What To Do When Practicing Guitar Becomes Stale PT 1:

By Guest Author & Guitar Teacher Chris Glyde

          This is part one of my why you’re practicing has become stale series. This article is going to focus on the mechanics of your actual practice routine. How you’re practicing. Article two will focus on inner turmoil that may be causing your practicing to become stale. Here’s a list of the subjects that we will focus on today:

 

1) You practice the same thing everyday

2) You have no plan and no focus to motivate you ( no direction)

3) You’ve reach one of your goals

Your practice routine is boring:
 

If you believe this is your problem, I have great news for you. This is an easy fix. You need to make your practicing more entertaining. Do you practice the same thing every day? If you said yes, then that’s your problem. There are a myriad of skills you can practice on guitar, rhythm, technique, visualization, songwriting, phrasing, ear training skills and many more. You can practice all of these things in tons of different ways. You should be mixing up your routine every week to include all these interesting great practicing strategies. If you do this you won’t have a problem with dull practicing. This is how you practice 8 hours a day and the day just flies by without you noticing it. This is all you need to do.

 

You have no direction:
 

The problem with no direction is the lack of encouragement. It’s not exciting, it’s not fun. You’re confused and you’re not sure where to go. Why would you spend time on something when. The objective and goal is so unclear and fuzzy? Get a real plan, path and strategy. There are many ways you can do this. You can contact a professional (a teacher) to help you. If you do, make sure they have a plan for you and understand what it is you’re trying to achieve.

You can also break down the goal yourself. You must understand how you want to play. Say you want to play like Jimi Hendrix, what are the skills Jimi had that made him able to play like that? You have to be specific though and then you can work on knocking down those skills. As a beginner or someone with no knowledge of guitar you don’t necessarily know where you’re going, so you really should get the help of a professional in this regard. It’s a lot easier.

You’ve reached your goal:
 

If this is your challenge then congratulations, you should give yourself a pat on the back for reaching your guitar playing goal. This was my situation as well and it was an odd feeling.

I felt a sense of accomplishment but also dramatic lack of motivation. I no longer needed to work on this goal, so it was no longer on my priority list. My mind didn’t have the same passion and to be honest I thought I lost my love for guitar. In reality that wasn’t true, I was just in between new goals. There are so many goals you can choose in music. If you complete one, take a look at your playing. Take a look at the player you want to be compared to, where you are and take stock. What skills and knowledge are you missing?

Focus in on those skills and find a new goal within them. I’m sure you will find several. This will fire you back up and get you going again. The main thing is to make your desire for these new goals just as strong because your desire won’t just transfer. You have to build enough emotion towards attaining that goal to make it a reality.

Avoid these bad practice habits and you will be able to make sure your practicing remains fun for as long as you’d like. Also don’t forget to check out the second article titled

About the author

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As a seasoned guitar payer Chris Glyde has gone through a lot of phases with his guitar playing. He shares his experience and mistakes and pitfalls with his guitar lessons students in Rochester New York.