I teach a lot of beginners not only online, but also on one to one guitar lessons. Many of my students have one thing in common; they want to be perfect. But this is something that can actually hijack your guitar playing progress. Striving for perfection is a glorious thing, we want to do things in the “right way”, but abusing this approach will only lead to frustration.
Here is a typical scenario: a student comes for a lesson and tries to show me the song that he or she has learned. They play the first few chords, something goes wrong with the strumming or chord transition and they stop and then start all over again. The same thing applies to scales. My students will make one mistake and then start playing the scale from the beginning again. This is definitely not the way to get good results.
You need to learn how to correct your mistakes on the fly. You should of course, acknowledge that you made a mistake, but keep going, don’t stop and start again. The moment you stop and try to start from the beginning again, you disturb the flow of the song. It’s almost like you are only practicing the first few bars of the song, but what about the rest of the song? You don’t even give yourself a chance to get to the middle of the song, not to mention the whole tune.
Try to do a ‘live’ practice session. Pick up the guitar, tune it up and play one song from the beginning till the end. Don’t stop, ignore the mistakes, just keep playing. This is a great way to develop a more natural / performance approach to your guitar playing. That way, you will learn how to get yourself out of the mistakes and it will also give you more confidence to perform in front of others.
I should really mention that this is one of the components of practicing. Of course, you also need to work on learning songs in sections. You should work on the chords, strumming, than you connect it into the verse and chorus. The method described in this article is another approach that you can add to your practice routine.
So basically you can approach your songs from the perspective of detail practicing and then live/performance practicing. It is like having another tool to fine tune your guitar skills.
Let me know if it works for you!