Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Log Your Progress

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Log Your Progress

Article excerpt

Prove to yourself that your hours of practice are paying off by keeping a practice log and watching yourself improve in black and white.

As a guitarist, you put in hours and hours of practice time over the course of weeks, months, even years, yet you're still occasionally haunted by that nagging question: Am I really getting any better? Don't worry, you're not alone. Most, if not all, musicians run into this at one time or another.

The fact is that you are getting better. But since your playing improves gradually, you're just not seeing it. To give yourself a much-needed motivational boost, you need to make it obvious to yourself that those practice hours are paying off. One of the best ways to do that is by keeping a practice journal.

Pick a journal that you'll want to use. The journal itself can be a diary, a lined pad of paper, a section of your daily organizer, an Excel spreadsheet, whatever-it's entirely up to you. Just make it easy to use.

Leave the journal (and a pen) where you practice, and always leave it open to the most recent entry. Remember, this is a tool to help you practice. The last thing you want to do is spend your limited practice time searching for it.

Write down the important details. For each entry, start off with the date and time, then jot down what you practiced, including metronome speeds. Record enough information so that the journal is working for you, but not so much that you're working for the journal. That balance will be different for everyone. …

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