What do ou do when you rack up about 6 hours practise time in a day and realise the rest of your life might not be quite enough ????
After a few monster practise sessions recently, and helping some students make better use of their practise time, I thought I’d share some useful tips for making the best of your practice time.
When the inspiration strikes to pick it up and play, do not delay. Some of my biggest breakthroughs and best licks have happened when I’ve been absolutely compelled to just pick up my guitar and play. Take these little inspirational hints, and the best results will happen when you follow them right away.
Another tip! Keep your guitar somewhere prominent, so you walk past it at least 3 or times a day – this breeds an environment for creativity and inspiration!
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out my post on building on guitar chords for beginners.
2. Get Organised
Organise your practice area. I keep my practice space clean and organised. This means when I want to play, I simply can. I don’t have to mess around looking for plectrums or cables or a place to sit. It’s simply a lot less stressful and more pleasant environment to be in.
Lot’s of little bumps on the way to picking that guitar up can build up on top of the day to day pressures of life and kill your impulse, so make it easy on yourself and remove those bumps along the way.
Progress comes from mindful relaxed practice sessions. Over a 6 hour period, you won’t catch me playing chords and scales over and over without stopping.
You must break things down into their smallest problem areas and focus on those. These ‘problems’ should ideally take no more than 20-40 minutes of your undivided attention, with regular breaks in between. Be focussed and make sure your posture and breathing are on point.
These ‘micro exercises’ should come to together to progress you on a path to some defined goals you set for yourself.
4. Set Goals
Set goals for yourself and your practice time. Whether that’s playing a riff at a certain tempo, making your chords sound clearer, or just finishing that song that you always have wanted to learn, setting goals will make sure that you are progressing in a disciplined amount of time. Remember that it is the consistency of practice that makes perfect, and a little bit of practice goes a long way. Learning guitar is a journey, where you grow from your influences and develop your style through practice. It doesn’t happen overnight but is worth the time that you invest into it.
Taking weekly music lessons can also help you stay consistent with your practice and reach your goals sooner. An excellent music tutor is similar to a personal trainer, they will track your progress and make sure that you are hitting your goals.
5. Keep It Fun
There’s a lot about playing guitar that just isn’t that fun. There are going to be times where you have to just suck it up and do the work, but there are also some approaches you can take to make things less mundane:
- Try and make boring exercises more musical. Write a riff from the scale you are learning, improvise with it.
- Find pleasure in the details. Break the big problems into smaller ones and focus on the little things, you’ll overcome these road blocks much more easily than the broader overall issue. These constant little wins are incredibly reinvigorating.
- Start a band. Grab some buddies and start a band, there’s nothing more rewarding than taking what you learn and (trying!) to use it in the real world.
Still reading this? SHOULDN’T YOU BE PRACTISING?! ????