Acoustic Guitar Practice
Would you like to enhance your acoustic guitar practice?
Do you know the one thing which will help get your performing to the next level? Practice! However, not just playing exactly the same thing again, and again, and all over again. There is a strategy to practice efficiently – and within our ‘Beginner’s Guide To Learning the Acoustic Guitar’, we’ll provide you with the tips and tricks to help you practice more effectively, not longer.
Why Longer Acoustic Guitar Practice Doesn't Equal Decent Practice
Practice. If you do it regularly enough, you’ll be excellent. Everyone knows this. Why then is practice so difficult?
Motivation is extremely important. Without motivation, you’ll not propel yourself to return to the instrument day after day. So how can you get motivated?
By winning. Yes, that is what I said. Winning. You are in continuous competition with yourself, so when things go very well, you really feel like you are winning. When you’re in this mindset, it is easy to practice. It’s the circle of life – winning more gives you a lot more motivation, therefore you practice far more. Practising a lot more means you win more, consequently, it will give you much more motivation. And this goes on and on exponentially.
Therefore if it’s so easy, why is practice still so difficult?
Drum roll… The answer? Because it’s not really that easy! Just practising isn’t good enough. You can practice for four hours on a daily basis and not improve.
So if it’s not the quantity of practice that places you on top of the circle of life, what exactly does?
Level of quality.
Practising for fifteen minutes daily, focused, beneficial good quality practice is a great deal more useful than two hours of unfocused, ‘auto-pilot’ practice.
So you only need high-quality practice so that you can jump aboard the circle of life train?
Not a chance! Nothing is ever that easy. Mix quantity and quality, and you’ll finally become a first-class passenger.
Continue reading to learn how to get your first-class ticket, and how to continue on the train for as long as you want…
Structure Your Acoustic Guitar Practice
Just what is the suggested length of practice?
15 to 20 mins is a superb place to begin, and probably no more than 45 minutes or so at a time. After this amount of time, we human beings are likely to zone out – and therefore the practising gets to be much less useful. As a rule of thumb, once you really feel your focus waning, quit. Become proud that you simply showed up to your practice session, and don’t be concerned over the length of time you practice for.
How frequently should I be practicing the acoustic guitar?
This particular one is a simple answer – practice every day. Doing this, you’ll convert your acoustic guitar practice into a habit. A fairly short, specific regular practice is a lot more helpful than twice every week one hour at the same time. And remember, in case you’re wondering “but how can I spare the time to accomplish 20 mins on a daily basis? !? – just take some of your time from social media over to the acoustic guitar. We do in fact, spend on average 142 minutes on social media every day!
When do I need to practice Acoustic Guitar?
It makes no big difference whenever you practice, just simply providing you do practice. Try out building a fixed schedule for yourself vs being ad-hok. See which options work best, and follow it.
Acoustic Guitar Practice Top Tips
1. Remove Possible Interruptions
Consider your practice moment as ‘you time’. You will be hopefully enjoying the Acoustic guitar because it’s an enjoyable hobby for you; so shut down your telephone, tablet computer, laptop, watch, as well as any other gadget that’ll distract you!
2. Be Sure You're Relaxed
As you’ll hopefully be playing for many hours and many years to come, it’s really crucial that you are comfortable. The comfier you are, the better you’ll play. Stress is invariably our enemy, so make it out of your practice room.
3. Set Goals and Objectives
Pick what you wish to achieve, and make it something it is possible to accomplish during the session. By being focused on the outcome, you get there faster and a lot more successfully.
Perhaps Monday you’ll study the first twelve bars/measures. Then Tuesday you’ll learn the next 12. Wednesday could be the tough bit in between. Thursday maybe reminding yourself of everything you’ve learnt thus far, and Friday may be aiming to perform the sections minus the music (from memory). Whatever you need to do, set your targets in writing to make them happen. When you achieve your ultimate goal, celebrate! I like to recommend an excellent bottle of red…
4. Say Hi To Bad Habits
No-one is perfect the very first time. Consciously know that until you have repeated a section a few times, you’ll make some mistakes. Become as systematic as possible dealing with these errors, because if you do not, you will find bad habits start to sneak in.
So when you notice a terrible habit – say hello to it. Understand it’s there, and crush the little blighter before it’s too late…
Comparable rules apply for managing your technique. Put in the tricky, accurate work at the start – and you’ll save a lot of time later on.
5. Make Things Appealing
Have you been driving, and suddenly discovered that you can’t recall the previous thirty minutes? Or been on a trip which lasts several hours, but you can only remember certain sections? This is what I call being on ‘auto-pilot’. It is exactly what we must stay clear of during practice.
If you play precisely the same thing, over and over, you will not develop. You’ll get bored. Your inspiration will disappear completely. But what is the solution? Switching you practice tactics!
