Anyone who plays guitar (especially classical) knows that there isn’t any magical trick or shortcut to better playing.For an decent level of skill you need to practice,practice,practice…But after reading almost any book on the topic of guitar practicing I did find few let’s say Tricks and Tips that really worked and improved playing almost instantaneously.One of them is for sure ADM-Aim Directed Movement (most clearly described in Aron Shearer books ).
Basically it can be explained in just one sentence:
Always think a little in advance while playing (especially during practice) and clearly visualize on the fretboard the next movement,chord,or whatever comes next.
That means you have to have clear picture in your mind of what comes next,for example,if you just strumming Gmaj and Cmaj ,you should actively visualize G chord while you are playing C chord.This example is trivial and you can see benefit of ADM in such an simple example,but in complex music (like classical,or more difficult chord changes ) benefits of applying this mental technique is huge. I’ll just list few benefits:
- Actively imagining what comes next protects you from negative self-talk (what if I make a mistake?Will they notice?Will i look stupid?)
- Prevents memory leaps because you constantly remind yourself of next part of music.
- Practicing in such a way reinforce your memorization and you really know the piece (not relaying only on muscle memory and automation,but you really have it in your head)
- During hard to do changes (big jumps over fretboard,or between tough chords etc..) you actually have more time to prepare your next move.So instead of switching chords in an instant you indeed have few more tenths of second and that gives you just enough time to smoothly switch chords (or change position,slide or whatever)
Those are just few most obvious benefits.Practicing this aproach will reveal many other smaller benefits,and best of all is that you can notice immediate improvement as soon as you start applying principle of ADM.
To demonstrate what I mean by “visualize in advance” I made an video using few tricks in video editing software,here it is:
Just some keywords to please Google: