As a guitarist, you will face many challenges and difficulties. Good practice habits will help you to face these challenges and make the progress you wish for. Poor practice habits, on the other hand, lead to frustration and disenchantment, and ultimately you are likely to get a discouraged practising guitar.
Good practice habits are easy to apply. Here are four habits that will ensure you get the most out of your guitar practice and avoid the pitfalls of boredom, frustration or injury.
They Practice Regularly
An instrument is a lifetime commitment. A successful musician realizes that there’s never enough to learn. Too many guitarists make the mistake of thinking that learning a few chords and throwing on the right shirt is going to buy them a sustainable career. Playing an instrument is not about placing fame above passion. Successful guitar players fall in love with practising to the point where practice doesn’t feel like practice.
They Constantly Seek Out Inspiration
We all have our heroes, those players who we aspire to be like. It’s extremely important to have people who you can draw inspiration from. When you’re feeling inspired, it’s a lot easier to reach your goals as a musician. Successful musicians know this and regularly draw inspiration from their favourite artists. At the same time, don’t compare yourself to other musicians. Be your own unique artist.
Have a routine
To have regular, short, focused practise sessions you need to know what to work on in advance. If you come to your guitar practise sessions with only a vague idea of what to work on you will waste time figuring it out.
Set aside a regular time to plan out your practice in advance. Identify the skills and knowledge you want to acquire and set practice activities for them. You can plan as far or as little ahead as you want. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to map out at least one week’s practice.
They Play With a Good Rhythm Section
This point may seem slightly bizarre, however, your performance as a guitarist is strictly dependent on your rhythm section. The key ingredient that successful bands get right is a good drummer and bass player. In some cases, an excellent rhythm section can determine whether your band is going to stick out or blend in with the herd.
They Maintain Their Gear
Maintaining your instrument is important – sometimes more than most guitar players realize. If you gig on a regular basis, a string change is necessary at least once a month to maintain the optimal tone and playing ability. Keeping your fretboard clean is also extremely important. Dirty fretboards compromise your tone and playing ability. It’s important to give your fretboard and guitar body a good cleaning on a regular basis to remove sweat and dirt.