Myth: In order to become the best musician I can be, I have to practice my instrument for several hours every day. It makes sense, right? The more you practice your instrument the better you will become. We?ve all heard those stories as well; about the musicians that practice for long hours every day to become successful. But that does not need to be the case for everyone.
Fact: It doesn?t necessarily matter how long you practice your instrument, just as long as you?re practicing effectively. Learning to play a new instrument should be a daily commitment but it does not need to encompass your whole life. Practicing correctly for an hour a day, or even every other day, can actually help you progress faster. Your body needs time to rest your fingers and arms and your mind needs time to soak up the new information. If you practice for too long then you could injure or overwork yourself.
Similarly, playing an instrument for several hours a day can actually harm your progress. If you?re practicing nonstop then you might not have time to take a break and assess your progress and mistakes. If you practice for hours a day but aren?t practicing correctly, then you?re spending hours learning to play the mistakes. This can be damaging because after a few hours of practicing poorly, you can pick up bad habits that could be hard to break.
The best way to practice is however feels right for you. If you can manage playing for long periods of time and are progressing, then that?s fine. But that does not need to be the case for everyone.
More music lesson myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: Practicing means playing a piece from start to finish over and over.
Singing Lesson Myth: Classically Trained Singers Can?t Sing Popular Music
Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.
In the last article, I outlined some of the beginner guitar mistakes, but by no means is that all of them. Beginners with any instrument will have trouble and it’s important to know what some common issues are to make sure they’re avoided.
Here are some more common beginner guitar mistakes.
1. Not taking lessons. With online tutorials and videos promising to teach prospective guitar players how to play the guitar, it may seem silly to pay for a teacher. Taking guitar lessons is still necessary for all students who seriously want to learn to play guitar. A good teacher can teach students things and answer questions that a tutorial cannot.
2. Overdoing it. New students are often overanxious to learn the guitar and want fast results. Practicing for 10 hours a day might seem like the way to go, but overdoing it one day can cause pain and discomfort for the next, especially when just starting out.
3. Skipping warm ups. Just like vocal students, guitar students need to warm up their fingers and hands before playing. Not warming up can result in injury and cramping during practice.
4. Practicing the same things every day. It may seem necessary to perfect something before moving onto a new thing, but that?s not always the case when learning guitar. Students who are having trouble with certain chords or songs should move onto something new and come back the next day. Sometimes the mind needs a break.
5. Not experiencing live music. Live concerts showcase guitar players and their showmanship. Attending concerts gives students a chance to learn something new and get up close and personal with the guitar players.
Common Beginner Guitar Mistakes
Developing Guitar Calluses
Common Mistakes Guitar Students Make When Practicing
Learning a new instrument can be difficult. It takes time and motivation to stay on track. The guitar is one of the most popular instruments because it has a nice acoustic sound and is popular in bands. Beginning guitar students (or any beginning instrument student) might become discouraged easily or make avoidable mistakes.
Here are some common guitar mistakes that new students should be aware of.
1. Giving up too soon. Learning a new instrument is not an easy task. It takes time, effort and dedication. Most people will not be able to pick up a new instrument and instantly learn to play it. It?s important to keep in mind that learning a new instrument is a journey and everyone who can plan an instrument has gone through it.
2. Only practicing one chord at a time. This is an easy habit to fall into because it makes sense. But think about learning anything new, often starting out by trying to learn several things at once will be more effective. Instead of learning one chord at a time, try learning three.
3. Buying the wrong guitar. It may seem silly that there is a wrong guitar out there, but there are different sizes. Smaller students should not get a huge acoustic guitar. Students learning guitar to play heavy metal in a band should probably start out on an electric guitar. Every guitar has a purpose.
4. Not changing guitar strings. Dirt and oil from fingers will eventually build up on guitar strings. They need to be changed periodically to maintain clear sound.
5. Taking it too slow because of sore fingers. All guitar players need to build up calluses on their fingers so they can play longer. It might seem like a good idea to take a break because of sore fingers initially, but the more a student practices, the faster the calluses will develop.
Acoustic vs. Electric: Which guitar is right for you?
Should You Be Practicing the Guitar Right Now?
Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.
Myth: Practicing the piano means playing a piece from start to finish over and over again. When learning to play a piece, it makes sense that you would play it from start to finish. You want to make sure that you can play through the piece to perfection and while you?re doing that, you?re probably learning to practice notes.
Fact: Practicing the piano is not only playing a piece over and over. That?s just learning to play a piece. To effectively practice, students need to learn notes, practice measures and learn the basics. Otherwise, you?re just learning the one piece and when you try to play another piece, you?ll have to start all over again.
In order to efficiently learn to play a piece, you need to lay the groundwork first. Take your time when practicing, practice one measure at a time and focus on the ones that give you trouble and try to play with one hand. All of these things will ensure you?re actually learning to play the piano and not just learning to play one piece.
Eventually, you?ll be able to play through any piano piece from start to finish with ease.
More piano lesson myths:
Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.
Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.
What are group piano lessons?
Group piano lessons are piano lessons that involve multiple students of similar age and skill level. If the lessons are for one family of young children, often times, only one piano is needed and the students will sit and learn together. If there are multiple students in a larger setting, multiple pianos or keyboards will be needed as three or more students cannot comfortably play and learn on the same piano.
Are group piano lessons right for my children?
Group piano lessons on one piano typically work best with smaller children and only two students should be on the piano at one time. Students need to be able to comfortably sit at the piano together and that does not work well with more than two students.
Group piano lessons also work best if the students are all at the same skill level. If one child has already had two years of lessons and the other is a beginner, then the lessons will have to cater to the beginner.
The difficult part about group piano lessons is that the children need to stay focused, as there will not be as much individual attention. If you know your children cannot concentrate when they are together, you will be wasting your money with group lessons, as the children most likely will not learn much.
Are there any benefits to group piano lessons?
Group piano lessons can be beneficial for young students that might not be able to focus for a 30-minute lesson. If your children are young and cannot focus for longer periods of time, then having their sibling next to them learning can be motivation to do well. Time will go by quicker for the student if they are not alone.
Group piano lessons are also great for students who are easily discouraged. If only one student is taking lessons and he/she is not seeing any progress, he/she could become discouraged and want to quit lessons. With group lessons, both students would see that they are progressing at the normal rate, even if they aren?t making much progress.
Children who might be shy about playing piano in front of others will quickly overcome this fear if there is always another person sitting next to them. Group piano lessons can be a great way to overcome stage fright!