Ahhh… your practice space – the place where learning gets done.
You can dread and avoid your practice room like a prison...
Or you can savor your time there as a sanctuary away from the demands of life – a refuge to get away from the stresses of the day and focus on what YOU want to do and be.
Make the physical environment around you as helpful as possible in helping you become a better musician.
Let’s learn what items should be around to help you learn.
Music Stand A solid place to hold all of your learning materials.
Get a good, solid, metal stand. Avoid the inexpensive, fold up portable wire ones which can’t hold much weight and will inevitably bend and break when you trip over them.
For day-to-day use in one location, get a solid metal stand like this... MUSIC STAND.
If you need something portable to get to jam sessions or other playing situations, here is the best portable music stand I’ve found... PORTABLE MUSIC STAND
Metronome The best tool for measuring and improving your rhythm.
There are many options for metronomes from a basic “tick-tock” type to those sounding complex multi meters.
All you need is a basic metronome. (More is not better when talking metronomes.)
Avoid the ones that give a “beep” sound and choose one that gives a “tock” sound. For a good mechanical metronome, this one works great… METRONOME
You can also get a metronome app for your phone.
My favorite is… METRONOME APP
Guitar Stand The safest place for your guitar to be when not in a case.
Don’t lean your guitar up against a couch or chair where it can easily be knocked over. Use a quality guitar stand to hold your instrument secure.
A good choice is the Hercules stand that locks your guitar when it is in the stand… HERCULES GUITAR STAND
You can also hang your guitar on the wall with a wall hanger. Hanging your guitar on the wall is a great way to have your guitar close by and also to appreciate how cool it looks. A good wall hanger is… WALL MOUNTED GUITAR HANGER
Comfortable Chair Use a stool or chair that is comfortable.
Avoid practicing hunched over on a couch.
Find a comfortable padded stool or chair (without arms) so that you can practice for a length of time without getting sore or stiff.
Pencil Don’t write in ink unless you never plan on making a mistake.
Make sure to have plenty of pencils around. (Avoid using pen.)
When something is important to remember then write it down. Writing things down increases your retention of the material.
Notebook/Tablet/Paper Keep a practice journal of things you work on.
Things that aren’t written down are easily forgotten.
Start a practice journal. Write down new chords learned and new concepts. Write down your progress in learning technique.
Review your notes often to see how far you’ve come.
Ipad/Smart Phone There’s a world of knowledge only a few clicks away.
Nowadays, you can easily find a video on anything you would like to learn.
Have an ipad close by – maybe even one that can sync to a wall-mounted TV – to pull up a helpful YouTube video or jam track.
But be careful, it’s easy to get distracted and start watching videos instead of practicing. Use your practice space ipad for learning – not surfing.
Practicing Tip: If you want to practice soloing, record yourself playing the chord changes into your phone and then practice soloing over your track.
One Final Thought... Motivation
Mission Statement Write out your goals on guitar and put on your music stand.
Take a moment and write out your goals or dreams for your guitar learning. In one or two sentences, create your guitar learning mission statement.
Once you have the wording like you want it, then print it out and post it on your music stand.
It will serve as a quick reminder of why you want to play. Update it often.
Creating an inviting practice space can lead to more productive practice times and greater improvement.
What are some ideas that you've found helpful in your practice space? Let us know below in the comments.
I hope these ideas help you create a practice space that works for you. Learn all you can! - Steve