How to Develop a Correct Guitar Practicing Mindset
Guitar students gain a lot more from every hour they put in when they practice with the right mindset.
A common myth about learning the guitar is that we only practice it with our hands.
The obvious reason for this is that when we watch a guitarist play we only see his hands moving.
In reality, our hands are doing just 20% of the work when we practice the guitar
Role of the brain during guitar practice
The part of our body doing most of the work when we practice the guitar is the brain.
Fingers strength and stretch are necessary but these will develop naturally as you practice.
You don’t need to buy useless gadgets like finger muscle builders. You don’t need a lot of strength to press a note. Some techniques like legato and string bending require more strength but guitar practice itself is enough to give you all the strength and stretch you need.
The most important activities are taking place in your brain.
Muscle memory in guitar learning
Let’s take muscle memory as an example.
If you repeat the same motion enough times, your fingers will remember it and you will be able to play it on automation.
That is, you can be thinking about something else and still perform the motion.
Now, this doesn’t mean our muscles actually think.
It is the brain that learns how to signal a guitarist’s finger muscles to go where it directs them to.
As a result of not realizing the role the brain has in guitar learning, many beginner and intermediate students simply think they don’t need to take care of it.
10 years of inefficient guitar practicing
I spent the first 10 of my 27 years of regular guitar practice without actually knowing what I was doing.
I would learn stuff, since I was putting in the hours. I even played in a few bands.
But most of the things I was learning were random and not in line with my goals.
For instance, I knew a lot of scales but could only use the minor pentatonic scale (in just one position) to create guitar licks and solos.
I had built a decent vocabulary of chords, yet could only use major, minor and power chords to write songs.
Had I been practicing correctly, I would have learned how to use each scale or chord that I was learning, rather than build a large vocabulary of musical elements I couldn’t turn into real music.
My goals themselves were very generic and there was no clear plan on how to reach them.
I wanted to become a professional Rock musician (it is “the dream” that kept the fire burning for those 10 years, without it I would have quit) but I had no clue of what musical skills I needed to get there.
It was only when I figured out how to practice the right things, the right way, and with the right mindset that results started coming faster and the process became more enjoyable.
Nowadays I consider guitar practice as one of the most enjoyable activities in life and improve on the instrument in a measurable way after each practice session.
How to Practice Guitar With a Correct Mindset
I wrote 5 Steps To An Ideal Guitar Practicing Mindset after analyzing thousands of hours of my own practice, as well as observing how my students approach practice, and identified which thinking patterns lead to slow progress and which ones lead to results.
In this book you will learn:
- How to identify and correct thinking patterns that are holding you back from learning the guitar faster and enjoying the process
- How to set musical goals
- How to turn mistakes into a useful guitar learning tool
- How to practice efficiently and get quicker results
- How to start playing with other musicians
- How to have fun while practicing the guitar
Since I started learning guitar with Robert I went from being a complete beginner to an intermediate level of playing in a very short time.
The trick was focusing on my mindset as much as the actual guitar playing. And it works! Once you start thinking and feeling the right things while practicing, you just learn faster.
Ian Pace, Intermediate guitar player, Ghargur, Malta
Hi, I’m Robert from Malta.
I have been playing the guitar for 27 years and teaching it for 7.
I have played in Rock bands for many years and was the main songwriter for Punk Metal act Blue Sky Abyss.
After leaving Blue Sky Abyss and taking a break from bands to focus on teaching and on this website, I have started working on a new project with the working name “Trust N Bribes”.
I have been fascinated with concept albums since listening to “In The Court Of The Crimson King” by King Crimson and have wanted to write one since then..
The idea I’m working on for this new band is a concept album called “Prohibition Day”. The concept is an Orwellian dystopia where people are only allowed limited freedoms for one day in a year, the day they celebrate the loss of their freedom.
Songwriting and improvising are among my favorite activities in life since they give me the freedom to express myself the way I want.
Practicing the guitar and learning music theory are close runner ups since the more I improve on the instrument, and the wider my knowledge of music, the freer I am to express my emotions how I want.
In the past years I have discovered the love for teaching the guitar, music theory and songwriting.
I prioritize showing my students how to practice with the right mindset: How to be motivated to practice the guitar every day as well as how to practice efficiently and measure results.
This way they learn faster because they improve the quality of their guitar practice time as well as its quantity since they’re also having fun.
In this pdf I share my step-by-step process to help students get excited about practicing the guitar every day and getting the results they deserve.