How to Improve Your Practising Time
We all want to get better at guitar, but some people seem to improve faster than others.
In my experience as a teacher I found that if a student improves faster this is NOT due to natural talent, rather it's because he/she is following a few simple guidelines.
If you want to improve faster too, here they are:
Practicing guitar: that thing that will make us better at playing guitar, but it's not as fun as playing.
Here are a few suggestions to get the most out of the time and energy you put into practicing. They will help you getting frustrated, and they will make you improve at a steady rate:
Things you want to do:
Play slow before playing fast. This is the secret to speed and relaxation: do not speed up too soon. Make sure you can play your exercises at a moderate tempo before shredding with them.
Have a practice schedule. As your teacher help in building one, then follow it. Even if you do not follow it 100%, it's much easier to stay on track with a schedule... and your playing will massively improve in a short time.
Focus on one thing at a time. It stands to logic that it's quite hard, if not impossible to focus on TWO things a a time. The idea here is that if you try to fix EVERYTHING wrong with your playing every time you practice, then you are spreading your attention too thin. Pick ONE thing, and work on that.
Check with your teacher. Make sure your teacher approves what you are going to practice. Just asking him/her: "hey should I practice this thing right now?" will save you TONS of time, as your teacher may give you a better, more efficient alternative.
Things that will make your practice harder:
Practicing useless things. For you right now, everything you find on the internet/Youtube is useless UNLESS your teacher explicitly told you to go and watch it.
All those 'shiny' licks that you can learn on YouTube are a waste of time if you are not ready for them. I know it is hard to resist, but if you focus on what your teacher gives you, you will see the differences in just a few weeks.
Distractions. You can't learn if you do not focus, so eliminate all phones, computers, TV, etc from your practice space. Just practice!
Following multiple teachers. This is something you should NEVER do. Different teachers have different methods, and those differences will interfere and slow down your progress.
Pick ONE teacher that you like (not the best player, but the best teacher!) and listen only to him. If you pick two teachers it will confuse your fingers and your mind.
About the Author
Tommaso Zillio is a professional rock and metal guitar player with the passion for music theory that teaches electric guitar lessons in Edmonton to many local up and coming guitar players. He's also a respected writer of guitar columns.