there are discussions on how to sit, pick, pluck, fret, and achieve the most out of a practice session. There is a slight bias towards the classical guitar but Jamie writes in a way that encompasses all guitarists regardless of genres. In particular, if you’ve an interest in the processes behind practicing there’s a wealth of information to mull over such as your attention to detail, developing the right type of muscle memory and the right way to build speed.

If all this doesn’t convince you, the book also received the Silver Award for best instructional material at Acoustic Guitar magazine in 2004/2005.

One Book Stands Alone...........

"I wanted you to know that "The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar" has revolutionized my practice habits. The majority of concepts that you have covered were not covered either by previous guitar teachers or when I was studying music at the University of Utah in the early to mid eighties.

In 1988, I dropped music feeling I had hit a wall. So, it is great to be playing again and with a road map to progress further.

I hope other guitar teachers and universities will adopt your methodology because it is something that was certainly missing 15-20 years ago, and I suspect is missing today for the majority of guitarists."

All the best.
Bill W.

Get The "Principles" Today!  Revolutionize YOUR practice....and your playing will amaze you!

 “All I can say is buy the Principles book. It is the single most useful book I have ever bought.” Jules

Hi Jamie, Firstly can I just say a HUGE thank you. I bought your book and it has helped me on so many levels. I have ‘owned’ a guitar for about 5 or 6 years but never really learned to play. I could play a few chords and a few riffs but no complete songs really.

 I gave up and my guitar has just collected dust for about 3 years. Anyway, after reading your articles on your site...it was like you were talking to me! The situations you explain all seemed to relate to problems I had experienced. I just had to buy the book!

Since reading the book several times and in many different places (I take it nearly everywhere with me, especially holidays). I have been given a second chance....in fact you refueled my desire! So much so that i just had to go out and buy myself a new Acoustic guitar! THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU :-) Yours truly Wes, U.K

Acoustic Guitar Award For Guitar Principles

professional review for guitar principles.
roberto capocchi guitarist

 When I first came across The Principles, I knew my life would be easier. I recommend the book as soon as people inquire about instruction, so they show up for their first lesson better off than most students are after a few years of lessons.

I often recommend it at workshops too, and I have heard back from people months later about how the book has helped them more than lessons had in the past. 

The combination of this material and good instruction is sure to elevate the level of guitar playing everywhere. Once the students are familiar with the Principles, when they have trouble with a passage, I can easily suggest what kind of practice to use, what tool to focus on, and where to look for tension.

 Because we have a common vocabulary, that process is a lot easier. Then I practice WITH them, making sure to review what to do and to do it right. By practicing with the students during the lesson, using the proper tools, they see good results every session, and stick with it

Roberto Capocchi, faculty, University of New Mexico

When you are ready to really pick up the guitar, you realize all too well that it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to take dedication and honest work. The teachings of Jamie Andreas have not only shown me both what to do and how to do it; more importantly, they have confirmed that I will never be the guitar player I “wish” I could be. Wishing is not enough. By following The Principles, I will be the guitar player I really WANT to be, from this day forward, for the rest of my life. Mike, Rotterdam

"This CAN’T work! Nobody else has written anything like this!” “I just finished reading “The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar” all the way through. What it contains is such a departure from everything I’ve seen my initial reaction was “this CAN”T work,” nobody else has written anything like this.

 I now understand all the material and totally agree with it. I’ve been playing for about 5 years from mags and videos, all teaching the “play these scales and these licks” techniques. I’ve learned alot but also had alot of frustration when I couldn’t play the licks/riffs up to speed without making the SAME mistakes over and over. Now i know why!”

Save Yourself! Get “The Principles” Today!


“I take Jamie’s book with me to music stores, guitar stores, etc. and show people and talk to them about it. I also take it to my music classes in college to show people.” Robert

most don't see benefit till too late

Wise words from an advanced player

Dear Jamie, 

It’s now been a little over a month that I’ve received “The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar” and I am starting my third character-by-character re-reading of your incredible book.

I started trying to learn guitar at age 13 and I am now 48. Before getting, reading, and practicing the invaluable understandings and tools in “The Principles”, I was always going nowhere fast, always hitting a wall and giving up more times than I care to admit.

I saw numerous references to your seminal book all over the Internet and they seemed too good to be true, so much so that I waited (read: wasted) almost a year before buying it. When I practiced, full of tension and lacking fundamental technical knowledge, I did so until I mastered failure!

