Monday, October 03, 2005

GUITAR PRACTICE (Part 1) - Make It Your Priority!

Here's a good article with some time-tested advice on practicing guitar.

By: Kathy Unruh

Every student realizes that guitar practice is important if they
wish to become a better musician. Even so, many have trouble
establishing a regular practice routine. Other responsibilities
have a way of squeezing them into a work-a-holic lifestyle,
leaving little room left for personal pursuits. Even teens and
children are over-stretched these days with school and other
extra-curricular activities. So, what's the secret to creating
an effective guitar practicing schedule? The answer: MAKE IT

That may sound simple to some and impossible to others, but it
is absolutely imperative to becoming a good guitarist. Giving
something priority simply means to put it before everything else
in order of time and importance. Now, it's always easier to set
priorities when there is a desire to accomplish, or reach a
specific end result. So, having a goal in mind when practicing
the guitar, will help you to maintain your focus and provide a
sense of purpose too.

According to the Scribiner-Bantam English Dictionary, the word
"Practice" means:

- to work or pursue as a profession

- to perform often in order to learn

- to teach by frequent repetition; drill

In order to make your guitar practice a priority, try thinking
of it as you would your job or school work. By this, I don't
mean it should be drudgery, but an important necessity. Schedule
a time each day to practice your guitar, and stick to it. Be
firm in your decision. Mark it in your appointment book, or on
your calendar. You will begin to notice an improvement in your
overall ability when you practice the guitar on a regular basis.

There will be times when you seem to leap forward, and other
times when you don't seem to be getting anywhere. But understand
that the guitar is one of the most difficult instruments to
become really proficient on, so you will need to guard against
discouragement. I have a friend who plays piano, cello and
violin. She decided to take up classical guitar and confessed
that it was the most difficult instrument she had ever tried to
learn. So, you may want to keep notes on your progress for
personal encouragement as well as an incentive to persevere.

Commitment and determination are two of the most important keys
to success in any pursuit. Talent and natural ability are a
definite plus, but many talented guitar students lack
discipline. In order to succeed, you must learn to cultivate and
nurture your natural abilities. Skill is developed by
continually honing, experimenting and perfecting your gift.
Don't just take it for granted, be willing to work hard.

All great guitarists have this one thing in common- they made
guitar practice a priority! So, get yourself started in the same
direction by keeping these things in mind...

1. Make your guitar practice a priority

2. Establish a specific time of day to practice 3. Make a
commitment to practicing regularly

4. Set short term and long term goals (make a note when reached)

5. Persevere through difficulty

6. Be determined to succeed

Above all else, enjoy playing the guitar and learning new
things- have fun! Think of it as an adventure. With so many
different guitar styles and techniques, there will always
something else to discover. Life is short, so make some time to
do what you love and be happy!

About the author:
Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster
of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and
providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20
years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on
buying a guitar, songwriting, recording and creating a music
career, please visit:

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