If you are like most guitar players, your biggest challenge is finding enough time to play guitar. Everyone is starved for time. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done – even before you grab your guitar!
Do you take public transit to and from work or school? If so, you have some time that you can use to improve your guitar playing. Now if you are the one doing the driving, do not worry, I will show a way that will work for you shortly.There are several effective ways to improve your guitar playing when your guitar is not at hand. We will look at three of these today.
Let’s say it takes you an hour to get to work or school. You can use this time to work on the mental aspects of guitar playing.
A great thing to work on is learning guitar theory. Music theory explains how guitar chords and guitar scales work and act as the building blocks to music. Once you understand how these building blocks work, you will understand music much better. This will make learning songs much, much easier.
Suppose you are going to learn a new song. If the song uses an E minor scale for the guitar solo and you already know the scale fingerings, all you have to do is learn the order that the notes are played.
The same holds true for chords. If you already know the chords used in a song, all you have to do is learn the strumming pattern and then memorize the order of the chords. This will totally speed up the process of learning songs.
The more guitar theory you know, the easier it will be for you to learn songs and create your own. You will be able to quickly determine the chords in a song, what progressions are being used, scale choice, etc. In addition to making the song easier to remember, you will be able to transpose the song to different keys if needed.
So now that you understand why it is a great idea to learn the basics of guitar music theory, how do you do it?
Well, it is quite simple. You just bring a good guitar theory book with you on your commute. While someone else is doing the driving for you, you work on learning guitar music theory. Just think about how much guitar theory you will be able to learn in just one month. You will be spending your commuting time learning guitar music theory. Therefore, if it takes you an hour in total to get to and from work or school, then you will be investing 5 hours a week on guitar theory! This means a total of 20 hours a month! If you live closer to work or school and your total commute time is 30 minutes a day, then you will be investing two and half hours a week on guitar theory, or 10 hours a month.
Now I want to make sure you get the significance of this. This is extra practice time that you did not have before. This extra time will really add up.
What this means is when you do sit down with your guitar you have already spent lots of time learning guitar theory so now you get to use it and start learning guitar songs faster.
Now what happens if you drive to work or school? Obviously, driving and reading is not a good idea, but what about your breaks at work or school? Do you get any of those? Then bring your guitar theory book to work and pull it out on your break.
Now you might be thinking that when you take your break, you want to just relax. However, here is the thing: when you are on a break from school or work, and you start to work on guitar theory, you are shifting your mind to a different area from work or school. This will actually give you a mental break from your work. Try it for a week and see for yourself.
Another idea is to bring some instructional music tools you can listen to on your CD player or mp3 player. This way, when you have any down time at work, or school, you can listen and learn guitar theory. If you are doing the driving, you can listen and learn any time you are driving.
You now have some great ways to sneak in some extra time to learn guitar theory. Even if you only do this on your 15-minute breaks, four out of five weekdays—the benefits of the 2 hours will add up fast. You will hear and feel the difference this makes in your guitar playing in the first month you use this technique. After all, this would add up to an extra 8 hours of learning music.