11 Oct Guitar Practice & routine
This guitar article will talk about about practice routines and what to expect at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
- Types of guitar Students
- Efficient but effective guitar practice
- Start on a classical guitar
- How to practice performing at any level
Types of guitar Students
I’ve taught a variety of guitar students over the years.
At MK Guitar Tuition the different types of guitar students are typically:
- Busy parents,
- New parents
- Kids, 14-24 year olds completing their DofE’s
- Those that want to progress with grades 1-8,
- Music theory students
- Those that just learn for fun
Regardless of whether learning guitar / music theory online or offline, each student has their own style of learning.
Working from home
If you’re working from home, you’ll have some time in the day (hopefully) where you can set aside 15 – 20 minutes 2 /3 times (or more) per week (including weekends).
Not working from home
If you’re not working from home, there will be some weekend practice and practice during the week day evenings.
Guitar students who are parents
If you’re a busy parent, guitar practice will occur after the kids have gone to bed, when they’re out or during the day if your schedule allows.
Guitar students who are aged 7+
Kids usually start to learn the guitar or another instrument from about the age of 7 upwards and they’re able to absorb information like sponges when the enthusiasm is there and it’s excellent.
Kids and parents can have similar time restraints, but with different worries. Learning the guitar will teach patience and that effort produces results.
Efficient but effective guitar practice
As an adult the balance between home and work is probably already established. So how do you find the time to fit in guitar practice and make it efficient?
Guitar students that practice with a metronome will make more progress in a shorter time frame once an understanding of the rhythm is established.
Efficiency when practicing will happen with experience. At each stage of guitar playing there are only so many shapes, techniques and rhythms that you’ll do within a song.
The record button
At each level practice with your mobile phone on record. Whether it’s scales, sections of a song or an entire tune. It’s an excellent preparation method for students at any level.
The camera doesn’t have to be facing you but it helps to get used to that too.
Going ‘Live’ on social media
Whether you like using TikTok, Instagram, Facebook or even LinkedIn Live, you can practice performing. If you’d rather not go live, you can upload a post of a pre recording that you’re happy with.
Peoples’ attention spans are generally short online, so if performing an entire piece isn’t for you yet, you can record a short video such as a technical challenge.
It’s scary but if you start with 0 followers, you’ll attract those with similar interests.
Start on a classical guitar
I’d recommend a classical guitar if you’re a beginner and haven’t already got another guitar available.
You’ll appreciate the difference for your next guitar once you’ve mastered the basics.
Having a guitar which is playable and suitable for you is important when you’re just starting out.
Practicing as a beginner
Practicing the guitar is a bit like going to the gym.
When you start learning the guitar for the first time you’ll want to develop strength and stamina in the finger tips and joints.
At the beginning you’ll need guidance and reminders when it comes to the posture of the left hand and in particular the thumb placement. This is all in aid to build up muscle memory.
Purchase my chord sheet here.
Regardless of style, guitar basics are the same.
Regardless of what style it is you want to do, guitar practice at the beginning will be focused on building strength and stamina whilst getting used to manoeuvring between guitar chord shapes in the open position.
Once comfortable you’ll be practicing switching between open chord shapes in time and perhaps with one or two barre chords – with the correct technique.
Practicing as an intermediate
By now you’ll have bought a guitar that’s capable of allowing you to grow into the style that you want to be able to play.
You’ll be worrying less about the chord shapes & transitions and be able to focus more on finishing pieces with accuracy whilst being familiar with some of the following guitar techniques such as:
- alternative picking
- downward picking patterns
- Bending notes
- Harmonics, natural, artificial and pinched.
- Finger picking and plectrum ability.
You’ll also be thinking for your self a bit more too. You’ll know how to form chord shapes whilst looking at the music. Sight reading will have also improved.
A common problem for an intermediate guitar player is that you can play tunes half their length. If it’s because you’re getting ‘bored’, remember, there’s always something new to learn when you move on to the solo section.
More often than not, the second half of a tune is similar or the same to the first half.
Practicing at an advanced level:
You’ll be worrying less about how transition, be able to play and perform a few pieces from start to finish in the style that you want to be able to play. By now you’ll be practicing performing your guitar pieces to an audience.
How to practice performing at any level
- Go down to a pub (open mic)
- Practice recording with your phone
- Practice a live stream session
Start a facebook page with 0 followers and get used to the process. You do not need fancy audio equipment to practice.
If you’re a bit self-conscious you can always just have the length of the guitar in view rather than your whole body and the guitar.
Would you like to book a lesson?
You can learn the guitar online or face to face, feel free to make an enquiry here.