One of the biggest areas of frustration that most guitarists face is the inability to find enough time to practice. Most of the time my students will describe their day to be something like this: They wake up first thing in the morning, get the kids ready for school, head off to work, work the whole day, pick their kids back up from school, head back home, take care of family business and then finally get ready for bed – just in time to do the same thing all over again the very next day.
I used to have similar frustrations and found it almost impossible to get any practice in with everything else I needed to get done. It took me a long time to figure out what I needed to do to squeeze in a decent day’s practice, and now I’m going to pass that knowledge straight to you.
I knew I needed a better time management strategy if I was going to get any better at playing, so the first thing I did was to wake up a 30 minutes earlier in the morning and bring my electric guitar into an area of the house where nobody was sleeping. I spent the next 30 minutes practicing everything I wanted and could practice (unplugged, of course!) and my skills shot through the roof almost immediately. The reason this works so well is because NOBODY is calling me at 6am unless it’s an absolute emergency and I get a great musical start to my day – all before I even brush my teeth in the morning!!
Seeing the massive progress I made, I knew I wanted to boost my skills even more, so I decided to take a look at and analyze what the rest of my day looked like in order to see if I could find any more time to ramp up my playing ability. I quickly noticed that I was spending a lot of time watching TV. Not quite ready to give up television (and I’m still not), I started using the commercial time to practice. At first, there didn’t seem to be enough time to get any consistent practice during the minute-long commercial breaks, so I decided to focus specifically on what to practice. Check out that article here.
Awesome! I just added 15 more minutes of practice time for every hour of TV I was watching, giving myself grand total of 45 minutes each and every day to practice, and all without sacrificing any of my responsibilities throughout the day!
Was it possible to find even more time?
Having all of this extra practice time is a lot of fun, but when I knew I had to practice, it took a lot of effort and energy on my part to get motivated to get started and I needed to figure out why. I then noticed that every time I wanted to practice, I had to go through the labor intensive process of taking my guitar out of its case. That’s when it hit me. Getting the guitar out of its case is a huge hassle and keeping it locked down is a great way to prevent myself from ever practicing
To solve this dilemma, I decided to buy a cheap guitar and put it on a guitar stand in plain sight. This allows me to practice whenever I want, for as little or as long as I want. This easily gives me another 15-20 minutes of practice time to my day as I walk by the guitar and get inspired!
These 3 small changes in my daily routine gave me more than an hour to practice my guitar every single day and they can do the same thing for you! So if you’re having trouble finding the time to practice, take the time to examine your day and see what time you can open up. If you use my 3 tiny behavior changes, your practice will go a very long way, and will guarantee you get better at playing your guitar.
What kind of progress would you see by just adding an hour a day to your practice routine? How about 30 minutes? 20? With 24 hours in a day, take a peek at your time spent doing other things – trust me, there is plenty of opportunity, all you have to do is open up your schedule and take a look!
Let me know how these tips work out for you and watch for the next installment!
Written by: Marcus L. Diaz
Owner, Mentor, Trainer, Coach
Master Your Guitar Music Academy
Here’s an extra tip:
The typical, average, logical approach to learning guitar that most instructors follow is NOT the best way to learn to play. My students come to me week after week because they learn faster with me than with any of their previous instructors! Why? Because there is madness in my method and a method to my madness! Learn how to prevent YEARS of frustration when you...
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Great school; Marcus cares about students and their progress. Always easy to understand and answers all questions. Whether a goal is understanding advanced music theory or just playing a few chords, Marcus is very well equipped to help
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Marcus Diaz, the owner, is a great teacher. He's clear, focused and relaxed with a great knowledge of guitar. He's skillful in combining the teaching of theory with hands on learning. His classes are always fun and the time goes by
Marcus builds a great rapport with everyone, right out of the gate. He is a master of conditioning people who want to play the guitar, to WANT to play the guitar, and is really good at teaching beginners—making the dry and
not-so-engaging basics into engaging lessons.
Marcus is a fantastic teacher! After taking traditional guitar lessons elsewhere that were boring and stunted my growth, the approach taken by Marcus is fresh, progressive and fun! Marcus is always available for help and extremely
dedicated to putting us on the path to guitar masters! Heartily recommended!