By David Taylor
Many guitarists donít have enough time to practice for long
periods of time. But if you want to progress fast, you need
guitar in your hands as regularly as possible.
Itís better to practice for 10-20 minutes every day, than 4
hours on just one day of the week.Getting into a rhythm of
regularly picking up your guitar for a quick practice session
is a great habit to get into.
So if you donít have enough time for a full practice session,
and you have 10-15 minutes to spare, hereís some ideas for
you should practice:
Practice a chord change.
Perhaps switching from an F barre chord to a D open is causing
If you spend just ten minutes going over and over the change,
you will increase your ability to do it at the level you
The key is to focus, and hone in on one skill that you can
improve in a short period of time.
Work on a song you want to memorize.
This will give you a chance to actually play some music! You
need to have fun in your practice to keep you fresh and
Listen to a song on a CD and jam along.
This is a great way to improve your playing, and itís
particularly suitable for short practice sessions.
An important part of learning guitar is to train your ear, and
jamming along to a CD is the perfect way to do it.
Work on a lick you want to learn.
You'd be surprised how many times you can work through a lick
in just a few short minutes. You can also combine this
technique with practicing chord changes.
This will improve your skills in a short period of time.
Work on picking skills - do drills up and down the neck.
You can use your metronome to work on speed picking skills, or
you can slow everything right down and work on keeping your
body in a relaxed so that you develop an ease to your playing.
Work up and down a scale.
In ten minutes you can play through a scale around 50-100
times. This will improve your stamina and also help you build
Remember to use a metronome when youíre trying to build speed
though. Because you want a smooth rhythmic sound to your speed
picking, not a struggling, hurried sound.
So build up gradually.
Play some chords in combinations that sound good to you, or
play some single note melodies. Again, this improves your ear
and you could maybe work out some parts to a song of your own.
Okay, thatís all the ideas Iím going to give you for now. Use
your imagination to come up with more things you could try,
mix it up so it doesnít get boring.
Also, keep your guitar ready and set-up. Sure, itís protected
all hidden away in your case, but if itís ready for you to
a short practice session, then youíre more likely to pick it
and practice, even if it is just for a short time.
So keep that guitar out and ready to practice!
You may not think these short practice sessions help much, but
doing this builds up your skills fast Ė and youíll surprise
yourself by how much you improve just be having the guitar in
your hands regularly.
However, you donít want to solely rely on these quick practice
sessions. Like most things, you need to strike a balance. A
good way of finding that balance is to set a routine.
When you have a routine, you will find it gets easier to find
the time for practice. Once youíre in a habit of practicing
regularly, youíll find it harder to break out of, and thatís a
good habit to have!
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