We all know that life gets really busy. Between work and family commitments, practicing guitar and other hobbies get pushed to the very end of the “to do” list or fall by the wayside entirely. If you really want to become a better guitar player and think that there’s not enough hours in the day than it’s time to change your perspective on having “enough time” and what your priorities are.
First of all, what is “enough time” when practicing guitar? Spending 2 hours or so on guitar with no plan or direction, playing the same stuff you already know and literally make no progress at all is basically a waste of time. And unfortunately, it is how most people “practice” and it’s also why most people struggle to get better. However, even if you spend just 10 - 20 minutes of focused time playing every day, you will make massive progress. HAVE A PLAN. What is it that you want to be able to do? Make a goal for yourself and then practice the techniques needed in order to fulfill your goals. This is the fastest route to making progress! If you need help what and how to practice, the best and most effective thing to do would be to find an experienced guitar teacher to help guide you, prevent bad habits and give real time feedback.
Hidden Free Time
There’s most likely more free time available during the average day than you think. If you work a normal 9-5 job, your free time is most likely in the evenings. If your significant other is putting the kids to bed, pick up the guitar. If your partner is cooking dinner, pick up the guitar. If your roommate is watching one of the shows you hate, pick up the guitar, unplugged of course!
What if you wake a few minutes earlier to practice? You may think that that is crazy and that you already get up so early but if you are really passionate about guitar, you will be dedicated to playing in whatever way you can.
Take your guitar with you on trips, play it on your lunch break or if you don’t want to bring your guitar in to the office you can work on ear training or fretboard memorization.
Make guitar part of your relaxation rituals everyday. Put your guitar in your line of vision so it’s even easier to grab and start playing. In the living room, by your computer, in front of your TV, on your way to the fridge, etc.
When you’re practicing, your mind is engaged on playing and not the stress or worries of the day.
Instead of watching 2.5 hours of TV in the evenings, watch 1 hour and then play guitar. Instead of scrolling through social media for 20 minutes, pick up your guitar instead.
What Does It Really Mean To You?
Ultimately, it comes down to how passionate you are about learning guitar. Maybe you’re happy with just being able to strum some chords. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to make progress with guitar playing, there is actual work involved so prioritizing your time is key. This doesn’t mean that guitar should come before spending time with your family. But it might be a better option than spending hours playing video games or partying all night with friends. You may need to rethink some things and weigh getting better at guitar against less productive and enriching activities.
When you see your abilities grow, you’ll find even more time to practice because your passion for guitar will inevitably grow as well. Keep your play time regular and focused and don’t be afraid to say no to things in your life that have little or no lasting value in order to pursue your guitar playing goals.
About The Author: Ryan Duke is a professional musician, guitar teacher, and owner of Supertonic Guitar. Go to Guitar Lessons Franklin to find out more.to to find out more.