Practice! (Part 1 of 2) - Why practise?
No matter what stage you’re at, learning to play guitar can be a little frustrating at times (we know, we’ve been there). We thought we’d share a few of our top tips with you guys. We hope you find them helpful.
Practice, practice, practice!
We can’t stress the importance of regular practice enough. Picking up your guitar for 20 minutes every day is much more effective than practicing for say, an hour and a half once a week. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, there’s the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. Ever heard of it?! It pretty much does what it says on the tin! The theory is that unfortunately we start forgetting something we've just learned in a matter of hours (!), unless that knowledge is consciously reviewed over and over again.
Secondly, there’s muscle memory. How do you think the best basketball or tennis players get to the top of their game? They practice hoop shots or serves every day…over and over and over again! Although they are strengthening certain muscles, according to Popular Science - “processes that are important for learning and memory of new skills occur mainly in the brain, not the muscles”.
When you practice a chord or riff repeatedly “the parts of your brain responsible for that movement, mainly the motor cortex, develop stronger connections between neurons that serve as the representation for the motion, and it’s these connections that make the memory better and easier to access”.
Have you ever seen the progress of babies trying to walk or talk? Small, consistent efforts every day result over time in them mastering two hugely complex tasks until they can do both at the same time automatically! So, with consistent practice over time you will definitely see improvements and become a better guitarist. Don’t forget- music is a lifelong pleasure - it’s a marathon not a sprint, pace yourself and enjoy the journey!
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