How to Get Maximum Benefits from Guitar Lessons

“How to Get Maximum Benefits from Guitar Lessons” by Sarah Spisak

 

Owning a library of instructional books and videos or working with an instructor won’t help you much if you aren’t making the most of your investment.  We would like to offer some ideas on how to use your lessons for maximum benefits.

Routine:  If you have a regular schedule, create a routine that begins and ends at the same time each day.  Daily practice that includes review is necessary to make progress.  You should be playing guitar at least an hour each day.

Warm Up:  Your session should start with a short warm-up for both hands and can be a great way to get a certain lick or run to be a little faster each day.  After the physical warm up you can do a review of something you were learning in the previous days.  This might be a new scale pattern or riff that you have learned but not yet mastered.

Study:  Following the warm up and review you are ready to tackle a new concept or piece of music.  You might be following a structured program like “The Complete Guitar Course”, which is very linear, or maybe you are picking your favorite riffs from something like “100 Metal Riffs”.  It’s important to choose something that is challenging but not overwhelming.  This will give you a sense of success as you move from being mystified by something to understanding it, or from being unable to execute a lick or riff to at least being able to play it slowly and clearly.

Jamming:  The practice session should be concluded with some improvising or jamming on familiar licks and riffs.  This is where you see the payoff for your time and effort as well as the money you have invested in your lessons.

Here are some more ideas:

  • Preview your videos.  Watch them without your guitar in hand to get an idea of what is covered and to get inspired about what you will be learning.  When you are ready to study them they will be familiar and it will be easier to absorb the ideas.
  • Listen to the audio from the lessons in your car, on the bus or at the gym.  This will make the music and instruction more familiar and speed your progress!
  • Review lessons that you studied previously.  You will see how much progress you have made in the meanwhile and probably pick up something you missed or that was too hard for you.
  • Keep a little stash of new lessons for when you need some extra inspiration or want to treat yourself to something fresh.

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