Need your guitar fix but not enough hours in your day?
Nothing’s better than having a guitar in your hand, but if you get the urge to play and find yourself guitar-less, you can still make hay. Here’s how:
Dead time is any time you’re not actively focusing or concentrating. For teenagers, this is most of the time. For adults, this can be when you’re driving, on a bus or plane, doing dishes, on a coffee break at work, etc. Use this time to listen to the song you’re learning. Repeated listening will help you internalize the sounds, rhythms, chords, and licks you’re learning.
When I work out at the gym, I crank my favourite tunes through earbuds. It’s great; you can hear the glorious sound in detailed stereo! As the tune’s playing, I visualize playing along: changing chords, fretting notes, strumming, picking, bending, muting, playing upstrokes/downstrokes, etc. There’s actually quite a bit involved in playing guitar well. This “mental playing along” increases your ability to:
Think about it. When you play guitar, everything originates from your brain. Example: suppose you want to bash out a G5 chord. The process in your mind goes something like this (think inner self-talk):
Mental practice really helps. When I eventually get a guitar back in my hands, the mental part is already well-rehearsed. I know what I need to do, I just need my fingers to do it now!
Roland Nipp is a self-professed music junkie, knob-twiddler, and song addict from Canada. When not playing music, he is usually thinking about guitars, amps, pedals, songs, and CDs. Roland has written and produced six albums of electric guitar music.
Nipp's solo CD, "Ragged Hearts", is now available. Here's the video of the title cut.
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