Quick Tip: Effective Technique Development
Hello, and welcome to my “Quick Tips” on effective technique development. What follows are a few tips that I use in my daily practice regime to to effectively and quickly achieve results in technique development. These tips can be used to increase your speed, reduce tension in the left & right hands & arms, improve your tone, and generally make the instrument easier to play. This article is focused on the guitar but the tips can be applied to any instrument.
Quick Tip #1:
Use a Metronome
Using a metronome is the single most important tool any musician can use to ensure the material being practised is accurate and in time. It also serves as a useful tool for measuring progress which subconsciously is a great motivator when you notice that you can exceed your previous BPM limit.
Quick Tip #2:
Keep a Practice Journal
A practice journal is a must have for any serious studying musician. It will keep you focused on your goals, prevent you from wasting your practice time by mindlessly running through material you can already play and is another great way to stay motivated when you look back on previous material that you have mastered and noted down in your journal. I recommend that any material you are currently working on should remain in your regime for at least two weeks before new material is added.
Quick Tip #3:
Practicing slowly is so important that it cannot be overstated. Slow practice ensures you are able to have maximum control over your fingers and guarantees you make the correct movements. When practice slowly make sure that each movement only requires the minimum amount of effort to achieve the sound you want. There’s no need for extra tension as that can slow you down and cause injury.
Quick Tip #4:
Aim to practice everyday and make an effort to not skip a practice day. Even if you are only able to manage 15 minutes today, do it. It will at least serve to prevent you from forgetting the material you are working on. Small practices sessions often are far better than cramming an 8 hour practice session only on the weekends.
Quick Tip #5:
There are many general guidelines for how certain techniques should be executed and also many players who are the exception to the rule. Just remember when you are researching how execute these techniques that they are just guidelines. You should always keep in mind that the priority is to stay relaxed. If something is more comfortable for you but bends the rules, it doesn’t matter. Try everything and see what works for you.
That concludes this Quick Tips article on developing technique. If you would like me to write a more in-depth tutorial, please comment below. There are many different aspects that can discussed on the topic of practice, so much so that a Quick Tips is just that. Quick.
Good luck with your practice and if you have any questions, please comment below.