Putting your enlightened teaching to work finally broke the vicious circle and, for this, I thank you deeply. I can now see myself making real, durable progress. Each practice session is like a foundation on which to build the next one. Very gratefully yours, Guy Isabel (Montreal

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the book, I’ve had it since june. I have played the guitar for about 15 years. All that’s in the book is what I have been looking for all these years. I have played for teachers and other friends that play the guitar. No one has ever told me anything about how to practice even if I asked them. The answer has of course many times been “-play slow at first”. But not like the way you describe in your book. After reading the book I have really really improved my playing and the way I practice. It´s like a new world to step into. ...Adam

30 Years Playing and Feeling Like I Can’t Improve!


 I’ve been playing 30 years, and play rather well in many people’s eyes, and can work on a fairly high level. For example, when the symphony here needs guitar, they call me (which has led to such things as playing with Pavorotti and the entire orchestra - an awesome experience).

However, though it seems impressive to some folks, playing a job like that really only requires owning a tux, showing up on time, remaining confident while surrounded by seriously good musicians. Anyway, to get back to why I wanted to thank you: despite a certain measure of musical “success” (and hey, certain amount of musical failure too! my particular weakness has long been a recurrent feeling of hopelessness about improving.

It began many years ago, when one day I suddenly realized that not only did I have no idea how to get any better, my efforts were making things worse! So I continued to play for money, but for some years I didn’t try to improve at all, because I didn’t want to go backwards (paradoxical, isn’t it?). You could say I gave up.

And as you just wrote, when you do that, you “live with some degree of torment about it” and I can attest that that is true. Your book came along a few years ago at a time when I was really searching again for answers to this dilemma, and immediately I knew it was right. I already knew locked-in tension was a problem for me (I started playing with symphony-level musicians at 15 or 16, way before I was really ready, but at that time a guitar player who could read at all could get the gig).

The book linked up with other things I’d known for years, like Roberts Robert’s dictum to “practice so slow it is impossible to make a mistake.” I knew that was right in 1975, but never understood just how slow “slow” really meant.  

Best regards, Bill M

amazon review

”The Principles has changed the way I look at the guitar and will shave off years of wasted practice time. The techniques teach you to relax, and guide your hands and fingers into the correct playing positions… ‘The Principles’ are eliminating my bad habits and I am now on the road to becoming an accomplished guitar player!”…Tom

I got the Principles DVD and the Principles book almost a year ago. The number of revelations opened to me by your work is indescribable. I truly appreciate everything you have done for MY instrument in your quest for answers. I feel in my heart that this is not just a talent thing, not something unattainable by mere mortals such as myself. Thank you. Bob L.

“I have owned a guitar for about 5 or 6 years but never really learned to play. I could play a few chords and a few riffs but no complete songs really. I gave up and my guitar has just collected dust for about 3 years. Since reading the Principles several times and in many different places (I take it nearly everywhere with me, especially holidays). I have been given a second chance....in fact you re-fueled my desire! So much so that I just had to go out and buy myself a new Acoustic guitar! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU”Wes, UK

“I have owned a guitar for about 5 or 6 years but never really learned to play. I could play a few chords and a few riffs but no complete songs really. I gave up and my guitar has just collected dust for about 3 years. Since reading the Principles several times and in many different places (I take it nearly everywhere with me, especially holidays). I have been given a second chance....in fact you re-fueled my desire! So much so that I just had to go out and buy myself a new Acoustic guitar! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU”Wes, UK

“I feel my fingers differently now than when I used to 4-5 months ago. It's amazing, my inactive fingers stand relaxed and ready like an army, ready to execute my next order, it's simply breath taking, being able to play with such relaxation and confidence. I would like to thank your parents for having put you on amongst us. Thank you ever so much and please keep enlightening us ever so much more!A.A., Helsinki

Somehow I came across your homepage on the net, and decided to buy the DVD. It is probably the best investment I have made, since buying my guitars. Those 'simple' movements have already improved my playing, and best of all, given me a tool to finally play without more tension and pain. Thank you for that!”Annica,Sweden

Muscles that I never knew existed have become alive and aware, and with some practice I’m able to play passages flawlessly. My own guitar teacher NEVER made me aware of my fingers, or how to control them”…Tom, Coventry Court

“I continue to improve and develop on the guitar but most of all I have FUN as I WORK toward getting better. Thanks again for all of your insight and commitment to helping so many of us see the light in a world blanketed by so much darkness these days! YOU ROCK!”Dave Z., Philadelphia, Pa

Many books I've used in the past had small sections about technique and they talked about staying loose and practicing slowly, but ‘The Principles’ answers fully the questions that I've asked for years and only gotten partial answers about. I'm making far better progress now by what I call making a maximum effort to make no effort at all"…Lowell

“Most players I know have, like myself, played for many years and gotten very good but are amazed at the seemingly effortless, slinky hand motions of the top technical players and wondered how they do it. "The Principles" first broke down my mind's resistance to how I looked at mechanics, and now it is helping to break through all the unnoticed (or rather, ignored) tensions that have blocked my fingers from playing at the next level…I'll always keep your book open, no matter what else I'm practicing”. ..Larry

