Basic Guide To Learning New Guitar Music

It’s as important to think about how to practice is what to practice. You will become efficient at learning new guitar music if you follow a simple and effective process. I have outlined below the one I use with many of my guitar students. Be sure to have a metronome with you and give yourself as much time as possible. Many great guitarists talk about the fact that you can’t rush good practice. Classical guitarist John Williams said, ” It takes 4 hrs to do 2.5 hrs of practice and 3hrs to do 1.5 hours of practice”.

Everyone has their own process and ways of going about things. Manuel Barrueco has a photocopier next to him when he is learning new music and will photocopy relevant parts of the music that he needs to work on. He then puts all of the photocopied excerpts into a folder which he then focusses on.

Here is a basic checklist which students can use to approach new music.

1. check time signature and key signature.

2. listen to a recording if available

3. familiarize yourself with the notes and rhythms

4. Have a rough (no time) playthrough.

5. chunk down: work on 4-8 bar sections with comfortable metronome speed.

6. work through sections and then begin to piece the sections together.

7. take notice of tricky spots to do further work on.

8. when you return to the piece, go straight to the tricky spots.

9. Use the “Four Times Rule”