The Key To Playing The Guitar Practice

This article is about the mind in relationship to playing the guitar and how knowledge of it can help you progress more.

Ultimate Guitar

This article is about practicing playing the guitar, not about chords or scales, but about how you think about guitar practice. Playing the guitar is of course about your hands and fingers, but your mind and how you think about playing, is more important.

To start off, I will explain a little about how your mind works. If you think you can learn that awesome solo, you can, if you think you'll never learn, then you won't. Your mind should be set to your ultimate goal: learning to play the guitar (better). If you think it's possible to reach that goal, it is, believing is the biggest part of making your 'dreams' come true. It also works the other way around, if you think you won't ever be able to play and get better, then you won't. This theory has been proven numerous times, even in normal life: the awkward moment when your friend is 'drunk' from alcohol-free beer, he hasn't had any alcohol, but because his mind thought he was drinking it, he acted drunkly. Your mind and body are so deeply connected, that your mind can make your body believe things. SO, if you are able to let your mind believe something, this will ultimately effect your body.To put the above in a guitar context, thinking you'll be able to play the guitar, makes that you will be able to.

Let's put this principle into practice. So you are really motivated to learn to play, every day 2 hours of practice. But then there is a day when you really don't feel like playing, but you still do. Will you learn a lot? No, because you don't feel like playing, you won't like it, thus you won't learn a lot.

So my advice is: you should practice a lot, but only if you want to practice. If you don't want, it won't help a lot, so don't do it then. A 'positive' practice of 15 minutes will be better than a 'negative' practice of 2 hours. With your mind set right, it will be easier to learn.

Then a little more on what you practice, it's best if you set a goal for every week or month. Start each week by saying: at the end of this week I want to be able to play... This way you'll reach a goal every week, which makes it more fun to learn, because you can see the progress. Also, don't go over the top, don't try to learn to play very difficult songs, this way you won't reach your goals and you will get demotivated. Set a goal which is appropriate to your playing skills.

To finish off, I have some practical tips for practice:

  • Always start with a short warming up, guitar playing is a sport and if you don't warm up your muscles you can easily get injuries.

  • If you just can't seem to play something and get mad, put the guitar down and try it again later. Getting mad never helped anyone.

  • Don't always practice with distortion, you hear your mistakes more clearly on a clean channel. Distortion tends to cover up small flaws.

  • Don't blame your guitar, amp or whatever if you can't play something, you're only fooling yourself.

  • And finally, keep enjoying it, playing guitar is supposed to be fun and if it isn't anymore, then you should consider stopping.

    Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and learned a little.

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