How to practice

Taking guitar lessons is an important step in learning how to play the guitar. However, what do you do after your lessons? You probably already know the answer: practice what you learned! Unfortunately, many people do not know how to practice what they have learned in their previous guitar lesson. Here are some quick tips to help you understand what you must do.

1. Recall your lesson.

Your teacher wants you to come back to your next lesson knowing what you have previously learned. For that week in between lessons, you should practice what he tought you. It may be scales, finger exercises, modes, solos, etc. Regardless, your teacher will probably show you what you must practice during the week and how you should practice it.

Don’t stray from what he told you to do. There is a good chance that your guitar instructor understands where you are in your level of learning, and he has given you something on your level.

2. Stay focused.

It’s easy to stray away from your original goal while practicing. If your goal is to perform 10 finger exercises in succession, you may become bored half way through and decide to start playing a popular riff that you know. However, doing this accomplishes nothing. If your guitar teacher gave you finger exercises, you should stick to practicing those exercises.

One easy way to stay focused is to keep yourself away from anything distracting, such as televisions, iPods, friends, games and anything else that may distract you. When you notice that you are straying from your original practice goals, stop playing and start over.

3. Take breaks.

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. If you are practicing too much, your brain may become tired, thus resulting in an unproductive practice. Give yourself a rest and let your brain and fingers recuperate. For every 48 hours that you play, you should be resting 24 hours. Additionally, taking a couple of days off won’t hurt you.

I have personally taken weeks off from practicing and noticed great results when I resumed. What I found was that I am much more enthusiastic when I start playing again after weeks of not playing. Being enthusiastic helps you to play the best you can.

Hopefully these tips help you to understand the correct way to practice. If you are in the Dublin, Georgia area and need guitar lessons, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m always available for new students.

-Tom Hooper

The circle of 5th’s

The circle of fifths is something that every guitar player should know. It’s a great way to understand how different chords, scales, notes, etc. Work together with each other. Understanding the rotation of the different notes, will help you to understand how sounds blend together. So here it goes, a pretty brief and simple explanation of the circle of 5ths.

circle of 5thsThis is the clock of music! All 12 keys in the western style of music. This is a handy tool for musicians to know how many sharps/flats are in a certain key. And just as the name suggests, this circle is based off the perfect fifth in a key. So going right from the 12:00 O’clock (C major) the fifth note in the key of C is of course G! (1)C,(2)D,(3)E,(4)F,(5)G. Continuing on, the fifth of G is D and from there the fifth of D is A. So on and on.

RELATED NOTE: If you move backwards around the clock, you have the circle of 4ths! Take a look and see for yourself.

Are you seeing how this is all working out? Now you may wonder what any of this has to do with you and your guitar playing. Well in most songs and music, a simple chord progression will end in the Five to the One. So if you’re playing a song in the key of C. The end to the chord progression will be a G chord to a C chord. (Five to One) Remember, each note has a number value. Start with the first note in the key and count forward. In the key of C major it will be C1, D2, E3, F4, G5, A6, B7, and C8,  (There are 8 notes in major and minor keys)

Try this on your guitar. Play a chord progression of a 1, 4, 5, 1.  that will be in the key of C major, C, F, G, C.  That is a very standard chord progression. And do you notice how the G to the C just has that resolution kind of sound to it? It sounds complete.

The circle of 5th’s can show you how to progress in keys. If you have key changes in songs, the circle of 5ths might have something to do with it. This shows that the two keys have the same number of sharps and flats in it. This means the two scales are “Enharmonic” simply put, they sound the same. If you’ve taken the time to know the notes on the guitar you would know that a C note can also be B# or a Gb can be an F# Or Eb can be D# It all depends how you look at it, the two notes are the same sound. And the circle of fifths show that in relation to the relative minor scale to a major scale. The notes in the A minor scale are the same as the notes in the C major scale. The notes in a G major scale, are the same notes in an E minor scale.

Now!!! One more thing before the end of this post. The circle of 5ths can also be used to identify the relative minor scale of a key. Look Up, and notice under the C, you have A minor. Under the G you have E minor

So hopefully you got something from this. The circle of 5ths can be a confusing subject, but study long enough, and it’ll come to you! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Tom Hooper.

 

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First guitar lesson

when it comes to your first guitar lesson, there are things to consider.

Don’t get discouraged too easily. It may seem like a lot of information all at once, but don’t worry about how much there is to learn. It all starts with one step at a time, and soon enough, you’ll be catching on to the different elements of guitar.

Assess your lesson. Was your guitar teacher encouraging and informative? Make sure he/she is because that’s very important. You need to have a guitar teacher that you can connect with. They need to be able to teach you in ways that you learn best. It also helps if you know the best way for you to learn and relay that information. Like learning by sounds, or sight, or doing, etc.

Always be ready to learn. Just because you have a guitar teacher, doesn’t mean the learning stops after the lessons. You will probably only have one or two one hour lessons a week. It is important that even after your lesson times, you go home and practice, and use what your teacher gave you to study. You may even look online or have additional resources to learn out of. There is ALWAYS something to learn. That even goes for the guitar teacher as well.

So there are three things to consider when it comes to your first lesson. Hopefully you’ll take that to mind. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Tom Hooper.

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