NE Philly Guitar Lessons
Practice Distractions…Insights from David Joel, a NE Philly Guitar Teacher
One of the most important goals we set for our guitar playing is to practice every day. This is important because the number of hours you practice is one of the best indicators of playing ability. When you take guitar lessons in Philadelphia, your instructor will emphasize the importance of practicing. Listen to him or her!
Once a practice routine is established, there are other important things to pay attention to as well. Practice can easily be distracted by any obstacles. Some of these can be frustration, discouragement, distractions and the urge to give up.
We look at the clock during practice (and our lessons) because we are measuring a goal. Maybe you have committed to practicing 30 or 60 minutes a day and you don’t want to stop until you achieve this goal. But once you’ve built the habit of looking at the clock, you set yourself up for discouragement. The reason is that 90% of the time you are looking at the clock waiting for it to be over. This happens in everyday life, not just guitar practice. Think about when you are waiting at the doctor’s office, in a work meeting or waiting for your car to be washed. You want it to be over so you watch the clock.
Looking at the clock may also be adding distractions to your practice environment. This is bad for your practice success and should be avoided. If your goal is to practice for 30 minutes, set a timer. Once you start relying on timers and stop relying on the clock, you will be able to get deeper into practice and may be shocked to find that when the time finally goes off you would rather just keep playing.
Instead of practicing for an arbitrary amount of time, may you should practice until you achieve something. Practicing on a schedule is never really ideal. If your practice is going really well, why would you want to stop at a predetermined time? You are measuring your success by hours spent practicing rather than by results achieved.
Your practice success is driven in part by your personal characteristics and traits as well. Stamina, mental energy, persistence and passion, and dedication are all relative to your practice ability. Your results are driven by the environment you create for yourself as well. Where you practice, tools you use, and designated time, all come into place with practice as well. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming every shortcoming on yourself, however. Even small children can practice successfully if supported by the right environment.
Use the number of hours practiced as a big picture view to measure yourself and set goals for your guitar playing. However, on a day-to-day basis, try focusing more on the results that you get from practice. If you must practice at a specific amount of time, try setting that time to avoid looking at the clock.
However, you choose to practice, make sure you achieve goals as you are doing it. Don’t just practice for the sake of practicing. If you are taking guitar lessons in Philadelphia, your instructor will encourage you to practice what he or she has taught you each week. Use this as your motivation, not the clock.