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We've got the greatest practice tip ever: If you want to learn faster, just sleep on it.

Becoming a better guitar player depends on your brain encoding the information that you’re working on in practice sessions from your short-term memory into your long-term memory. So how can we help that happen?

Think of an exercise program or going to the gym. No one recommends that you work out every single day. Getting healthier requires that your body goes through a cycle of work and recovery. It needs that time to heal.

The same concept applies to your playing:

Play. Pause. Repeat. Why take a break? It takes time for the information moving in your fingers and head to become second nature.

And here’s a little practice secret that you can use: Playing guitar at night is more effective than playing in the morning.

It’s true. Burning the midnight oil is more effective than getting an early start.

While you’re sleeping, your brain is creating different connections and associations based on what you were previously doing. It’s working offline, operating below conscious awareness to make sense of all that guitar playing. Sleep improves retention and comprehension. One study of aspiring musicians found that those that practiced a lot shared another interesting activity—napping.

Playing the guitar is both mentally and physically challenging. If all the information feels overwhelming or it feels like you’re not making progress, take a break. Give yourself some rest. Don’t overdo it. Take a nap. Lay down your guitar and pick it up tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to rock yourself to sleep.

And once you're ready, you can learn to play guitar with guided lessons from Fender Play that get you playing songs in minutes. Not a member of Fender Play yet? Click here to get the first 30 days free.

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