Time doesn’t help (well, almost)…

Your progression depends less on the actual time you spend playing than on the effectiveness and quality of your personal work. The more rational your study is led, the more accurate your study will be. There’s no point in scratching your strings during hours if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In other words: if you want to improve your guitar skills, you should try to optimise the quality of your study rather than increase the number of hours you spend playing. Here are a few advices that might help you.

Prepare your study session in advance

Comfort: organize your study space by making sure all you need is easily reachable (metronome, capo, music stand, tabs, computer…); set a precise study time. Context: remember the musical context of your study piece (rhythm, tone…). Listening: before playing, listen to your study piece, watch the pedagogical video of your lesson. You can also count the beats while listening.

Organize your study

Cutting: spot the natural pauses of your study piece in order to split it into different study sections and concentrate your effort on shorter sequences. Give yourself only one target at a time: fingering, melody, rhythm, intensities… Slowing dow: play everything very slowly but on time, be aware of every detail, slowness reveals precision and control. Counting: use the metronome and vary the tempo; count the beats while playing. For flamenco students: be sure to start “a compas” (know how to enter a falseta). Varying: try different techniques, different intensities, different chord positions.

Play in public

Go for it: you only master a piece or a falseta when you are able to perform it in front of an audience. Force yourself to play in front of people who listen to you: family, friends… and then widen your audience. Improvise: build a flamenco sequence with the falsetas you master. Perform: when you play, try to express feelings, not sounds.