I used to play the guitar… It’s probably hard to imagine. For some reason, I don’t quite look like the guitar “type”. “Played” is probably a generous verb, as I could successfully play four and a half songs: “Doll Parts” by Hole, “Come as You Are” by Nirvana, “Sad but True” by Metallica, “Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin, and the first part of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.
In order to develop this intense repertoire, I had lessons with a friend that was a helluva a guitar player, and my mother purchased me How to Play Guitar for Dummies, along with some other books, which I avidly studied. For this brief period, I made progress…
Then, I became disenchanted by my instructor. She was my best friend, and she had the natural gift to play both the guitar and piano “by ear”. All she had to do was hear a song a few times, and she could play it with ease. Me…I had to fumble through sheets of music to merely learn the first few chords.
I decided that I would attempt to be like my instructor and friend. I would ditch the music sheets, stop taking lessons, and just play along with the music. Ear was pressed against the speaker, guitar and pick in hand, I went about my practice…
Needless to say, I practiced in this manner for about six months and I think I may have achieved a successful strumming of the first two chords of “If it Makes You Happy” by Cheryl Crow. #Fail
So, what’s the point? What does this have to do with you?
We are always told that practice makes perfect, but it actually takes more than mere practice to perfect something. The truth is, PERFECT practice, makes perfect.
You can practice your push jerk, handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, snatch, overhead squat or clean everyday, all day, but until you practice with proper form, you’ll never improve.
And guess what happens when you add load before your form is improved? You got it… the movement depreciates even more. Now, your practice has become even less perfect.
Don’t be like me. Get past the first few chords of a Cheryl Crow song that no one really remembers. Practice as perfect as your imperfect self can.