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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Playing scales can be fun

How I take the grind out of practise

For me no two days' practise sessions are the same, nor do I wish them to be so.

My practise sessions are learning experiences for pushing the boundaries. So, on day two I pick up from where I left off the previous day. That is why each day is different.

I like to start by improvising chord sequences. I practise chords to improve tone and voicing. As I get going I may add some connecting melodic moments of my invention. Improvising gets me into a calm and creative frame of mind. It might take 5 minutes or 20. I go with the flow.

After the chords I move on to arpeggio sequences, going round and round them. I focus on quality of sound, volume, speed, rhythm and accuracy. This too might take 5 minutes or 20. All the time I am listening and trying to improve what I am doing.

Once I am nicely warmed-up I tackle scales. I concentrate on the same qualities as the arpeggios and in improvising different patterns. The way I see it there are eight notes in a scale, so there are a lot of different sequences possible!

Chords, arpeggios and scales are the basis of guitar technique. That is why I dedicate time to each of them. In between each I go back to improvising, which does improve with practise. It can also be very exciting when I get a rush of ideas.

I may then practise passages from studies or pieces to supplement what I am doing, and if there is time I might go on to one of the great studies by Sor, Giuliani or Villa-Lobos, choosing the one which most suits the weakest link of my practise that day.

There is no point practising what I can already do. The key is to push at the boundaries, ever onwards and upwards, convinced as I am that thoughtful practise is the way to improve technique and musicality.

My advice to you is the same I follow. Take the grind out of practise and turn it into a journey of exploration and discovery. That's how practising scales can be fun!

This has been my rough guide to how I practise. I hope it may work for you too.

February 2011

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=351 .
© 2019.

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