Staying tuned during the festive season

It seems like throughout the year all we can think about are the holidays and all the free time we will have to pursue the things we love. However when December finally rolls around we often become so enthusiastic about dropping our work commitments that we end up accidentally dropping our hobbies and holiday goals too. Here are 5 tips to help you to get the most out of the festive season, and seize the precious me-time available right now.

1. Make sure your guitar is in sight

As the saying goes, out of sight is out of mind. Make sure that your guitar rests in a place where you will see it every day. The easiest way to remember to practice is to have the visual reminder of your guitar staring back at you. It might even be an idea to ask friends and family for the gift of a guitar stand or wall mount. While these items may help you to remember to practice, they also have the added benefit of contributing to your interior decor.

2. Practice a variety of genres

Practicing an instrument can become monotonous since a lot of the techniques need to be performed in a loop. One way to keep practice interesting is to make sure to revise songs that cut across all the musical genres. While it may be tempting to stick to your favourite song or style, in the long run it will be much more rewarding to master a variety of pieces. Consider sourcing some guitar etudes. These short musical composition are designed as exercises to improve a specific technique and can take the humdrum out of repeating the same notes.

3. The better you know the song, the easier it is to learn

Although it is good to have diversity in your practice regime, it is helpful to bear in mind that a song that you know well will be easier to master than a song you haven’t heard before. With unfamiliar music it is sometimes the case that the right notes sound wrong and the wrong notes sounds right. This distortion that occurs in the early stages can be avoided by learning songs that you know well where you can naturally hear if the rights notes are being struck with the right timing.

4. Have a practice schedule

Holidays are associated with rest and relaxation. A tedious or restrictive schedule is usually the last thing we want to do. However, sketching up a rough outline of which days and at what times you can sneak in a bit of revision can help to prevent the days turning in to weeks. Before you know it you will be back at work with a full schedule and very little downtime for your hobbies and passions. A little bit of holiday planning can ensure that you cease the opportunities that holidays present. Give yourself the gift of working on the things you love.

5. Go at your own pace

With most things in life going too quickly can become overwhelming, and going too slowly can become mind numbing. The holidays are a great time to figure out what pace works for you. If you find that you are not practicing you might want to consider that you may either be pushing yourself too hard and setting insurmountable goals, or you may be agonising over the details too much and becoming bored by the pursuit of perfection. Make sure that your pace is slow enough that you aren’t drowning in the deep, yet fast enough to keep you on your toes.

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