How Beginners Can Get Consistent Results On The Guitar | Guitar Couch Lessons

How beginners can get consistent results on the guitar

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Have you gotten to a place in your guitar playing where you feel like you aren’t getting results anymore? You might be practising your favourite songs, they sound great, the chord transitions are a breeze, and the strumming is not an issue, but deep down you have this frustrating feeling that you aren’t growing as you used to.

It probably because; getting consistent results on the guitar requires a little bit more than just playing the same songs over and over again. The songs that you’ve learned up to this point served as important goalposts in your growth as a guitarist, but they won’t work the same way they did when you were learning them because, well … you’ve already learned them.

In order to get the same ‘nutritional value’ from the music you play, as you once did, you have to fuel your practice routine with new knowledge, new material that is a little bit more challenging than your current guitar playing skills. This stimulant will help you explore new areas in your music playing that will push your current skills up to the next level.

You need to challenge yourself regularly so that you keep getting consistent results. That means learning something new every week: chords, scales, songs ...

Make it your goal to learn a new song every few weeks. This new song should be out of your comfort zone, something that will make you think, focus and should feel a little bit more difficult than the songs that you already know.

Now here is the important thing to remember – it is your ‘grow your skills’ practice song, so it may take some time to master it. Don’t judge your progress by what you already know, as new knowledge requires some time to sink in. This new musical experience is here to challenge you, so it shouldn’t feel too easy.

Remember not to get frustrated with yourself, it is a long-term process. You are not going to spend all your practice time learning a new song as it is just a little tiny addition to your practice routine. Enjoy it, and try to feel excited every time you learn something new.

Learning songs outside of your comfort zone, will stimulate and strengthen your memory and help you develop your own memorisation techniques that will speed up this process in the future. Eventually, you will be able to learn new material faster and faster.

'GET BETTER RESULTS' BEGINNER'S PRACTICE ROUTINE

  • STEP 1 - CHORDS | Warm up by playing simple chords that you already know very well - practice changing between them. Don't do any complex strummings, just strum each chord once, as the focus is on the fretting hand
  • STEP 2 - RHYTHM | Now switch your attention to the strumming hand, strum a simple pattern without any chords at first, just open strings. After a while, you may apply this strumming to chords such as A minor or E minor (try to get a consistent sound from your strokes)
  • STEP 3 - SCALES | Practice the A minor pentatonic scale or do some chromatic exercises (as an example). The idea is to build your routine out of tiny blocks that will keep you engaged and focused.
  • STEP 4 - NEW CHORD - MEMORISATION | Now it is the time to learn something new, our choice is the new chord from the new song. Learn it in isolation without applying any complex rhythm. Strum the chord once to hear the sound of it. Keep in mind that memorising is about learning and forgetting, so don't push yourself too hard, it takes time.

It takes me a good few days to get familiar with a new complex chord progression or scale - that's just how it works (at least for me).

  • STEP 5 - SONGS | Now switch your attention to something you are familiar with - play one of your favourite songs from start to finish, don't forget to enjoy it! That will give a little mental break and will reset your focus.
  • STEP 6 - NEW CHORD - MEMORISATION | Go back to the chord from step 4 and ... don't get angry if you've already forgotten the shape. It's normal; you will need to repeat this for a few days to engrave it in your memory
  • STEP 7 - HAVE FUN | Finish up your workout by playing your favourite tunes, do something fun at the end so you will feel rewarded for your work!

Once you are familiar with the chords you are trying to memorise, you can replace the MEMORISATION steps 4 and 6 with the CHORD TRANSITIONS and then swap those out with STRUMMING/RHYTHM practise.

Working on more difficult and challenging stuff will boost everything else you have learned up to that point. This is a great way to accelerate your progress on the guitar. 

Give it a try and let me know below how it worked for you – did you start getting better results?

Darius | Guitar Couch Lessons

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