Learn Without Guitar: Think About Music--A Lot!
Written by Gary Fletcher   

Here's an easy way to improve your guitar skills that you can do any time and any place. You don't need any equipment, and best of all it's free.

Pressed For Time?

All you need to work on your guitar skills is your mind. You can use it to practice in those little spare moments of the day, or during activities that don't take much concentration, such as jogging or doing the housework.

Learn to practice with your mind using the exercises described below and you can take advantage of those otherwise wasted moments.

Work Through Playing Problems

A good way to use some of this time is to think through problems you experience. Doing this away from the guitar gives you a different perspective that can help to solve the problem.

I like to enlist the help of my unconscious mind. The great thing about this is that you don't even have to think about it. Simply ask a question or pose a problem and ask how to solve it. Mysteriously you will often find that an answer presents itself, without any conscious effort on your part.

The answer might simply pop into your head, or you'll read it on a blog, in a forum or you meet someone who provides you the clue you needed. Call it what you will, unconscious, synchronicity, the only thing that matters is that it works.

Memorize Things

Another good use of guitar thinking time is to memorize things. Songs, chord progressions, chord and scale formulas, music theory, licks and even whole solos can be repeated in your mind to help you memorize them. Pick one exercise and repeat it in your mind several times during the day and you'll have it memorized in no time.

You can write down or print out your exercise on a small piece of paper to help. Carry this in your pocket and use it to check your memory or fill in gaps if you're unsure.

Use Paper

Thinking doesn't only happen in your mind, tools such as a pencil and paper help stimulate your thought process.

Write or draw things you want to memorize or work on, chord or scale diagrams for example. You reinforce your learning by stimulating alternative channels in your mind.

You can also get new insights into your musical knowledge or problems. Take a sheet of fresh paper and start writing about a playing problem you experience. Let the words pour out as they come to you, don't try to control them. Write about what the problem is, how you feel about it, what you could do to fix it. You might be surprised at the answers you come up with.

Use Images

Images are an excellent way to stimulate your memory and help you to work through problems or memorize finger movements and fretboard patterns. You can create your own mental movies by visualizing yourself as you play exercises.

Create a vivid picture or a movie in your mind and you can slow it down or speed it up at will, or move your point of view around the guitar to any place you want. Research has shown that visualization stimulates the same nerve channels as physical practice, so it's a good way to build your muscle memory.

Your mind can help you to learn guitar in many ways if you give it the opportunity. Keep music and guitar playing at the front of your mind to reinforce what you know already. Ask your unconscious for help and use your minds amazing abilities to create wonderful movies of your guitar playing. All these activities will help you profit from lost moments during the day and make more progress on the guitar.

Gary Fletcher is a writing guy who spends too much time Not Playing Guitar.
Comments (3)Add Comment

Write comment

security code
Write the displayed characters