We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Will Durant
So, you really want to learn guitar but don’t think you have the time? Don’t worry– in 10 focused minutes a day you can start taking baby steps toward guitar mastery. If you are a complete beginner and have other doubts and questions, then I suggest you first check out our earlier post on 10 Common and Frequently Asked Questions by Beginner Guitarists Answered.
Yes, the experts agree that regular music study really does enhance brain function in general. You’ve got millions of neurones to gain, and nothing to lose! All you need is to plan ahead, focus, and stay motivated.
If you placed all of your future learning in a pile it might look like an unclimbable mountain, so don’t think of it like that; plan your climb by breaking it into small steps and making the habit of taking just one of those steps each day. Do this and you’ll not only reach the summit one day, your daily steps will also become second nature and an indispensable part of your life. Eventually, you won’t even have to think about organising a regular learning schedule, which means you can focus your mental energy on getting into that beautiful zone that makes the giant steps of guitar mastery possible.
Don’t listen to people who say that if you don’t practice for at least three hours a day you might as well not bother; it’s simply not true. In fact practising too much can be as bad as practising too little, and a heavy practice schedule can be the thing that turns a beginner off music altogether. Don’t ever let that happen to you! Here are the best 10 Tips To Learn How to Play the Guitar with Good Technique
If you set it up right, 10 minutes a day is all it takes to start the guitar journey and lay a solid foundation for longer practice periods later on. And rest assured, if you keep the 10-minute habit for long enough you’ll find time opening up for you to practice longer and more often.
1. Set Reminders On Your Uberchord app.
This app includes a small alarm that goes off each day at the same time to remind you to practice. Set it for the time of day when you’re most likely to be free, but decide right now that, unless the house is on fire, when that alarm goes off you’ll drop everything to take 10 minutes to practice the guitar.
You can set your daily or weekly goals that you would like to achieve from playing your first chord progression of your favourite song or just want to improve your strumming: let the app assist and track your success for you.
2. Keep Your Guitar Handy.
If you have to open a closet and pull out a guitar case that’s covered with laundry and locked up like Fort Knox you’ll soon be looking for excuses to skip practice just this once, which is how it gets skipped tomorrow and the next day. Keep your guitar safe, but in a place where you can easily grab it.
I’m a big fan of guitar stands because they allow you to keep the guitar near you just about anywhere. There are many makes and models but the good ones are all light, portable, and rock steady.
3. Use the Internet & Technology!
Hey, since technology is so often used for destructive purposes, why not try to right the balance and use it for something good, like helping you become the next Jimi Hendrix? In addition to using the indispensable Uberchord app there’s there’s so much you can do, from strumming along with a metronome to recording yourself and listening for things that need improvement. Check out our previous post on 5 Best YouTube Channels for Beginner Guitarists and if this does not satisfy you check out 10 Best Music Blogs Every Guitar Player Should Follow
4. Learn Smarter, Not Faster
Choosing a mere 10 minutes a day for your practice routine doesn’t mean you should rush through it. Many beginners get frustrated when they don’t succeed overnight, and so they try to barge ahead and learn many things quickly; this results in poor learning and even more frustration.
When a violin student asked conductor Leopold Auer how many hours he should practice each day, Auer replied, “Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours.”
Your 10 minutes are going to require your full attention. Find a way to shut out or ignore distractions, and train your mind to be fully present. Don’t sit in front of your browser or television. Pick a learning task and concentrate on it.
Now, slow everything down and focus on your playing. Even 10 minutes of focussed practising is better than hours of mindless noodling (something that often creates bad playing habits).
Start cultivating focus now and it will help you immensely in all areas of your life– not just with your guitar playing!
5. Start the Tuning Habit
Don’t get used to the sound of an out-of-tune guitar. Start each session by making sure the guitar is in tune. You may not need to actually turn the pegs every day, but you do need to be training your ear and getting used to keeping your axe in tune. Try tuning it by ear at first, and then use the Uberchord app’s Precision Tuner to perfect it.
6. Set-up a Rewards Program.
Show yourself some love. If you’re using the Learning Path feature on Uberchord and you’ve unlocked the next level by earning five picks, go get yourself a cappuccino, or whatever else makes you happy, after you practice. Rewards have been proven to aid the mind in reaching learning goals, especially when the particular learning goal is boring or difficult.
7. Arrange the rest of your life to support your guitar habit
When you’re not practising, listen to good guitar playing. Talk to people about the guitar. Visit music stores. Gather information online. Play what you’ve learned for whoever will listen. Ask questions. Live and breathe guitar. Within limits, of course! (Feel free to take a break from guitar one day a week, as some music teachers recommend this for better long term learning results.)
8. Set up Your Workout Plan
What will you be doing with these precious 10 minutes? The choice is yours, but we hope you’ll choose a routine that allows for both enjoyment and progress.
It’s best to pick one task and focus on that alone. If you’re learning chords, concentrate on learning the chords of one new key at a time, moving on when the Uberchord app says you’re ready. With the Daily Workout feature, you can create a custom plan based on your learning goals.
If you’re focussing on your chording and strumming techniques our Rhythm and Strumming Trainer is a great bet.
9. Learn Songs Note-By-Note, Strum-By-Strum
Hint: The sooner you can actually be playing the songs you love, however crudely, the better, as this will give you the sustained motivation you need to stick with guitar.
Our Learning Path feature walks you through a host of popular songs, providing you with all you need to advance and stay enthusiastic about the guitar.
10. Write All This Down
We can’t stress this enough: Once you’ve gone to all the trouble of setting goals and choosing methods and arranging your life to make it all doable, write up your plan or type it up and print it out. Place it in a prominent place so you’ll see it every day. Include reminders to focus and to tune the guitar. After a while, you won’t need to look at this “cheat sheet” because it will all be automatic. If you don’t do this within the first week you’ll forget what you were supposed to do and will waste time trying to get back on track.
That’s it! Now, imagine that all of us at Uberchord are giving you a big virtual hug and a pat on the back as we wish you good luck on your guitar journey. We hope it will be as amazing and uplifting as it has been for us!