What’s the most effective way to practice?

Some people say you have to practice hard to be a good player but we teach our students to practice “SMART”. When you learn a science such as mathematics, chemistry, computers, economics etc you work with your brain (thinking) more than anything else. When you learn music, you use your hands, your brain, your ears, your heart (feeling), your feet to feel the beat and your whole body to express what you’re playing. Some people might say that they have been playing guitar for 20 years or more but that means nothing.

How they practice and how they play means a lot more to everyone who listens.Some people might have been playing guitar for many years but only practice once in a blue moon, while other people could have been playing an instrument for three years but five hours a day, six days a week. I would choose the later. Practising smart is better than practising hard. If you could combine them together, it would be even better.

When I look for musicians to play with me, the first question I ask is: “How did you learn to play music?”, then see how well they play. Of course, the more experience you have the better you will become. You need to be constantly checking yourself and remember what TO DO and what NOT TO DO. You only have me watching you 1 hour per week, so you have to make sure that  you catch yourself when you make a mistake and then fix it.

If you make a mistake and you don’t feel it, then your practice would be absolutely useless. If you make a mistake, fix it straight away before you get used to it and it becomes a habit.
If you have a bad habit, you will find it very hard to fix. On the other hand if you have a good habit, you’ll become a better and better player and you will surprise yourself and you will have a bigger and bigger smile on your face.

Category: Practice Tips