How do you feel when practicing guitar for extended practice sessions and making few or no progress at all? Do you know why you are struggling to get better at guitar regardless all the time you are practicing?
I know exactly how you feel, because I’ve been in that same situation too. However, after several trials and errors I comprehend that for getting more results from a practice routine is required four key principles. Here are the four key principles of a perfect guitar practice routine.
Of course you should be practicing guitar every day. However, in addition, you must steadily implement all the elements of perfect guitar practice.
To keep yourself practicing guitar on a consistent basis, focus on the true reasons why you are practicing guitar and why you want to become a great guitarist. Constantly imagine how awesome it will be when you finally achieve your guitar playing goals.
Each of these key elements work together to create what I refer to as the "guitar playing progress loop". Improve all elements of the loop and you will get massive results in your guitar playing.
If you find you are practicing ineffective guitar exercises, it won’t matter how much time you invest into practicing, you just won’t get any results. If you aren’t focused during practice and you get distracted every few seconds, you are only "playing". Playing, though it is fun, doesn’t help you improve in a big way. A focused mind is essential for making significant improvement during your practice time.
Take for example a magnifying glass: with a little patience you can use a tiny beam of sunlight to create fire - that is the power of "concentration", and that is the same power of a focused mind.
Once you know how to practice guitar with this type of focus, you will start achieving huge progress in your guitar playing even if you have limited guitar practice time.
Watch this video to see an illustration of what it means to practice guitar with great focus:
You must have an effective practice schedule if you want to become a great guitarist. However, a schedule alone will do nothing if you are practicing with low quality practice materials (like what you will find in most YouTube videos or lessons from inexperienced guitar teachers).
To identify which practice materials are the best for your particular guitar playing goals, know the following:
1. The best materials are part of an overarching strategy. They must to be arranged in a way that helps you achieve very specific musical goals.
2. The best materials will be given to you by an expert guitar teacher. An expert guitar teacher is not necessarily the one who plays at the highest technical level. The best guitar teacher is the one who has guitar students with the most advanced skills.
These are the common groups that most guitar players are in when it comes to using guitar practice schedules:
1. Guitar players who are always seeking one practice schedule that will turn them into great guitarists.
2. Guitar players who think practice routines are dull and futile.
None of them understand how practicing guitar really works and this causes them to continue struggling to achieve results in their guitar playing.
The best guitar practice schedules (when created properly) are both enjoyable and effective since they are based on your own practicing habits and guitar playing goals. Learn how to create such schedules in this article about the coolest way to practice guitar.
I'll tell you a secret: regardless of how effective a particular practice schedule works for you today, it won't work forever. Notice that whenever you improve your guitar skills, you also need to update your practice schedule. You must create a strategy that allows you to adjust your practice schedule whenever your skills, needs and goals evolve. Read this page about creating effective guitar practice schedules and discover how do this in the best way possible.
Tom Hess is a professional touring guitarist and recording artist. He teaches, trains and mentors musicians from around the world.
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