Can a clean, well equipped practice space make you a better guitar player?
Yes! An organized practice room with all of your practice materials within reach will make the time you spend practicing more effective and efficient. You can waste a lot of your practice time looking for your music, a pick, cords, etc. These distractions cost you valuable practice time. Getting your practice space set up and organized will give you more time to practice and, if you use this extra time for highly focused practice, you will be a better guitar player.
An ideal practice space would be a separate room filled with only the items you need to practice your instrument. This means no TV, phone, or computer unless it will only be used to help you practice. Your space also needs to be well lit, have a comfortable room temperature, furniture that helps promote proper posture, and have plenty of outlets. Keeping your guitar on a stand or a wall hanger is also a good idea.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a room that can be set aside for just practicing. In this case find a corner of a room where you can leave your practice material set up. Since you will be using a room that other people use too be sure and talk to them about your practice time. Let them know that this is a time you need to concentrate and that you need to use this space for a set period of time with no distractions. People who don’t play an instrument may not understand the level of concentration it takes to have a good practice session and how easy it is to lose your focus when interruptions happen.
For some of you finding even a corner of room to leave your practice material set up is not an option. In this case make a portable practice kit. You can use a box or crate to store everything so it is still easily accessible. The main idea is to have all of the things you need to practice at your fingertips and ready to use.
What items will you need to have for you practice space?
1. A tuner
2. Music Stand.
The type of music stand you use really depends on the amount of space you have. I have a nice sturdy stand with an extra shelf to hold pencils and other things I will need during a practice session. If you don’t have that kind of space a folding stand or table top stand will work just fine.
3. Pencil and Paper.
Make sure you have more than one sharp pencil before you begin your practice session or at least have a sharpener handy. A highlighter is also handy if you have a piece of music with a lot of repeats,D.S or D.C signs you have to follow. You will also want to have ever paper you will need too. I keep tab paper, staff paper, chord diagram, full guitar neck diagram, and blank paper in an organizer.
4. Practice Journal.
If you are going to get the most out of your practice time it is a good idea to have a plan before you start. A practice journal is a good place to have your goals written down and keep track of your progress.
You should have all your music organized so you can find what you are looking for in a matter of seconds. I like to keep things organized in binders but you can use a file folder, computer, really anything that keeps you organized.
6. Metronome or drum machine.
A metronome is really all you need to practice your timing and speed but a drum machine is a lot more fun to practice with.
Picks, cables, capo, nail clippers. Anything you may need during a practice session.
This last item is not necessary but is real helpful. Being able to create instant tracks to play over is real helpful. It also very beneficial to listen to yourself playing as often as possible. A recording of your playing will give you honest feedback on what you really sound like.
So now it is time to get organized, and really utilize your practice time!
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