Starting your first guitar lessons can be very exciting, and each new lesson can help you develop your new skill further. But you can make the most of your lessons by taking the time to practice. Like doing homework for a class, this lets you keep the skills fresh in your mind and become more confident in the technique you'll need to become a good player.
Here are some tips for practicing the skills your guitar teacher wants you to work on between lessons.
1. Use a metronome
Often, trying to get your hands to form the correct shapes and play the correct notes with the proper intonation and expression can be very challenging, and not just for beginners. Trying to concentrate on all these things at once can often cause you to play at a variable speed or even with stops and starts as you try to reach for difficult hand positions in between notes. As such, having an external reminder of the beat can be very helpful.
A metronome ticks out a steady, audible beat for you, which can help you to keep yourself from rushing through the easier sections while letting you know which sections of the piece you need to speed up more.
2. Check your pitch using an app
When you first start playing guitar, you may not have well-trained ears to detect if you're depressing each string fully and in the exact right place. If you press the string to the fretboard at the wrong spot, it will create the wrong note. Fortunately, you can use a tuner or tuning app on your smart device to check the note if you're uncertain of your position on the string, ensuring you don't learn the piece incorrectly.
3. Start slow
Your guitar teacher will give you pieces to practice that are commensurate with your level of skill. This means that as you progress through lessons the pieces you learn will get harder and harder. Each new piece should challenge your playing ability somewhat in order to help you improve, which means that you'll have to work at it before you can play the piece well. This is why it's so important to start slow.
Two important ways to start slow when practicing a new piece include slowing the tempo (speed) of the piece down and working on the piece in small chunks. Your guitar teacher can help you find a good speed to start playing the piece your first few times through.
While learning an instrument isn't a quick process and can be a lot of work, sticking with your private lessons and making a habit of practicing at least a moderate amount in between lessons can help you make steady progress on your guitar skills. Be sure to talk to your guitar teacher about any other questions you have about playing; they can give you more tips and tricks based on their years of playing and teaching experience. They can provide more recommendations to take to your guitar lessons.
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