This article will guide you through the four focus points of an effective practice session. If you put in the effort to build a solid foundation, you’ll be on your way to mastering the guitar in no time.
Life is busy, there’s no denying it. Whether it’s school, work, family, or friends; the demands on our time are ever-present. Even if you had eight hours a day to do nothing but play the guitar, you won’t achieve your full potential without a focused practice regimen.
FOUR FOCUS POINTS
No matter how long you’ve been playing guitar, when it comes to practice you need to pay special attention to these four areas:
It’s important to remember to have good posture while you practice the guitar. You will always play better when you are sitting upright rather than laying around on the couch or your bed.
Focus on using the correct fingering and picking techniques as you learn new scales, chords, songs, and riffs. Avoid the tendency to rush through your practice time just to get it done.
Without a doubt, the best way to develop rock-solid rhythm is to practice with a metronome. Whether you’re strumming folk songs or shredding through diminished arpeggios; bad timing will always make you sound like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Develop the habit now. Use a metronome when you practice. Your goal is to play cleanly “in time” with the metronome. Set it to a tempo that you perform best at and slowly increase the speed from there.
If you’re getting bored playing with a metronome, you could always sub in a drum loop or an instrumental backing track instead.
Understanding how the notes you play are related to a given key will be your greatest asset as you develop in your playing. This is especially important as you begin to play with other musicians. Knowing a million riffs and licks is irrelevant if you don’t know the keys they work best in or how to transpose them to another key.
If you still haven’t learned the names of the strings or the notes along the fretboard you are severely limiting yourself. Invest the time in learning the notes now and your future self will thank you.
During an effective practice session, it is far more important to focus on the quality of the notes you are playing rather than the quantity. Speed and flashy techniques aren’t impressive if they sound like garbage!
When you strum a chord, are there any dead notes? Do you hear any funny buzzing sounds coming from the fretboard? When you bend a note are you bending it to the correct pitch? Do you drop your pick every time you go to strum a chord?
Over time your quality will improve – provided you enforce strict quality control early on.
The best part about the Four Focus Points is that you can include them in any practice session. Whether you have 5 minutes or 45 minutes, keeping your posture, rhythm, key, and quality in check will set the foundation for success.
The sooner you incorporate the Four Focus Points into your practice routine, the sooner you’ll begin to see massive results.