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Practice Guitar Right vs Wrong

The key to becoming good at guitar playing in a short amount of time is to make sure that your practice time is spent in the most efficient way possible. Here are a few things you can do and some things to avoid absolutely to make your practice time more valuable.

Things that will make your practice easier:

  • Concentrate on only one thing at a time. You can't practice two different things at the same time. If you try to fix everything that you do not like in your playing at the same time, then you are not really focusing. Remember: man who chases two rabbits catches none.
  • Use a practice schedule - ask your teacher for help. This will keep you focused on the important thing and will immensely speed up your progress.
  • Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. The secret of speed is to learn everything slow and relaxed. If you can't play it a a slow tempo, do not try to speed it up. Patience young grasshopper: soon you will be shredding.
  • Be sure that your teacher approves your practice schedule! He/she knows better than you what is the right order to study things. It's ok to ask questions like: "is this what I should practice right now?" You will be surprised at how a good teacher can help you there.

Things that will make your practice harder:

  • Practicing useless things. For you right now, everything you find on the internet/Youtube is useless UNLESS your teacher explicitly told you to go and watch it. All those 'shiny' licks that you can learn on YouTube are a waste of time if you are not ready for them. I know it is hard to resist, but if you focus on what your teacher gives you, you will see the differences in just a few weeks.
  • Distractions. You can't learn if you do not focus, so eliminate all phones, computers, TV, etc from your practice space. Just practice!
  • Following multiple teachers. This is something you should NEVER do. Different teachers have different methods, and those differences will interfere and slow down your progress. Pick ONE teacher that you like (not the best player, but the best teacher!) and listen only to him. If you pick two teachers it will confuse your fingers and your mind.

About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a professional guitar player and educator. Tommaso teaches kids guitar lessons in Edmonton and enjoys teaching students of all skill levels.