The guitar is one of the most popular instruments, if not the most popular instrument, out there, and millions of people have tried to learn it. However, it seems only some really stick to it.
If I had to take a guess, I would guess the reason why that happens is that most of us are introduced to the guitar as an “easy” instrument to learn. Admittedly, learning to play 2 chords or a very simple lead isn’t exactly the toughest thing to do, but I digress.
Truly learning an instrument isn’t easy. It takes time, discipline, and practice. So, if you are a beginner guitar player, here is a guitar practice routine that might help you out.
I have been playing guitar for over 10 years now, and everything I say here comes from my experience as well as the wisdom that the teachers that I have had passed onto me. Here we go:
Guitar Practice Routine - things to do
1. Practice Daily
“Practice Daily” became the most annoying combination of 2 words to me. I hated this advice. The teachers I learned from online and in-real-life as well as my brother, all of them said the same thing: practice daily! Despite how irritating this may seem, it is the best piece of advice out there.
However, I would intervene here and add some of my own touches to this advice. I was recommended to practice for an hour daily, and that is great advice; it just isn’t viable for everyone. If you cannot practice every day for personal reasons like work, school, or something else, it is okay. Just play the guitar daily. 15 minutes is enough.
It is about muscle memory. In order to be a good guitarist, playing the guitar must feel natural. Your fingers should simply glide across the strings; make it your second nature. In order to get your hands and mind used to play the guitar, you must practice daily without fail if you are a beginner.
It is just like driving. Whilst learning how to drive, you must practice daily. Once you know how to drive, it is no big deal if you skip a day or two. Perhaps not the perfect analogy, but you get my point.
2. Learn using a combination of songs, scales, and exercises
There are numerous guitar practices out there. I have noticed that the best way to keep yourself motivated to learn is to mix things up. Playing the same “spider crawl” to get your fingers going, after a certain point, gets really boring. It is a wonderful exercise that I still practice 10 years down the line, but yes, it does get boring once you learn it. So, to keep things interesting, you can learn a scale.
Try playing the scale slowly, then slowly pick up the pace. Not only will you memorize a scale, but your fingers will get the required training. The same goes for songs. Sometimes, you just want to play a song… after all, that is the goal. So, play one. Pick out an easy song and try playing that.
I do not know why students are taught not to have fun and experiment. Yes, it is necessary that during the beginning phase, you do the exercises and scale loops that your teachers tell you but do not be afraid to mess around. Playing the guitar is an art; it is self-expression. Experiment with songs you know, change up the exercises you are supposed to do and try to either make them sound better or tougher to play.
4. KEEP EXPLORING NEW GUITARISTS
More often than not, people stick to listening to only a single type of genre. Nothing wrong with that, I mostly stick to rock and metal as well. With that said, do check out guitarists of other genres. I was blown away by jazz and blues guitarists. These guitarists will absolutely make you go wow! Do not be intimated by then; aspire to be as skilled as them.
In all honesty, I never learned music theory. I do not regret my decision to the level where I would go back in time and change it, but I do sometimes wish I should have. If you intend on playing guitar professionally, learning the theory should be a priority. It helps a lot, especially during improvisations and jamming along with other musicians. I am a solo musician, so it never affected me that much, but there have been times.
Remember that there is no one guitar practice routine that works for all. One thing that does work for all is practice. Practice daily, at least for 15 mins. That should be your routine. Just dedicate some time of your day to the instrument, that is all. Hope this helps you out!