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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

10 Reasons Not To Practice

It can be a complete waste of time. There are other ways to improve your playing.

Carlos with pub sign in Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, 6th July 2012

Carlos with pub sign in Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, 6th July 2012

Contrary to popular opinion practice does not necessarily make perfect. Often it leads to a repetition of the same mistakes.

Practice is not compatible with many people’s main interest which is going out to have a good time. Instead you are rooted to your chair going over and over the same passage, while outside you can hear the happy chatter and laughter of people enjoying themselves.

Productive learning can go on in your head without at the same time fumbling around the fretboard.

A rest from practice relaxes overworked muscles and distracts the brain from unresolved problems. After, you come back refreshed and sort out your playing in a jiffy. Conclusion: no practice is better than banging your head against a brick wall.

Some people actually enjoy practicing because they think that´s what playing the guitar is all about. It’s not. You can make beautiful music without any practice at all. Think of the word “play” as in having fun. That is what playing the guitar can be about too.

Some say they enjoy the challenge of difficulty and that without it they are not motivated. This is like saying they would rather climb up the north face of the Eiger than go for a walk in the hills. I say they need their heads examined.

Some say six hours’ practice is better than three. Rubbish. The law of diminishing returns applies here. The brain can only take so much punishment. You may feel worthy, but has the time spent been worthwhile?

It is reassuring to think you stick to a regular practice routine. But are you getting any better? If not, your practice is a waste of time. There are other ways of getting better, apart from improving the quality of your practice. If you can’t think of any it’s because you have already forgotten the points above.

If you think what I have written is a load of nonsense explain why. It may help bring the value of practice, if any, into focus.

If you think I have been serious in all that I have written you need to stop practicing for a while and take medication to restore your sense of humour. To do so you will have to go to your local surgery. The advantage of that is you won’t be doing any practice while you wait to be seen by the doctor.

10th January 2015, Mexico
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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=3512 .
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1 Comment   »

  • g.Leupp says:

    You are so right,there is a big difference between playing and practicing.

    I can only practice classical guitar for a few hours. After that i might pick up

    my Les Paul and play jazz standards or my Dupont/Selmer turn on backing

    tracks and play Django......its all making music and that is always a joy.

    Enjoy your thoughtful insights regarding guitar and life....

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