The Correct Way To Practice Guitar

The Correct Way To Practice Guitar

Let’s look at the correct way to practice guitar with the following tips.

Put in the hours

The most important thing to do when practicing is to master discipline, practice often and as regular as you can. Anyone can find the time to practice they just have to learn to organize their time efficiently enough to fit in the time every day. You should learn to practice everything as often as you can which brings me to the next tip.

Routine

This is a fundamental system to learn in order to get through all your work and practice all elements as often as you can. Organize your week and find how much time you have to practice every day. Once you have devised a timetable learn to split your practicing accordingly to make sure that you can nail all the work given to you in your designated practice times. 30 Minutes four times a week is suggested to make regular improvement.

Practice to your weakness

Always put the most time of your practice routine to practicing what you are not good at. Although yes it’s satisfying and fun to play all the songs we can play and pull off all the techniques, concepts we have mastered you will not grow as musician doing so. Focus must always be shifted to your weakness, isolate them and put the majority of your efforts to practicing them.

Divide your work into sections

Simply put when you practice, practice different musical areas and even isolate your weakness within them, for instance do separate rhythmic studies, lead/improvisation studies, technical studies, theoretical studies etc and also once again find time to put them into your routine, and also practice all your weakness in these areas and practice all of them as often as you can. A good guitar teacher can help you target your weaknesses and suggest exercises to overcome them.

Use a metronome

I cannot stress this enough if you want to improve the metronome is a must period! This device will help you overcome many difficulties in technical and rhythmic areas and will help in a band context to as you must learn to play in time in order to play with others and this device will give you those skills. Despite you winning that “Dance Contest” back in 99 not everyone is born with rhythm.

Tap your foot

When practicing music alongside with a metronome, try tap your foot as often as you can while playing, this will internalize the rhythm elements of music and you will develop far more of a sense of feel and rhythm if you can tap alongside your playing, whether it’s a song you playing, technical exercise or if you are soloing/improvising tapping your foot might be difficult in the beginning but once its natural your feel and timing will grow tremendously.

Ear training

Guitarist Mark Tremonti from Creed and Alter Bridge says “ The sooner you develop your ear, the sooner you’re ready to tackle any song at any time. You’ll learn faster and have a deeper understanding”. The best way to develop your ear is to transcribe music. Start off with your favourite bands and songs and sit with your guitar and try work out what they are playing on the recording.

This may get frustrating in the beginning, but practice makes perfect the more you spend time doing this the quicker you will catch onto what’s happening and this will, in turn, boost your playing to whole new levels. Some musicians learnt entirely to play guitar by working out songs, scales, chords, riffs, solos and licks from recordings. Jimi Hendrix would often transcribe blues artists in the same way jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery spent hours working out jazz standards and identifying sounds and rhythms. The more you do it, the more you will begin to hear everything that’s happening! Don’t rely on your eyes all the time to see what is being played.

Learn to create music while practicing

Even if you playing technical exercises and scales try to play them with as much feeling and intensity as possible, try to always make music while practicing everything you do. If you really want to move people with your playing always put some feeling or soul into it and practicing this is important.

Record yourself

If you want to hear what you really sound like while playing record yourself, you will be surprised at the difference between how you think you sound in comparison to what you really sound like, its like hearing your voice when someone records you, sounds different in your head doesn’t it. By recording or even filming yourself you can find out where your weaknesses really lie and in turn focus on them.

Practice without your guitar

Always try and visualise scales, chords etc and even how songs sound in your head when you are away from your guitar. In this way you can grow a lot in your playing just by driving to work or school every day, always try and work out guitar elements in your head it will help you expand your playing.

Two more side tips to consider are, try and stand up while playing especially if you planning on performing live, it’s different standing up when playing in comparison to sitting down try practice both, the same as try practicing with a clean tone as often playing with distortion muffles your technical mistakes playing clean will bring them to light for you to focus on.

Practice standing up

Once you have a lick or song under your belt, strap up and play it standing up. The lick is the same but the mechanics of your hand movement is slightly altered. It’s like night and day. You have to be able to play your guitar standing up.

Here are two links which you can check for more articles and suggestions on cool guitar practicing tips! Remember everyone is different and we each need to find our own way and method for learning the guitar hope you have fun finding yours. http://www.guitarnoise.com/tag/practice-tips/ and http://www.stetina.com/tips.html

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Profile photo of Anthony Bierman

* Completed an honours degree in music at University of Pretoria * Currently performs in a guitar and piano duet * Played guitar Hero and nailed it first time * He is a jazz specialist * Has a wealth of knowledge in music theory * Was taught by the world famous Jonathan Crossley * Has 2 years teaching experience

2 Comments

  1. I like it and please help me if you can

    1. Profile photo of Tyrone Mayer

      How can we help you?

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