How important is practice? The fact of the matter is that anything you want to accomplish in life takes a great deal of practice. Any professional sports figure, actor, or musician will tell you that practice took precedence over everything else in their lives.
Guitar Practice Tips to Keep You On Track
I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect” and it sounds true, but is it really? We all know that practicing a new skill is important if you want to become proficient at it. This is especially true when it comes to playing a musical instrument such as the guitar.
If you practice incorrectly it can actually harm your progress. Why is that? Well, because once you learn a technique you will continue to use that technique rather it’s good or bad.
An example of this would be holding your hands the wrong way or in the wrong position. This will inevitably become habit and be hard to break. Holding the guitar the wrong way can cause stress and tension on your hands and body and make it more difficult, if not impossible, to execute certain movements. Another example of something that can result from poor positioning of your hands is injury. Certain injuries, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, can actually cause you to no longer be able to play your instrument. When you are practicing the guitar you should “cup” your hand instead of holding it flat against the neck. This will help to give you a nice relaxed position while playing.
There is another area that a lot of students have trouble with when they practice for the guitar and that is rhythm. Rhythm is part of the foundation to every part of music, therefore making it extremely important. It doesn’t matter whether or not you can read a sheet of music, just as long as you are able to count beats within each measure. Being able to do this will enable you to play a piece of music correctly. Here is a guitar practice tip: If you are not able to keep time with the music then you will not be able to properly play the piece so it is vital that you learn to keep time when learning to play an instrument.
One of the major obstacles that guitar students face is speed. When you focus only on speed, your rhythm and timing get lost. There is no need to rush. When you are doing your guitar practice exercises SLOW DOWN and take your time. This will allow you to hear the timing correctly and determine whether the pattern is fast or slow.
The speed in which you play also affects how you actually play. This is called articulation. If you can play a piece of music, but can’t play it well, who will be impressed? In order to make sure that you are articulating the notes correctly, during your guitar practice make sure you take your time and are actually hitting every tone clearly. Also, you should play at a rate that you are comfortable with.
When setting your guitar practice routine try using a metronome or a drum machine to help you with the tempo. You don’t need to try to get through the song all at once either. Try breaking it down into sections. This way you can get better at one section at a time until you have mastered the entire song or piece of music. Just make sure that while you are working on the individual sections that you keep your hand positioning, rhythm and articulation. This will ensure you are getting the best guitar practice. Once you have these three things down then you can focus on increasing the speed or tempo.
One thing that is important when playing the guitar is where you position your fingers on the fretboard. If you don’t have them in the correct location then you are more likely to move your fingers around causing you to not be able to reach the correct frets. This will also cause confusion while trying to play. A good piece of advice for beginners is to think of the guitar as “upside down and backward.” The meaning of this is that the guitar is played vertically and horizontally, unlike some instruments that are played in a linear fashion.
So to sum up what you have just learned:
A. There’s no reason to rush so go slow to start.
B. Make sure you are using a relaxed hand grip and your hand is in a cup shape.
C. Learn how to keep time with the music.
D. Make sure the clarity of the music is there.
E. Slowly build up the speed in which you play.
So, “practice makes perfect” is a true statement as long as you develop an effective practice routine. To do this, you will need to make your routine a priority, and stick to your schedule. Do not rush yourself. It takes time to learn something as complex as the guitar, so do not expect yourself to pick it up overnight.
Liam Gibson of LearnGuitar-User-Reviews.com, specializes in helping aspiring guitarists get the info that they need to make the right choices. Liam, a stage guitarist himself, leads his team of guitar experts to constantly review new courses and products in the market and make sure you get the best value products that work for you. Check out actual user reviews and feedback of the most popular guitar courses at LearnGuitar-User-Reviews.