Mistake #7: Having a Lack Of Focus In Practice Sessions
The guitar master is kind of like a yogi really. Because he’s learned the value of single pointed concentration.
Focus is the thing that allows truly great things to happen in the world. The truly great artistic, architectural, and spiritual achievements by the luminaries of mankind are a result of this simple, but unbelievably powerful skill.
And it is this skill, my guitar apprentice, that you will need to cultivate.
Turn off that iPhone. Banish social media updates. No more Youtube videos of cats pulling faces. Your guitar practice time is just for that: mastery of the king of instruments, the guitar.
Whenever you notice yourself straying off the topic, bring your mind back to the present, back to your goals, and back to that task that will achieve your goals.
Cultivating focus is one of the highest leverage things you can do for your guitar practice. It will mean you can get 3 times the value from the same amount of time you spend on your instrument. Through being focused and consistent you can achieve unbelievable results even within a short space of time.
I have found the practice of meditation to be very useful to cultivate focus, see this article for more. However, if that sort of thing isn’t for you then think about this idea of focus every time you practice. Think about your task for the session, and single mindedly work towards that without fail.
So many people complain about ‘not having enough time’.
What they should really be saying is ‘I haven’t made a routine, I haven’t got clear goals, and I’m not focused when I do make time for practice.’
Don’t be one of these people!
- Find the way that works best for you to cultivate focus. Whether you try meditation or otherwise, use your guitar practice as a focus training session. Cultivate awareness to check that what you set out to do in a session is what you are actually doing.
- You can use other opportunities throughout the day to cultivate focus, not just your guitar playing. When you wash the dishes, just focus on that simple activity. When talking to a friend, are you really focussing on listening or are you talking to someone else?
- If you are looking for a bit of technological assistance for cultivating a mind that can stay in the present, I would recommend the website Headspace. It’s a great resource and an interesting contemporary look at the ancient practice of meditation.
Ok yogic master, well done for attaining the seventh stage!
In the next topic, it’s time to look at the body beautiful…see you in the next one!
~ Greg from FretDojo
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