”I keep The Principles out while I'm practicing from other books… The "bang for the buck" is amazing because it seems to be bleeding into all areas of my playing.”…Dave

“Most important is how your approach has helped me mentally.  I am over the anxiety about being too old to learn this instrument.  I'm having a great time, and am looking forward to 25 years plus of guitar playing.”... Sam

I received The Principles 4 days agoalready I know what has to be done in order to improve on my practice techniques. I will recommend this book to anyone who will listen”…Steve

“No doubt, your book is a revolution in guitar learning techniques and I'm just thrilled these days with the thought that I'm one of those fortunate guys who started learning guitar with your revolutionary method.”…Shailendra, India

I have to say that The Principles has completely changed my view on learning guitar and music. It has given me more enthusiasm about the guitar and has removed a lot of the frustration I had in the past.”…Fabrice,France

I can't begin to tell you how much The Principles has helped me already. I've been playing for about 10 years and most of the time felt like I was banging my head off a brick wall. ‘The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar’ will increase/expedite my development as a guitarist ten-fold. The book is fantastic!!!”...Jerry

professional review for guitar principles.

Jamie writes in a way that encompasses all guitarists regardless of genres...there's a wealth of information such as your attention to detail, developing the right type of muscle memory, and the right way to build speed...it is full of useful advice and tips." .....Guitar Techniques Magazine

“I like this book because it produces measurably better results for my students. Using the techniques and exercises in this book, particularly the Foundation Exercises and the Basic Practice Approach, I've been consistently getting results no matter how "hard to teach" or "untalented" a student may appear to be”…R.A. Williams, Guitar Instructor, Albuquerque, NM

professional review for guitar principles.

"...Her aim is to teach the basics really, really well. Anyone who wants to be a true artist needs to start with sound fundamentals, and Jamie's book would be a fine place to start, the closest to developing the kinds of habits instilled in Suzuki training." …Dr. Gary Marcus, Author "Guitar Zero"

“The Holy Grail. ‘The Principles’ is fantastic guide which will make every guitarist a better player, almost guaranteed. If you can follow this simple advice, you will advance greatly.”Joseph L. Anderson

“Step by step approach to the things your guitar teachers never told you. Proper posture, hand placement, pick holding, attitude exercises, and it's all there. Highly recommend this book and DVD”.
...Lauriston Marshall

“Of all of the guitar books that I've come across, ‘The Principles’ is hands down the best book I've ever used…Everything in the book makes sense. Jamie has stripped back everything and opened my eyes to what playing the guitar should FEEL like.”…Yam Young

The Principles’ is a great book for those who want to learn how to play guitar from step one. Easy to learn; easy to follow. I would recommend this book to the novice and expert.”…Tom Mondragon

“In my honest opinion, this book is the BEST guitar instruction book ever written. It delves into the fundamentals that lay the foundation for guitar excellence--fundamentals that most guitar instruction books never even mention. The book features techniques that enable a student of
any level to begin to practice right and play right.”
Charles W. Boone, Salem, VA.

I love this book!! I've been using it for over two years and made tons of progress. I went from struggling with the most basic chords to successfully teaching rock guitar and playing the music I love…I highly recommend it to any musician looking to get better!!! Thanks to Jamie Andreas for generously sharing these secrets, that's priceless!”…Guillaume Lepage, Toronto, Canada

I consider the book to be must read for anyone taking up the guitar and I would never recommend any student go to any guitar instructor who has not read this book and incorporated its principles into his or her teaching…I just feel really strongly about this book being the single most valuable book available for anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar, improve their own level of proficiency, or teach anyone else to be a better guitar player.”....Robert, Los Angeles

“The exercises are both mental and physical. I found that they do help my "real world" playing.
I had been playing for 14 years before picking up this book, and majored in music performance. So I can say that although the exercises are basic, they were, even to me, helpful.”…
Garret Smith, San Francisco, CA

“As far as guitar instruction material goes, this is a goldmine. The information in this book is essential to constantly improving your playing”…Marcus Hope, MN.

“This book is fantastic. At first I was skeptical about it thinking it was just another money grabbing thing. But no… every cent is worth was you pay for. Thank you very much Jamie. I wish I bought this book years ago. I have been a guitar player for almost 5 years now and you have helped tremendously. Who ever reads this review needs to buy the book now because it will be the best buy you will ever make for your guitar playing”….Jess Begg

This is by far the best book I bought for learning to play guitar. This book unlocked every thing. Every tiny tension is solved when I use the tools available here…Guillaume Bach, Toronto, CANADA­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

“For me, I know I would have abandoned the guitar without this book. $30 was the difference between exploring the instrument I love and abandoning it out of frustration! Make the purchase, you won’t regret it.”

