Guitar Practice Lesson - Genius Guitar Playing Hacks That Make Other Guitarists Envy Your Skills
by Tom Hess
Most Fun Part
Of Your Day
But here is something you can do when you practice guitar …
You can make your guitar practice 2-3 times more effective than it currently is…
When you do, you accelerate your guitar playing progress without increasing how much you practice guitar.
And the best part? It’s easy to do.
Practice guitar using these guitar playing hacks to flip the “Natural Talent switch” in your brain and improve faster than you ever have before:
Guitar Playing Hack #1: Set Micro Goals When You Practice Guitar
You know how some guitarists set long-term, medium-term and short-term musical goals?
You can also set micro goals.
These are tiny objectives you plan to achieve every time you practice guitar.
Most Fun Part
Of Your Day
For example - watch this video about lead guitar playing and phrasing:
A good micro goal (from this video) could be to:
Practice delayed vibrato (as shown in the video) for 15 minutes and make the vibrato speed consistent for each note.
Effective micro goals are always:
- Ultra-specific (the more specific – the better).
- Realistic to achieve in ONE guitar practice session.
Want to learn more about setting micro goals and getting the most from your time when you practice guitar? Take this free guitar practice test & learn how to squeeze more progress from each minute of your session.
Guitar Playing Hack #2: Set Yourself Up for Success
How can you make your guitar practice schedules as beneficial as possible? What is the best way to make guitar practice schedules that you stick to? How can you make practicing less overwhelming?
Plan how you are going to practice guitar before you pick up your instrument.
…and plan your guitar practice schedules several days in advance.
Different guitar playing needs to be practiced in different ways.
- Guitar playing technique is best practiced daily, using guitar practice schedules that give this skill at least a moderate amount of practicing time.
- Non-guitar playing skills (such as ear training & fretboard knowledge) are best practiced multiple times per day, inserted into guitar practice schedules in short blocks of time.
- Creative skills (such as improvising or songwriting) are best practiced less frequently, but inserted into guitar practice schedules in longer periods of time per session.
There is no good way to practice guitar using all of these skills in a single session.
When you plan out your guitar practice schedules for several days in advance, you can include all the skills you need to work on and ensure that nothing is overlooked.
This is how you get the most results from every moment you practice guitar.
To learn more about creating effective guitar practice schedules to truly practice guitar for big results, download this cheat sheet about how to make better guitar practice schedules. (It’s free and you don’t need to enter an email address).
Use it to create guitar practice schedules that help you improve fast.
Planning your guitar practice schedules in advance is actually a lot of fun too. You get to set your goals and observe yourself realizing them - this makes sitting down to plan out your guitar practice schedules feel incredibly motivating!
Not sure what to do still?
Work with an experienced guitar teacher who has already helped tons of other students plan their guitar practice schedules around their musical goals.
Guitar Playing Hack #3: Free Up Your Brain, Practice Guitar More Effectively
What is the engine of your guitar practice?
(Hint: it’s not your hands.)
It’s your brain.
What your brain focuses on determines how much (or how little) progress you make in every practice session.
Your goal is to:
- Free your brain from distractions that slow down your progress.
- Focus like a laser on the things that help you improve your guitar playing.
One easy way to free up your brain is to use a timer when you practice.
Set it to count down the number of minutes you practice a particular item… and begin practicing.
Here is how this helps you:
- You become more able to focus on practicing (instead of worrying about how much time you have left).
- You feel more committed to follow through and practice the entire time the timer is going.
- You avoid over (or under) practicing items in your schedule.
Want to know another cool way to free up your brain?
Fully master the motions of each hand. This means: don’t rely on the motions of one hand to tell the other hand want to do.
You’d be SHOCKED at how common (and damaging) of a problem this can be.
Watch this video to see how to practice guitar correctly in this case:
Guitar Playing Hack #4: Put Process Over Outcome
The more you enjoy practicing, the more likely you are to practice consistently.
The more consistently you practice, the faster you reach your goals. The faster you reach your goals, the more you will enjoy practicing.
It’s that simple.
Use these tips to make guitar practice more enjoyable:
Tip #1: Strive To Improve, Not To Play Perfectly.
Don’t worry about playing something perfectly today. Focus on making your playing better each time you practice.
The gains you make through daily practice add up to making you play things perfectly.
This attitude takes away a lot of (unnecessary) pressure and makes practicing more effective (and fun).
Tip #2: Train Your Creativity.
Yes, creativity can be practiced and improved, like any other area of your guitar playing. Schedule time for it and practice it.
The more creative you become, the more your guitar playing feels expressive and emotional.
Don’t be the guitarist who only practices guitar playing by focusing only on technique and exercises, while not knowing how to make music with them.
Want to learn a simple way to improve your musical creativity? Watch this video:
Tip #3: Track Your Musical Progress
Tracking your progress turns guitar practice into a fun game where you keep score.
It also gives you clarity on what is and isn’t working in your guitar practice… so you can do more of the things that make you better.
Guitar Playing Hack #5: Improve Your Guitar Playing Fast By Focusing On The 3 Guitar Practice Layers
Mastering something when you practice guitar consists of 3 layers:
Isolation guitar practice – this is where you practice an item outside of any musical context.
Application guitar practice – this is where you use your item in a musical context.
Integration guitar practice – this is where you combine your item with other musical skills, techniques and concepts you know.
What does this mean for you?
Focus your guitar practice on all 3 layers at the same time.
Do not wait to master something in isolation to begin practicing application and integration.
Begin to apply what you are practicing even before you have mastered it in isolation.
Here is what else will happen:
Your mistakes make you more aware of what to focus on during your isolation practice.
This accelerates your progress and speeds up the process of reaching total mastery.
You now know how to make your practice more effective to get big results in your guitar playing. The next step is to create guitar practice schedules that take all the guesswork & frustration from practicing guitar.
Take this guitar practice quiz and learn how to make guitar practice the most enjoyable part of your day.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.
Use effective guitar practice schedules to improve your guitar playing faster than ever before.
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