Practice Tips for Beginner Guitarists
Becoming a better guitarist is a goal that we all share, whether we’ve been playing for 2 years or 20. The key to getting better is to practice as regularly and consistently as possible.
But unfortunately , many guitarists don’t get very good, value for their practice time. They noodle their way through a couple of songs they know well, maybe practice a scale or two and then call it a day.
This type of practice is not going to turn you into Eddie Van Halen anytime soon.
You don’t have to practice for hours at a time, but you do have to maintain some focus while you do play. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your practice sessions:
1. Have a purpose.
Idly strumming away may be fun, but it’s not going to improve your skills very much. Instead, choose a song you’ve wanted to learn for a while and find the chords or tab version. Sit down for a few minutes and really work on getting it under your belt. Learn the chords, find out where the changes occur and try to map it out in your head.
On the other hand, if you want to learn scales or a lead solo, spend your time working specifically on this until you get it.
2. Be consistent.
Practicing for 3 or 4 hours one day isn’t going to help if you don’t pick up your guitar for a week after that. Practicing for smaller amounts of time each day, but don’t miss too many days of practice if at all possible. Consistent repetition is what it takes for your fingers to learn the necessary patterns and skills.
3. Warm up before you practice.
Your muscles work better once they’re warmed up. Begin your practice sessions by playing through a couple of easy songs or scales before you get to the hard stuff.
4. Do the hard work early in your practice session.
After you’ve warmed up a bit, it’s best to get right into the most difficult tune or scale that you’ll be practicing for the day. Your level of concentration and patience will be higher near the beginning of your session and gradually diminish as you go along. Do the hardest work when your mind and fingers are their freshest.
5. Finish with a bang.
Finish off your playing day with some songs that you really enjoy and are relatively easy. This is a fun way to finish, it gives you something to look forward to throughout your session and some enthusiasm for the next time you pick up the guitar.