Muscle Memory

If you really want to learn to play guitar well you must do one simple thing before anything else. You must learn how learning takes place between your muscles and brain. If you understand the process that your brain must go through to train your muscles your practice sessions will produce predictably effective results.

You have probably heard the term muscle memory. This is the process of your brain learning and storing a set of precise instructions for each group of muscles needed for every small task you want your fingers to perform on the guitar. When muscle memory is solidly established it becomes a naturally effortless and an almost unconscious act to play the guitar well.

These tasks need to be practiced at speeds that are slow enough so that you can consistently perform them perfectly. If you practice the guitar at a tempo that produces lots of mistakes you end up teaching your muscles how to play the exercise with the mistakes included. Unfortunately muscles cannot distinguish between playing with mistakes and playing without them.

Here are 12 tips for having practice sessions that will support the development of good muscle memory:

1. Prepare your whole body for the practice session.

Practice while relaxed. Just like an airplane pilot checks over the plane prior to take off you should check your body for any tension, stiffness, tightness, pain or any discomfort. Tight muscles can become tighter during practice which can seriously limit the full range of motion needed to master the guitar. Even tension in the shoulders can travel to the arms and then eventually to the fingers. Stretch and warm your entire body before playing in order to stay loose. Begin practicing with slow, easy exercises to prepare your hands for more demanding new material.

2. Practice in a quiet, comfortable place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

3. Commit to a specific time each day for practice.

Begin each day with a firm commitment to a practice plan that includes the specific details of when, where and what to play.

4. Keep your practice sessions short, frequent and very specific.

It is more effective to practice 20 minutes everyday than to practice two or three hours once a week.

5. Always practice with a metronome.

Let me repeat that. Always practice with a metronome. It is surprising how often even good guitarists break this rule. Training yourself to play at a consistent tempo will make your music sound professional. This is valuable whether you plan to play just for friends at a party or in a stadium full of screaming fans.

6. Tune the guitar before each practice.

7. Determine your optimum practice speeds.

For each part of a scale, exercise or song find the fastest metronome speed that you can play without making mistakes. Practice it for a day at 25% to 30% of that maximum tempo. Follow this with a day at 50% of maximum then another day at 75%. On day four practice at your old maximum speed. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you have a new, faster maximum speed. Be forewarned, however, that this routine might seem ridiculously slow but, hang in there because it really will pay off.

8. Do not try to learn too many different things at each practice session.

Practice only small sections of an exercise or song at a time. Working on an entire new song, all in one setting, makes it more difficult for your brain to cement solid muscle memories. Just like a newborn baby can’t handle an entire meal of solid food we need to practice only a few, small musical spoonfuls at a time.

9. Work on the problem parts not just what you already know.

This may sound extremely obvious but there is a tendency for new guitarists to play the easy parts over and over while continuing to stumble over the problem spots.

10. Spend the first ten minutes warming up, then split the remaining time equally between new exercises and new songs.

11. Set aside some time to just goof around with the guitar.

Make sure to inject a healthy dose of fun in each practice session. If you have been working on blues scales then why not put on some jam tracks or even your favorite blues CD and try to improvise a solo. Select a favorite song to work on at the end of each practice session.

12. If you plan to perform in front of people …

Perfect your songs in private then practice playing in front of sympathetic friends and family members. Create a practice environment that is as close to the conditions of your upcoming performance as possible. If you will perform standing up then use a guitar strap and practice that way. Tell your friendly practice audiences to feel free to talk and laugh it up during your practice. This will help you learn to become comfortable in a distracting concert environment. Consider recording your practice sessions with a simple home video camera on a tripod.

Opening night jitters can throw off your game no matter how well you know the material. If you have repeatedly practiced playing in simulated concert environments then the real deal can be a breeze.

The bottom line: in order to play well you must acknowledge how your body is programmed to learn then design practice sessions that are complimentary.

