Keep Calm and Practice Music

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Article by
Kiriakos Bouloubasis (Kiriakos GP – GuitarPower)

John Dewey: The American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer. His theory about adult learning procedure can be applied to our guitar practice schedule. Want to know how? Here’s how to avoid frustration and get higher results from your guitar practice routine

I am going to analyze 5 hints which can help you avoid frustration which is one of the most common reasons why people quit practice:

• “Clearly define where you want to reach your skills”: Before start practicing you should think the true expectations of your playing. Every day you see many great guitar players on the internet and you feel frustrated because you want to play exact like all of them. Absolutely impossible! This is a cause of frustration don’t you think? Well, have you ever wondered how actually do YOU want/need to play in order to express yourself? How fast do you want/need to play? What style do you want/need to adopt? How many chord types do you want/need to know? Etc. These are some inner questions that everyone who’s ready to practice should answer.

• “Organize your material”: After you have clearly defined where you want to reach your skills you are able for the next step. You should find every book, music sheet or PDF file you own and refers to the guitar. Next you can consider helpful your PC to organize material. For instance, there are 3 big categories like THEORY, TECHNIQUE AND IMPROVISATION. In THEORY you can place some information you found about how intervals work and sound. In TECHNIQUE you can place some arpeggio exercises and in IMPROVISATION you can place some licks you wish to work over a nice backing track that you found online.

• “Make a practice plan”: John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential. Mostly he worked on the difference between kid and adult learners. One quote he gave ensures that adults learn better when they have organized their knowledge already. After you have organized your material and answered your inner questions make a practice plan. Find out the averaged amount of free time you have and break in small “time – parts” your practice material, while considering of how long you can play without getting mentally tired. I’ve met people who can play a small lick for 5’ minutes and some others for 15’ having the same productive result. Their stamina differs.

• “Don’t waste time to things non important for your goals”: Now let’s talk about driving your car to a nice beach that you found in google wishing to visit one day. After you have found the name of the beach and the exact place planning the route is the next step. You found 2 routes one for 20 kilometers far and one other for 100 kilometers far. I am sure you chose the closest to reach the beach! Let’s apply this example to our practice. Many guitarists on the internet combine fast playing with jazz scales, blues with funk style, metal music with slow rock and so on. A conversation with a friend of yours referred to someone who can combine every scale on earth! You came frustrated and disappointed. Forget about it! Have you answered your inner questions? Finally do you know what style YOU want to play? Yes! So, no reason to combine scales that you don’t need, licks that are worthless for your style, backing tracks that you don’t really like, books with jazz chords while you wish to play strong baritone 7 stringed heavy metal power chords for instance. Finding the closest way to reach your goals means don’t waste time to things non important for your goals.

• “Minimize distractions when practice”: In order to retrieve higher results when you practice, is very important to minimize your distractions. Find the best time for you to practice when nobody can distract you even parents or girlfriend/boyfriend. Close your mobile phone, your facebook, switch on your metronome and tick tock, focus on practice procedure which can make you a better guitarist.


Kiriakos Bouloubasis (Kiriakos GP – GuitarPower), was born in Greece on 22/6/1989.
He started his classic guitar lessons at the Municipal Conservatory of Argos Orestiko (Kastoria, Greece) at the age of 8. He continued his music lessons at the Municipal Conservatory of Larisa (Greece), while he took electric guitar and wind instruments lessons such as Trombone and Tuba as well.

In 2005 he won the 1st Price at the International Guitar Contest of the International Guitar Festival of Winter at Volos (Greece). He took part in many classic, flamenco and electric guitar festivals, competitions and clinics with great artists such as Marco Tamayo, David Grimes, Ricardo Gallen, Kostas Kotsiolis, Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind, Nightrage, Dream Evil), Guthrie Govan, Andy James, Ioannis Anastasakis (founder, leader and manager of the Greek Guitar Power Team) and others.

He used to be member of the Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Larisa, the student Symphonic Orchestra “Dimitris Mitropoulos” and the Philarmonic Orchestra of Oichalia (Trikala).

In 2012 he took his bachelor degree at the Department of Education (Democritus University of Thrace) and in 2015 he took the Master Degree of Special Education at the University of Nicosia (Cyprus). He works as a private school and guitar teacher for the last 6 years. Also, he performs a variety of live shows as a session guitarist with blues, rock, folk and metal bands.

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