Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Purpose driven practicing

A lot of people assume that self-discipline and persistency will build them as good as they would like to be. Unfortunately, most guitar players don't understand how to discover and maintain "the right kind" of discipline.

In order to maintain your motivation for a while, your work must be "fulfilling". If you don't know the reason why doing something is in your closest interest, you'll not be fulfilled, and will be unlikely to continue for long. Then again, if you do feel the reasons real powerfully, you'll be able to pull out the needed strength and discipline from inner yourself without trying really hard. Begin looking practicing as something you do in order to accomplish a benefit (become abettor musician). This will automatically produce a purposeful reason (beyond just having fun) to be involved in the action and not handle it as a job that you dread doing day-after-day. This may seem obvious and unimportant, but even a little change in thinking will bring in big changes in final results!

A lot of people stereotype this sort of practice as tedious or “requiring a lot of work". Still, it's not the practice approach that is “uninteresting", it is often your psychological state during practice session that causes the process seem tedious. Naturally, sometimes the opposite problem may occur and your practice approach can induce you to senselessly go through the motions of practise. It is very hard to get yourself to enjoy such activity. In that case, your learning scheme would need to get more effective. For further information about this, read .

One of the largest mistakes regarding focused practicing that I see on a regular basis is excluding variety and fun from the studying process. This happens often, specially when you're not under the guidance from a instructor who essentially understands this issue. You may believe you are doing all the things essential for fast progress, but your practise approach could still be susceptible to betterment. One such change may be including more variety into your practice. This will help keep off mental burn out and frustration.

Integrating variety into your practice session doesn't mean a lack of focusing, or doing things that are inconsistent with your goals. It just means that you have multiple approaches for studying, implementing and mixing musical skills. I call this "intelligent" mixture. This is some different from "random" variety that implies senseless jumping from one point to another in your practise, without any common sense of direction.

Another issue that makes it hard to see discipline as "fulfilling" is that effects usually don't occur instantly and the little gains made along the path might appear insignificant. This delayed gratification will make it hard for you to practise well on a consistent basis unless you discover how to enjoy the process. .

Improper application of the idea of diversity could as well lead you to working on weaknesses that do not actually matter. For instance, let's assume that your goal is to become a extremely advanced metal player. Because this style does not ask you to merge elements from other musical genres, it wouldn't be worthy your time to work on finger picking or Segovia fingerings for scales (for instance). This is because these skills are not essential for you to accomplish your goal. So don't waste time on them! It will take you a lot longer to accomplish your goal if you continue getting distracted by working on unnecessary playing elements.