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Make Real Guitar-Playing Progress In Every Lesson

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Tips For Practicing Guitar at USOM

blue notebook with pencil

We want to recap why we use Practise Notebooks at USOM.

Some people might think the main reason is to get you to practise more – WRONG!

The main reason is simply to make it really clear what will be the most beneficial things to practise to move your playing forwards.

For 95% of students, this means adjusting DOWN the amount you think you should be doing! Its more about quality than quantity and practising the right things.

We’ve noticed over the years that many adult students hold the belief somewhere in the recesses of their brains the myth that ‘I must be practising every day to improve’.

This is wrong! You are a hobbyist not a professional musician.

Think of other hobbies you do whether GAA or football or golf. You don’t play them every day but when you go to ‘training’ and do quality focused work you improve from week to week. It’s the same thing with guitar. You will do quality and focussed playing during your classes and you will improve even when you might not get a lot of practise done in between classes.

Hobbyists like yourself have multiple demands on your time and energy like jobs, kids, grand kids, elderly parents. So please remember you are a hobbyist not a professional musician so give yourself permission to adjust how much practise bearing in mind what’s going on in your lives.

Here is our advice on practising

  • Ultimately, picking up your instrument outside of class should be something you look forwards to. To reach this point- don’t make practise sessions too hard!
  • You are not a robot. When life is hectic set yourself LESS practise to aim for. Accept that this is NORMAL and SENSIBLE and take the pressure off yourself.
  • Some weeks you might be feeling stressed in life. Only aim to practise things that you know so its playing for enjoyment and relaxation. When you do sports do you always do full on workouts no matter how you feel? No, you adjust it, same with guitar.
  • You will be surprised how just one simple practise session no matter how short and simple will give you a real sense of satisfaction and enjoyment.

When you practise:

Give it your total concentration and do not get distracted by your phone.

Decide how long you will practise for and what you will get done, then do it.

Do not procrastinate from things you find challenging. Give them a go and alternate it with easier things.

Turn it into a ‘You time’ ritual (versus a chore) and have a cup of tea/beverage with it!

Daniel Jacobson Ultimate School of Music www.ultimateschoolofmusic.ie