The Principles is a book that has many ways to say the unsaid - the how to, the feel of the exercise, the approach, the focus, the things to be aware of. It also links these experiences together so that as you get one thing right, you start to realize that your approach can continue to serve you throughout your life as a guitar player. What more could you ask for from a guitar instruction book?”…by Vincent Burke U.K. 

”Since studying Guitar Principles I have made truly noticeable improvements in my dexterity, speed and tone. The exercises have become a staple of my practice routine. I can see how these fundamentals affect all aspects of my playing. I have just ordered the DVD that demonstrates the principles”…

Any time someone tells me they are considering learning guitar, I tell them that they would be foolish not to start with this material. I have never found anything close in any other instruction book or with any of the teachers that I have studied with.”…

Shaune San Cartier

“In 1969 as a teenager I had a guitar and tried to solve the mystery of playing at the level I heard others play, and like I heard myself in my head, but could never see the light at the end of the tunnel. By 1973, though not 100% convinced in my heart, I resigned myself to fact that I must be a “listener” not a “player” and it remained an unrequited fantasy. 

Until June 2009 when I finally allowed myself to acquire a guitar and started strumming, then practicing almost every day. 8 months later I discovered Jamie Andreas and ‘The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar’. That was 9 months ago at the time of writing this and the progress is remarkable.

Even though the Principles stress that you practice extremely slow the exponential growth over just nine months is light years away from those first 8 months. In fact, the way I approach and play the guitar today is what used to mystify me as a teenager. With Jamie’s instructions; clear, precise and specific, not only do I see the light at end tunnel, but more importantly the journey through the tunnel is illuminated every step of the way”…Alexander Thomas, Germany

Hi Jamie. I hope all is well. I’ve been working with your book for about 3 months now. It’s nothing short of life changing - all the other books on guitar that I have read pale in comparison. Andreas Van Wyck, South Africa

“I have had his book for two years and can honestly say that it has revolutionized my playing and my approach to guitar practice. I have made significant progress. Most of the material in the book is commonsense if you think about it long enough, I suppose.

Jamie’s whole approach is to teach you how to fish, and not throw you a fish to eat! For me, reading and rereading the book is a succession of Eureka! moments! I’ve had his book for over two years now and even today I always keep it around my music stand. In fact I never pick up my guitar without thinking of Jamie and The Principles.” John Parsons, England

Guitar Playing Is.... " Not just a "talent" thing, not something unattainable by mere mortals such as myself.

" Hi Jamie, I got the Principles DVD 1 and the Principles book almost a year ago. The number of revelations opened to me by your words and work is indescribable. Practicing in the manner described in your book and DVD greatly helps with technique and the physical barriers to playing well.

I must admit, that since doing no tempo, posing, slow tempo practice, etc. I have on occasion noticed that my awareness of the time, rhythm and place in progression, has "magically" improved and my sense of these things when improvising is greater.

I truly appreciate everything you have done for MY instrument in your quest for answers. I feel in my heart that this is not just a "talent" thing, not something unattainable by mere mortals such as myself. Thank you, Your friend and devotee, Bosko

Thank You! The Principles have given me what I have needed for 9 years but was unable to attain . . . the ability to play guitar. The Principles have also given me the attitude that I can defeat any challenge that I will encounter. 

20 Years of Playing Trouble Fixed by Reading Chapter One of The Principles! 

Jamie, I’ve had your book for a few months now...and thought that I’d drop you a note to let you know what effect your publication has had upon my playing.

 I reached certain plateaus in my playing. Usually, it takes quite a while for me to make my way off the plateau. Frankly, this was the initial reason that I became interested in your book and philosophy. My approach to “learning” has always been that a person can learn just about anything that they really want to. Some things are easier to learn than others...and after reading your book (a few times), I’ve learned that there are things that we can do to impact our ability to learn.

Most people might think that after playing guitar for 20 years, I’d be able to spot “trouble” areas... easily. Not so! After reading Chapter One, I discovered that I was experiencing a significant amount of pain when playing certain passages. In conjunction with this I also learned that “muscle memory” has HUGE impact on the way we play.

 After taking a close look at my playing, I discovered something that I learned 18 years ago was causing me all kinds of grief “today”. Way back when...I was learning a relatively simple song called “Spanish Romance”. The way that my then-teacher taught me to play a specific bar had “trickled” into other aspects of my playing. Rather than taking the time to figure out a “better” way to play that passage, I had simply forced my fingers to do something that they didn’t want to do!

Thanks to your book...I’ve corrected that specific problem!  Chris S

Enginneer Nails Favorite Rock Songs.... Shortly after September 11, 2001 I placed my order for the “Principles”. As I began reading Jamie’s book I could barely get from one page to the next without shutting my eyes, leaning my head back, and saying, “Thank God”.

