5 Ways to Practice Without Your Guitar

air guitarMastering the guitar takes time, commitment, and passion. Don’t have hours upon hours to commit to practicing?  That’s OK.  In today’s busy world, you may only be able to squeeze in 20 minutes of practicing on some days. But think about all the time you spend commuting or waiting in line at the grocery store – why not use that time to “practice,” even when you don’t have your guitar with you? You can even use these strategies if you’re on vacation and don’t have access to an instrument! Check out these great tips from Jemsite.com about how to practice sans guitar:

1. Learn The Fretboard
The better you know your fretboard, the better you know your instrument and the more easily you can move around it. Here’s one technique to try: slip a small fretboard diagram into your wallet so you’ll carry it around with you everywhere. When you have two spare minutes, you can pull out your chart and name notes to help memorize them. If you don’t have the slip of paper handy, you can use visualization exercises. Picture a fretboard in your mind, pick some notes, and “see” where they occur on the fretboard image.

2. Learn About Chords
No matter how long you’ve been playing, there is always something new to learn about chords. Look around for sources of new ideas or information, find yourself some chord theory books, or study the chords used by great songwriters.

3. Visualization
Use visualization to work on all kinds of guitar skills. Visualization is the process of picturing a situation in your mind as if it were real. It has been proven that visualization stimulates the same nerve paths as actually performing actions, so it helps to reinforce your learning.  Use visualization to practice chord changes and progressions, scales and licks, picking patterns, and whole songs.

4. Develop Your Ears
As you listen to music and other sounds in the street, try to pick out the sound of certain intervals or notes. For example, you can designate a “major thirds day” where you try to spot major third sounds around you.

5. Study Music Notation
Many self-taught guitarists neglect music reading and writing skills. Carry around some sheet music and you can practice reading it during your lunch break or on the bus.

And there you have it – now having a “day job” is no excuse to forgo practicing!  Even if you’re strained for time, you can find a way to make it work.  What do you think of these tips? Anything you’d like to add?  Sound off below – and don’t forget to share with your friends if you liked these ideas!

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