This tip comes from our Guitar Tutor, Graeme Armstrong:- Practice for 10 minutes a day rather than condensing it into an hour a week, this helps it sink in! For more advanced players only practice what you need to. Don’t rush through a piece and skip over the bits you are not so good at. Leave your instrument out of its case on a stand, it stops the hassle of getting it out of its case if you only have a few minutes for a wee play. Remember all playing counts as practice, it is meant to be FUN.
Our new Merlin Tip for the week is from Andy Gray our Guitar Tutor and is quite fitting considering the constantly changing climate in Scotland.
Whether you have one guitar or a 100 each one is going to be precious to you. You will no doubt have spent quite a bit of money on gig bags, hard cases even guitar and fret cleaner to keep your guitars safe and sound and of course all these things do a great job, but have you thought about what certain temperatures can do when you are not looking? Lack of humidification and extreme changes in temperature are the main causes of guitar damage and one of the most common culprits guitar techs will have to deal with when someone presents them with a guitar repair. All guitars are affected by changes in humidity and temperature, especially the higher end guitars. As we all know they are made of a living material wood which and are glued or bolted together. As it is still very much a living material it expands and contracts with changes in temperature, so it is really important to store your guitar in a controlled environment as much as possible. You will also notice your guitar will go out of tune when it goes through a change in temperature. Also worth noting that this does affect other instruments such as of course the FIDDLE!
Calling all guitarists (actually this one could apply to all musicians)
Guitarists practice a piece until MUSCLE MEMORY sets in. Where the brain is free to forget, but the body still clearly remembers. This gets rid of thoughts allowing the music to simply FLOW
Here is Iain’s tip of the Week!
It’s the 3 P’s!
When you get your instrument out at home it can be really helpful to decide in advance whether you are about to Practice; maybe a particularly tricky piece or phrase until you have it, Play a few favourite tunes for your own enjoyment or to de-stress after a hard day or Perform; possibly a particular piece you are working on in front of family or friends or tunes you know well instead of watching TV!. All three, Practice, Play and Perform are important aspects of building your music skills, enjoying making music and sharing music with others but don’t be consumed by thinking that every time you play your instrument you must Practice. Give yourself permission to just play and occasionally perform by sharing your music with others too.
You can find the next performance opportunities here on the website or through our Facebook page
Our Merlin Tip #5 is following the theme on Practice and is from Andy Gray our Guitar Tutor.
Find somewhere quiet to practice… This seems too obvious for words, but not only will you be far less likely to succumb to all sorts of distractions, but entering a special practice area, whether it’s a certain room or just a corner of the living room, will help prepare you mentally for this very particular kind of work. Mindful intention is everything, and having the ritual of going to the same place every time can help set that intention.