There are so many possibilities. Shut your eyes to perform. Try out performing the music backwards. Attempt standing up or sitting down. Play whilst wearing headphones. Play everything gently, or even loudly. The list goes on and on. Invention is the name of the game, and whatever you decide to do, don’t get bored!
6. Be Your Own Teacher
Most people understand best if we have someone over our shoulders, offering us their suggestions. However, if you do not own Amazon, you are extremely unlikely to be able to afford a private acoustic guitar teacher 365 days per year. But Mr Bezos can keep his squillions because we don’t need them. We have our own individual teacher inside us.
For starters, figure out how to hear. Lots of people fail to remember to actively listen, however, it’s the simplest way to improve your playing.
Subsequent, using the miracles of modern technology, it’s now increasingly simple to record your playing. So get your smartphone out, record, and critique yourself.
And even when the world’s wealthiest people wanted to seek the services of my personal coach, they couldn’t afford to pay for it!
7. Start out From The Beginning
You read a book, you find page one. It’s totally normal. You play a sheet of music, you start out at the start. Again, completely normal. But for the purpose of practising, it’s not a good idea. You’ll turn out to be phenomenally good at the first few notes, and pretty bad at the rest. So change it up. Start out at the end, or halfway through. Then tomorrow, go with another random place to start your practice. But whatever you decide and do, don’t always start in the beginning!
8. Don't Cheat
We are all attracted to the path of least resistance. In music, this means enjoying the simple pieces. When we find an effortless little bit that sounds excellent, most people have a tendency to play it time and time again. The problem with this is usually that we don’t progress. It’s actually an awful practice technique. So skip the straightforward bits, and concentrate on the parts that you’ll have to work hard at.
Now, look at this logically. If you decide to consciously pick what requires more practice, it would be the challenging part. Right? That requires a lot more love and consideration. The easy portion looks after itself.
So don’t overlook this. Go find that hard element and warm it up…
9. Have A Good Time With New Stuff
Sight-reading is a superb exercise to round off your practice with. There’s no pressure to perfect the piece, and it can be a great deal of fun too! This also means that you can test your acoustic guitar playing skills on an entirely different piece – or even a different genre.
10. Tick Tock
Your metronome is there not as your enemy, but as your pal. So remember to put it to use!
For parts which are really fast and difficult, the metronome is usually a terrific resource. Set it up with a nice and effortless tempo, which you can have fun with the segment perfectly. Then on a daily basis, notch up the tempo by a little. Eventually, you’ll end up being at performance tempo, and yes it should truly feel as comfortable as whenever you commenced at a slower tempo.
Added bonus Suggestion: For faster segments, make an attempt to get at ease performing the complicated elements ten percent faster than you need – like that, whenever you get back to the speed you want to play it at, it should really feel nice and simple!
11. Give Yourself A Break
Did you detect in point number three that I talked about a treat? Well, I feel it’s essential I’m talking about it twice! Make sure to make it rewarding…
Acoustic Guitar Practice Bonus Tips
1. Make Your Tree Stronger
The brain learns whenever you are doing something new. It produces a neuron, like a small branch of a tree. Anytime you repeat exactly the same thing, with absolutely no differentiation, that branch gets a little stronger. Should you do the task enough times, in the very same way, that branch turns into a solid arm. This is basically the point where your body and mind can just do something ‘without thinking about it’.
Additionally, if you play things differently every time, you will be generating different neurons, different tree branches. Should you play it differently every time, 5 times, then you’ll end up having five neurons. Five tree branches.
So what is the issue with that? A branch acts just like a route that the brain strolls down. It must pick one of the possibilities you’ve developed. The issue is that rather than one strong choice, you might have other weaker alternatives. This just confuses your wobbly gel of a head and slows the processing time right down. The result is usually a mistake.
So don’t leave things to chance. Remain consistent. Learn things slowly and the right way. And try to perform things properly repeatedly.
2. Recommended Reading
Here are some great books that really helped me when I was starting out and I regularly recommend them to students to this day.
Music Practice: The Musician’s Guide to Practicing and Mastering your Instrument like a professional
I also highly recommend you include How to Read Music in 30 Days in your must-read list. If haven’t already read our guide on How To Read Sheet Music, then do check that out as well.
Acoustic Guitar Practice - Summary
In case you have realized one thing from this page, it ought to be:
Practice is the central factor with discovering a musical instrument. Do not leave it to chance. Build a practice procedure. Mix it up. Print off this post and continue referring to it. And remember to treat yourself…
About the Author
What’s Within The 4 Feature Friday E-mail?
As regular as I brush my teeth, I send out an email to you with the four most fantastic things that you absolutely have to know about.
On condition that it has something to do with music, it can wind up in the email. Consider it a music pandora’s box!
But you’ll only get a copy of the email if you gain entry below.
Read the next post in this series: