Before You Start: Practice tips for beginners
- As a beginner, you can keep your practice sessions short. Just 5-10 minutes a day is perfectly adequate build new skills without overwhelming your brain too much.
- That said, make sure you practice regularly. Every day is great, but 4-5 days a week will work. The best way to make practicing a habit is to attach it to some other regular habit – right when you come home from work, or just before dinner, etc.
- Warm up with exercises that work just one layer of music-making: for example, practice any new chords with Ready-Set-Go on your left hand, or strum along to a song or video without singing or chording.
- Keep a practice journal and jot simple notes about what you practiced, what went well, and what goals you’re working toward. Make sure you’re trying different things each practice session so you don’t get used to doing the same thing each time.
- Finally, you can always practice without your instrument. My favorite recommendations are waiting in the car at a red light, waiting in line at the grocery store, or even if you have trouble falling asleep. The most helpful exercises in these instances are: 1) visualize your chord changes and/or move your left hand like you would if you had your instrument; and 2) audiate (sing in your head) the songs you’re learning. While these skills / exercises don’t take the place of practice, they can help keep your brain thinking about it between practice sessions and help you develop other skills more quickly.
Song 1: Don’t Stop Believin’
Song 2: Stand By Me
Song 3: Country Roads
Video 1: Learn to play (tutorial)
Video 2: Play along (I know it, I just want to practice playing it through …)
Song 4: Wagonwheel
Song 5: Let it Be
Song 6: I’m Yours
Song 7: Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World
Song 8: I Will