Every student realizes that guitar practice is important if they wish to become a better musician. Even so, many have trouble establishing a regular practice routine. Other responsibilities have a way of squeezing them into a work-a-holic lifestyle, leaving little room left for personal pursuits. Even teens and children are over-stretched these days with school and other extra-curricular activities. So, what's the secret to creating an effective guitar practicing schedule? The answer: MAKE IT YOUR PRIORITY!
That may sound simple to some and impossible to others, but it is absolutely imperative to becoming a good guitarist. Giving something priority simply means to put it before everything else in order of time and importance. Now, it's always easier to set priorities when there is a desire to accomplish, or reach a specific end result. So, having a goal in mind when practicing the guitar, will help you to maintain your focus and provide a sense of purpose too.
According to the Scribner-Bantam English Dictionary, the word "Practice" means:
- to work or pursue as a profession
- to perform often in order to learn
- to teach by frequent repetition; drill
In order to make your guitar practice a priority, try thinking of it as you would your job or school work. By this, I don't mean it should be a drudgery, but an important necessity.
Schedule a time each day to practice your guitar, and stick to it. Be firm in your decision. Mark it in your appointment book, or on your calandar. You will begin to notice an improvement in your overall ability when you practice the guitar on a regular basis. There will be times when you seem to leap forward, and other times when you don't seem to be getting anywhere. But understand that the guitar is one of the most difficult instruments to become really proficient on, so you will need to guard against discouragement. I have a friend who plays piano, cello and violin. She decided to take up classical guitar and confessed that it was the most difficult instrument she had ever tried to learn. So, you may want to keep notes on your progress for personal encouragement as well as an incentive to persevere.
Commitment and determination are two of the most important keys to success in any pursuit. Talent and natural ability are a definite plus, but many talented guitar students lack discipline. In order to succeed, you must learn to cultivate and nurture your natural abilities through regular guitar practice. Skill is developed by continually honing, experimenting and perfecting your gift. Don't just take it for granted, be willing to work hard. All great guitarists have this one thing in common- they made guitar pracitice a priority! So, get yourself started in the same direction by keeping these things in mind...
1. Make your guitar practice a priority
2. Establish a specific time of day to practice
3. Make a commitment to practicing regularly
4. Set short term and long term goals (make a note when reached)
5. Persevere through difficulty
6. Be determined to succeed
Above all else, enjoy playing the guitar and learning new things- have fun! Think of your guitar practice as an adventure. With so many different guitar styles and techniques, there will always be something else to discover. Life is short, so make some time to do what you love and be happy!
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Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on buying a guitar, songwriting, recording and creating a music career, please visit: http://www.abclearnguitar.com