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January 26, 2010

Practicing Guitar vs Buying Guitar Gear

Are you someone who feels you are not spending enough time practicing guitar, yet you look on eBay and guitar forums everyday to see if you can score some new guitar gear? I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, but I think this is a common "problem" among many guitar players. I am guilty of this too, I openly admit it. How do you think I acquired all the gear I have listed on this website!

However, I have noticed this G.A.S (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is an illness that comes and goes for me. Lately, it's been mostly "goes", and perhaps that's because I have enough stuff now to play with. Although I could always use one of this or that, my little devil on the shoulder tells me... and sometimes he wins, sometimes not.

Now, the easy answer here is of course - stop buying gear, start playing guitar - if practicing and improving your playing is important enough for you. If you'd rather just have fun with gear, well then there you go. But if you want to improve as a player, you need to schedule time in for practicing guitar.

There is no substitute for hard work and time spent practicing when it comes to playing an instrument. There are many studies on this topic, and here is a study regarding children where improvements were seen on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion (skills not normally associated with music).

Bottom line is - if you want to play better, play more! And stop buying gear all the time, if you are "one of those guys..."

I do think many of us put off practicing, because they think it won't do much for their improvement, and it's easy to find excuses to not work on things that require some level of structured effort. I am guilty myself! I am busy with running, family, video lessons creation, etc. I could practice more than I do, and in fact, that is one thing I intend to improve upon in 2010. I want to get a better. I am working on knowing the fretboard better, chord voicings, finger picking, soloing concepts, etc. By the end of the year, I hope to have a recording or two, where I'm happy with my playing.

So, which one of these two "stereotypes" are you?

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 26, 2010

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