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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How To Practice

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So often we get caught in the trap of practicing only the stuff we’re good at. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the stuff you already know. We tend to practice this material more, simply because it’s encouraging to our self-esteem to know we are still capable of playing well, and are not inadequate in our own eyes. The good news is, if you are practicing this way, guitar has become an emotional connection with you, helping to improve your self-esteem. The bad news is, if you continue to practice this way, you will seriously hinder your progress in the future. So here are few brief tips to help you maximize your practice routine, and get the most from every minute.

1. Warm-up. Enough cannot be said about this. Too often guitarists think a warm-up session is an unnecessary waste of time. Well, take it from someone who never used to warm-up before playing; you can develop tendonitis, and other repetitive motion injuries. It’s very important.

2. Stick to a Goal Each Practice Session. For example, a goal may be to nail a particular part down, memorize a chord, or even organizing your material. The idea is, every time you walk away from your guitar, you know you’ve accomplished something and can do things you couldn’t do before.

3. Try the 75/25 Method. Spend 75% of your practice time on new and developing material, while only practicing 25% of the time on material you already know and can do well. This means if you practice an average of an hour a day, you should be working about 45 minutes every day on developing material, and only 15 minutes on old stuff. This balance will help you maximize your time, as well as keep your confidence high.

Until next time, keep practicin’

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