April 20, 2018

Practice Time

Probably the most common question I get from any student or parent is, “How much should I practice”.  I feel the need to be honest with you here and state the obvious, “However much you want”.

The rate of your “improvement” (and i use this term loosely as I consider it a negative word) is pretty comparable to the amount of practice you put in.  But don’t misunderstand. It is VASTLY better for you to play a little bit every single day than it is for you to do large sums of practice every few days.  This is a concept that the majority of teachers worth their weight in anything would agree on.

Not just the teachers though, even notable musicians who are all famous and stuff agree with the statement.  I remember reading one quote from a pretty famous guy that said, “I used to practice 12 hours a day!  Looking back, I think it was detrimental”. What a colossal mind melt that was!

The sheer concept is so foreign to many of us that remember the pop culture references such as “I practiced until my fingers bled!”.  Utter nonsense.

Set up practicing every day just as part of your daily routine.  Set yourself a wicked goal for each session and learn to break your practices into sections.  I have often referred to them as “chunks”. This way, you are able to set clear goals and then refer to the difficult areas of your skill development in case you want to consult an instructor.

Another piece of advice I would give you is to consider that your instrument doesn’t have to be around for you to practice. Just having the guitar or music in your thought process can honestly benefit you massively.

Now lastly, surround yourself with positive people.  Not just people that play, but anyone who will encourage you (or your child) to keep on strumming. Personally, I was fortunate enough to have a lot of people in my circles who already played and who helped me through some of the biggest roadblocks I had while starting up.

Set good role models and just remember to have fun.  You are learning one of the coolest instruments ever!  And of course I’m biased… what else would you expect?

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