16,176 Responses to “Muscle Memory”

  • Brian Kelly also second year man Brandon Wimbush, who could be the most talented quarterback on the roster. The laboratory’s field researchers and staff scientists, in the words of Laboratory Director Dan Arvizu, 鈥渟upport critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations to market viable alternative energy solutions. Base your estimate on your previous consumption.Firstly, there?s the motivation of owning a treadmill that makes you walk more. It also spearheads research and development of renewable fuels for powering our vehicles such as biomass and biodiesel fuels and hydrogen fuel cells.
    Ike Opara Sporting Kansas City Jersey

  • At the same time, you have to understand that not just the quantity of chemicals but also their temperature matters a great deal: you can use a thermometer to constantly evaluate the temperature on the chemicals. Better PricesAlternative designs by their nature are more varied, meaning they are less likely to bear the massive price tags of traditional, high demand designs. They have all the experiences in this kind of venture and they are also assessing many clients. Nowadays there are a assortment of variations, colors and variations which have drastically altered the form of the authentic UGG boot. In fact, nothing seems to light up a walker?s eyes more than the thought of buying a treadmill.
    Donovan Ricketts Jersey

  • It’s my job to used a drugs measuring cup when calculating the chemical ratio: you’ll be able to choose special measuring cups for photographers as well, but you are significantly more expensive. Some companiesdealing with the sale of these machines have specialized people who know how to handle them.For search engine optimization, remember to carefully and thoroughly research exactly what keywords you are going to put on your website. John O’Korn came over from Houston, where he was the American Athletic Conference freshman of the year in 2013 and demoted to second string in 2014. That is why getting the best brains here is important.
    Ish Smith Jersey

  • Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
    worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  • For those using the machines for long term, they need to buy instead of hiring.4. With the current ad campaigns going on around the world, more and more people are looking for ways of improving their health and see nutrition as a part of that. To avoid this, make sure you improve on the security of your hotel business.The market condition has to be known first.
    Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping

  • I was reading some of your blog posts on this website and I believe this site is really instructive! Continue posting .

  • This does not mean that they would be repairing related troubles occurring inside your home, rather, those troubles that can be fully attributed to them, such as those occurring in their main lines.Bohrwerke become useful when used properly by people with adequate knowledge.The worldwide prevalence of sports nutrition also creates more vigilance in terms of sustaining efforts which have started already.Here are some tips that you may use in order to find a good utility company.Pictures and graphics are great for the visual aspect of your web page.
    Ramon Sessions Jersey UK

  • And lastly will it fit in the room space you have?Frankly, between the top ten comparable brands, I have seen very little ?real? differentiation to decide if one brand’s better than the other. The Drying PartFor top results, it is important to hang the pictures to dry inside a safe, dark, dust free area.<li><li>As the penis starts to feel the continuous stretch therefore the cells in the penis acts to a natural phenomena of forming the cells in a straighter form. At the same time, you have to understand that not just the quantity of chemicals but also their temperature matters a great deal: you can use a thermometer to constantly evaluate the temperature on the chemicals.Its delivery is made on time.
    Jalston Fowler Jersey

  • Government Grants for Alternative EnergyIn his State of the Union Address for 2007, President George W. Be mindful When DevelopingFilm developing involves by using a combination of different chemicals, therefore make sure to use steel bowls and then prevent staining. Better PricesAlternative designs by their nature are more varied, meaning they are less likely to bear the massive price tags of traditional, high demand designs.Be sure you take a look at their bounce house rentals to see what they’re offering.FLORIDA STATESean Maguire ended last season as the Seminoles’ starter, but he will have serious competition underclassmen with more upside.
    Stephen Curry Jersey

  • The company’s ability to make use of plastic security bags shows quality management and service.1) Their Web siteA good web design company will possess a professional looking website.Search engine optimization tools can help you to analyze visitor behaviour. Kizer, a sophomore, was so good it almost makes you forget that the junior Zaire was a clear No. Everyone appreciates unique style, but it is especially fitting if your partner has a dress style that doesn’t benefit from a traditional design.
    Ryan Kesler Jersey

  • They are also shown that it is not difficult for them to follow these examples. The grates are also easy to remove when cleaning out the pallet. There are several things that you should look for within the initial conversation you have.Finally, developing an outstanding photography is 50% concerning the strategy of developing it and 50% of your skills to be a photographer.<br >Reason: <br >(1) blades of the grader wear serious, it can’t work for classification.
    Brandon Tanev Jersey

