What You Must Do To Practice Guitar Effectively

What You Must Do To Practice Guitar Effectively

what you must do to practice effectively
by Jamie Andreas // June 23 // 4 Comments

Your Muscles Don't Know Right From Wrong

Muscle memory is a great thing, but it can work for you or against you. What happens if f you do the right thing once, then the wrong thing, and then various combinations of right and wrong? You end up with some pretty confused fingers!

This is what most people actually do when they practice.

If you make lots of mistakes when you play, you are one of these people. You must discover what your fingers are really doing when you practice guitar.

When you practice, do you make sure your fingers do the right thing? Are you allowing your fingers to make haphazard and inaccurate movements? It is common that in ten repetitions of a passage the fingers may actually do it ten different ways. That’s when you make mistakes, play wrong notes  and say “oops”.

Even If It's Wrong, Your Fingers Remember

Usually, the person practicing is not aware of the fact that they did it ten different ways. It may be something relatively obvious like using slightly different fingerings, or something more subtle, like tension in various muscle groups, or stopping breathing. The person practicing is not aware of the differences but the poor fingers are! When the player then tries to play that passage for someone, well, how will they ever know which of those ten ways the fingers might decide to do it?

 Your fingers can be your faithful servants and friends, or your worst enemy. It all depends on what they are really doing when you practice.. They have great memories, but they have no conscience! They will remember and repeat whatever they do, but they don’t know the difference between right and wrong. That is up to you, to know the right thing to do, and to make sure your fingers do it.

How do we do this when we practice? By swinging the hammer slowly!

Swing The Hammer Slowly

You may have heard many times “Practice slowly”. And in fact, it is the best advice anyone can give you about effective guitar practice. But there is one major problem – no one knows what that means. I can guarantee you, unless you are already a pro ( and sometimes even then), you don’t know what practicing slowly really means.

If you are always “trying to play the music”, if you have never sat down and made your finger movements so slowly  that you could be aware of your whole body and your breathing as you made your finger movements – if you have never done this, you don’t know what slow practice really means.

And when you discover it, it will blow your mind!

You will understand why you see so many raving testimonials by people who have used “The Principles”. They learned what slow practice really means, and they started doing it. It changed everything for their guitar playing and guitar future.

The Method For Slow and Effective Guitar Practice

Now I am going to give you the method, the actual thing you must do when you sit down to practice. It has a name. It is called “no tempo practice”.  Although it takes time to understand and do it well, as soon as you start doing it, even a little bit, you will see amazing results you never saw before.

Next, I want to tell you about no tempo practice.

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"How To Practice Guitar"

Jamie Andreas has one goal: to make sure that everyone who wants to learn guitar is successful. After her first 25 years of teaching, she wrote the world acclaimed method for guitar "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar". She put everything into this method that was essential for success on guitar. Called "The Holy Grail" of guitar books, the Principles has enabled thousands of students who tried and failed to play guitar for years or even decades, to become real guitar players. In 2012 Jamie was profiled in "Guitar Zero" (Penguin Press 2012), a study of how adults learn to play guitar. Jamie was interviewed along with some of the worlds leading guitarist/teachers, including jazz legend Pat Martino and Tom Morello ("Rage Against The Machine").

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