Guitar practice can be a lot of fun, but it can also be frustrating if you don’t have specific goals or guidance. In this blog post, we will discuss how to make your practice sessions more enjoyable and productive. We will cover the different stages of a typical practice session, and give you tips on how to make each stage more effective. Finally, I will give you some advice on how to perform at your best when you are playing by yourself or in public!
1. Getting in the right mindset:
The first step to having a successful practice session is getting in the right frame of mind. You should approach your practice time with excitement and energy, not dread or boredom. If you need some motivation, try listening to some of your favorite classical guitar players. Think about how good it will feel to play your favorite pieces flawlessly. Whatever it takes to get you excited about playing, do it! It can be simply holding the guitar and doing nothing for a few minutes it will calm you down and get you into the mood. I think those things are strictly personal and you know yourself best. Whatever it takes to get you excited about playing, do it! if you feel that nothing helps you to get started or you have lost your enthusiasm, you may consider checking my online course Motivate Yourself to Practice Guitar
2. Warm-up before for your guitar practice
Once you’re in the right mindset, it’s time to start your practice session with a warm-up. This can be anything from stretching your fingers and arms, to playing simple exercises or scales. The goal of the warm-up is to get your muscles and mind ready for more challenging playing. It’s also a good time to focus on your breathing, which will help you stay relaxed while playing.
3. Playing scales and practicing techniques:
After warming up, it’s time to work on some specific skills. No matter what your level, it’s important to focus on improving your skills. I can’t stress that enough. When practicing scales and exercises, one of the most important things is to learn them first. that means “to know how to play” a certain scale or exercise. Once you have the notes and fingering down, then you can concentrate on more specific technical tasks. Such as speed, accuracy, dynamics, different idioms, etc. this is a valuable habit to develop later you can transfer this concept in your work on the actual pieces. I like to say: “The technical exercises and scales are our lab and a training ground” The more time we spend there the easier is in the pieces. This way of thinking will increase dramatically your progress rate.
4. Working on a new piece or pieces:
Once you’ve warmed up and practiced some techniques, it’s time to work on new music. If you’re learning a piece from scratch, simply proceed as if you were playing a technical exercise. Learn the notes first, experiment with the fingering, etc. If the piece that you are working on is in some state of flow you may choose to work on a small fragment on it during this session just work on a few phrases etc. It’s important to have a goal in mind when working on new pieces, so you can gauge your progress and avoid getting frustrated. For example, you can open your guitar diary and check what your teacher has assigned you for this particular piece and concentrate only on that.
5. Maintaining your repertoire:
The repertoire is the list of ready pieces that every guitar player has at their disposal. those pieces are the once they can perform when needed without preparation. So maintaining the repertoire should be a great part of any practice session. Think of it as if it is your stock of items that are ready for sale. In your case, those items are skills. You have to maintain them regularly so when the time for performance comes you are ready, In fact, maintaining your repertoire regularly we are always ready to perform. Now you may say oh, but I am just a beginner I don’t have pieces for concerts. If you are just a beginner still you have there exercises that you can play that are your repertoire at the moment.
6. Guitar Practice for your Concert:
You may have experienced in your career as a guitar player, regardless of your level that at home you play the best, and you are not tense or nervous. During public performances be it, a concert, exam, or even during your guitar lessons you are not as relaxed and comfortable as when you play at home. The reason for that is that most of us practice the music itself but not its presentation.
How to practice that?
Make sure that you end each guitar practice session with an imaginary concert. staring from getting on the stage greeting the audience, performing your piece or pieces (depending on how much time you have) bowing and receiving the appreciation of the audience, and finally walking out of the stage. It is a good idea to do this concert in another room, not in the one you just practiced so you can be in different surroundings than you are usual.
If you don’t have another room to use, simply turn your chair in another direction to change your view which also helps to give you a different look.
During this imaginary concert do not stop, whatever happens, finish all the pieces, receive the “applause” and walk of the “stage” then in the “dressing room” take some time to analyze what went wrong. and try to fix it in the next practice session.
7. Guitar practice in a Home concert
whenever possible you may organize a small home concert. Set up a few chairs in your living room, and invite some friends or family members to come to watch you play. Play your pieces as if you’re on stage, and focus on putting on a great show. This will help you practice performing under pressure, and it’s also just a lot of fun!
Practicing guitar can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to approach it in the right way. Make sure to warm up before you start playing, and focus on improving your skills. Work on new music, but also make sure to maintain your repertoire. And finally, don’t forget to practice performing! By following these tips, you’ll be sure to enjoy your guitar practice sessions, and you’ll make great progress as a musician.