Jul 30, 2012 Adam's Corner
Posted by Adam
Have you ever heard the phrase, practice makes perfect? The truth is, this phrase is furthest from the truth. Practice doesn’t make perfect because “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder; however, practice may lead to proficiency, satisfaction, and even mastery. To play guitar well, practice is a necessity. Just like major and minor league athletes, movie and television stars, solo artists and bands, doctors and pilots, all guitarists—and I mean all proficient guitarists—devote time to practicing. While finger picking a scale exercise, for example, may not be the most fun and exciting thing to do, with a positive attitude and an interest to become a better musician, the practiced skill of playing the guitar is attainable.
True practice involves focused concentration on developing the skills needed to play and building an understanding for the concepts involved in a lesson or exercise. Playing what you already know should not be considered practice material. With proper guitar instruction and materials that are at an appropriately challenging level, students—whether they’re 8 or 80—can learn guitar over a reasonable period of time. Here are some suggestions on how to stay dedicated to the true form of practice:
- Set a goal that is significant and purposeful to you.
- Allot at least 15 minutes for practicing 1-2 exercises, 3-4 times a week
- Avoid moving forward or speeding up the tempo until you are able to play the exercise(s) with minimal mistakes.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. If they know proper techniques, learn from them. If they don’t, learn what to avoid so you do not develop bad, hard-to-break habits.
- Reward yourself after you’ve successfully completed your focused practice session. For example, play your favorite songs or riffs or start learning a new song by your favorite musician.
- Remember to look back on how far you’ve come!