11 Ways to Practice WITHOUT a Guitar

11 Ways to Practice WITHOUT a Guitar

Time flies. You may call it a day after heading to work or study and then going home, enjoying your family life. Many of us do find difficulties sparing some time tuning, practicing and playing the guitar every day. Then we begin to wonder,

“Can I improve my playing without actually playing on the guitar?”

Why not? Let’s look at the 11 ways to practice WITHOUT a guitar at below.

1. Thinking about music

Let music become the boss of your mind. Ask yourself questions about music or guitar playing and try your very best to look for the answers. Explain your answers with examples provided. This will reinforce the knowledge you have in learning on the guitar.

2. Understanding the fretboard

Getting familiar with the fretboard helps to enrich your playing. You are suggested to draw the guitar fretboard on a paper and bring it along with you wherever you go. Whenever you have spare time as short as a few minutes, take it out and read by yourself. If you don’t have time to prepare that drawing, create the image of a guitar fretboard inside your brain. Then, memorize the notes on the fretboard.

3. Learning to play chords

No matter how long you have been learning to play the guitar, always get to learn more chords. Read some chord books with theories explained. You may also look for some related online resources, such as the chords that remarkable composers have used in their songs.

4. Visualization

To visualize means you recall or form mental images, as if you are having these experiences in reality. Visualize all the guitar techniques, including scales, chord variations and progressions etc. Act like you are playing some licks or even an entire song inside your brain. Researches have shown that this assists guitarists with stimulating their thinking like what a stage performance does. It is, therefore, helpful in your learning process.

5. Learning Songs

Instead of actually playing a guitar song, get to truly understand the song you are playing or going to play. Listen to it carefully. Pay attention to its lyrics, the chords used and the part(s) of solo-playing. Observe the roles of other instruments (if there are any) in the song, for instance, the drums and the bass guitar. Let’s see how it inspires you in anyway and improve your guitar playing.

6. Improving your hearing

Engaging in ear training by paying attention to every sound or song that you hear from the surrounding. Figure out the pitch of the sound and the interval between different notes. For example, try to find out three major thirds in a day and three perfect fifths another day.

7. Learning another instrument

Apart from building up music knowledge while you are playing the guitar, meanwhile, learn on some other instruments, for example, ukulele and harmonica. This develops and consolidates the knowledge and skills in music theory, enhances your aural ability and changes your mindset.

8. Reading sheet music

Do not undervalue the ability to read and write music, like many other guitarists did. Bring along with you some sheet music when you hang out. Read them in times of travelling on public transport and taking a (lunch) break.

9. Learning from other guitarists

You are going to learn a lot from other guitarists. Therefore, attend some local concerts or performances to listen carefully to the music they made. Be an appreciative audience and a serious learner. Apply what you have observed to your daily practice and you will soon see your progress.

10. Strengthening your strum

Do some cool beats with your hands and fingers. Apply these interesting patterns to your guitar playing. If you have a friend around you, you two can play the game of “copying the rhythm” together. Start with one creating a rhythm and another follows it as close as possible. This could improve your hearing and reaction capability.

11. Finger independence exercises

Tap your fingers on something, for example, a table. If you like, you can also create some rhythms with your finger tapping. Moreover, single tap with different fingers together with some multi-touch gestures in between. Alter the sequence of the fingers that you use from time to time so that you can maximize your muscle growth and fully develop finger independence. You may also simulate guitar strumming with different patterns such as 5-3-2-3-1-3-2-3.

Each of the above ways takes only a few minutes. Work on them and you will enjoy fruitful results!