25 September 2008

Guitar Practice Routine: Throw Some Meat In

Over the last couple of weeks we've taken a look at a number of ideas to help organize your guitar practice time. It's time now to cool things down and put a little perspective on the topic.

Now unless you are a working musician (and if you were you probably wouldn't read this) your practice routine is not the most important thing in life. Nobody will fire you if you don't practice enough, or if you don't always practice the "right thing". Remember that there is really no such thing as the "right thing", or "enough hours". Just do what you can with your knowledge at the current moment in time and don't stress about your practice.

Of course, there are more and less effective ways to practice, but don't be too hard on yourself if you discover you've used something less effective. It's just part of the learning process. Learning guitar, like life in general, is not a linear process so just do your best to learn a little every day.

Don't be afraid to mix the techniques you've learned about in this series, and elsewhere. Try one for a while and then, when it's no longer helping you or just doesn't feel right, try something different.

Learn to enjoy guitar practice. Many guitarists seem to see it as a boring and painful thing that gets in the way. But no matter how good you get at playing guitar practice will always be your main activity. If you can't find enjoyment in it then maybe the guitar is not the right thing for you right now?

Pick up your guitar and practice with the idea of having fun. Here's a final word to help you do that. It comes from the great jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, "I don't really practice. I sort of open up the [guitar] case and throw some meat in." (Quote courtesy of Jazz Improv Magazine)

Now there's some good practice advice.

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