When you decided to become a guitar player you thought guitar practice would be fun, right? But you have discovered that the process of learning to play guitar involves climbing a mountain or two. If you have persisted in your efforts to learn guitar you might have just decided to grit your teeth and knuckle down to solid hard work. Hours of it. Hours on end. The reward is in the future. Well, the work is necessary but if there is no fun then much of the work is wasted. Every guitarist should work out a practice regime that helps develop technique, widening repertoire, performing a variety of music, and in getting your songs into your memory.
If your aim is to do one hour of guitar practice per day it would be good to focus a little on getting value for money out of all that sweating. One hour's guitar practice should not be one hour's continuous playing without a break.
Guitar practice time is the opportunity to renew your view of the guitar and of yourself. You need to have an aim or two every time you sit down to practice, but none of these aims should be set in concrete. It is true that constant playing makes you a guitarist, but trying to play scales and chords your hands are not ready for just makes you grumpy. If you find yourself worrying about how your speed is not improving or you are just not getting the chord change you have been working on, then you need to take a step back and try to have more fun while you practice. At least once a week make a point of playing the songs you really enjoy playing.
Maybe you can start by having several things to practice on any given day so that when you get sick of practicing one thing you can move onto something else.
Let us take a look at some areas we could aim to work on:
Warming up your hands
Working on technique
Learning new songs
Taking time to work on musical interpretation
Improving technique by reviewing music you are already familiar with.
The actual practice of working on these areas entails asking yourself if you really know what it takes to learn new songs without getting stuck, or if you need to ask someone else what aspects of technique you need to attend to. Opening up questions about your playing is far more useful than mechanically repeating a practice regime based on what you thought you needed six months ago or last week.
Part of guitar practice is examining your attitude to your practice time. If you are the type of person who has trouble getting down to work, make a set time to practice and make yourself stick to it. If it is natural for you to sit down to practice regularly you should spice up your routine as much as you can because your biggest danger is going stale. Or you could simply take some rest breaks during a grueling practice session. An ideal way to break up practice time is to be always making sure your guitar is in tune. Divide your guitar practice time into portions, say 10 minutes practicing arpeggios, 5 minute tuning break, 15 minutes scales, 5 minutes on a tricky chord change.
Another hazard for a guitarist is regarding your practice as “only" practice. If you have lessons with a teacher or occasionally play for friends and family, prepare in advance as though you were preparing for a formal performance. You need to see what you need to work on to sound your best. To make the most of your guitar practice time, allow your problems to drop away. Take a holiday from your life.
Ricky Sharples has been playing guitar his whole life, and is presently engaged in building a blog which features free guitar lessons, videos, articles and reviews to help you Learn The Guitar for free. Ricky updates the blog constantly so if you are interested in learning to play guitar there will be an enormous variety of tips, tools and tutorials for you.