 It was like someone had been watching me and had calmly prepared a journal explaining what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to start doing it right. You see, I fell in love guitar when I was 23. That was 1987. I could never be without my cheap six-string. I would learn and play the beginning to songs. But I never got past that. By the mid nineties I started studying theory and practiced scales relentlessly.

As an engineer, I had purchased a great Fender. I would wake up at 3am and practice 2-hours before work. I would come home and practice 2 to 4-hours after work. I knew that if I just kept practicing that one day I would wake up and suddenly know how to play like a professional. Boy was I kidding myself!

By just using the “Principles” for 1 to 2 hours a day I went from being UNABLE TO PLAY to KNOWING HOW TO PLAY SEVERAL SONGS FROM BEGINNING TO END. I’ve learned to play Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On”, Ozzy (Randy Rhoads) “Diary of a Mad Man”, Lynyrd Skynyrds “Sweet Home Alabama”.

And I inadvertently learned AC/DC “You Shook Me” just by breaking the monotony of practice by spending 10-minutes a day learning a section of this song. I’ve become a dad since then so you can imagine I’m lucky to get 1-hour of practice a day. But it is just getting better.

I can really feel the mental barriers falling away as my learning is accelerating. Imagine your friends amazement as you go through the familiar notes to “Sweet Home Alabama” or any other song you enjoy, and besides the signature melody, you continue on through every subtle variation and interlude that the musicians themselves play and you actually play the solos! Yeah. It’s alright.... Sincerely, Steve Martin,  Las Cruces, New Mexico

"Wax On, Wax Off" What have the principles done for me ? Well, being able to operate a guitar probably would not have been possible without the Principles. The challenge of holding the guitar and making notes was difficult, painful, and therefore seemed like an insurmountable challenge, and also made me feel like even if I finally could play something decent I’d never really be “good” at it.

“Wax on, wax off ” Remember Mr. Miagi in the Karate Kid ? For me I look at it like that, after a while with the Principles, and doing a little waxing, I started feeling like “Wow ! I know kung fu !” Having now practiced Jamie Andreas’ “The Principles” on and off now for over a year as my time allows, I finally found a guitar teacher in my part of the world.

 My first lesson in-person with a guitar teacher contained several moments like these: “Wow, your technique is very good.” “Wow, you’ve never had a teacher before ?” “Wow, you’re doing economy and alternating picking.” - I’m really more a finger-style kinda guy, but principles are principles.

Even with a pick, er, plectrum. My teacher borrowed “The Principles” and as of the next lesson began to enforce some of the principles that I have been neglecting. “Where’s your metronome ?” < cringe > Today, when I listen to the radio in the back of my mind a little voice is almost always going “I can do that”. Segovia, or “the impossible” is just going to take a little longer, that’s all. Maybe it should be called “Principia Guitarica” - ooh, what a cool name for a band ! ;) Sincerely, -Allen Francom, Austin Texas 

Hello Jamie, This is great! An opportunity to bio my guitar life. I’m a 50 year old owner operator of a truck. I have always wanted too play guitar. When I was much younger, I never had the time. I went as far as to purchase a guitar. 

Then children came, and I eventually lost track of that guitar. After my children all graduated from high school and college. My wife and I began to reexamine our future. Naturally we went down memory lane. We were so tight on money during that time in our lives. I use too sing to her on her birthdays because gifts were not a priority. In our reevaluation I realized that need too seek personal improvement. I always wanted too play guitar!

Now was the perfect time. I didn’t want too make this type of purchase without an avenue to learn how to play. I purchased a used Abilene Guitar. I took lessons and eventually felt he was just going thru the motions with me. I began to get that boring no feed back condition in my life. One day web surfing, I saw your advertisement. I thought I’ll take a look. I did not purchase right away. 

I really should have! I just read testimonies. My wife one day seen me check out your home page and said too me. Darling you are good but, this looks like it focuses on area you have not experienced. Posture, Seat position and so on. Well I can’t thank you enough. From the first page I began to improve. Then I began to  really work on those areas of bad habits you talk about.

Every area of my playing has improved immensely. I purchased the path hot off the press. Again I am overjoyed with every area of it. I,m presently playing in our church band and sometimes as I play I feel like an innovator. My creativity is off the chart.

We are being sought after to play at so many different venues. I really look forward too the newsletters. Checking myself as you continually point out. I just want too say Thank you. From someone on the right PATH. Keep doing what your doing P.S I’ll send you a copy of the CD were working on. Sincerely, Bro. Rich Davis,  Harrisburg, Pa

where it should begin

Dear Jamie, 

Got the book3 days ago. Just what I’ve been looking for! I could never understand why guitar teachers never told me exactly what I was supposed to do. There seems to be an infinite variety of ways to get it wrong and I personally have worked through many of them. 

