Learn Something: 10 Guitar Practice Tips That Actually Work

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Ultimate Guitar
Learn Something: 10 Guitar Practice Tips That Actually Work

Mr. Pete Cottrell and Mr. Tyler Larson joined forces to offer a clip featuring a set of what they see as 10 guitar practice tips that actually work.

You can check out the rundown below (transcribed by UG), consult the video for the whole thing.

1. Have a goal

"Whatever you're practicing, whenever you're practicing, always have some kind of goal to strive for and to achieve."

2. Avoid distractions

"This can be applied to more than just music, but what we have to understand as musicians is that music and guitar is really, really fun. And we can get distracted by more than just this [a phone]. We can get distracted by noodling and other things that come along with playing the most fun instrument in the world. And the best suggestion I have for that is to form a practice routine!"

3. Slow it down

"Everybody wants to play fast, but in order to play clean, start slow. Really slow."

4. Use a metronome

"If you really want to become a proficient guitar player, you must be able to play in time, and that means being able to play to a metronome. You can also use drum tracks and loops, anything you can measure time with."

5. Keep a diary

"Keep a diary, a written log of everything you do. Why is it such a good thing to do? Surely writing things down won't improve my sweep picking. Sometimes to improve our guitar playing, we have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Keeping a written log is not only good for tracking your progress, but it also encourages discipline."

6. Be self-critical

"Be honest with yourself. Did you really play that lick cleanly, did you really get that down? Or is it kind of just being glossed over behind that wall of delay?"

7. Discipline (don't be lazy!)

"It is super easy to make excuses, get distracted and fall off schedule, especially since you're the only person making sure you adhere to it. The Xbox and Netflix can wait and will still be there once you're done."

8. Jam over backing tracks

"It's always more fun to jam over some music, but to go further, you need to be able to outside of the practice spectrum every now and then and just unload on a backing track."

9. Learn songs

"One of the best tips is to learn songs from bands and musicians you love."

10. Create a practice schedule

"Once you stick to a routine, you will notice vast improvement in all the areas, and it will also help you set goals as a musician - all the good stuff."

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5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I agree with all these tips but I have to be a little different because "Avoid distractions" does not work for me. I get way too deep in my head and stop playing/practicing. So I just start looking at BoJack or Modern Family or whatever and in the mean-time I'm working it.