PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- July 20, 2016
- Gutiar Lessons
When you’re just starting to play the guitar, it can be hard to establish a game plan. Once you’ve got the instrument in your hands, you need to figure out the best way for you to become proficient at playing. So, how often should you practice guitar?
It doesn’t matter if you are looking to make a career out of playing or if it’s just something you want to do when you’re bored. If you’re not trying to learn how to play guitar, then you’re really just wasting your time.
So that brings us to the important question of “How do I get better at playing guitar?”
You don’t have to practice guitar every hour of every day, but you do need to make a commitment to yourself that you WILL practice.
Practice Guitar At the Best Time For You
No one knows your schedule better than you do. Find a time each week (or day, if you’re ambitious) where you know you can spend some time with your instrument.
Your practice sessions are going to take more than a couple of minutes, so you might have to wake up early or stay up late to really have the time. For parents that might mean pulling out the guitar after you’ve put the kids to bed. Teenagers may want to practice guitar after school before their parents get home (assuming your homework is done of course).
“But what if I don’t have time to practice?”
I hear ya. There’s a lot of activities and responsibilities out there in the real world. But as long as the average American watches 5 hours of television a day, there won’t be a lot of violins playing for you.
That being said, your practice time doesn’t have to be at the same time every week. Some days there will be recitals to go to or a work party that you have to attend. To get over these hurdles, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and figure out a time where you can sit down and play. We know buying a day planner and scheduling practice times doesn’t exactly sound like the rock and roll lifestyle, but it may be just what you need to get the hang of consistently practicing.
Practice Guitar When You Get Inspiration
If thinking ahead and planning don’t really mix with your personality, then maybe you’ll at least agree that you should play guitar whenever you feel a bit of musical inspiration.
Now, the word “inspiration” doesn’t mean you have a vision and run home to write the greatest rock solo of all time. Simply put, any time that you feel like playing guitar, you should act on that. Just like with any other hobby or activity, there are going to be times when you’re sitting at home and think “I’d really like to play guitar now.” What better time could there be to practice guitar than when your brain is actually telling you to?
Of course, if you’re more advanced in your guitar abilities, then you may actually get the inspiration to write a song or solo. That’s great! Experimentation is a vital part of the music process. If you’re not challenging yourself, you will quickly get bored with the same old stuff.
Practice Guitar with Friends
When we build a community around something that we enjoy, it makes that activity even better. Playing with friends or family allows us to work through different problems we’re having with our playing and helps us to learn even more about our instruments.
If you’re one of those people that has trouble with planning practice times, this may also be a great way to add some accountability to your life.
Having a consistent group of friends that also plays guitar may even allow you the opportunity to form a band. There’s nothing wrong with playing guitar by yourself, but a band does open the door to more opportunities and more collaboration.
Practice Guitar Before a Performance
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to be thorough.
As you progress as a guitarist, you’re eventually going to want to play your music for someone else. Maybe you’ll perform in a talent show, open mic night, or just as part of your family’s Christmas festivities. No matter the size of your audience, the pressure of a performance is a great incentive to practice more.
When you’re practicing for a particular song or event, you spend a lot of time driving that music deep down into your brain. Do this enough times and you’re going to have a large selection of songs that are ready on demand for your friends and family (maybe even fans) in the future.
No matter how you practice guitar, the main thing is just to do it consistently. At any skill or hobby, you need to build up time applying what you know or you’re going to get rusty. You don’t have to be a professional musician to want to get better. Hiding behind your amateur status is no excuse for being lazy.
When it’s all said and done, you are the only one responsible for your skills as a musician. Find the time to practice and you’ll see positive growth in your guitar playing.
The other side of becoming a better guitar player is to take lessons that are going to challenge you. Here at Pro Lessons, we offer affordable lesson plans from guys that actually play music on the road for a living. If you would like to learn more about how we can make you a better musician, click on the link below.