Here’s a recent guest blog post we did for the excellent The Guitar Journal
Enjoy, and good luck!
Here’s another post linking you to some brilliant online Masterclass resources – Video lessons and talks from some of the world’s best Guitarists across all genres and eras.
In the spirit of this diversity, you can find below some videos by Mark Knopfler, Nile Rodgers, Synyster Gates and Steve Vai. Happy viewing, (and subsequent practising) and we’ll be back next week with another selection!
Welcome to part 5, Friday’s final instalment in our daily blog series offering you a professional practice tip each day.
Tip 5: Don’t Always Play With Songs
For some guitarists, this advice should be “Start Playing With Songs” but for most of us, it’s don’t always play with songs!
Especially if you’re preparing for a gig/performance/exam etc. you need to know the song you’re learning inside out, and that means not coming to rely on cues in the vocals or production which you can’t necessarily trust to be present when you perform.
Practising material to a metronome or backing track can help you solidify and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the piece, and have you ready for anything.
So do it!
Welcome to day 4 and another brand new expert Guitar practice tip from our London Guitar Teachers
Tip 4: End on a high note!
Whatever’s In your practice routine, or whatever new things you’re covering that day, finish on a positive. Don’t walk away from the guitar having just had an unsuccessful moment. You’re a guitarist who is always improving and developing and aspiring to something, so don’t finish a session on a negative note.
Of course, this includes being aware that what a positive note is can be a sliding scale. If you’re trying to increase your speed of a solo from 60 bpm to 200 bpm, then finishing a practice session having worked it up to 90 bpm is a hugely positive step. Remember this! You don’t have to have literally completed everything in order to finish positively.
The point is – resolve any problems or confusions before you finish
Day 5’s tip coming tomorrow.
Good luck and happy playing!
Tip 3: Slow Down!
Learning and practising new material at slow tempos is advised so often that most of us are sick of hearing it, and we were almost tempted not to include it.
The problem is, aspiring Guitarists and Pianists generally speaking are still not taking this advice. It’s too tempting to try and play at full speed, or at least faster than you should, straight away. This is because you’re frustrated at not being able to play at the actual tempo yet.
However, this approach will extend and multiply your frustration! If you’re willing to put in a relatively small amount of time, learning the correct techniques, fingering and phrasing at a slow speed, then once you’ve nailed it, speeding up is easy! Often, in fact, unless what you’re learning is some sort of Satriani/Chopin speed shred-athon, you can instantly speed up to the required tempo. Simple!
So slow down!
Tip 4 coming tomorrow.
Here’s part 2 of our new daily blog series offering you a quick practice tip each day, to improve your Guitar or Piano playing.
Tip 2 – Little & Often
2 hours per week, split into 6 sessions of 20 minutes, is infinitely more valuable than 1 long 2 hour session.
Breaks are important to process the practice that you’ve done.
Over a period of 2 hours straight your concentration, focus and technique will drop off very heavily, your playing could become quite sloppy and you are unlikely to take onboard the benefits of regular, shorter practice sessions.
If you currently do long practice sessions, try splitting them into shorter, more frequent sessions. The results will be obvious!
Tip 3 coming tomorrow.
Hi everyone and welcome to our new series of daily blog posts offering you professional practice trips to maximise your Guitar or Piano practice time.
Each day we’ll offer you a professional, insightful tip that will help you notice an improvement in your playing, fast.
Tip 1: Stop Practising What You Already Know!
Don’t stop playing what you already know – but that’s “playing” not “practice”. If you want to improve as a guitarist, focus your practice time on what you don’t know, not what you do.
A short burst of dedicated focus on whatever it may be – A hard chord change, improving your speed, learning a new scale or solo, will pay huge dividends on your all round playing and knowledge. Then when your practice is done, it’s play time! This is when you play what you already know, for fun!
So separate your practice time and your play time.
See you tomorrow for tip 2.