As we all know, learning an instrument can be hard work. It is important to make sure you have solid self discipline and apply yourself.
Because a lot of your practice will be away from your teacher you need to develop strategies for maintaining a good work ethic. Here are seven habits that will help you in your journey learning your instrument.
1) Don’t procrastinate. There are always a set number of tasks you have to do when you are practicing. It is easy to put off playing until tomorrow, but you shouldn’t do this. Practice is important; you should get into it as soon as possible.
2) Keep in touch with other musicians. If you are constantly in contact with your friends who also play then you will boun off and motivate each other.
3) Keep moving. Don’t get stuck in a rut, it is important to keep on learning new skills and developing your playing.
4) Use your time properly. Without a regular practice time it becomes difficult to maintain consistency. You should make a regular time to practice so you can fully develop as a musician.
5) Practice in a good work environment. It is important to have a good place for you to practice. You need an environment that is clean and quite so you can fully concentrate on what you are doing.
6) Be comprehensive. You should always be trying to become a complete musician. For this reason, it can be a good idea to keep a list of all the things you need to do to become a complete musician.
7) Know your own work habits. Each person has their own individual way of learning. For this reason it is important to adjust your practice so you can maintain it.
We hope these tips help you with your practice. Keeping your self discipline is a matter of good planning and goal setting.
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Thanks for the Post.
I am 64 and I bought a cheap guitar for one of my Sons about 18 months ago. But he was not interested in it so I began to use it. The cheap Guitar didn’t last very long so I bought a Hohner Dreadnaught that I am very happy with . I struggled for a while but after purchasing some material on Scale Patterns , Intervals and Chords(1, 1v and v) it all became much clearer. I have also taught myself to read music which is fundamental to improving your playing.
I give the TV the flick about 8.30 each night and the spend about 90 minutes playing around on the Guitar. I don’t get stressed out about what I can or I can’t do. But I’m up to the stage of knowing all the notes on the fret board, can play most chords and am reasonably comfortable with using bar chords. When I look at music videos, I’m always trying to see what chord and chord patterns the guitarist is playing. I’ve also just realised that it looks like most solos and riffs on the guitar seem to be pentatonic scale patterns in a certain key and scale position on the fret board
My practice routine is spend about 10 minutes doing finger strengthening exercises, then I will do some work on Scale Patterns and work on some chord changes and strumming patterns. If I’m having difficulty with something I’ll just move on and practice something else. The interesting thing is that if I have struggled with something the night before I’ll often pick up the guitar for 10 minutes first thing in the morning and find that I can do what I was struggling.
I find the 90 min practice goes very quickly, I don’t expect any quick fixes but, just enjoy pottering around with the Guitar. I also sleep a lot better.
My belief is you get out of it what you put into it. I would strongly recommend to everyone that they get a knowledge of intervals and scales because once you know these it all becomes a bit easier.
For me, I have found a great hobby and interest that will last me for the rest of my life.
As I am now retired, and my children have left the nest, this gives me more time to progress my own hobbies. therefore, two twenty minute (sometimes more) a day is now possible. Thanks for your thoughts on quality of practice sessions rather than just quantity. I am learning to become more focused. Thanks Guys….
Awesome to hear from you!
Yeah man, there is nothing better than constant and focused practice sessions, even if its 20 minutes, that is perfect!
It is also really good that you have seen improvement, so it works and you only need to keep it that way!
Now, if you get to have more time later, adding another 20 minutes at the end of the day could be a good thing, but that would be just a plus.
All the best!
PS: Great to hear you enjoyed this post!
This is a great post. Ever since my son was born 15 months ago I haven’t had all the time in the world to practice so I can relate.
I now get up 20 minutes earlier just to get a few minutes in everyday. Since I only have a little time I try to stay focused.
My first goal was to improve my picking technique (something that I’ve always struggled with). Now 15 months later I’m pretty much shredding like Paul Gilbert (for the most part).
I’ve now moved onto soloing over changes which is another thing I’ve struggled with. I feel that in a few months, with these continued micro practice sessions I’ll be able to reach my goals. It all adds up over time.
Thanks for the post.