Holiday season is always great because I have a little bit more time than usual to play the guitar … but in front of the TV! This is my perfect holiday emergency practice. I simply sit on my sofa, watch the TV and practice the guitar! It is my little secret to finding extra time to practice the guitar and be more social at the same time.
When I practice in this way, I only work on very simple exercises, such as scales or chords and watch the TV with my family. My goal isn’t to learn anything new, it is just about being more in touch with my guitar, so I only ever play what I have already memorised in the past.
For example, I might be struggling with some chord changes, so I just try to do some silent transitions between two chords. I also do simple chromatic runs up and down the neck. These are really simple exercises, but they give your hands a really great workout, especially if you are talking and you can’t concentrate fully.
If you are into soloing, watching movies and playing the guitar is an awesome way to train your improvisation skills. These days, movies are full of music. I use them as my backing tracks for improvisation and it really is awesome! If you try this, it will train you to find the key and corresponding scales.
For example, if there is a new song playing in a movie, I try to identify the key of the song and then I will try to match it with the scale. I don’t try to use any fancy scales, I simply use the pentatonic scale. So after I find the key, I then ask myself whether the song is in a major or minor scale. I usually play the minor scale first and then the major and my ear will tell me which one it is. After that, I just play some simple licks to the music I hear! It is a great way to train your ear, gain knowledge about scales in different positions and also improve your ability – all just by watching TV! (By the way, if that sounds a little bit blurry to you, I explain all of this in detail in my Online Guitar Lessons at guitar couch).
I found this to be my perfect ‘NO TIME FOR PRACTICE” practice routine. It keeps me motivated and gives me the feeling of achievement. My family is also happy, as I spend more time with them and my hands feel like they did a workout, so I feel more motivated to play! It is a great win-win situation. So don’t forget to go get your guitar and have a practice session, even when you are watching the tv or sitting on the couch 🙂