Before I dive into these guitar practice tips, I need you to answer two questions — honestly!
- How often, after a guitar practice routine, do you feel like saying, Gosh…I should have practiced more?
- How often do you feel like you should be better at guitar than you are now?
It’s alright if your answers scare you a little. Even I have to check-in with myself regularly by asking these questions!
If you’re not happy with your answers, keep reading to learn how you can reframe your mindset during your guitar practice. If you follow these tips…
You can have better practice sessions in less time.
I’m serious about this one, folks!
I’m applying the idea of a Minimum Time Commitment to help boost your guitar practice. Whether you’re unhappy with your routine or just starting one, these tips will help you make actionable progress.
The idea behind the minimum time commitment is to set a realistic minimum time commitment for your guitar practice — rather than an unrealistic maximum time commitment.
My Guitar Practice Routine in College [FAIL]
Long ago when I was in college, I wanted to be an amazing guitar player.
I told myself I’d have a guitar practice session for one hour a day, five days a week.
Easy enough, right? Well, here’s how my routine really went…
- Monday: I would practice guitar for the full hour (success!).
- Tuesday: I’d inevitably have to do assignments for other classes, so I’d only get a half-hour of practice. Logically, I’d just roll the other half-hour to the next day.
- Wednesday: I was supposed to practice guitar for an hour and a half…but, I had to work on Wednesdays, so I tabled ALL practicing till Thursday.
- Thursday: I was supposed to practice 2.5 hours. I didn’t have time to do that!
By Friday, I was supposed to practice 3.5 hours…and, feeling defeated, I never kept up with this routine.
The Minimum Time Commitment Guitar Practice Routine was Born
I knew that my guitar practice routine was not sustainable.
I needed to practice in regular, achievable sessions. As a result, I decided to play for 10 minutes a day, every day.
Surprisingly, I saw consistent growth over the first few months I started the new routine.
Now, the important thing to remember is that the mandated 10 minutes is just a minimum. If I had an extra 5, 15, or even 45 minutes to spare, I would go ahead and keep practicing. But, I always made sure I practice for 10 minutes every day.
You CAN Practice Guitar 10 Minutes a Day [and see results!]
I know what you’re thinking…
“How can you get good at ANYTHING by practicing just 10 minutes?”
The key to using a minimum time commitment to practice guitar lies in understanding the minimum aspect of it. Here’s why it works.
1. Consistency is Key
By having a consistent 10-minute chunk of practice, you’re building a guitar practice routine into your life.
Inevitably, your time is going to be stretched thin by family, financial, and personal matters. However, 10 minutes out of your schedule to practice guitar is an achievable, reasonable, and time-friendly way to play guitar.
I’d much rather have YOU know that you consistently practice guitar every day — compared to my feeling of failure from my college practice routine!
2. Guitar Practice Lead Domino
Here is where we solidify the minimum side of the equation. Think about brushing your teeth. Do you stress and fret about brushing your teeth throughout the day? Most likely, you just do it before you go to bed.
Practicing 10 minutes a day is the same way, especially if you consistently practice guitar in the same place and at the same time.
Over time, you’ll develop an unconscious habit of crushing your 10-minutes-per-day guitar practice routine. After developing this habit you’ll be able to squeeze in this practice habit consistently without even thinking about it.
3. Efficient Practicing
I know 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much to practice guitar but trust me, you can get a TON of learning done in that time frame.
When you only have 10 minutes, you’ll need to know specifically what you’re going to work on. Additionally, you’ll need a laser-like focus to work on those things. Fortunately, it’s just 10 minutes, and our brains can only handle intense focus in short intervals.
In essence, the 10-minute guitar practice session is an experiment to see how much guitar experience you can get in just a little chunk of time.
4. Exceeding the 10 Minute Mark
After you’ve developed the unconscious habit, a typical practice situation ends up like this:
Let’s say you get your 10 minutes of guitar practice. You look at the clock and realize you have another 20 minutes until you need to get ready to meet your spouse for dinner. If you want to keep practicing, you can use that 20 minutes!
The 10-minute guitar practice routine is simply a gateway. If you lose track of time or you use that extra 20 minutes, that’s great for exploring your guitar and exploring more concepts.
The difference between sitting down to practice for an hour (and not achieving that goal) and sitting down to practice for 10 minutes (and surpassing that goal), is HUGE. When you surpass your 10-minute goal, you feel accomplished and encouraged to continue practicing, instead of feeling defeated.
5. Small Chunks Add Up
It’s hard to see the big picture of your guitar-playing progress, but if you maintain consistency, you can see the progress.
Think of it as saving the spare change in your pocket. When you save a few dimes, pennies, and quarters, it doesn’t seem like much. But after a few months of saving your spare change, you’ll have a nice rainy day fund.
Practicing guitar for 10 minutes a day is exactly the same. You might not see progress from one day to the next, but eventually, you’ll see progress month after month after month.
More Ways to Improve Consistency
This guitar practice reboot tip is just one way to improve consistency in your guitar practice routine.
There are a TON of other ways to improve consistency like playing with others that hold you accountable.
If you’re looking for a program that offers daily guitar practice lessons to help improve your consistency, I HIGHLY recommend Tony’s Acoustic Challenge.
When you sign up for Tony’s Acoustic Challenge, you’ll have access to tons of lessons to help improve your acoustic guitar playing. You’ll also get access to a robust community of like-minded guitar geeks.
Take the next steps to improve your guitar practice routine by signing up for Tony’s Acoustic Challenge today!