Sometimes life gets busy and our time becomes limited, which causes practicing to be set on the back burner. Finding the time to sit down with a guitar in your busy schedule can seem impossible, but there are other ways you can take the time to practice without holding a guitar! Miami guitar lessons teach students easy and practical techniques to practice guitar without an instrument. Visualizing finger placement on the frets, strengthening and stretching your fingers for quicker movements, and utilizing music theory to improve composition and ear training are all opportunities to practice without a guitar. Learn more about these practices below.
Practice strengthening and stretching your fingers
Proper finger technique is very important when playing the guitar. For new players, this can be the hardest aspect. Spending time strengthening and stretching your fingers will improve your technique tremendously. Ways to strengthen and stretch your fingers can range from finger independence practice drills to squeezing a stress ball.
For a fantastic finger independence exercise, lay your hand flat on a hard service and try lifting each finger individually. Start off slowly and then pick up your speed. Make sure only one finger at a time comes up! This will be challenging, but it is possible. Keep working on the drill and over time it will become easier.
To stretch out your fingers with a stress ball, make sure your fingers have space between each before squeezing the ball. This will allow your fingers to gain strength independently from each other. The goal here is to strengthen and stretch your finger to allow them to gracefully move around the frets when playing the guitar.
Visualize finger movements on the frets
Learning to move your fingers from one position to the next can be difficult and stressful for beginning learners. Visualizing the patterns and physically moving your fingers create a simpler outcome when thinking about how to move your hand. Taking the time to simplify and break down the finger movement by thinking about one to two fingers can limit the stress of moving. Over time, you will be able to move all your fingers at the same time, but you must go through the steps patiently. Thinking about what comes next is important for a guitarist and allows them to not have to look at the neck while playing.
Work on ear training
Sometimes listening to our music helps us more than constantly drilling the same phrases over and over. As beginning guitarists develop an ear for scales and keys, their ear training abilities will significantly improve. Taking the time to listen and eternalize your repertoire can develop your ear to know when you make a mistake and how to fix it.
Study music theory
When learning the guitar, students get their first dose of music theory. Without it, guitarists cannot properly play their instruments. Taking the time to develop your music theory skills will improve not only your music knowledge but also your guitar playing! Discovering rhythm, note identification, tempo markings, and music symbols all can be done while not holding a guitar in your hand. Acquire a music theory book and dive into the pages to increase your theory knowledge.
Practice strumming patterns with hand movements
Rhythm for a guitarist is just as important as learning finger placement on the neck and frets. Without rhythm, songs would all sound practically the same. Taking the time to understand and learn the basics of the beat and rhythm can add layers to any musician, especially guitarists. While you can play individual notes from the treble staff on the guitar, rhythm mainly comes from strumming patterns while playing chords. Start with a basic downstroke for a quarter note rhythm, then add eighth note and dotted rhythms. Doing this will develop your ability to play complicated rhythmic patterns. Be patient in this process. If working with the guitar is too hard at the moment, that’s ok! Clap, tap, beat your rhythm at a turtle pace until it feels comfortable. Slowly start to increase the beat and then see if you can ‘air-strum’ without a guitar. Once all of these steps feel easy and comfortable, then pick up your guitar and begin to jam out on your favorite songs!
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By Rachel Lamphier