Do you struggle to find time to practice guitar?
I bet the answer is’ yes’.Who doesn’t struggle with that? The chances are that you have found this post through google while trying to find some tips on how to make time to practice guitar. If you are reading this you must be either in a full time job or probably studying full time or maybe a combination of both. I am sure you are not happy about this situation because you struggle to find time necessary to practice guitar. Perhaps you used to practice a lot when you were younger but now you got the job to pay your bills and you have had to cut off some of your practice time. Which means you don’t improve as fast as you should. Perhaps you are a complete beginner who got really excited about learning and now struggle to fit guitar in.
Lacking of time to practice guitar is usually a by-product of making excuses, living in an illusion of a busy life and bad life-style habits. If you don’t work 12-16 hours a day,7days a week in a coal mine you can make time to practice guitar!!!
Here are some tips I will give to you if you were my student:
1) Make guitar a part of your lifestyle.
That could mean many things, start from signing up for guitar lessons, group lessons are better than individual lessons in your case.They help meeting new people who like you want to play with others. Meet other musicians or people who are at your skill level. Join a band! Spend your free time with friends who are musicians. If your friends don’t play music make new friends who do, or get your friends into music. If you have children try to get them interested in music, that way you can spend together some time while making music. If you travel a lot from work you must buy a travel guitar! Instead of drinking in a bar go to your hotel room to practice! I know really well what travelling from work is all abut in the evenings…
2) Practice guitar first thing in the morning
Yes even if you work full time you can make a small life-style change and wake up an hour an a half earlier than you would do normally to practice guitar. That way you will never miss any practice session. Whenever you leave guitar as the last activity in your daily routine it will be always missed as by the end of the day and after all household chores, helping out kids with homework and other crap you are pretty much knackered. The only thing you want to do is to sleep. Then you have to wake up and do the same everyday till weekend.
Maybe this tip sounds crazy but if you want to improve you must change your life style now. It will be hard for the next 2-3 weeks but you will get used to that. Don’t say crap like : but I am not a morning person. because from now you are;-)!!!
If you don’t want to wake up the whole house early in the morning get an electric guitar that can be plugged to your computer and you can practice with your headphones.
3) Be more organised
At this point you might think that all people who made it at guitar as professional musicians were lucky enough or had different circumstances from yours. That is usually far from the truth. They are probably more organised than you are, that’s all. Before they made it they had to pay bills just like you or go to school just like you. They probably did what I suggested in paragraph one and two;-)
4) Don’t make any excuses
It is very easy to get into habit of making excuses and taking things easy. Don’t skip practice sessions even if you are tired. Maybe they won’t be as productive as normal sessions but they keep you in a habit of pushing. Our bodies are lazy. Our system wants to protect us from any effort just to maintain the status quo and to avoid any challenges. This mechanism protects us humans from the danger. The problem is also that it protects us from great achievements. I have trained many working professionals and I am telling you, you can’t skip practice sessions!
5) Get a professional guitar teacher
Learning guitar is like body building. It takes time and knowledge to get results. are a lot of guys out there who have a gym membership, they even go to gym from time to time but they seem not to get anywhere, There are even some folks out there who hit the gym regularly and still they seem not to get anywhere near other guys. This is very frustrating and cause a lot of self-doubt. Why some people do better than other in the gym? They go twice or even three times a week, sweat a lot and still the weight hasn’t dropped and they haven’t gained any muscles….. Most likely those guys who do better than others have a personal trainer who showed them the correct way of practicing. Possibly the personal trainer is helping to design for them a new exercise programme to constantly challenge the body. You can’t train the same things over and over again because your body gets used to that and the routine that was meant to be an exercise doesn’t do anything to your body. The other overlooked aspect required to reach some results in the gym is your diet. I have seen many times a lady running on a treadmill for 50 minutes in my local gym who had some doughnuts and a bottle of coke after the gym. I saw her many times eating in her car!
Why do I talk about the gym instead of guitar? Because its the same! You can surely learn by yourself and have a decent progress but you won’t avoid mistakes so many inexperienced players make while teaching themselves. By having a teacher you remove all the guesswork and take the easier way in reaching your musical dreams.
Ok, I am off now to practice my guitar;-)