Become a Better Player Each Time You Practice | Hub Guitar

Become a Better Player Each Time You Practice

What if you knew that every time you picked up the guitar, you would get a little bit better than before?

What if, instead of spinning your wheels and practicing the same things over and over again, you were able to make incremental progress each day?

Accumulated over months or years, that progress can add up to big changes in your playing, eventually leading to greater mastery over the instrument.

But it your improvements really are incremental, how do you even know you’re making improvements at all?

Imagine that you want to lose 50 lbs of weight, so you make some changes to your diet. Each week your new changes allow you to lose 1 oz of body fat. That means it takes 16 weeks, or four months for you to see any difference at all in pounds. At this rate, you might feel you’re never getting there. And body weight fluctuates so often that you might not be able to get an accurate measurement from one week to the next. And that means you have no idea whether you’re making any progress.

Many people learn guitar quickly in the beginning. But after enough time has passed, it starts to feel more like losing 1 oz of fat per week.

The majority of guitar learners are completely disconnected from their learning: they don’t know what areas they’re making progress on, what parts of their practice are helping, what parts are not working.

There are only two ways to monitor yourself for improvements:

  1. Make progress in leaps and bounds, so much so that there is no question in your mind that you are getting better.
  2. Take frequent (and very accurate measurements) of a few sample areas that you wish to improve.

If possible, the first option is always preferable. However, once you’ve passed the intermediate mark, this may require more than an hour per day of practice (maybe even two, three or four) and you'd have to sustain that level of practice for weeks to see those huge improvements that you’ve been waiting for. Most people have several things to do in life that are simply a higher priority than learning guitar.

These nuisances come to mind:

  • Taking care of your health
  • Earning a living
  • Preparing to earn a living in school
  • Caring for family

For these reasons, it is more practical for most people to try to come up with a plan to make steady, reliable, measurable progress.

If you can evaluate yourself thoroughly in all areas, set priorities, and willfully and deliberately improve yourself one tiny increments at a time, you are sure to move slowly but surely towards mastery.

Coda

In short, the strategy of the hare is excellent when available, but the rest of the time, plot your path using the slow and steady method of the turtle.

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