Why You Are Not Improving Your Guitar Playing
By Matteo Miller-Nicolato
There are several reasons why you are probably not improving your guitarp laying as fast as you would like. In fact, it took me about 10 years of self-teaching and trial and error to even get remotely close to being "good" and after that, when I started taking lessons I realized why I was having so many problems improving. You may consider taking Guitar Lessons San Diego if you really want to accelerate your guitar playing, but for now here are the reasons:
1. You don't have a practice schedule that is BALANCED
If you are only learning songs, or just practicing technique, or simply focusing all of your attention on a SINGLE type of skill, then you are not going to improve. You need to balance your practice with exercises that target multiple skills so that you don't bottleneck and get behind in one area. You are only as good as your biggest weakness. See the article on How To BALANCE Your Guitar Practice.
2. You take long breaks, then practice several hours in one day
Just like going to the gym, if you don't practice somewhat consistently, a few times per week... then your skills will deteriorate over time. You can't make-up practice by putting in several hours a day for a few days and then forgetting about it for a long time. You need to spread out your practice over time. Better to practice 30 mins a few times per week than 6 hours only on the weekends. Imagine doing that when WORKING OUT at the gym!!!! You would literally kill your body and get injured.
3. You are not applying what you learn on guitar
A lot of people tend to learn one thing and then move on to learning something else. This is not going to help you much. You MUST learn how to apply your skills creatively, by taking music theory (scales and chords) and JAMMING with them for a while. Learn how to improvise!
4. You are not integrating your skills together
You then learn how to COMBINE your skills together so that you don't always play the same ideas over and over again. Most guitar players do not know how to do this, and therefore everybody sounds the same. Check out the article on How To Improve Your Lead Guitar Phrasing.
5. You don't jam with other guitar players or musicians
One powerful way to improve quickly is to play with other musicians who are better than you. If you surround yourself with musicians who are passionate and more talented than you, their skills will bleed into you. This is the law of diffusion!
6. You don't understand how to spot and fix the mistakes you are making
You need to analyze your guitar playing and STOP when you make a mistake. Try to figure out what you are doing wrong. Are you touching strings with your fingers? Is your picking hand hitting the wrong strings? Are you using too much tension? Are you forgetting the notes? Are you thinking about something else? You need to dissect your playing and pull out ONE problem in ISOLATION, and then start to practice THAT. If you try to practice a whole song at once, it's not going to work.
If you want to learn more about how to improve on guitar and stop making mistakes, you should schedule a FREE introductory Guitar Lesson in San Diego so we can start working towards your guitar playing goals!
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