I picked up the guitar at 14, played in a band for 14 years, then quit.
Years later I picked it up again and have been going strong ever since. But the road to guitar greatness is littered with those who gave up.
Hopefully, my experience helps you avoid becoming a casualty on the guitar “battlefield.”
Let’s look at a four-pronged strategy to defeat the biggest causes of quitting — pain, boredom, and discouragement. We will exploit “beginner’s blush,” focus on the mission, explode plateaus, and “learn how to learn.”
How to Exploit “Beginner’s Blush”
The idea here is to harness the almost irrational, dopamine-induced optimism to push through the painful process of earning your “guitar fingers.”
Guest post by Dan Leeman, a music educator and software consultant from Fargo, North Dakota. He taught middle school band and went on to found the Davies High School band program in 2011. Dan’s new site, notestem.com, combines his love of music, education, and technology. While the site is in its infancy, it will be home to music tools and resources that will be released in the coming months.
The impacts of Coronavirus and social distancing are being felt all around the world. Music teachers and students alike are wrestling with the effects on the music-making process, both logistically and emotionally.
1. Practice in the morning. If you are on break from school, designate a time in the morning for practicing. That way, you can make sure you at least get some practicing in at the beginning of your day. We all know that if we wait to practice later in the day, we may end up making plans, going out, being too tired and making other excuses not to practice.
2. Set a goal. Whether you are a beginner, a high school student preparing for seating auditions or a college student getting ready for a fall recital, the list of goals you can set for yourself is endless! Maybe you want to get better at sight-reading, learn a new song, work through a particular etude book, memorize a piece – make a goal to achieve by the end of the summer. Set interim goals for yourself along the way so you can check in and make sure you’re on track. more “10 tips for staying in shape (on your instrument) over the summer”…
We’re sure that everyone with children knows how challenging it is to motivate a child to practice. Every day there are activities that are vying for your child’s attention. Consistent and smart practice is essential to growing as a musician. The sooner your child can start to develop a regular practice regimen, the more apt they will be to succeed in their musical endeavors. Here are 10 tips to help motivate your child to practice:
1) Make practicing part of the routine – same time every day. Ideally, it should be before the fun stuff – TV time or computer games. Play with what time of day works best for you. My kids are morning kids, and so morning practice works well for us.
As with any artistic discipline, regular practice is essential to any musician’s mastery of their craft and growth as an artist. While some may feel that practicing for hours and hours on end is the only route to improvement, the adage “quality over quantity” ought to be kept firmly in mind. The following
list of strategies contains tips which can help musicians of any instrument, style and skill level practice “smarter” without necessarily practicing harder.
1. Organize your time.
Begin your practice session with a clear outline in mind of what needs to be accomplished. Many choose to divide a practice session into sections, e.g. setting out to practice for one hour total and using more “How to Practice Efficiently”…