10 Insanely Actionable Guitar Practice Motivation Tips That Improve Your Guitar Playing Today
by Tom Hess
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You probably know that some days it is hard to get motivated to practice guitar.
And guess what happens on those days?
You often find reasons not to practice guitar or you practice less than you planned to practice.
So what can you do?
Answer: Use these 10 insanely actionable tips to increase your motivation to practice & make guitar practice fun. (They work even on the days you don’t feel like picking up your guitar.)
Here is how:
Tip #1: Find New Ways To Play Familiar Guitar Licks (And Techniques). Here is How:
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It’s no secret that practicing the same technique over and over can feel really boring.
But what if you took a common guitar technique (or a lick you know very well) and found new ways to play it on guitar?
Think about string bends. How many different ways to bend strings do you know?
If your answer is less than 10, you have a big opportunity to improve your guitar playing very quickly.
Watch this video to see several cool examples of string bends:
Want to learn 5 more guitar tricks that make your playing sound better in the next 10 minutes? Download this free guitar playing eGuide to learn how.
Tip #2: Ask Yourself This Question…
…You suddenly could not play guitar ever again?
Imagine how you would feel about all the opportunities you’ve missed to play and practice guitar…
Or, imagine this:
What if today was the last time you could play your guitar? Would you still feel like doing something else? Or would you make the most of the time you had left with your instrument?
It’s not likely that you’ll ever lose your ability to play guitar. But asking these questions helps to focus your mind on your musical goals and persevere.
Tip #3: Use The 5-Minute Trick To Build Guitar Practice Momentum.
Pick up your guitar to practice just for 5 minutes.
Give yourself permission to put the guitar down if you don’t feel like practicing more after 5 minutes.
9 times out of 10, you won’t feel like putting your guitar down and will practice much, much longer than 5 minutes.
There are 2 reasons why this happens:
- The hardest part of getting yourself to do anything is simply getting started. After you practice for 5 minutes, it takes more discipline, willpower and mental energy to stop practicing than to continue practicing.
- Practicing guitar for 5 minutes is very realistic for everyone. You always have 5 minutes to practice – no matter how busy you are. This means you can always use this trick to get yourself to practice :)
Tip #4: Create An Imaginary Drill Sergeant
Imagine this scenario:
It’s 7:30pm on a Wednesday night.
You are practicing your guitar as you always do.
Suddenly, the door opens:
…and in walks your favorite guitar player of all time to watch you practice guitar.
What would you like him (or her) to see you practice?
What would you like him (or her) to say to you to motivate you to practice?
Answer these questions for yourself to create a mental image in your mind that motivates you.
Tip #5: Turn Guitar Practice Into A Game. Here is how:
Many people don’t enjoy guitar practice, because they don't know how to have fun while practicing.
But what if you turned guitar practice into a game?
Here are 2 ways you can do this:
- Track your musical progress with everything you practice each week. Challenge yourself to make more progress each week than you did the week before.
- Rotate your focus on different areas of your guitar playing while you repeat the same exercise over and over.
This prevents boredom, helps time go by more quickly and improves your guitar playing a lot faster.
Tip #6: Travel Back In Time Mentally.
Think about all the challenges and frustrations you experienced in your guitar playing when you were a beginner.
Imagine if you had given up on your playing then…
If that happened, you would never become the guitarist you are today.
- The more you procrastinate on your guitar practice today, the less likely you are to become the guitar player you want to be in the future.
- You already went through the hardest and most frustrating part of learning guitar (being a beginner). You did so and achieved the skill level you have today.
Right now you are closer than ever to playing guitar the way you really want.
Tip #7: Get On The Guitar Playing Success Train
Be around other guitar players (and musicians) who are passionate about guitar and music, just like you.
It doesn't matter how advanced guitar players in your peer group are. Their motivation to improve helps you feel more motivated to practice consistently and take action to reach your goals.
(If you can’t find such musicians locally, look for online music forums to join.)
Tip #8: Travel Forward In Time
Visualize yourself playing the way you want to play and see others admiring you for your awesome musical skills.
How quickly this happens for you depends on the actions you take (or don’t take) today. Each guitar practice session is a step towards the guitar playing future you want.
Tip #9: Flip Your Guitar Playing Upside Down
This means to practice something you’ve never practiced before. Give yourself a break from disciplined guitar practice and allow yourself the freedom to:
- Explore a different style you’ve never studied before.
- Learn some new songs (or guitar solos).
- Review older guitar lesson materials, songs or exercises you’ve practiced in the past. (You’ll often be surprised at how much better you can play them.)
Going outside your normal practice routine makes your practicing feel new, fresh and exciting (and makes you more motivated to practice consistently).
Tip #10: Do The One Thing Most Guitarists Never Practice.
Practice integrating (combining) your musical skills together.
Integration practice helps you feel like a musician, long before you become an advanced guitar player.
The more you feel like a real musician, the more motivated you feel to practice :)
Watch this video to see what integration practice looks like:
Tip: You don’t have to wait to master all your skills before you practice integrating them. You can integrate anything you can play slowly.
Bonus: Another way to motivate yourself to practice is to find new ways to improve your guitar playing faster than you have in the past. Download this free guitar playing eGuide and learn 5 easy tricks that make your playing sound better in the next 10 minutes.
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.
Become the guitarist you’ve always wanted to be with Breakthrough Guitar Lessons Online.
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