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All guitarists know that practice is key. But what should you prioritize during your guitar practice? Today’s guest post by guitarist Kristal Bean of Events in Demand offers her top five tips for making guitar practice productive.
You just bought a shiny new guitar and you’re dying to start playing like Maroon 5’s guitarist!
But playing guitar well takes more than just wanting to be the best. In addition to learning the basics, you need an effective practice routine that will refine your skills *over time*.
Ironically, if you slow down and really focus during practice, you’ll probably learn a lot more quickly!
So what should your priorities be when practicing? Here’s a short list of five strategies for optimizing your guitar practice.
1. Make a practice schedule, and stick with it.
Learning guitar is a discipline. It requires hard work, dedication, and contemplation. Ideally you will practice every day, but sometimes life gets in the way. That’s okay. Make a practice schedule and practice as often as you can. Keep a log to record your practice sessions. Doing this will increase your accountability and sense of accomplishment.
2. Find the perfect place.
Another secret to a fruitful guitar practice is finding the right space. This is an individual choice, and depends on what inspires you. I personally like practicing alone because it helps me focus. But some people prefer practicing around other people, like in a public park, or a central room in their home. Just make sure that wherever you play, it brings out the best in you and your art.
3. Buy good equipment.
Playing guitar isn’t always about skill. You also need a good guitar and the right accessories to assist you in the learning process. If you’re a beginner, a good acoustic guitar can get you started on your guitar-playing journey without any unnecessary trouble. You can find a quality beginner guitar in the $200-$300 range.
4. Set a target.
This is an important psychological hack. You need to have a goal to look forward to. Let’s assume that you are a beginner and you just started playing the guitar. I would recommend that you set a goal like perfecting a sequence, rather than perfecting a whole song. Setting goals helps increase the pace of your practice, and will help you to learn new songs quicker.
5. Always begin with a warm up.
You know you need to warm up before working out at the gym, and the same goes for guitar practice. Try to find a sequence that has all 12 notes so that you can warm up your fingers and play all the notes.
Be confident. If you always dreamed of being a great guitar player, it’s a sign you’re capable of doing it. Keep at it, and maybe one day you’ll give Maroon 5 a run for their money!