Guitar practice setup

I don’t think there is any mystery to practicing the guitar. If you surf the internet for tips on “how to practice the guitar”, than you might get dizzy. The amount of websites gracing us with their special practice methods on how to shred or play like Jimi Hendrix in two weeks is overwhelming and confusing, to say the least.

Do you think that any of the great guitarists, athletes or actors just woke up one day and had these super human skills? Probably not. Talent level aside. Simply put, all elite guitarists, athletes, etc. do have a few things in common even if their abilities differ somewhat. Practice. Nose to the grindstone, go to the woodshed and don’t bother me.

They work relentlessly to play the guitar, or to be more precise, practice, practice and more practice. One grows by increasing knowledge input at a slow pace, while practicing each piece of knowledge until perfect. It is not a competition or race, so no matter how long it takes to master something, keep practicing until it is mastered. Enjoy the experience. It’s not that bad!

Relax your body. That is a fundamental habit to get into. As you progress relaxation comes easier. Tension in your muscles causes a lack of fluidity in your motions, therefore it makes it difficult to duplicate a song or play with grace. Relaxation and good posture relieves fatigue and improves the final results of your efforts, sound and tone. Relaxation is hard to accomplish, like changing your posture. It take time, focus and self awareness.

Research tells us to warm up our fingers or little athletes for about fifteen minutes with fingering and strumming exercises. We also know that taking a break every forty-five minutes to an hour and a half for about ten minutes between sessions helps prevent injuries. Be care full not to tear a callus or draw blood from overuse. It really slows you down in terms of progress, and guitar strings can cause infections since they are coated in various nickel compounds. One cool thing that happened to me when I pricked my thumb with a string during a string change is that my very versatile and excellent teacher, Richard Mac, taught me how to tap (a technique Eddie Van Halen is best noted for) because I could not hold a pick for 3 months. Great vibe, even though I’m not much into tapping. However it is another weapon in the arsenal. Ha!

Logically speaking, of course, we recommend starting with easy learn-able guitar lessons. Mastering an assignment builds happiness and confidence. These are two essential ingredients to success. You must enjoy your chosen art, in this case the guitar, and you must build confidence. Early gratification is essential in keeping ones interest level up, or one may get frustrated and lose interest.

Michael Jordan was the greatest talent in basketball, ever. You may not want to believe it, but it’s true. He also had a reputation as the most intensely ferocious person on court during practice. He always pushed the other team mates to the limit. It made them better too. Six world titles says it all.

That being said, the most important part of practicing is having the time and desire to go over certain pieces of musical information until you get it. It is a discipline that requires lots of practice time. It’s comical to even think of practicing during a recital or gig or basketball game. Game-time, recital time or gig time is time when you play by instinct. No practicing at those times. Period. Jam time is a good time to practice.

Jam on.

My point is that a lot of time is going to be consumed practicing the guitar. I read (and saved it, but can’t find it) a reprint of a Stevie Vai practice session in Guitar World about 2 years ago. It was a ten (10) hour/per day practice. Broken down into steps, from warming up through different left and right hand techniques and exercises, to the mental part of transforming it into muscle memory. Muscle memory is explained well in this article at guitarplayerscenter.

An example of finger and muscle memory is when a drunk guitarist can get on stage and play a complicated piece of music, that is the memory in their muscles from repetitive practice, not brain function (at least at the time) since being drunk can affect your brain’s memory. Understand? I hope so..

Without complications, I hope to have conveyed to you in this article that in order to be a top-notch guitar player, be prepared to do it the old fashioned way. Lots of practice. There is no magic formula, unless you are a Voodoochild, or went to the Crossroads!

