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Play Guitar Better in 2010 – 5 Tips For Taking Your Guitar Playing Beyond The 'Beginner' Stage

Play Guitar Better in 2010 – 5 Tips For Taking Your Guitar Playing Beyond The 'Beginner' Stage
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Author: Sam Marks

If you've been trying to learn to play guitar during 2009 and haven't made the progress you'd hoped for, you may be wondering how you can do things differently next year. You might also be thinking of giving up don't! Chances are, you just need to make some relatively minor changes in your mindset and practice routine. Make a resolution to put these five simple tips into practice, and by the end of next year your guitar playing will almost certainly have improved dramatically. Play guitar better in 2010 by: 1. Using a metronome Do you practice regularly with a metronome? If not, start today, because it really is a must if you want to develop pro-level precision in your playing. Without a metronome, it's very easy to think we're playing in time when in fact we're slowing down for the difficult bits and speeding up during the easy parts (or worse, slowing down during the quiet passages and vice versa). Now maybe you're sure you don't do that, but even so, give the metronome a try for a few months, and you'll be surprised at how much it improves your guitar playing. You can use a physical metronome, or opt for a software version or an electronic one (such as those found on many electronic guitar tuners). It doesn't matter which type you use just use it. 2. Establishing a consistent practice routine Now this won't apply to everyone, but if you're one of those people who just plays when the inspiration strikes, you're never going to make a lot of progress. To develop your guitar skills, you must follow a consistent practice routine for most people, this means practicing every day, or just about. There will be times when 'life gets in the way', and it's also ok to take a rest day now and then, especially if you're experiencing soreness or fatigue in your hands. But if the days off are becoming the norm, or you're using other commitments as an excuse to avoid practicing, that's not so good. Even if you just do 15 or 20 minutes a day, that's better than a marathon session once a week. Find a routine that works for you and develop the discipline to stick with it, even when you're not in the mood. Chances are, after playing for a few minutes, you'll get into it after all. 3. Practicing mindfully Practicing regularly is all very well, but it won't do much good if you're just practicing the same old sloppy habits. Do you really listen to yourself as you practice? Or does your mind tend to drift off onto other things? It's easy to let that happen, but by making the effort to really focus on what you're playing, you'll find it easier to build good habits, and just as importantly, you won't be ingraining bad habits that will hold you back. 4. Having patience! Are you feeling frustrated because your fingers just won't do what you want them to, and progress seems painfully slow? That's totally understandable. The early months of learning any new skill are usually pretty frustrating in many ways, and playing an instrument is no exception. Remember that learning the guitar is a complex skill, and despite what all those 'learn guitar in a weekend' scammers promise, it takes a lot of time and effort to develop your skills to a competent standard. Every virtuoso guitar hero has been in your position, and only moved beyond it by having the patience to stick it out and keep going. Now since most people won't keep up an activity that isn't fun, rather than seeing the practice session as something to be got through in order to achieve a specific end (better technique), enjoy it as an end in itself. After all, there'll always be room for improvement in your playing, no matter how good you get, so you might as well enjoy the journey too. By taking some pride in your achievements so far, and celebrating every little improvement rather than beating yourself up because you're not 'there' yet impatience becomes less of an issue and ironically enough, you'll probably progress more quickly too. 5. Following a coherent lesson plan Finally, take a look at how you're learning to play guitar. Are you following a structured plan of lessons? Or just surfing around, learning a few chords here, a scale or two there, a few riffs over here? If that's the case, you're learning in an inefficient and largely ineffective manner to progress, it's vital to build a solid foundation of core musical and technical skills during the early months and years of learning to play. And the most effective way to do this is to follow a structured lesson plan put together by a professional who knows how all the necessary elements fit together and build upon what you've already learned. There's a huge choice of reputable courses to choose from, including tutor books, DVDs and online guitar courses just pick one from a reputable teacher, and stick with it, rather than jumping around all over the place.
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Play Guitar Better in 2010 – 5 Tips For Taking Your Guitar Playing Beyond The 'Beginner' Stage