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Guitar Practice Regimen

Guitar Practice Regimen

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Published by Michael Fairbrother
Three qualities you need to make the most of your guitar practice. Includes two sample routines.
Three qualities you need to make the most of your guitar practice. Includes two sample routines.

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Published by: Michael Fairbrother on Mar 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/19/2012

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THE GUITAR PRACTICE REGIMEN
 By Michael Fairbrother 
THREE QUALITIES 
There are three qualities that you need in order to make the most of your  practice sessions:[1] - WILLINGNESS[2] - DISCIPLINE[3] - FOCUS
WILLINGNESS 
You have to want to practice. If you do not, then your practice time will betedious and unproductive. If you take the mental attitude that practice is boring and uneventful then you might as well give up the instrument becauseyou are not going to get anywhere.I have met many great guitarists that say they do not practice or have never  practiced to get to their level of skill. Do not be fooled by those that say theynever practice. Yes they do... in some way, shape, or form they have practiced to get where they are.You have to learn to enjoy the art of practicing guitar itself. You should getexcited about your practice sessions. If you get into it and it makes you feelgood knowing that you are accomplishing something worthwhile, then youwill look forward to it next time. Get addicted.Willingness is your mental level of enthusiasm towards practice. Basically,if you believe it will be boring, then it will be. If you believe it will be funand productive, then it will be. If you believe you posess the willingness to practice, then read on.
 
 DISCIPLINE 
Anyone that knows me knows that I am big on discipline. No, not the punishment aspect of it, but the training aspect as it relates to learningsomething. If you already show the willingness to practice guitar, thendisciplining yourself to practice will be easy.This is the militaristic part of the process and something that most peoplewant to avoid. However, you must set yourself apart from the rest and proveto yourself that you have what it takes. There are three main aspects todiscipline as it relates to practice:
First, you have to be able to set aside the time every day to practice, noexceptions. It should be scheduled the same time every day and for the same duration. Make it set in stone. If you only have an hour tospare, fine, just make sure you practice intelligently for that one hour.It should be a time of day when you will not be interupted and you aremost alert. Be there and do not skip a practice session.
Second, your practice must be correct. Do not practice somethingsloppy... you will only get sloppy results. If you can only play it at areal slow tempo, fine, start with that. Do not think that practicingsomething anything less than perfect will get you good results. Makesure that whatever you are practicing is controlled and correctlyexecuted.
Third, the key ingredient to discipline is repetition. Perfect repetition to be exact (refer to the last paragraph). Repeating something perfectlyover and over and over ad nauseam is the only way to properlydevelop it. However, once you have it, you have it. It will becomeingrained in your muscle memory and will be easily retrievable.Discipline is not something you can do without if you want to be a greatguitarist. Just remember, you have to stay commited and work diligently atwhat you are currently practicing. It is the only way to achieve greatness onthe instrument.
 
FOCUS 
If there is one thing I am bigger on than discipline, it is focus. You must beable to zone in and follow through with every minute part of your practicesession. This is the zen part of the process:
Pay attention to detail.
Concentrate.
Do not waver.
Do not let your mind wander.
Stay in the present moment.
Get in the zone and focus on the task at hand.Keep an open mind about everything that you learn as it pertains to theguitar, but really zero in on the things that are important to you.For example, you may really want to develop a particular technique, yet arehaving a difficult time getting the hang of it, so you let your mind wander during the execution of it. You have to bring yourself back into the "now" of the exercise and pay attention to what is going on as it unfolds.Certain aspects of practice may be more enjoyable than others and you maytend to lose interest on the less enjoyable things. Yet, you must apply anequal amount of concentration to each thing you are practicing. Make the best use of your time by dialing in on what you are currently doing.Develop the skills you need to play the music you want and follow throughon everything.

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