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Posts Tagged ‘composition’

The Art Of Practicing….

Hi there viewers! Welcome again to cool-guitars.com and I hope you find what you need right here!

Firstly, thanx for coming bye and supporting the site with great comments and some helpful suggestions – although some of them I just don’t get but I’m just a guitarist myself – I will try to get back to as many of you as I can!

I have had  allot of students and general guitarists ask me how long or what to practice. This is one of the most difficult questions to answer in that it depends on your level of playing and what you are trying to achieve.

What I mean here is when you are a beginner you just go for it in a fairly random order… this is just fine because as much as it is not very productive… it is a hard time in that you are beginning to get your fingers and your brain around everything  guitar and a solid regime that you may adapt later often deters the beginner from continuing… not good. I like to go the softly, softly approach with the beginner so as not to scare them into thinking ” this is too much to handle”, or  “this is too hard”. It is better to give them a song they like to learn, broken up into chords and solos, improvisation, theory, composition, than present a book of scales and tell them ” get these down!”…lol

Rock out!

Rock out!

The more experienced players will have ( hopefully) developed a system of practice that breaks their time up into sections that gets the most out of their practice time. Although at certain levels, that is when you have been playing for many years, practice time tends to get very long. For example, I myself have been playing for 25 years and practice can sometimes  come in the form of looking on Youtube for inspiration, throwing on some music or just going out the back to the studio to jam with the band or computers. I can hear allot of people saying ” thats just screwin around unproductive!”. Yes , but if you play live and want to be creative , you need inspiration and play “on the fly” to create  the moment. All those chords, etc need to be let out. This is where songs are written, riffs are put together and so on – and sometimes at 2.15 in the morning when on Facebook or other stuff you shouldn’t be doin..lol

If you have been playing for years you can set time aside to practice your  scales , chords , more theory, recording and composition, etc, but nothing beats a lose jam session at times not planned!

In the end I tell anyone who asks, you “practice” when you have time and make  time. You can learn a song while sitting watching TV or you can sit at the computer and learn endless scales, etc. Many times Ive heard a song used in and advert for example then it has  caught my ear and I have picked up the guitar and played the song .. even though I don’t listen to that type of music or style ..  that is actually an excellent way to train your ears and brain to pick up melodies and chords on the  run.. I have played commercials to very experienced guitarists and asked them to play the melody… no chance, not even close and I’m talking long time playing guys who knew their theory inside out but never really got the ears trained to perfect pitch ( look it up…), this is one of your weapons in your arsenal you always keeps with you, your ears are the bottom line. When your tuner goes out on stage or your playing right outside the box improvising.. theory etc goes out the window and the ears and heart take over!

The  art of practicing is in the “art”. You are playing the guitar to make music… not gymnastics unless you wanna shred for a while..lol Just remember to take a forward approach in the practice.

By this I mean be creative with whatever you are practicing. Put the scales to good use, play a song with those chords, or  compose something, play the chords in context, pick up an old Frank Zappa book and use the chords you have learnt. Practice is useless if you don’t create and play after it, before or during.

The fingers need to keep moving , the ears need sound, the heart needs to beat to the rhythm so keep playing and have fun! PS check out this guy for inspiration if you need it! http://www.cool-guitars.com/spot-light-2/