At last I feel I’ve got a formula and I know if I stick to it I’ll improve. The reason most people seem to get things wrong is because they really don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. They need to be guided precisely until they know they need to move independently. Your book makes this clear.

What made the biggest difference was returning the fingers into position for the next note. Nobody ever told me to do this. The fingers feel strangely in control! I wish I’d had this book from the day I picked up the guitar(4 years ago). I would be prepared to recommend it to anybody in the UK who might be wondering whether it’s worth buying- in fact I’d market it if I knew how! Thanks, Peter Daly

Hi Jamie, 

I have Christopher Parkenings’ method books . I thought you might find this quote interesting. It is from The Christopher Parkening Method, Book 2. “Practice Tip: One element of proper practicing is problem solving. You will encounter some obstacles in taking a piece from sightreading to a polished performance. Here is a three-step process for overcoming these hurdles: (1) Observe (2) Analyze (3) Correct. 

In other words, define the problem, analyze how it can be overcome, and implement the solution by correct repetition. By breaking down pieces in this manner and putting them back together again, you will have learned a secret to effective practicing”. (pg.14) This is all that is said about what I feel is the tip of the iceberg about the principles of correct practice.

Thanks for giving me the rest of the iceberg!  Donna Z. California  

professional review for guitar principles.

 The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar
Reviewed by Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
(Volume 61 Issue, 2006)

In the preface of her book, Jamie Andreas states, “This book is not like most books available in that it does not stress content, but approach. This book will give students what they need in order to benefit from all those books.”

 We found that the true jewel in this book is Jamie’s insight on how we learn and how to make the most of practice time.  Jamie covers the subjects of attention and awareness, muscle memory, the discovery of sensations, body awareness, as well as reducing and eliminating sympathetic tension in our hands and the total body as we play.

A few insightful and interesting quotes from the book include:

“Your fingers can be your best friend or your worst enemy, you decide which one they will be by how much you pay attention to them and how much you get to know them in the act of practicing and playing.”

“I have learned over the years that we deserve every mistake we make.  In fact, we have created and guaranteed them by the way we practice.”

“Extra tension in the muscles, which every advanced player knows is the number one cause of playing difficulty, becomes a blind spot.”

We highly recommend not only guitarists but all musicians read and consider Jamie’s thoughts on the principles of correct practice.

professional review for guitar principles.

The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar
Reviewed by David Grimes of Soundboard Magazine
(Volume XXXI No.4 Issue, 2006)

I had purchased the first edition of this book about a year ago, and I found it to be a fine compendium of useful advice. I have recommended it highly in my Guitar Pedagogy class.

This is not a guitar method per se, but rather a treatise on correct technique and productive practice. It is advertised as “the Perfect Start for Beginners and the Answers to the Problems of Players.”  It would be an excellent supplement to any other method book, and it is enormously useful for teachers.

Much of the information is similar to what many of the best teachers tell their students, and having it all in print in a clear and usable format is most advantageous. Even if a teacher says the same basic things, he or she is likely to find them described here in different words that may be just right for many students. (We’re always trying to find new ways of describing correct free strokes, for instance, with images that a student can remember and visualize at home. 

In addition to classical technique, there are also sections on plectrum usage. The organization of the text is thoughtful, and the presentation clear and concise. All the advice has been tested in practical use. The new edition has been revised and somewhat expanded.

Most guitarists would benefit from reading this book and using it to examine their own techniques and practice habits, even if only to reinforce what they do well. It will be especially useful for teachers of students at all levels.

 One of the best books I've ever come across.
…..I must say, this is one of the best books I've ever read. Not just on guitar, but probably on any subject….

You'll find a lot of guitar books which tell you a lot about chords, scales and lots of stuff. But not a single book ever tries to give you the fine points, fine points that need to be trained with from the very beginning, so that bad practices and habits are not set up in your playing. Self-observation is not something that any tutor tells you about, more than once or twice. This book makes you realize that it is not how many songs you can play, but rather how smoothly and well you can play them.

The principles that the author stresses again and again, are so valuable and essential, that these should be stressed by every author out there writing on guitar…

This book reminds me of the books written by Bruce Lee, one of the greatest known martial artists. Bruce Lee constantly stressed that no matter how high your kicks, or how powerful your punches, the thing you must see is whether your motions are kinesthetic at root….

In short, I'd recommend this book heartily to anyone who has an introspective bent of mind, and genuinely wants to become the best damn player that he can. Beginners especially will be able to benefit most, as they can learn good practices from the beginning itself.

Feb. 2006 “Zorro the Fox”, Guitar Student

Practice without the principles feels clueless, no consistent learning and things like that, once you get the principles and start to follow the wise directions there, I'm sure you will have another perspective about playing the guitar, you will begin to feel it in your fingers, and have lots, lots of fun discovering new ways to learn the guitar.

