Recharge By Practicing
by Ryan Duke
Practice, practice, practice. It's so common, especially amongst musicians that it has almost lost its meaning. Like when you say the same word over and over it sounds weird. But you can reclaim not only the word practice, but what it means to you and make it better than ever.
Most people do not really have a clear idea of what practice is. If this describes you, then you are normal. Most people see practice as doing something over and over until you magically get good at it. This is not what practice is. Time is precious and this approach will only work sometimes and it will be a long and slow journey. It certainly will not recharge you, but deplete you of the joy of playing your instrument.
Practice does include doing something over and over, but if that’s all it is it will bore you to death. This is why when many people pick up their guitar(or any instrument) they are often not practicing. They are just playing fun things they already know.
What happens is in the beginning, the excitement of playing the instrument brings with it extra fuel to do all this repetitive practice, but after a while that fuel runs out. At this point you have some skills and knowledge. Just enough to enjoy playing a few songs. But having to do it all over again and again to play new songs is not exciting. It’s easier to just pick up the guitar and strum that old tune you know so well. it sound good enough to make you feel competent even though deep inside you are already bored of that song. Maybe even sick of it.
We need to look at practicing not as a means to an end, but as the very thing that we look forward to. If this sounds crazy, I get it. It might take some time to redefine what practice is in your head. It will also mean getting beyond the goal of just playing a fun new song. You can look forward to playing fun new songs or whatever it is you want to do, but there is something much greater.
To be able to master your instrument you must master practice and practice can not be a means to an end. You must become someone who is a “practicer”. One who is dedicated not to mastery over the guitar, but mastery over perception. Perception? Absolutely! Your perception of what it means to do something. This perspective will enable you to BE the person who overcomes all challenges through growth. Growth is the most fulfilling part of learning an instrument. To be somewhere else you were not before. To do the thing you could not do before. To be the person you were not before.
Once you get this perspective on not only practice, but of who you are you will be able to endlessly refuel by doing the very thing that once drained you.
About The Author:
Ryan Duke is a professional musician, songwriter, and owner of Supertonic Guitar providing guitar lessons Franklin.