People are always asking me how I practice. I thought I’d give you a few of the things I do to get the most out of my practice time!
1. Plan in advance what you will practice
- What are your immediate goals?
- What are your long term goals?
- Do any of these goals need breaking down into small manageable tasks?
- Visualise yourself in the moment when these goals have been achieved
2. Plan in advance when you will practice
- When I get to it often means never!
- Is it scheduled?
- How long should I allow for practice?
- Eliminate distractions
3. Determine how long you will work on each task and stick to it.
- Divide your practice into separate tasks and decide how long to spend on each one.
- Some tasks require repetition. It is easy to neglect the more tedious tasks, but if you determine to spend say 5 minutes on running a major scale up and down or working on a picking drill it’s far more likely you’ll see improvement and the task will feel less tedious because you know it has a start and end time.
4. Be disciplined about how you practice your tasks
- How you practice each task will make a huge difference on how quickly you learn it, and how well you remember it.
- Loop practice sections
- Change tempo
- Try from memory
- Show someone what you’re practicing
5. Journal your practice to build a sense of progress and momentum
- Steve Vai is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant guitar virtuoso’s that have ever lived and during his early years of practice and becoming a guitar master he would journal what he practiced. This played an important role in helping him focus and achieve his goals.
- I would say it worked out well for him. I know that when I have done this with my own practice it has worked really well. It does not need to be a complicated or elaborate journal. A simple record of what you practiced and how long for is a good start. Or it can be more in depth, where you could write notes about how it went, what you struggled with, what questions arose from the practice session, or what inspired you and what you would like to explore more.
Have you got another tip for practicing? I’d love to hear it, so leave a comment below!