Many guitarists, old and new, often get confused with how to exactly how to practice guitar the correct way. It is often misunderstood that in order to get good at guitar you must practice but if you practice are you really going to become better?
This is an interesting question, because the answer could be mixed and tossed around a lot. When learning how to play guitar online lots of beginners read that you must practice guitar a lot in order to get good at it. Many teachers will recommend that you spend 15min all the way to 2 hours a day practicing at first.
Now this is good advice and I would advise everyone else who is trying to learn how to play guitar to do the same thing. However, practicing all day is only going to allow you to get to a certain peak in your guitar playing skill. You will get better but without the right direction you will only reach a dead end. You will then stay stuck at this point because you will not know how to progress any farther. This is a huge problem that many new guitar players face.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in order to become good at guitar you need to be practicing the guitar and playing the guitar the correct way. You may think that just playing guitar for 2 hours a day is practicing but anyone who is really good at guitar will tell you that you are wrong.
What is Practice?
Before you can really understand how to practice guitar correctly you need to get an idea of what practicing really is. When you think of practicing, an athlete doing drills over and over probably comes to your mind right? If this is the case then you actually have the thought of practicing in your mind perfectly correct.
If you can get it right in your mind, you can probably apply it but this isn’t always the case. Just because you know what practicing is, it doesn’t mean you can and will apply these concepts correctly the next time you pick up your guitar and decide to jam.
The number one way to do anything in your life is to apply everything you know. Don’t be afraid to take what is in your head and do it with your hands. In this case it is practicing guitar. So even though you may know what the correct form of practicing is, you Â need some help in the actual applying it department.
What is Playing Guitar?
So now that we have established what practice is, we can now go about figuring out what playing guitar is.
Guitarists will often say that the best way to learn how to play guitar is to just play guitar constantly. Although this is good advice there is something that is lacking in it. That something is… well practice. You can’t just play guitar all the time, you need to practice it as well.
If every time you pick up your guitar all you do is go through all the songs you know, then you are not really practicing are you? You are just simply playing guitar. An actual guitar lesson is supposed to teach you something new. You must then take that knowledge and practice it over and over again. Once you have practiced it enough you can than apply it when you play guitar.
The thought of playing guitar and practicing guitar is often mixed together, but remember these two things are very different.
If you want to get really good at guitar you need to find out how exactly you can practice guitar the correct way.
I usually use a simple formula which goes something like 70% practice and 30% playing. This type of thing allows you to focus on the new skills you learn in your guitar lessons and then you can practice them enough so you can do them with ease. After that you can apply them to your guitar playing.
If you would like a more detailed example you could follow something like this…
- Warm up for 15 minutes before you play.
- Practice and learn new scales for 15 more.
- Go through chords and different patterns and strumming for 15 minutes
- Spend another 15 minutes working on your technique and improving your style as a guitar playing. Vibrato, slides, hammer ons, pull offs ect…
- Spend 30 min playing some songs and going through what you already know on guitar.
If you follow a simple schedule like this you will accomplish so much more than you ever could with just playing guitar randomly. You will be surprised if you just implement this kind of thing into your guitar playing schedule for a few weeks. You will see drastic results and as a result from that you will have much more confidence when you play.
Of course everyone’s time for practicing varies so you will need to make up your own unique little plan but it will definitely pay off.
Guitar lessons are useless if you don’t practice them the right way. When you are first learning how to play guitar try to stick to a nice focused practice routine. Don’t allow yourself to just sit there playing the same thing over and over. You should be striving to learn something new every day.
By doing this you are learning how to practice guitar the correct way and as a result you will find yourself a much better guitar player then you ever were before.
Check back for more lessons on how to play guitar.