Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Ways to Practice Guitar Effectively

By: Laurie Lea

It makes no sense to spend a lot of time practicing guitar if
you're all over the place and playing things that do not get you
closer to your goals of becoming a better guitarist.

Here are 7 methods to practice effectively and take your playing
to a whole new level:

1) Always follow a plan. You didn't go to school and just kind
of "wing it". The nice people that taught you how to read and
write and do arithmetic had a plan or a curriculum for you. To
become an excellent guitarist you need to develop a plan to
follow, master it and then modify it so it challenges you and
keeps you moving forward.

2) Never put off practicing. To learn to play the guitar you've
got to practice and the more you practice, the better you'll
get. When you set up your plan, you most likely set specific
times to practice. Never assume you'll "get around to it"
because most people will never come back to it and will have
missed their session for the day. Make it a habit to just get
into your practice time when you're supposed to.

3) Don't limit yourself to one genre of music. A rock guitarist
can learn an awful lot by checking out what great players in
other genres are doing. Learning a few jazz or country licks
will really spice up your playing.

4) Do have a great place to practice. While it doesn't have to
be anything fancy, it should be comfortable enough to allow you
to practice in peace and quiet. It also needs to have the proper
tools like a music stand and light, a metronome, a stool or
something to sit on and a TV and DVD player if you're learning
from a DVD program. Avoid the TV unless it is being used to
learn from.

5) Change up your curriculum. This is not boot camp and it needs
to be fun. Some people do not enjoy learning and memorizing
scales and modes so it's nice to slip in some fun break time
playing in between the more tedious tasks just make sure to get
back on track after a short break.

6) Warm up your hands. Many people overlook this when learning
to play the guitar but it's very important. There are light hand
stretched you can do before you ever touch the guitar that will
limber up your hands and get blood flowing to the finger tips.

7) Share your skills. The best way to learn is to teach as it
tests what you do know. You can either hook up with another
guitarist once in a while or you can even give lessons to
someone else. This will make it very clear what you do and do
not know and you can adjust your learning from the

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