Stop Getting Frustrated Whilst Practicing
If you want a new method of guitar practice, keep reading.
Focus from now on, on application. Don’t worry too much about what you’re learning or learning new stuff, but on using what you already know.
So what are some simple ways to use what you know better and create easy improvement straight away:
1. Work on that timing!
Yes, I do go on about this often but it’s worth once and for all sorting out your timing. A great place to start is with my book “206 Improve your sense of time and rhythm”. I’ll guide you through how to assess where you’re at with your timing, give you a load of practical ways to improve your timing & feel and walk you through how to continue your development once you’ve completed the book.
The only other thing you need along with my book is a metronome, if you don’t have one, there’s a link to a FREE metronome in the resources section, if you have a kindle, there are some great free ones in the app store. That’s a good place to start, but you should buy a standalone one [my favorite is the Korg MA-30].
2. Learn song properly
What I mean, is go back and learn how to make the songs sound like the original, discover your passion for them again and practice them until it translates when you play them. No-one wants to listen to a half-hearted version of a song which mistakes are many and you keep starting and stopping.
The great thing about doing this, once you have mastered it a few times, you’re playing will automatically shift gears and it will be easier for you to play with passion.
The best way to start is to pick four songs and learn and master one a week for the next four weeks. After these four weeks, you should gather some honest friends [and a recording device of some sort] and give a concert, and ask for some feedback. Make sure you listen back to the recording and be honest with yourself. The more you work hard, the bigger the pay off.
3. Learn scales, but forget them
Sounds odd, but it’s true. You should learn scales to forget them and then they should just be a part of your playing. You see, no-one wants to listen to you run scales, sorry. People do however want to hear music that will move them, that will inspire them and make them want to push the repeat button.
So you need to learn scales in order for you to know where the notes are on the guitar’s neck. But then you have to, need to and should, find something musical to say. The best way to find something to say is to sing and then to play it back to yourself. Do it privately to start off with and get use to messing it up. It will get it easier as you do it more.
4. Patience [bonus]
If you’re getting frustrated while practicing guitar, then take a deep breathe, try to slow down the passage which is annoying you. If it it’s a solo, work with a metronome, start at 50% of your current speed. Get it idea together at this slower tempo, and then when you’re happy, move the metronome up by 10 BPM, when you’re good, up it by another 10 BPM. It will take time and require patience!
With chord patterns, it’s a same thing, get each chord sound great in isolation. Think about how you will move between each chord, which finger will move first, second and so on. Try to move between chords slowly. Start with your metronome on it’s slowest setting and try one chord per bar. As you build confidence, the tempo can be increased. If you try this you’ll see your guitar playing abilities improve quicker and easier.