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How to Practice the Guitar Effectively

By: Peter Lenkefi

Learning how to practice the guitar effectively can help you transcend from guitar enthusiast to musician. The old saying that "practice makes perfect" is a bit overused, but it doesn't oversimplify the importance of making regular guitar practice a part of your road map to becoming better at playing the guitar. What does learning how to practice the guitar effectively involve? Essentially, effective guitar practice consists of taking four elements of playing the guitar and incorporating them into your practice routine. When you make preparation, timing, and warming up a part of your routine of how to practice the guitar effectively, you will see how quickly you improve your skills.

Timing

Timing is important to learning how to practice the guitar effectively because it will mentally your prepare you. We all have a biological clock (yes men too!) that functions basically according to how we perform out activities. This is how people are able to adapt to shifting work shifts and other such changes in time rhythm. While you don't have to practice the same time, it is a good idea to try and set aside a time each day to practice the guitar. It may seem awkward at first, but eventually your body will adjust to the new activity and eventually it will seem like second nature.

In addition to finding a place in your schedule to practice the guitar, it is a good idea to practice for a specific amount of time each time you practice. While you can obtain some good practice time within 15 minutes, a 30-minute session is better for when you want to learn how to practice the guitar effectively.

Preparation

So what will you do when you practice? Knowing the answer to this question is essential to understanding how to practice the guitar effectively. It is not enough to show up at your scheduled time with your guitar in your lap. You should prepare what you intend to practice before your practice session. By doing this you don't waste time. Is there a particular song you're learning? Do you want to practice a new chord you recently learned? Not that you need it, but thinking ahead about what you are going to practice is a great motivator.

If getting in the habit of performing guitar maintenance seems like a chore, make it part of your routine that you perform before you practice. You don't have to spend twenty minutes of your practice session cleaning your guitar, but a few swipes of the body, fretboard, and strings with a dust cloth is a good place to start. It is also a good idea to perform regular maintenance after you finish your practice session. Incorporating these maintenance steps into your practice session is not only part of how to practice the guitar effectively, but it also a way to add life to your guitar.

Warming Up

Before you actually start practicing the guitar, you should warm up first. How you choose to warm up is ultimately up to you. Some people play scales, either the chromatic or whole scale since this is the best way to warm up all of your fingers. This part of your practice session should not be stressful. The goal is to work up to playing the guitar.

After you have gone through these basic steps you can start practicing the guitar.

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