Good luck!

César V., Guitar Student, Cananea, Sonora, Mexico

Guitar Principles gets you to really perfect your technique. With enough discipline and time you'll be able to play Yngwie before you'd think you would.

That's what it has done for me; I can play much better than people I know who’ve been playing as long as me. Playing well technically will really help you create better music

Also I’ve found it's made me 100x more dedicated to the guitar

You will need A LOT of discipline, it's not just randomly practicing scales, more like doing exercises very slowly and with huge concentration until you perfect them, then moving onto more advanced ones - which will be easy if you really do like the guitar enough.

"Guitaristic", guitar student
Buckinghamshire, Great Britain

The principles are not simply exercises like you will find in guitar magazines or the latest PLAY GUITAR NOW!!!! book at Guitar Center. It is a method of learning to train your body to play the instrument so that you can learn any style of music that you would like. It is a more disciplined approach than the typical haphazard one taken by most people in their music store lessons or self-taught methods.

It's not for everyone, but those who are serious have reaped huge rewards, and those who have used this method from the very beginning of their instruction are light years ahead of those of us who have been hacking for years before we discovered this method.

I personally have been more than satisfied with every item that I have purchased from this website.

Dave G

Hello Jamie!

I thought you'd find this amusing, just had to write. You might want to do a column on the "ripple effect." I've been playing guitar for about 38 years. Just reading the 40 Understandings has caused my guitar playing to soar to the point where I can't wait to devour the rest of the material in the book.

 But…here's the kicker! I've been a secretary for the past 15 years, and not only have I experienced a jump in my guitar playing, but my prowess as a typist has also increased and I couldn't be more delighted! I've noticed a measurable increase in my typing speed and accuracy as a result of the Principles, not to mention that my typing-related aches and pains have almost disappeared! Gee! Thanks Jamie--on several levels!!

The Principles really work!

-Tina Michels Nelson
Secretary, Guitar Student)

professional review for guitar principles.

Reviewed by EER-MUSIC.com (Editor, John W. Patterson 2005)

Being a guitarist myself since 1967, I found myself smiling over and over reading this guide. I kept saying to myself, "Yeah, that's so true." My having fallen into many of the pitfalls Jamie warns against and so deftly explains how to avoid and fix was a real eye-opener. I have to say, without hesitation, that I wished I could've read this book decades ago. Jamie has put together a fine book that EVERY teacher and
student needs to read before teaching or learning guitar any further. It is that good!

Jamie has dissected out a core of truths about thehuman body, psyche, and soul when it comes to learning an instrument. It is a revealing and foundational type of read. It could be easily re-named or sub-titled the ”21st Century Zen of Guitar”.

In this tome you will come to understand the importance of attitude, desire, awareness, attention, intention, and so on in approaching the guitar. Jamie completely illuminates the dark truth about how your own body can cripple your ability to learn how to play correctly.
Come to understand tension, muscle memory, sympathetic tensions, how to avoid endless hours of useless practice, correct posture, left and right hand approach, fingerstyle, picking and the interaction of each with one another. 

Correct breathing, mental focus, abdominal flex and so much more all can effect your playing!

Jamie's book will help you unlearn "poor" practicing you have struggled with and you will begin to understand how the pros seem to do such complex runs yet with apparent ease. And just what is that "Play 2-3-Touch" secret? 

Wanna know why I think this is one essential book for the serious guitarist? Besides my learning a great deal reading it and you're being intrigued now by this review I urge you to just buy yourself a copy.

I picked up the guitar more than 5 months ago and engaged the services of a teacher. After a total of 4 months of weekly paid lessons I found that I had not progressed one iota and knew that there must be another method.

I was practicing diligently daily with no signs of progress. I purchased a copy of "The Principles" in October and just gave it a quick glance. Meanwhile, I continued with my weekly lessons. Again, I was not having any progress so I resolved to return to the book with renewed vigor.

My teacher soon noticed the changes and wanted to know if I had engaged the services of another teacher! I then turned him on to the "The Principles".

My progress has been steady and measurable since I have been using the book religiously. What my teacher was doing was loading me up with all these different chords without any regard to technique. He felt that I was going to "get it" eventually. "The Principles" has taught me that "getting it" is not a hit and miss affair but rather a concerted effort of learning and ensuring that you "get it" and then keeping it with constant practice until all "The Principles" become second nature.

Thanks a lot Jamie! Waiting for other great books from Guitar Principles.


In two short months, since applying "The Principles", my playing has improved by leaps and bounds after trying so hard unsuccessfully for the past 30 plus years.

