Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - 10,000 Steps To Playing Guitar?

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

10,000 Steps To Playing Guitar?

What's the most common thing a guitar teacher hears? "I didn't have time to practice this week". The 21st century puts everyone in a time crunch. I always recommend having a "sofa guitar" handy in the living room; you can pick it up in all of those liminal moments one encounters there, or even while casually watching something on tv. Learning to compartmentalize small snippets of things to practice, committed to muscle memory, opens the door for (dare I say it...) "mindless repetition" that can be very beneficial. But here's another thing: A lot of people prioritize "getting their 10,000 steps in". Which is sensible, your health is obviously important. A lot/many/most people walk to do it. What if I told you "you can get a strap for your acoustic and practice playing while you walk".......? No, it's not ideal. As a beginner it might seem very cumbersome at first, you will have to commit to having a low wrist and playing by feel instead of by sight. That's ok, even if you're making mistakes; even if you just hold one chord and strum, you're getting exercise in two different ways simultaneously! And you can practice strumming on beat with the cadence of your walk: "on beat" with each step, or a multiple/subdivision. Or other strategies I might suggest as the guitar teacher.... I'm also going to go out on a limb and say the 10,000 steps will go by faster as well! The distraction WILL make it seem less of a chore - for both the walking AND the "guitar practice". I can recommend certain specific things one could do, but as I said, just strumming a chord might be good enough for a lot of people. You're doing an isometric workout, holding the chord down, as well as rhythmic practice in strumming. The next level up would be to change open chords back and forth "blind", not looking down, not trying to look over the front of the neck to see where your fingers are. Keep it simple and basic. Yes, you may attract some attention in your neighborhood or walking path. But maybe that not a bad thing? And it's certainly not as "strange" as some jogging fads that have happened in the past! 10,000 Steps To Playing Guitar, try it...

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