Maybe it sounds obvious to you, but from my experience, there are many aspiring guitarists who don’t know what is the difference between playing the guitar and practicing the guitar.
And even if they understand it on a theoretical level, they have hard times applying this knowledge.
Playing and practicing guitar is not the same thing. Following a pre-written guitar practice schedule is something completely different than just noodling around. When you are playing the guitar, your goal is to have fun, entertain people or earn money. When you are practicing guitar, your only goal is to improve some aspect of your playing.
There is a big difference between playing for 3 hours and practicing for 3 hours.
I’ve created a table which sums up some of the most obvious differences between practicing and playing guitar.
When you are in doubt whether you are playing or practicing, just check this table 🙂
|Practicing the Guitar||Playing the Guitar|
|Working on something you don't know||Playing/performing what you already know|
|Slow tempos so you can control what you are doing||Playing at the desired tempo|
|Lots of repetitions||No repetitions of the same stuff|
|Thinking "How can I improve this?"||Being in the moment, let the mind and fingers do their job|
|Working on different musical skills||Applying acquired musical skills to perform at your best|
|Correcting mistakes||Hidding mistakes|
|Mentally very demanding||Usually lots of fun|
|Working on your weaknesses||Showing off your strenghts|
|Isolating problem areas||Playing from the beginning to the end|
|Doesn't sound good||Should sound good and polished|
|Following practice schedule||Noodling around or following playlist|
Is there any other difference that you can think of? Let me know in the comments.
Image courtesy: Alberto Ferrante
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