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Making the Most Out of Practice Time

Lately, I’ve been a lot more diligent about putting aside time to be sure to practice my guitar work. It is so rewarding to be able to actually see your own playing improve as a direct result of more practice that it almost becomes addicting to play more and more! I like to tell people that if they’re prone to sit a lot in front of the TV, they should be sure to use that time wisely in guitar terms. Make sure you always have a guitar close by, and grab it every chance you get, especially when you can “mindlessly” practice while doing something else, like watching TV. Of course, it’s also great to try to play along to anything you may be enjoying listening to. This helps train your ear, and gives you some new ideas to shoot for as you try to play along with whatever comes your way. I personally like the “element of surprise” when it comes to playing along with other music, and I’ve been known to be seen jamming along with the Weather Channel, or even playing along with some “new age-y” acoustic guitar while on hold with a bank or mortgage company! One time, when the representative finally came back on, I told her I was tired of hearing the same guitar instrumental for what seemed like years! I suggested they change it to my music, and I actually sent her an acoustic cd of mine….nothing changed, but there’s someone somewhere with my cd and a funny story to go with it!

When practicing, I also like to set real goals for myself, and to aim at specific songs I want to learn, and really put my mind to teaching myself the changes and parts, no matter how challenging they might be. I recently did this with Mr. Sandman, Sweet Georgia Brown, Southern Nights and Stars and Stripes Forever. It’s a very rewarding thing to do, and it has really helped me develop a better repertoire for solo fingerstyle playing, which is one area I am trying to improve upon.

So, set some real goals for yourself when you are practicing, but no matter what you do with that extra guitar time, please make sure it’s quality guitar time! You’ll find that you’ll be improving in leaps and bounds, and that the guitar playing “addiction” will really get you good! Enjoy…

Posted: 7/1/2010 4:28:14 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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