Why You Are Not Making Progress In Your Guitar Playing & How To Start Improving
By Tom Hess - 06/23/2015 - 03:26 PM EDT
Does this scenario sounds familiar?: learning to play guitar at a higher levels, required you to practice various guitar skills and techniques for months or even years. Yet after invested all this hours into practicing, you still lose your bearings when playing in front of others, improvising, or recording music. Studying and practicing new lessons does not seem to fix the problem. Have you ever wondered why you cannot improve your guitar playing despite how much you practice?
I’ll tell you why: You lack fluency in your guitar playing. You might know a few guitar techniques, but you cannot mix them together. This happens very often because the vast majority of guitarists practice a technique to get it right... and only to get it right once... then they want to ‘go further’ onto brand-new practice materials. You will never develop guitar playing fluency by this way.
This is like common students at high school. When taking a test, instead of actually learn and benefits from the material, most students only try to pass the test and soon forget everything… you don’t want to be this kind of student. You have to learn how to efficiently practice guitar and achieve maximum returns from every time you practice – Contrarily, you’ll never stop dealing with guitar playing fluency.
2 Groups Of Guitar Players Who Might Never Reach Musical Greatness
In the 1st group are guitar players who do not concentrate on mastering any kind of skill - they keep seeking for brand-new materials to practice. This approach prevents you from improving your guitar playing because it doesn’t blend your guitar techniques together (more on this below).
In the 2nd group are guitarists who are perfectionists. They center on mastering every tiny single facet of a technique before practicing a new or different one. You aren’t going to master any guitar technique if you are practicing it in complete isolation.
The best you can hope for when using this approach is ending up knowing many guitar techniques that you can’t implement it when it really counts. After you finally realize how much time you spent practicing isolated techniques, you’ll become disappointed.
You have now learned which approaches DON’T work. – what follows is the exact guitar practice process that every major guitar player goes through when mastering any new technique:
1. Practice a new skill in isolation. Fluency or application isn’t the goal here, so do not concern about it yet. Most guitar players do this step... but they never go further, they got stuck in the first step.
2. Apply the new technique. Re-create a real-life playing scenario and apply the new technique. For instance: if you just learned a new tapping pattern, start applying it over backing tracks - generating many diverse new licks using all the skills you know.
3. Start integrating the new skill into all other areas of your guitar playing. This is the crucial step that will destroy or build your guitar playing fluency. To practice integration, center on using many different techniques at the same time while training them together. An example: Play a descending scale sequence using upstrokes and come back up using legato, or add additional notes to the scale or get rid of some of them to create a new sound... also, you can integrate lead guitar phrases with rhythm guitar riffs while playing over a chord progression that go through different keys...
To achieve guitar playing fluency definitely you MUST practice integrating guitar techniques, regardless of which level your guitar techniques are at. Ignoring how to integrate techniques together is the most common problem guitarists have.
4. Refine and Measure any new technique. Go back to the beginning and practice the technique again in isolation, but now you will be doing so with a brand-new viewpoint about what specifically needs to be trained. Then move to step 2 and 3...Repeat the cycle over again. This will ensure you improve your guitar playing much faster.
ATTENTION: Avoid falling into the perfectionist “pitfall” of wasting too much time on every step, or skipping steps to move onto new materials. Here is how you need to proceed:
- Switch up your practice materials when practicing guitar so that always, all your exercises are in different process of mastery. Use the best and most effective guitar practice schedules for yourself in order to do this correctly.
- Work with an qualified guitar teacher. One who give you the appropriate guitar exercises for boosting your guitar playing. Check out this page and learn more about finding a guitar teacher.
- Be aware that developing guitar playing fluency is not a linear process. It is the final result of the overlap in the 4 areas of guitar playing. Take a look the diagram below:
Aspire to boost the overlap among the 4 areas in the previous diagram, so that they work all together to reinforce each other and allow you increase your levels of guitar fluency. Like this:
Here are two crucial things for you to get maximum benefits out of this right away:
1. Discover how to make your guitar practice routines much more efficient - take a look at this guitar practice video.
2. Let me to help you implement these efficient practice methods into your guitar playing and lead you to achieve guitar playing mastery. To learn how, read this page about guitar lessons online.
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