Practice is no longer a chore; as a matter of fact, it is now difficult for me to stop a practice session. I feel a sense of satisfaction, relaxation and euphoria during and after each practice session. 

To those out there who are contemplating buying "The Principles"- BUY IT. After you receive it READ IT CONTINUALLY, not just once. Practice as you normally would but learn the method taught in "The Principles" and repeatedly access yourself during practice to see if you are sticking to "The Principles". 

If you are not, make the necessary changes so that you are applying "The Principles". Don't be selective, read the book and apply ALL of the techniques taught not just the ones you feel are important - They are all important - trust me. Watching yourself play in a mirror is most important because you don't have to bend forward to see if you are playing properly. Mirrors allow the player to watch the fingers with no disruption to the attention required to learn how to practice. 

The barriers to good playing which once haunted me are gone and I still have only managed to incorporate some of "The Principles", I am gradually adding more with each practice session.

I suggest that those who are achieving limited success are those who are making limited use of "the Principles". I still have a long way to go to achieve my goals with the guitar, but I finally have the tools which are necessary to get there. 

Have you ever watched great guitarists? They looked so relaxed. It all looks so easy. That's because it IS, once you understand the importance of how to practice, it will become easy for you too.

-Gary Watts
Insert Image


I Found My Inspiration Again!

I have struggled for years trying to learn left hand placement, and the mechanics of the various chord changes, but alone this is nearly impossible.

Everything Jamie describes is what I am experiencing, from having a bad teacher to trying to teach myself. I watched videos of teachers saying "Watch me play it, now you do it." They never tell you the real mechanics of how the fingers must work. This is what is missing from everyone else’s lessons. I think I just found my inspiration again!

David Falgout InTouch Engineer Schlumberger Rosharon Campus

I swear by your method ( it was an epiphany to me). Played a few years as a teenager (1970-80, roughly), stopped for other reasons, picked up again in 2010 or so, prompted by interest in guitar from my youngest. Internet! That's a new thing for learning guitar. There are lots of lessons out there, but if you lack the basics, you won't "get it," and no number of hours will get you there if you don't pay attention. Now I tell any budding guitar player to study your method, and to pay attention to their body. Chuck Seyboldt


What have The Principles done for me lately?

The greatest benefit of the Principles for me has not been in my hands…but in my head. By following the Principles I overcame limitations I had when I first tried to learn guitar nearly 30 years ago, and I have made progress I could never have imagined. By heeding Jamie’s feedback I have been able to make my hands and fingers do things I thought I was “naturally not gifted enough to do.” With her prompting I sang in a video I posted for feedback. Singing absolutely terrified me (I wouldn’t even sing Happy Birthday in a large group) for I knew I "couldn't sing." But I pushed past a boundary and learned that my self-assessment was, well, wrong. I learned that I COULD do these things - sing and play better.

As I did things I’d thought I was incapable of I developed more confidence and more belief in myself. As my mindset changed my physical self responded with improved playing—as my playing improves my confidence grows and the cycle repeats.

The benefits for other people may be in being able to play chords better, play smoother leads, or to be able to better execute a particular technique, but for ME the greatest benefit has been mental. I have always been one who needs to see direct feedback before I will believe something about myself, and by following the Principles I have seen that I CAN do things with a guitar I never imagined I was capable of. And discovering that I am on the verge of having an outlet for things inside of me has likely been more valuable than anything else.

Bottom line: The Principles work…in many ways.........Paul Hoegstrum, Principles Student

I have hacked around on the guitar for 30 years but could never really play. To put it bluntly, I was terrible. Before I bought the principles I read an "Oprah" book called The Purpose of Your Life, by Carol Adrienne. She talked about following your passion, by letting your internal compass or intuition guide you. In other words follow your "gut feel". One thing she stressed was to be on the look out for the little coincidences in your life. Pay close attention to these, because they are the clues that will guide you towards your path.

I thought it was a great book and took stock of what my true passions were in my life. Of course being able to play the guitar well, was at the top of my list. I looked at where I was and where I wanted to be and there was a huge, seemingly impossible gap. I began to doubt the words of the author. I came to the conclusion that there was no way on earth I could learn to play at the level I wanted to.

Then through a series of coincidences, I stumbled onto the principles. I soon realized, everything I was doing on the guitar was wrong, and physically, I had several problems. I had a severely under developed left hand, no rhythm in my right hand and way too much tension in my right shoulder (just to name a few). I have been using the principles for about a year and a half. Before GP I could never get motivated to practice. Now I have to practice.

My progress has seemed slow, but as I look back, it has been nothing short of incredible. I still have a long way to go. But now the "gap" is smaller and it is easily possible. I no longer wonder whether I will be able to play at the level I want.

I now realize I will definitely get there...now, It's just a matter of time. The principles have made me believe I can find the purpose of my life.

John G