Please Share this article at Stumble Upon or Digg, or your favorite social site. Sharing has two purposes, one is to get the message out to as many people as possible and the other is that you may find more interesting and fun info, articles, videos and pictures at the social sites I mentioned or one you already frequent. Feel free to comment if you have something to add. Enjoy. GPC

33 Responses to A Logical and Effective Method to Practice The Guitar!

  1. Pzychotropic

    Nice article! So many budding guitarists are hoping for an ‘easy’ option, but its as you say in the article -
    “They work relentlessly, or to be more precise, practice, practice and more practice. One grows by increasing knowledge input at a slow pace, while practicing each piece of knowledge until perfect. It is not a competition or race, so no matter how long it takes to master something, keep practicing until it is mastered. Enjoy the experience. It’s not that bad!”
    So what are you waiting for!

  2. your point is well taken! no truer words dude.

  3. We need to remember that hard work is the way to go. Life ain’t easy — but we can succeed in most things by working hard. AMEN!

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  6. i read this on a practice break :D

  7. Your article was very helpful and insightful. Thank you.

  8. Ash Frog,
    Thanks for your comment. Practice ain’t easy, but it is rewarding. Good luck and enjoy.
    Danny

  9. Great, great posting. You summed it all up! Keep up the good work.

  10. Thanks Manda, only a true guitar player would understand that. I’m assuming you play the guitar of course. I hope you join my blog, it is free and more of my ramblings will be deposited in your e box. Take it easy, Danny

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  12. Love Hendrix, love playing, love practicing. A player can be whatever he wants. Time & money is a trade off. For me I like time to play. Thanks for your thoughts

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  19. very nice,great for focus,thankyou

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  21. There is no set in granite way to teach or learn. Everyone has a different way of taking in information. It does not matter what age group you are in, being able to teach or learn the subject in a manner that caters entirely to the student facing you is what is important.

    Trying to force someone to learn something like beginning guitar lessons in a non flexible manner will result in failure, in most cases. The teacher needs to examine the student in all manners related to learning and decide which method will work best on said student.

    Other than the right teacher, learning to practice is the most important virtue you will need to develop. Nothing is more important than practicing and lodging the information in your mind. An area that stores muscle memory.

    What I make sure my students know and understand is that practice is still playing the guitar. You can make it fun. Yes, of course scales and chords are part of practice, but as you become a better player, you may find yourself making melodies out of scales, triads and chords.

    It feels really good to make music all by yourself. But don’t fool yourself. It takes quite a commitment to become a good guitar player. The payoff is priceless. I know that locating a great private tutor is difficult and hit or miss. If you miss, it can cost a lot of money, wasted money.

    I give Skype online guitar lessons, and if you are interested, check them out, and the other affiliated guitar lesson reviews provided in order to decide the best way for your learning process to take place.

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  22. That’s what I’m saying. If you start to read one of the purely unbiased guitar lesson reviews posted on my review site, ones I find highly credible, then make the click to the recommended lesson site right away and take a peak, then finish the review. The review site I speak of is very impressive in looks, ease of navigation and most importantly, accuracy of said review.

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    You know what else? It’s nice to have a DVD or be able to access your lesson as often as you need to? Even a year later, it’s nice to be able to refresh your mind. Well, online video guitar lessons and DVD guitar lessons give this great option. Because, nobody remembers the whole lesson the first time. So it’s great to be abale to reference your lesson as often as needed.

    When I give a private lesson, I am taking a video of it. Along with your lesson book, college rule notebook for me to make notes in, you get a DVD of the lesson.

    The truth is that nothing is quite as good as a private, face to face lesson. But, costs are prohibitive for some folks and transportation is needed. Online lessons have come a long way with new technologies and listening to their customers needs. I would not discount the value of online lessons at all. That is why you have to read the guitar lesson reviews. Do it now. Click the link. Start your new passion now.

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  27. I always wanted to learn to play the guitar. Since I was 8 years old. My parents forced me to try other instruments of all sorts, but I wanted guitar lessons. I was very frustrated until I was 14 years old. Then my parents bought me a guitar and some lessons from a private tutor.

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