On Practice: Getting the Most Out of Your Lessons
By Daniel Roest

During the time between lessons, practice with specific goals in mind. Realistic, next-step-on-the-ladder goals. These goals are usually set at the lesson. Be sure not to forget them during the time between lessons. Try to become very confident of your ability to play the material that you will play at the lesson. Avoid attempting to impress your teacher with how fast you play, sacrificing playing well and staying relaxed. As you drive or ride to your lesson, be thinking about the guitar and the material you've been working on. Have in mind, at least have written down, any questions you have about the material and ask them early in the lesson. Be progress-oriented. Try to get a clear idea of what your weaknesses are, as well as your strengths. Ask for long-term advice as well as short term. Stay relaxed at all times when practicing or performing, as much as possible. If you work slowly and thoughtfully on one problem at a time, you will resolve all problems in a shorter time.