The Reasons Why You Are Not Growing As Fast As You Wish On Guitar
By Antony Reynaert
In your development as a guitar player it’s incredibly important to train yourself and your muscle memory the best way possible. When soccer players prepare for a game, they don’t just sit in the changing room analysing how they should play.
No, you want to be prepared by training in a practical way. If you want to be a good guitar player, just like the ones you look up to, you have to train yourself and be extremely dedicated about it.
Committing to your guitar playing
A lot of guitar players don’t really pay much attention to being fully committed during a guitar training. They sit for example in front of the television playing their scales up and down or they’re just doing some random ‘noodling’ or improvisation on the guitar.
They just don’t realize that this won’t help you at all in your development. Nobody wants to walk in the same circle over and over and over again with no result.
Neglecting This Aspect During A Guitar Training Will Result In Slow Progress
If you train for example on playing a scale up and down with perfect technique, it’s vital that you stay focussed all the time. The moment you start losing attention, mistakes will slip into your playing.
The reason why this happens is simple; you incorporate these mistakes into your muscle memory so the next time you play you will make the same mistakes again. Being completely focused is such a crucial aspect to your guitar practice session.
Another thing that happens a lot during a training session is that you start slipping into random ‘noodling’ on guitar. In other words you get distracted from the real exercise and you just play some random improvisation.
This will also result into the number one thing you don’t want to happen: no progress at all. Again, there is only one aspect that is responsible for this distraction and it’s the lack of focus.
The Number One Key To Stay Focussed All The Time During A Guitar Training
Now that you realize that focus is the key to success for optimal growth as a guitarist, you want to maintain optimal attention during the whole guitar workout. To do so you only need one thing: an interval timer.
There are many apps for your phone that will provide you this interval timer. You can also go on YouTube and search for an interval timer. Not having a timer is absolutely no excuse for not using one during a training session.
The way to use this interval timer during a practice session for building guitar skills goes like this; set the timer in a way that it beeps every 3 minutes. Set the alarm not too loud so you won’t be bothered by the sound during your training.
Using Interval Timer
The next step is where this interval timer will become really valuable. Every time it goes off, you have to ask yourself: “What am I really doing right now?”. Reflect on what you are doing, on how you are doing and if you are focussed. Then continue the exercise with the highest intensity possible.
This method will avoid you from slipping into random noodling, will keep you focussed on the exercise and will maintain this focus during the whole training.
All the lost time from being not focussed will immediately go out the window now that you know about this simple but crucial aspect of using an interval timer in your practice sessions.
If you’re sometime clueless on what to play or what to practice, it’s a great time to dive into my free blues guitar ebook where I cover all aspects of blues rhythm guitar.
About the author
Antony Reynaert teaches blues guitar locally in Belgium as well as online. All his knowledge can be found on his website The Best Blues Lessons For Guitar.