Last week I gave you 5 tips to show you that practice guitar is not a simple procedure and needs to be well prepared and organized. Those tips have a really important role to play if you wish to take you guitar skills to the next level and get higher results from your practice routine. This week I am going to analyze those 5 hints which can help you avoid frustration which is one of the most common reasons why people quit practice:
- “Clearly define where you want to reach your skills”: Before start practicing you should take a look at the true expectations of your playing. Every day you see many great guitar players on the internet and you feel frustrated because you want to play exact like all of them. Absolutely impossible! This is a cause of frustration don’t you think? Well, have you ever wondered how actually do YOU want/need to play in order to express yourself? How fast do you want/need to play? What style do you want/need to adopt? How many chord types do you want/need to know? Etc. These are some inner questions that everyone who’s ready to practice should answer.
- “Organize your material”: After you have clearly defined where you want to reach your skills you are able for the next step. You should find every book, music sheet or PDF file you own and refers to the guitar. You can use your PC to organize material easier. For instance, there are 3 big categories like THEORY, TECHNIQUE AND IMPROVISATION. In THEORY you can place some information you found about how intervals work and sound. In TECHNIQUE you can place some arpeggio exercises and in IMPROVISATION you can place some licks you wish to work over a nice backing track that you found online.
- “Make a practice plan”: John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential. Mostly he worked on the difference between kid and adult learners. One quote he gave ensures that people learn better when they have pre-organized knowledge already. Make a practice plan After you have organized your material and all the stuff you are about to learn. Find out the averaged amount of free time you have and break it in small “time – parts”, while considering of how long you can play without getting mentally tired. I’ve met people who can play a small lick for 5’ minutes and some others for 15’ having the same productive result. Their stamina differs.
- “Don’t waste time to things non important for your goals”: Now let’s talk about driving your car to a nice beach that you found in Google wishing to visit. Planning the route is the next step after you have found the name of the beach and the exact place. You found 2 routes one for 20 kilometers far and another for 100 kilometers far. I am sure you would chose the closest one to the the beach! Let’s apply this example to our practice routine. Many guitarists on around the world combine fast playing with jazz scales, blues with funk style, metal music with slow rock and so on. A conversation with a friend of yours referred to someone who can combine every scale on earth! You came frustrated and disappointed. Forget about it! Have you answered your inner questions? Finally do you know what style YOU want to play? Yes! So, no reason to combine scales that you don’t need, licks that are worthless for your style, backing tracks that you don’t really like, books with jazz chords while you wish to play strong baritone 7 stringed heavy metal power chords for instance! Finding the closest way to reach your goals means don’t waste time to things non important for your goals.
- “Minimize distractions when practice”: In order to retrieve higher results when you practice, it is very important to minimize distractions. Find the best time for you to practice when nobody can distract you even parents or girlfriend/boyfriend. Close your mobile phone, your facebook, switch on your metronome and tick tock, focus on practice procedure which can make you a better guitarist.
Have a nice practice session and see you next week. Take care!