Essential Practice Tips for Beginners Part 4: Balanced Approach
Successful practicing has as much to with your mindset as your efforts, so it is important to understand how you should approach your practicing both mentally and physically. In my next few blogs, I will be offering some suggestions and wisdom from my own experiences as a player and instructor to help you practice smarter and be a better player as a result.
If you are not a member of thegospelworkshop.com, I encourage you to join today! Whether you are a member or a prospective member, please read this VERY carefully. Sometimes a TGW student will send me a comment like this: “I’ve done all the lessons already. When will there be more lessons available on the website?” When I investigate the situation and find out that this student is a rank beginner and has only been a member for a couple of months or so, I know something has gone wrong. In actuality, they watched the lessons but did not master the techniques in the lessons. Mastering all of the music and material presented would mean that the student can play all of it up-to-speed and as clearly and cleanly as the instructor played it. When they show me their progress, all becomes quite clear. They still have a long way to go. The things covered in the TGW Beginner and Intermediate series took me several years of work and practice to master. The amount of time and practice that it takes to become an accomplished player varies from person to person, but it will take even the most gifted person a substantial amount of time and practice.
On the other hand, a person must not bog down in a lesson and never go on to the next lesson. This can have a discouraging effect because some techniques can take more practice and time than others. A balanced approach is necessary. If you have a certain technique that you have practiced consistently (and I stress consistently) and have not mastered it, then go on to the next lesson while continuing to practice the harder technique until you master it. It took me three years to master “barre chords,” so don’t get discouraged if you feel that you aren’t progressing as quickly as you thought you would. Watching an accomplished musician can make playing an instrument look a lot easier than it really is, but understand that EVERY musician has been where you are, and use that knowledge as motivation. Just continue to practice and be patient, and you will reap the rewards!