The Benefits of Isolation
By Lila Karash, Local Musician and Teacher at Twin Town Guitars
A lot of us are feeling isolated right now due to the pandemic. But, isolation can be your friend! I'm talking about isolating different parts when you're practicing guitar. Your brain can become cluttered at first when it's trying to do too many things at once. Separating out individual tasks will help you clear up this mess so you can improve faster. Here are some examples:
If you're trying to learn a difficult strumming pattern, try isolating the strumming part by muting the strings with your fretting hand while you strum so that you don't have to worry about what chords your fretting hand is playing.
If you're trying to learn a picking pattern, play just the open strings so that you can focus on your picking only.
If you're learning a new chord, practice switching to that chord with just the fretting hand. Then, add in a simple quarter note strum of 4 beats on the chord, and 4 beats on the open strings, and repeat.
If you're trying to sing and play a song, first isolate the singing part by listening to the song and singing along with it. Then, isolate the playing part by playing the song on guitar without singing it. Next, sing and play the song, but simplify the strumming part by playing just one or two chords per measure.
If you haven't tried isolating before, you might want to explore it. Your fingers and brain will thank you for allowing them a quiet time to focus without being interrupted by other distractions!