Our musical outcomes & development are determined by how we practice. Practice is the centerpiece to balanced & steady growth as a musicianer. In a way, everything is practice, even performing. After performing, we can evaluate our actions across a number of vital dimensions.
|1.||Set up your practice space. Everything - all learning tools - within arm/foot reach.|
|2.||Always start with warm-up. Starting slow is always good.|
|3.||Practice a little at a time. 15 to 25 minutes daily is a solid time-span at the start. This will enable the hands & fingertips to strengthen, & consistency ensures that gains will be maintained. An extended session at least once a week is a good goal. Incremental practice leads to emerging advances.|
|4.||Sit down to practice [play] with objectives in mind, yet maintain openness to new experiences & experiments. Be intuitive in this regard.|
|5.||Train with a metronome [or a drum track] for some portion of your practice. This is especially good for scale training.|
|6.||There is a rhythm to practice. Discover a practice rhythm.|
|7.||Each session can & probably should contain training [doing exercises] & jamming [experimenting].|
|8.||It's okay to take a day off. This happens naturally; relax about playing/practicing. The world already produces enough pressure.|
|9.||With learning to play any instrument, we find new ways to keep it fun, while continuing to improve. There are moments when we have dissonance, but this is normal and a natural part of stretching ourselves as musicianers.|
|10.||We use our voice [it is our primary, given instrument]. We sing. We match the pitches we are playing. Our voice is our connection to the outside world, where the guitar physically exists as an extension of our voice.|
|11.||Slow = Control = Fast. Anything that is going fast, under control, once went slow. Speed is relative. When we practice slow, with control, we can then play it at any speed humanly possible. Fast, yet sloppy, means we can't play it slow with control and this correlates to not really knowing it.|
|12.||Mix it up: play to audio; look around on the internet; check out books; learn riffs & tunes; make stuff up; jam with others.|
|13.||Practice away from the instrument by seeing stuff in the mind & feeling it with the body. As we grow as guitarists, we can almost taste playing. After work, we just have to get home to jam.|
|14.||Guitar information is plentiful. Look around. Explore.|
|15.||We jam with others as a rhythm and as a lead player, even if only to audio [any song we play can be a solo and rhythm track as well]. This is an opportunity to gain feedback for our practice.|
Music learning is a life-long activity. There is no rush. In fact, rushing squeezes space, rather than creating more. Learning to create space for your practice and playing is central to making steady progress. Our outcomes are determined by how we practice, how we approach our studies, the views we maintain along the way, and the actions we choose to take.
Truly inspired practice comes from within. Teachers and lessons are guides to point out important features of the learning terrain. Each of us [& supporting structures] are ultimately in command of our playing lives, always. We are our own best teacher.
Once we make important discoveries about our motors and what our musical directions are, we can effectively build dynamic practice circuits based on our ability to mix components into a time span. As a basic principle, let's keep practice enjoyable.