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Some Guitar Practice Tips

Practice in a quiet, comfortable place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

Commit to a specific time each day for practice.

Begin each day with a firm commitment to a practice plan that includes the specific details of when, where and what to play.

Keep your practice sessions short, frequent and very specific.

It is more effective to practice 20 minutes everyday than to practice two or three hours once a week.

Always practice with a metronome.

Let me repeat that. Always practice with a metronome. It is surprising how often even good guitarists break this rule. Training yourself to play at a consistent tempo will make your music sound professional. This is valuable whether you plan to play just for friends at a party or in a stadium full of screaming fans.

Tune the guitar before each practice.

Determine your optimum practice speeds.

For each part of a scale, exercise or song find the fastest metronome speed that you can play without making mistakes. Practice it for a day at 25% to 30% of that maximum tempo. Follow this with a day at 50% of maximum then another day at 75%. On day four practice at your old maximum speed. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you have a new, faster maximum speed. Be forewarned, however, that this routine might seem ridiculously slow but, hang in there because it really will pay off.

Do not try to learn too many different things at each practice session.

Practice only small sections of an exercise or song at a time. Working on an entire new song, all in one setting, makes it more difficult for your brain to cement solid muscle memories. Just like a newborn baby can’t handle an entire meal of solid food we need to practice only a few, small musical spoonfuls at a time.

Work on the problem parts not just what you already know.

This may sound extremely obvious but there is a tendency for new guitarists to play the easy parts over and over while continuing to stumble over the problem spots.