What Not To Do When Practicing Guitar
There is much said about how to practice guitar and what to practice. In this article I want to cover what NOT to do when practicing guitar. This is important to keep in mind because, just like eating healthy you need to take into account what not to eat as much as what to eat. In fact for most people trying to improve their health and eating habits, one of the hardest parts is avoiding what not to eat. There is a lot of temptation that can throw your diet off the path. This is the same for improving your guitar practice and growing as a guitar player.
Have you found your guitar practice hasn’t gotten you the results you wanted? Have you ever felt like your practice wasn’t as beneficial as you want it to be? How about feeling like your guitar practice is wasting time? Practicing wrong might be the reason for all of this.
#1 Learn From One Source
When practicing guitar, you should be working towards a goal. What many people do is try getting information from all kinds of different sources. This is a great way to overcomplicate things and overwhelm yourself into despair about your guitar playing. Learning from one proven source is the best way to reach your goal. It’s very common to search youtube for videos to help you. Well, this is like having a bunch of unproven teachers all telling you different things to do all at once. Look at anyone successful in sports. They all have one head coach and any other coaches they work with are under the direction of the head coach. Everyone is on the same path and helping that athlete move towards their goal. They all communicate together and work together. It’s not disconnected and random. One source will get you there the fastest for many more reasons than this, but this is a big one.
#2 Remove All Distractions
When you sit down(or stand) to practice guitar, make sure you are alone and any notifications you get from any source of technology are turned off. No calls, texts, Facebook reminders, etc. Nothing. Turn your phone off if that’s the easiest. Make sure your computer isn’t notifying you all the time as well.
To make the more efficient progress possible in your practice time you need 100% of your attention focused on what you are doing. As you do this you will notice that practicing will feel much more fulfilling because you will know you gave it all you got to give. This won’t drain you of energy, but fill you up because of the results it will bring.
#3 Plan Ahead
If you don’t have a plan you will not make the best decisions when you practice. Not planning your guitar practice in advance is a massive mistake most people make. Most people just pick up the guitar without any plan at all.
Plan what you are going to do by choosing things to practice that will help you reach your goals. Spending time practicing a song you can already play well maybe fun, but this isn’t going to help you reach your goals unless one of those is to perform that song. Then you would want to practice it regularly to make sure you are very prepared to perform it in a live setting.
Even if you are doing that you will want to plan ahead how to practice it. Choose specific things to focus on in advance. Timing, phrasing, etc.
Planning ahead also ensures you will practice not just more efficiently, but you will also practice more frequently because you have planned it vs. just picking up the guitar when you feel like it.
When you learn from one source, remove distractions, and plan ahead you set your self up for success. If you aren’t doing these things and being to implement them your guitar practice is going to change massively.
About The Author: Ryan Duke is a professional musician guitar teacher, and owner of Seattle Guitar Mentor providing Seattle Guitar Lessons.