I know that the difference between a good guitar player and a bad guitar player is often practice. To be honest, sometimes I really don’t care to practice.
Perhaps I’m just lazy (and I’m sure I’m the only one), but sometimes the idea of sitting down with the guitar, turning on a metronome and tackling a scale or riff I haven’t mastered yet seems about as appealing as pulling my own teeth. I know I won’t get better at it unless I face it head-on, but why do that now.
This is the dilemma for many of us. Motivation for practice seems to be a scarce commodities that some other guitar player bought up before you even knew it was for sale. Here are some ideas to help push past the practice barrier.
1.Crank It Up
If you can get away with it and not disturb anyone, turning up the volume is one of the most enjoyable things a guitar player can do. Especially if you have a tube amp, turning it up can make your guitar sound better and when the speaker starts pumping that air practice immediately becomes more fun.
Even if you don’t think you are very good, there is something about a loud guitar amp that just makes it more enjoyable. Watch out for hear loss and don’t make a habit of this. But every once in a while…when you get bored…
2.The Tempo Game
So you have a lick or a riff that you want to play at 140 beats per minute (BPMs). So like a pro you get your metronome and set it to 95 BPMs. You are as relaxed as jell-o. You are on your way to mastering this riff and it is boring you to death.
Try this: play your riff at 95 BPMs then make up a riff on the spot at the same tempo then go back to the riff. Try to make it sound seamless like its one song. If you aren’t good at improvising don’t worry.
Remember that making up the riff is for fun not for quality. Once this gets boring and you get good at the riff you wanted to learn start bumping up the tempo 10 BPM’s and start it over again.
3.Trade guitars with a friend
Remember when you first got your guitar. Maybe you weren’t very good at the time but even so you couldn’t put it down. There is something about picking up a new guitar that just inspires us to play. Maybe that’s why Guitar Center is so noisy all the time.
Buying a new guitar every time you get bored is probably not very practical; however, I’m willing to guess that if you have a friend who plays guitar, they get bored with practicing to. A week-long trade can give you a week of very fun practice.
Don’t Let the Fire Die
The more we enjoy getting better the more we will get better. So when your practices start to bore you don’t let it.
The more fun practice is the more we’ll practice and the better will sound.