Effective Guitar Practicing: Dos And Don’ts
Tommaso Zillio

The key to becoming good at guitar playing in a short amount of time is to make sure that your practice time is spent in the most efficient way possible. Here are a few things you can do and some things to avoid absolutely to make your practice time more valuable.
Things you want to do:

  • Focus on one thing at a time. It stands to logic that it’s quite hard, if not impossible to focus on TWO things a a time. The idea here is that if you try to fix EVERYTHING wrong with your playing every time you practice, then you are spreading your attention too thin. Pick ONE thing, and work on that.
  • Play slow before playing fast. This is the secret to speed and relaxation: do not speed up too soon. Make sure you can play your exercises at a moderate tempo before shredding with them.
  • Have a practice schedule. As your teacher help in building one, then follow it. Even if you do not follow it 100%, it’s much easier to stay on track with a schedule… and your playing will massively improve in a short time.
  • Check with your teacher. Make sue your teacher approves what you are going to practice. Just asking him/her: “hey should I practice this thing right now?” will save you TONS of time, as your teacher may give you a better, more efficient alternative.
Things you totally do NOT want to do
  • Waste time. To avoid it, eliminate any TV, phone, computer, etc from your practice space. When you practice, d not do anything else but practicing.
  • Follow ‘shiny objects’. Stop searching new lessons on YouTube or check out guitar magazines… these are just ‘flashy’, ‘shiny’ things that may be fun for a moment but will do nothing to make you a better player. Instead, work on what your teacher told you to practice.
  • Follow more than one teacher. That’s a definite no-no. Different teachers will have different teaching methods, and even if you luck out and find two great teachers (unlikely: one will typically be much better than the other…) they will lead you through two different paths. The destination of the paths may even be the same, but you can’t follow two paths at the same time: it will hopelessly confuse you and your fingers.
About The Author
Tommaso Zillio is a progressive rock guitar player and a guitar educator. Together with his team of teachers he gives guitar lessons in Edmonton, AB to many local students. His guitar articles have been published worldwide from major guitar websites.