Five Things That Have Helped My Practice : The Practice Page

Five Things That Have Helped My Practice

by Kevin Hart on 10/04/18

I’m always on the lookout for techniques, tips, and tricks that will help my practice time be more effective and efficient. Here are five that I’ve found useful lately.

  1. Buffing

Very often when we sit down to practice we take out our guitars and dive right in. Sometimes I find this quite frustrating after just a few minutes. My tone is poor, I have a difficult time getting the strings to respond (and they’re brand new!), my rhythm is off, and I just can’t seem to get things up to tempo. What’s wrong? My nails, of course!

Taking just a few minutes to touch up my nails with the buffer solves all of these problems. It also gives me the opportunity to do some listening and to settle in and focus.

  1. The Practice Mute

Recently I discovered a pretty hand little device called the Rosette Tremolo Mute. You can find it here. It allows me to practice without disturbing anyone. It cuts the resonance of the guitar so that I can hear my fingers attack on the strings and can play with greater accuracy. This helps with even tremolo and arpeggios. I even find that, after several repetitions with the mute, I can play a passage faster and more relaxed without the mute.

The mute fits under the strings near the bridge and is adjustable to accommodate a variety of bridge heights


  1. The Metronome (again)

Ahh, the metronome. Our best, and most honest, friend. A metronome has a way of point out lots of mistakes in a way that can’t be argued with. It can also help us to slow down. You know that you need it. Get it out, put it on your music stand, and use it. There you go. Now was it that bad?

  1. Recording

Recording yourself can be extremely helpful. When you listen back, you can hear errors that you weren’t aware of and come to the stunning revelation that you’re not as bad a player as you thought. The simple act of recording, I find, makes you listen more closely to your playing. It’s so easy, too. Most people have recording devices on their phones or computers now. Take advantage of it!

  1. Spot Practice

I know the excuse. I need to practice, but I just don’t have the time. Do you have five minutes? Of course you do. You just spent part of it reading this blog post! Next time, instead of checking a screen. Practice a small passage that needs your attention. How many repetitions can you get in five minutes? A lot, that’s how many!

If you have any helpful practice ideas, please share them with us. Just email me from the contact page. The same goes for any questions that you may have for The Practice Page.

Happy Practicing!