Peter Edvinsson


Learn to play guitar easy.




By:Peter Edvinsson

Is there a best way to practice on your guitar? Of course you have to make your practice sessions effective but could there be a way to practice that is more effective than other ways?

There are many principles involved in an effective practice session and I think some of these are:

1. A motivation founded on a love and passion for the music you can produce on the guitar.

2. An acceptance of the fact that you must practice on that technical level you have reached.

3. A working knowledge of muscle tensions and how to minimize them when you play and how to work on reducing them when you don`t play.

What shall we do until we find the most effective way to practice on the guitar?

When I was studying music at an academic level I many times had the question messing around in my mind about the ultimate method for practicing on my guitar and other instruments I played.

A well renowned jazz tenor saxophonist who was my teacher in jazz improvisation discussed this issue with me as I asked him and he gave me the most intelligent answer I ever heard before or after. He said with a smile, "until you find out the best way to practice, practice anyway!"

How effective can a practice session be?

My humble opinion after much practicing and playing guitar and piano and other instruments and also teaching piano and guitar is that you have to take many things into consideration like the time available, your motivation level, how concentrated you can expect yourself to be and more.

As real growth often is a slow gradual process you will not very often be able to measure the effectiveness of a practice session by how much you have learnt so you have to find other ways to find out if you are effective.

Can you practice too much or too effectively?

It depends on how we define effective practice sessions. If effective guitar practice is to work through a long list of things to improve in your playing and to practice ten hours a day without interruption I guess you can practice too effectively.

This will mean that you practice in such a way that you will get fed up with guitar playing and maybe you will even hurt your muscles and develop an aversion towards guitar playing for the rest of your life.

What is real effectiveness when you practice on your guitar?

Real effectiveness is better measured by how well your practicing methods and results are pointing towards you goals. Without goals you cannot measure effectiveness. The roads to Anywhere are many so to find out if you are on the right road you have to decide your destination.

If your goal is to have fun with your guitar then you have a very effective practicing session if you have fun with your guitar. If that is what you want then it is a worthy goal. I guess you could come upp with more specific goals with deadlines so you can measure them better. But it is up to you to decide your own goals, otherwise the goals will not be effective.

I hope these words on practicing guitar playing will give you some comfort and also help you realizing that when human beings like you and me are involved we cannot definitely say how we ought to play to be effective.

Human beings are funny things that sometimes behave like as if they were identical, but nevertheless they are unique. This also applies to guitar players like you and me. We are different in many ways but I guess we want our guitar playing to contribute to our happiness and joy so have fun and "until you find out the best way to practice, practice anyway!"!

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Article keywords: guitar , guitar lesson , learn to play guitar , guitar practice , classical guitar , music education

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Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and learn to play resources at

Guitar Hero

Electronic Gaming Monthly, December, 2005

Good: The guitar controller. It's got a whammy bar

Bad: Soundtrack's all rawk, all the time Possibly Easier: Learning the basic chords on a real guitar

Jennifer: I started playing guitar two years ago, so this was like a dream for me. The included guitar controller feels so natural, and it's so simple getting into the rhythm-action groove, pressing buttons on the neck to match the patterns scrolling down the screen. It's like I advanced 10 years in skill by just pressing the start button, a feeling that karaoke or air guitar'even the greatest teacher in the world'can't provide. The spot-on rock anthems, from Joan Jett's 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' to Boston's 'More Than a Feeling,' might not be on my iPod, but within minutes I became intimately familiar with them, once I could actually play all their fantastic riffs.

Early on, the normal difficulty seems too easy, but I guess getting cocky is what rock is all about, and you know there's always a fall. Two-thirds of the way through, the notes start coming so fast and furious you won't know what hit you. Was it all the sex and drugs that kept me from nailing the climactic solo in my No. 1 hit'oh wait, I wasn't actually a rock superstar . Alas, even guitar heroes have to practice.

Mark: Technically, Guitar Hero has the chops. The guitar controller is sturdy enough, with a sweet whammy bar and wailing sensor inside, and great care has obviously gone into the order and timing of the button presses (including hammer-ons and pull-offs) to really make you feel like you're playing each song. The overall style is pitch-perfect as well, with cool concert-poster menus, a roadie-taught tutorial, and a sound level that goes to 11. But here's the question, man: Does it rawk? In the words of David Lee Roth, 'F*** yeah!' From predictable slam dunks like 'Smoke on the Water' and 'Ironman,' to recent hits like 'No One Knows' and 'Take Me Out,' to awesome surprises like 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Unsung,' it's hard to imagine a better song selection for shredding. It. Up. Guitar Hero will knock you on your coal-mining ass.

Official PS MAG'Joe: I am frankly astonished by how much playing this game feels like playing the guitar for real. On its easiest difficulty it allows wannabe ax-slingers to rock out with no training necessary (including whaling on the totally awesome whammy bar). But on its hardest difficulty it's as close to playing the song on a real guitar as it's possible to get in a game. The package as a whole is a bit lacking in frills and extras, but to my mind this issue is more than balanced by the amazing song list, which is populated by undeniably classic guitar tracks from the '70s onward, with only a few clunkers. If you have a rock-star bone in your body, you want this game.

The Verdicts (Out of 10):

Jennifer: 9.0

Mark: 9.0

Joe: 9.0

Publisher: RedOctane Developer: Harmonix Players: 2 ESRB: Teen

Copyright 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.

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