May 15, 2019 by Klaus Crow
photo by cesarastudillo
For me practicing is something that I just love doing. It has become a passion. I have learned that the better I get, the more fun I have.
Guitar practice is really the building block of developing, maintaining and expanding your talent. This is something many musicians tend to forget.
A lot of guitar players practice with a lot of enthusiasm the first few years when they start out. Then they find themselves playing in a band, touring, getting loose, dating, getting married, having children, just to name a few. It’s all a part of life but it’s also a time where musicians can get stuck in a guitar playing rut.
They tend to play the same few chords, licks and riffs they have known for years. They have stopped challenging themselves. That is a pity, because it’s the continues growing process that will fuel you, inspire you and keep you fresh and original as a guitar player and songwriter.
I have also been stuck at times as well, that is why I want to tell you this beforehand. Keep yourself motivated, practicing and learning whenever and wherever you can. Look for guitar lessons online and offline, find yourself a real guitar teacher that can take you to the next level and surround yourself with fellow musicians.
The feeling of growing, expanding your guitar vocabulary and improving every part of your playing feels awesome.
I know there is a part of practicing that can also be discouraging and frustrating, but this is a sign you are on the way to overcome an obstacle that will improve your playing in great measure and lead you to a lot of new and exciting ways that will increase your passion.
I wrote down these 16 right reasons as a mantra for you to learn and read through when times are a bit tough and when you need that extra push. Once in a while remind yourself why you want, why you need and why should practice.
Here they are:
1 – build confidence
The more you practice the more confident you get. When you are confident your nerves are less likely to get in the way when you need to play in front of an audience. Confidence makes you feel good.
2 – perform better
Practicing will ensure you sound and look good on stage. When you know your stuff you can enjoy your performance instead of worrying over your lack of preparation.
3 – make good recordings
Playing guitar and making a good recording are two different things. Recording requires focus. You need control over your playing. Control means practice. If you haven’t made a recording before, try it. Recording your guitar playing is a great way of practicing. What you hear is what you get.
4 – increase your knowledge
Increasing your knowledge creates more possibilities for you to express yourself. You will find more ways to play melodies, different ways to apply techniques. licks, scales, arpeggios, etc. Knowledge is addictive. It makes guitar playing more fun and more understandable.
5 – build a future for yourself
There are many ways you can build a future for yourself playing guitar. You can become a teacher, a street musician, an artist, a session player, a guitar player in a band, a songwriter, etc. Guitar playing equals possibilities.
6 – relax, enjoy and feel good
Whether you are ambitious or not, the best and most important thing about guitar playing is enjoying it. That is what it is all about. Your moment where you can relax, shake of all your troubles and just play. Take it away!
7 – be able to create
Creating your own style, your own tunes and songs is something amazing. Creating your own song is your legacy to your friends, family and the world. Practice makes it happen.
8 – increase motivation
I can not say this enough, but the more you practice, the better you get, the more you get motivated. It’s a vicious circle.
9 – express your emotions
When you become better at what you do you will be able to express your emotions. Playing a song with soul and true intention will make the song sound so much better. It makes all the difference.
10 – entertain
The guitar is the perfect instrument to entertain people. People are always curious and eager to hear you play a song. People want to be impressed and entertained. Everybody wants to have fun.
11 – create opportunities
When you can play, opportunities arise. People will ask you to play at their wedding. Musicians will ask you to play in their band. You can start your own band or perform solo and more opportunities will come. People need people, musicians need people, people need musicians, musicians need musicians. That is the way the world works. If you practice and put yourself out there opportunities will definitely come.
12 – create future income
Check out this post 5 ways to make money playing guitar
13 – increase speed and technique
Playing scales, warmup exercises, arpeggios using alternate picking and other picking techniques will improve your speed and technique. Increasing your speed and technique improves every part of your playing. Don’t underestimate this.
14 – improve your songwriting skills
Songwriting is often the next stage in becoming a skilled musician. Practice makes that next step a reality. When you play or practice something your brain starts working. You’ll be tempted to change what you are playing. Maybe you want to create something else out of it or you’ll come up with a great little lick or tune. This is where inspirations sets in. It’s the beginning of songwriting.
15 – expand your flexibility
When you create a vocabulary of chords, scales, licks, riffs, arpeggios, triads and styles and know how and when to use them you will expand your flexibility. This means you can play a lot of different kinds of music and will be able to play in every situation, whether you are asked to play a gig at a rock event, a wedding, a funeral, a coffeehouse, a bar, on a beach, you name it. Flexibility creates freedom.
16 – reach your dream goal
Your dream goal is the result of the amount of guitar practice, persistence and determination. Find a good teacher or coach to help you take the right path to realizing your dream goal.
Enjoy above all!
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” –Mahatma Gandhi
Klaus Crow says
Thanx for mentioning my post on Twitter
Paul Balmer says
My late teacher Brendan – pupil of Emilio Pujol always said “Practice as if you are to live forever” and he did!
My current challenges are a Scarlatti Sonata on the Yamaha NX, A Dowland Gigue on the lute, Joe Meeks Telstar on the Gretschalike Ibanez and Robert Johnson’s ‘Kind hearted Woman’ on my Seagull – lot’s of variety to keep the grey matter challenged!
All the best
Author ‘The Haynes Guitar Manuals’
Klaus Crow says
Your teacher was a wise man.
Isn’t it great to challenge yourself with all those different styles. It’s like playing different instruments.
Every style has it’s own unique playing style, technique and charme. You can fall in love with each and every one of them.
Go get ‘m Paul!
Hi klaus sir,
This article emphasise me to practice.It motivates me to practice.I love your articles and you too.you are a “wise guitarist”.Your wisdom and your ideas are very wonderful.I love to play guitar but your reasons make me to continue.
That photo was taken in Lisbon :-)