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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

How Many Hours You Really Need to Build Up your Technique

You decide and create your own personal development plan

Four, six, eight, ten even twelve hours per day – these are just some of the random, even wild figures put forward by some teachers and players as necessary for technical advancement.
With their advice in mind respectful and dedicated students embrace these targets with determination and enthusiasm, sure that their guitar-playing aim of supreme control will slowly but surely come into view.

With time, and more often than not with youth on their side, here is one medium and long term goal which will underpin and assure their instrumental ambitions. The logic is irrefutable: without technique they cannot play much of the guitar repertoire; once they have it they are free to roam and forage through its abundant pastures.

Roll on four, six, eight, ten and twelve hours per day practise-sessions, inching the diligent forwards to the technical paradise, and an essential springboard onwards and upwards. Teachers are right to insist on constancy, patience, and long term planning, without which even the most talented player will get nowhere. But are they right to clutch at such figures and make generalised assertions about daily commitments? Are we not all different, some of us more nimble than others? And is it not so that some players are more artistically and musically minded and less inclined to practise technique, while others are the opposite?

Each of us needs a personal development plan rather than receive unsubstantiated catch-all advice
Let us encourage the brilliant young virtuoso with bags of technique to spare to spend more time developing artistic maturity with and without playing the guitar. Let us encourage the expressive player with insufficient technique to spend more time developing it. Four hours spent on technique by the one could be more wisely spent differently, whilst for the other they would be a sound investment.

As for practising more than six hours per day I think the law of diminishing returns begins to take effect. I have rarely exceeded six hours since both my hands and brain can take no more, and of those six never more than two on technique alone.

But then I follow my own personal development plan, and nobody, so far, has suggested to me anything to the contrary.

Read more in previous blogs:

Play The Guitar, Naturally (click on February 2012)

Good Sight-Reading Speeds Up Your Learning (click on November 2011)

The Virtuous Guitarist (click on August 2011)

10,000 Hours’ Practise Makes Perfect (click on August 2011)

Guitar Practise: Brain Rules All (click on May 2011)

London, 18 March 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=1121 .
© 2017.

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