Guitar Practice Guidelines
By Matteo Miller-Nicolato
1. Time yourself
For each exercise you want to practice, give yourself a time limit, and stick to it. If you only have 30 minutes, you want to divide your time wisely so you don’t run out of time and can’t practice what you really need.
2. Use a metronome
Timing is essential as a musician, so keep the metronome clicking even when you don’t need it. It will help your brain stay focused and leave an imprint on your mind. Try to keep in time as best you can.
3. Sit in a good, comfortable position
Generally it is a good idea to practice in the classical sitting position, with your guitar in between your legs, rather than on the side. Use a foot stool to prop yourself up so you don’t slouch.
4. Relax and slow down
Most guitar players go way too fast, you should slow down and play slowly. This will prevent you from getting injured from too much tension building up in your body. We will work on speed building later.
5. Practice different exercises
Don’t just practice one song, there are multiple skills you need to improve – picking, fingering, chords, etc.
6. Memorize as much as you can
You’ll have an easier time playing if you can memorize the notes, it will be easier to keep in time, and you’ll be able to play guitar without looking at the book!
7. Look in the right spot
Sometimes you want to stare at your fingers, sometimes you want to stare at your pick, sometimes you want to stare at the tab paper.
8. Get rid of distractions
No tv in the background, people chatting around you, find a quiet spot to practice alone
9. Keep your mind focused
Thinking about pizza doesn’t help your guitar playing ;)
10. Playing vs practicing
Practicing means improving a weak area… Playing is when you can already do it well, and you are just having fun. Try to practice harder songs so you improve your skills rather than playing easy songs.
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