Practicing The Guitar And Self Improvement

We’re all here for a love of music, and nothing beats spending hours practicing the guitar, fiddling with gear, and toying with the tone of our beloved instruments. As much as we love to follow our passions, it’s good to take the time to stop and appreciate how such a fulfilling hobby can enrich our minds and provide structure for our lives. Like Keith Richard once said: “Music is a necessity. After food, air, water and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.” As much as we might want to capture the sound and style of our favorite players, playing the guitar is a totally personal experience. It’s important to take note of how music in itself, along with establishing solid regimen, can enlighten the mind.

The Power of Music from an Early Age

It’s common knowledge that music has a unique effect on the brain’s development, especially when introduced at an early age. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to music through various instances of their growth develop greater dexterity for their neurological functions. From songs associated with chores to recordings played in the background, any engagement children have with music is formative. Taking a child and exposing them to a multitude of genres, like jazz or bossa nova, diversifies their musical palette, which benefits their ability to understand music. Learning to identify structures of music, like beat and melody, increases the brain’s ability to distinguish between abstract concepts. It also improves the ability to retain memory; this is why plenty of mnemonic devices are routed in a form of rhythm or repetition. Learning music, both as a listener and a player, forms abilities necessary to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Personal Fulfilment in Practice

Practicing the guitar is both an incredibly fulfilling experience and a stress inducing one. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than finally nailing the solo to one of our favorite songs. Embodying the art and expression of someone we idolize is a great way of challenging our own experience. It’s important to push ourselves and take on styles that we’re not completely comfortable with in order to broaden our musical repertoire. This helps us to both grow as people and as players. However, it’s also important to recognize that it’s good to aspire towards a hero to a certain point. We take on the disciplines of those we revere to form our own, and once your regimen is set, it’s time to let go.

Aside from mastering the basics to guitar playing such as practicing with a metronome, using correct fingering when forming chords, and developing a consistent practice schedule, how you progress as a guitar player is up to your own aspirations. By distancing yourself from the methodology of others and having a practice regimen unique to your self-improvement, you’ll come to understand what play styles and practices express who you are the best.

Learning From Others

Playing the guitar is a communal activity as much as it is a personal one. As people, we learn best by clashing our own ideas with both like minded players and those of different disciplines than our own. Certain bad habits in our style can go completely undetected when practicing at home, but be very apparent when playing with a band. The dreaded embarrassment that can come from playing with more experienced players is a hurdle that needs to be dealt with if you want to improve as a player. Keep in mind that everyone is just as passionate about the guitar as you are, and everyone is putting themselves out there to learn and improve. Take it as an opportunity for growth, both for yourself and as a guitarist.

This is a guest post from Jess Walters, a regular contributor to the ShareMyGuitar blog.

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