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Guitar Lesson: Learn To Practice With Concentration

Apr 24, 2008
Why is it important to understand how to practice on your guitar? What does practicing guitar mean to you? Is it just playing on your guitar or does it include more things?

It is a very common mistake to make the assumption that playing guitar is practicing. Well, when you practice you usually play guitar but not always. Let us first take a look at playing guitar.

Playing guitar is when you play things you already know and feel comfortable with. It is the reward for your hard work towards your goals. Maybe you think that your skills do not match your desired level of accomplishment and you lack real satisfaction. Here is where actual guitar practice comes in.

A practice routine founded on your goals helps you overcome obstacles that you would not master by only playing and polishing pieces of music you already know. This can also be an enjoyable activity as you observe that you develop and are on the right road leading towards becoming a better guitarist.

What is most important, the time you practice or the concentration as you practice? Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle!

If you do not concentrate as you practice you might learn bad habits that will lead you away from your goal to become a great guitarist. These bad habits can be:

1. Using too much muscle tension as you play.

2. Making mistakes that hinder your progression and start to become habits.

3. Playing sloppily without making music that other people and you can enjoy.

Lack of concentration slows down your progress and can stop your progression altogether. I think it is better to take half an hour of concentrated practice than use the whole day only messing around with your guitar, at least in the initial stages of your development.

As you learn new things you have to play them slowly thus creating new pathways in your mind. Do not play faster than your skills will allow you to. It is important to play without mistakes as they will pollute your new pathways and slow down your progress.

One way to help you play slowly and keep a steady tempo is to use a metronome.This will help you play as slowly as you need to play with accuracy and without unnecessary tension. The skill to keep a tempo will help you as you play with others.

One healthy thing to practice is scales in a slow tempo. You can start out with scales in the style you are playing and later broaden your repertoire. It is important not to increase the speed as you play your scales until you can play them relaxed and right. Then it is time to increase the tempo of your metronome just slightly.

There are many things you could include in a practice routine but the most important thing is how you practice. If you practice correctly you will play and perform correctly. If you practice in a sloppy manner learning bad habits it will be the way you will play in front of people.

It is really an enjoyable activity to practice guitar with a concentrated effort. The act of practicing this way has its own satisfaction but you will also discover that your abilities as a guitarist will grow and that you will enjoy playing more. You will also experience an increased self-respect as a guitarist knowing that you have practiced correctly.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free guitar sheet music at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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