By: Peter Edvinsson
What is the ultimate truth about guitar practicing?
Is there a best way to practice on your guitar? Of course you
have to make your practice sessions effective but could there be
a way to practice that is more effective than other ways? There
are many principles involved in an effective practice session
and I think some of these are a motivation founded on a love and
passion for the music you can produce on the guitar, an
acceptance of the fact that you must practice on that technical
level you have reached, a working knowledge of muscle tensions
and how to minimize them when you play and how to work on
reducing them when you don't play.
What shall we do until we find the most effective way to
When I was studying music at an academic level I many times had
the question messing around in my mind about the ultimate method
for practicing on my guitar and other instruments I played. A
well renowned jazz tenor saxophonist who was my teacher in jazz
improvisation discussed this issue with me as I asked him about
it and he gave me the most intelligent answer I ever heard
before or after. He said with a smile, "until you find out the
best way to practice, practice anyway!"
How effective can a practice session be?
My humble opinion after much practicing and playing guitar and
piano and other instruments and also teaching piano and guitar
is that you have to take many things into consideration like the
time available, your motivation level, how concentrated you can
expect yourself to be and more. As real growth often is a slow
process you will not very often be able to measure the
effectiveness of a practice session by how much you have learnt
so you have to find other ways to find out if you are effective.
The roads to Anywhere are many so to find out if you are on the
right road you have to decide your destination.
Can you practice too much or too effectively?
It depends on how we define effective practice sessions. If
effective guitar practice is to work through a long list of
things to improve in your playing and to practice ten hours a
day without interruption I guess you can practice too
effectively. This will mean that you practice in such a way that
you will get fed up with guitar playing and maybe you will even
hurt your muscles and develop an aversion towards guitar playing
for the rest of your life.
What is real effectiveness when you practice on your
Real effectiveness is better measured by how well your
practicing methods and results are pointing towards you goals.
Without goals you cannot measure effectiveness. If your goal is
to have fun with your guitar then you have a very effective
practicing session if you have fun with your guitar. If that is
what you want then it is a worthy goal. I guess you could come
upp with more specific goals than that with deadlines so you can
measure them better. But it is you who have to decide your own
goals otherwise the goals will not be effective.
I hope these words on practicing guitar playing will give you
some comfort and also help you realize that when human beings
like you and me are involved we cannot definitely say how we
ought to play to be effective. Human beings are funny things
that sometimes behave like as if they were identical but
nevertheless they are unique. This also applies to guitar
players like you and me. We are different in many ways but I
guess we want our guitar playing to contribute to our happiness
and joy so have fun and ... "until you find out the best way to
practice, practice anyway!"!
About the author:
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music educator. He
is the proud owner of Capotasto Music with
free sheet music, tablature and learn to play resources for
musicians and music students. http://www.capotastomusic.co