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A great way to practice your guitar playing is by using the interleaved practice method. This means experimenting using three sets of three as you practice your guitar routine daily. This could look like practicing verse chords of the song, then practicing a scale, then practicing alternate picking. That would be one set. Practice this three times in a row.

Why it Works

Using this routine is great for practice because, when you move from one technique to another, you have to quickly forget what you just practice. When you return to it, you must remember it again. Study showed that this act of remembering, known as effortful recall, helps to improve your playing long-term. Practicing and set of threes help you to solidify the neural connections, helping you to better remember.

Why Interleaved is better than Traditional Practice

The effects of interleaved practice over your traditional practice routine needs to be understood. As you practice using the traditional method, you are able to become comfortable with the field, the notes, and the tempo. You may become good at playing the song you’re practicing for the day, and this can be good at times, but not always.

After you spend your time practicing a single song and then walk away, you begin to forget exactly how you played it. At your next practice, your performance is lower than it would be if you had used the interleaved practice.

Interleaved practice has a downside too, though. When practicing the interleaved method, you don’t give yourself enough time to get comfortable with a song. This can leave you feeling discouraged at the moment because you are able to learn a song in a single day.

Though you’re not learning a single song in a day with interleaved practice, you will begin to see the benefits from day to day’s you retain more from your songs. Your performance level will be greatly improved, more than if you simply focus all your time on a single song.

When you use traditional practice, you go to bed forgetting what you learned, then wake up remembering. This can help to strengthen your memory over time. When you used interleaved practice, though you still forget, it only takes a few minutes to remember.