Before you get too carried away with the title of this post, let me say one thing first: While you certainly can accelerate your guitar playing by incorporating a few extra steps into your practice regime, you won’t be playing like Jimi Hendrix tomorrow… But, you will see a difference and you may even surprise yourself.
How do you get to places that you wanna go? Yeah, you get in the car or take the bus, or even walk… you move forward to where you WANT TO GO. In other words, you have a goal. you know what you want, or where that thing is that you want, and you go towards it.
Learning to play the guitar and accelerating your guitar playing is no different; you can make it, but you have to know what you want to achieve. Yes, I know, we all want to play better guitar, but what do you need in order to achieve that goal?
Step one: List your guitar goals.
Write yourself a simple list of your immediate guitar playing goals. It might go something like this:
- Play chords
- Know the main notes on the fretboard
- Music theory – knowing how chords are formed
- How to use a pick
- Picking chords
Make sure it’s visible – hang it on the fridge or your bathroom mirror so you’ll always remember what it is you are working towards.
Step two: Accelerate the learning process.
Once you have determined your objectives, you will need to think about how to approach them; keep in mind that these objectives may change as you progress. Have you learned to play chords? Well, now focus on how to change chords and so on.
Accelerating the process of learning is easy, but it requires maximum concentration and knowing exactly what you need to work on for the different steps of learning the guitar.
Here are a further 6 steps to forming good learning habits that will accelerate your guitar playing:
1. Lay out your work routine. This can be done by planning your practice routine, for example: 15 minute warm up; then play a couple of easy songs you have learned, then learn new chords, scales, techniques.
2. Avoid distractions. Forget about T.V. while practicing the guitar; you need to disappear for at least 20 minutes of solid one-on-one with your guitar.
3. Make sure you feel comfortable and don’t practice when you’re tired. You’ll only end up feeling worse for it. This one is pretty obvious, but basically don’t push yourself too hard.
4. Environment. Do you have enough lighting? Maybe you are in a noisy environment? Your practice space is like your temple; decorate it, put posters on the wall if you want. The main thing is to make it yours.
5. Is your workplace big and comfortable enough for you. Similar to number 4, but this one focuses more on the comfort of the space rather than on the look or feel of it.
6. What materials do you lack? Lessons, courses, materials, DVDs, CDs… you name it.
Can you tick all of the above? If so, you’re moving in the right direction… If you are missing something, work on it. To be honest, it is not that hard to accomplish these six steps and believe me, you will feel way better when playing and learning the guitar. If you do so, you will start speeding things up. Hang in there, you’ll see!