Tips before you hit the stage
Practice makes perfect. Isn’t that what your Mum and Dad tell you? Well, we’re sorry to side with them but it really does go a long way into helping you improve your guitar skills. A good practice routine is helpful for when you’re singing and playing on stage.
Drinking water needs to be an essential part of a guitar practice routine. Water helps the brain function and keeps your muscles from cramping up so when you’re practising hard, hydrating yourself is essential when playing or singing during your guitar practice routine.
Guitar practice routine
Use a metronome
Guitar practice routines seem rather boring when you’re playing scales and riffs to a metronome but this is one of the most invaluable tools a guitar player can own. Start by playing at a slow tempo, 90bpm for example, and gradually increase the speed. This will help you become a lot more accurate with your picking hand and can help you memorise shapes with your fretting hand. It is also essential when it comes to going into the recording studio which often guitarist struggle having become so used to freestyling live.
When using a metronome, try playing your chosen guitar scale or riff in double time or half time in order to challenge yourself.
Learn the basics
A lot of guitar players can play Phrygian sweep picking patterns or add 13 chords to their songs however if you ask them to play a C Major chord in three locations on the fretboard they can’t. It’s imperative to practice the basics first before progressing. It’ll stand you in good stead. A good starting point is to learn the following:
- Major Chords in Open and Barred Position
- Minor Chords in Open and Barred Position
- Major Scale
- Minor Scale
- Major Pentatonic Scale
- Minor Pentatonic Scale
- Guitar practice routine
Buy guitar practice books and DVDs from different authors. Also, these days search on the internet and sites such as YouTube have a wealth of content. Everyone can teach you something different.
Learn a little bit of theory
Guitar practice routine should be about practising the guitar and not about reading page after page of theory, however, if you can play chords and scales but don’t know how they’re formed you may encounter a hiccup in the future. A good way to stay consistent is for every new thing you learn to play, dissect it afterwards and figure out how it works.
Every guitar player has got bad habits including the professionals but tries not to change them all in the space of a day. It takes a long time to change a habit so start small and pick one a month to change.
Play, play, play
Easily, the most fun and helpful way of practising the guitar is to play along to your favourite songs or play with other musicians. Just by watching someone else, you can pick up new ideas to practice with. Ed Sheeran definitely didn’t get that good by playing on his own locked in his bedroom all these years.
Getting into a good guitar practice routine can help your guitar skills develop a lot over a short period of time.