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Stay in and practice!

So although we've all spent a good chunk of time indoors, with the slight relaxing of lockdown seemingly causing a resurfacing of covid, maybe we should postpone the family barbecues a while longer. So how do we try and keep our attention from wandering whilst also making progress each day?

Your handy Edinburgh guitar teacher can help you! Getting into the right frame of mind about practice can the best thing you've ever done, for your mental health AND your guitar playing. And when we really drill down on the fundamentals of it, as we so often do at Guitar lessons Edinburgh, it starts to take on philosophical tones. For example, the common experience many have had of playing something wrong, over and over, at the same tempo, and somehow expecting it to eventually be right. Einstein claims that "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result", and yet this is how almost everyone practices guitar! Expecting more of oneself than is reasonable is a recipe for disaster, hoping to play at full tempo on the first attempt. Not only does it produce bad results, but it can be very frustrating and disheartening to practice this way, and can ruin the process of practice. At it's best practice should be entirely efficient, but also with a calm, meditative quality.

We must have very high standards, but very low expectations. In fact ideally one must reduce the tempo and/or reduce the number of bars (or notes) being attempted until one is playing without any imperfections at all. Everything must be relatively easy, at every single stage of learning. The process can't be rushed, improvements can't be made through will, only time. The good news is that it takes way less time when the practice is efficient. This might sound like an incredibly strict, harsh instruction for practice, but it takes away all the stress, all the unfair expectations of oneself, all the worry and sense of failure, because every time you play you will be playing correctly, without failure (just slowly and in small sections). Then it becomes up to you to put in as much or as little time as you'd like, but knowing that every time you pick up the instrument you are making progress.

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