  • Caro dr Gilgamesh, le confesserò che l’idea di vivere un sogno dentro a un sogno non mi dispiace affatto (s’allontana ancheggiando in modo onirico)

  • GEORGIAAmong 2016 freshman quarterbacks, Georgia’s Jacob Eason would be voted most likely to start immediately. Actually, there is nothing you can pay for them that can measure up to the benefitsthey’ll confer on your hotel business. S? you ??n ??v? your bu?k? b? cutting d?wn th? w?ight ?f your b?l?nging?. Last but not least, the company ought to always advise you in your best interest, no matter whether the sale is closed. Although societal pressure can become a positive motivation, it can sometimes begin to falter.

  • But you need t? be ??n??i?u? about the safety of heavy it?m? th?t ??u ??nn?t pack with care ?n your own and it i? better t? avail th? ??rvi??? in thi? ????. The Drying PartFor top results, it is important to hang the pictures to dry inside a safe, dark, dust free area.The same goes if you would be availing of the services of other utility companies like the water and gas companies.Twitter. Some alternative rings even use other precious ingredients, like rare tree wood or alternative metals, to create incredible value without increasing the price for you.

  • The kits contain a liquid concentrate developer, accurate measuring cylinders, a developing tank etc. Personal Connection With DesignersMany alternative diamond engagement rings are created by independent artists or small collectives of jewelers.Hire the trusted appraiser today.Search engine optimization is a very encompassing term. What at first started with using their merchandise for sale to the neighbourhood farmer’s market has because, by way of the web, escalated their sales outside of their wildest dreams.
    Charles Clay Jersey UK

  • This means there is enough space to hold the 220 to 300 gallons that is represented by those 4 barrels or drums. Here are some reasons to consider these types of designs:1. Too many internal links on one page can dilute a web page’s search engine rank. One design genre that many people overlook is Alternative Diamond Engagement Rings, which fuse the traditional beauty of a diamond with unique cuts, creative band design, and specialized inset sockets.Three of Alabama’s national championships have come with a first year starter behind center as Nick Saban has proved the best way to develop a quarterback is to surround him with future NFL players.
    Drew Kaser Jersey

  • So fundamentally what was at first simply an more than inflated sock has now transformed into a very best promoting boot. The second speech of the President’s was actually given at the NREL. If you for example you need the services of heavy machines, they will provide both machines and operators.<br >The second common stoppage of the Raymond mill: Finished product powder is too thick, or too thin. The Drying PartFor top results, it is important to hang the pictures to dry inside a safe, dark, dust free area.
    Marvin Harrison Jersey

  • Be seen by customers after they’re looking out
    on Google.

    Here is my web site :: internet marketing strategies
    2017 (

  • Some heavy loads are fragile and if handled carelessly, damages will occur.J. Heavy machines such as Tischbohrwerk should be handled by experienced people with critical information about the activities taking place.When optimizing your site for keyword phrases, rather than single words, pay attention to keyword proximity. If you have a vision in mind or a creative idea that best represents your business, your signs company will realize that for you through striking business signs made with the appropriate colors, lighting, sizing, imagery, lettering and typography.

  • Each issue gets its ideal attention. Jimbo Fisher might have other plans.Whether you are hiring Tischbohrwerk or purchasing, you need to consider its advantages.There are many virtues in the field of Search Engine Optimization, and patience is the biggest one.It appears now that people are open to the idea that without a healthy diet, performance may not be expected to be excellent.

  • Awsome blog! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  • Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful

  • Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and
    i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you
    can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  • Nice replies in return of this difficulty with real arguments and explaining everything about that.

  • Muscle Memory

  • I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    The article has really peaked my interest.
    I’m going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new details
    about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

Leave a Reply

Tune Up, Click Below!
Great Artist’s CD’s
Great DVD Instruction
Book CD, DVD Combos
Must Have Books
Great Performances
Guitar Accessories
More Guitar Stuff
Free Guitar Lessons
Music Marketing