I spend a lot of time with my Yamaha acoustic guitar in my hands but I’m not always focusing on learning or practicing. Most of the time I’m just playing stuff the pops into my head while I’m watching the TV.
The thing is I learn more in 20 minutes or a half hour of focused practice than I would learn in hours of just playing my guitar. The thing is concentration is needed when you want to really learn something.
Most Newbies Don’t Last Long
I really couldn’t tell you how many people I’ve seen start learning guitar only to give up shortly after and I’ve been playing for more than 10 years now. Most couldn’t handle their fingers hurting long enough to continue but the big killer is the mind. They tell themselves they can’t learn and they are usually right.
The thing is it’s not all learning all the time. It’s more about learning one thing and practicing it until you can do it without thinking about it. I practice while the TV is going, but only once I’ve learned first.
When I started learning guitar I was able to go to some guitar jams where I learned new things I could practice once I was back home again. Today we can use the Internet and specifically Youtube to learn things. I love seeing and hearing so I go for videos over books.
I will learn a new lick on my guitar and focus on getting it right. Once I have the lick in my mind I then practice it any time I get the chance until it’s automatic. This usually means, like I said, in front of the TV.
Note that the time you spend really focused on learning something new on your guitar will make it easier when you begin practicing with less focus. As time goes on each new thing you learn becomes easier.
Playing Guitar For The Fun Of It
When I started learning guitar the plan wasn’t to spend my life learning, even though I still learn new things all the time. My goal was to be able to entertain myself and playing guitar with friends. So when I am practicing I focus on getting it right before I begin practicing without paying attention.
It’s like so many other things in life. The brain learns and after some time things you learn come together in the brain and actually makes it easier to learn easier in the future.
Find A Quiet Place To Practice Guitar
This is so important to me as I get easily distracted and distractions are what make a 20 minute quality practice time into a frustrating 2 hours. Also I only take on one thing to practice at a time. That’s when I’m actually in practice mode.
So keep in mind that it’s the quality of your practice time and not how long you practice.
Just Let It Go, For A Bit
It might sound strange but it’s a good idea to just stop practicing for a few days. I do this all the time when I’m learning something new. I practice it until I know it and then I might not practice that particular thing for a couple of day.
I have done this countless times in the 10 years I’ve been playing guitar and it always amazes me that I get better when I give myself a break.
Now I don’t mean don’t practice other things, just leave that new lesson you’re learning for a couple of days and come back to it. This really does work so be sure to give yourself the chance to see just how well it works.
Clear Your Might Before Practice
If you can clear your mind before you begin practicing as well as any distraction such as TV or family. It can take just a minute to go clear and put things out of your mind. For me a little meditation does the trick. I think about a great day of fishing actually and it works for me.
Even taking the time to close your eyes and slowly counting to ten can help clear your mind and help you focus. If there are any distraction you may have to start over, so try to find a placed to practice where there are no distractions.
When we were still living in an apartment I had to resort to practicing guitar in our bedroom and even then it was tough to train my son and wife to leave me alone but eventually they got the idea, but not before I had to put a big note on the door saying NOT to come in.
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