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How To Practice Guitar And Make A Lot Of Improvement When You Don’t Have Much Time

 

How you practice your guitar playing has everything to do with the rate of improvement you make. Forget about natural talent, it’s work ethic that will win every time!

 

However, we all don’t have hours to dedicate to our guitar playing each day, and even if you did, it doesn't guarantee you’ll improve and progress with your playing.

 

Why?

 

Because if you practice incorrectly, you’ll make very slow progress at best. No amount of bad practicing is going to see you improve your guitar playing. It’s quality, not quantity when it comes to your guitar practice.

 

Today I am going to provide a basic practice strategy for you, that you can adapt to your own lifestyle.

 

Don’t have much time to practice?

 

Great, I am going to show you how you can milk every minute you dedicate to your guitar playing, so you can make a lot of progress with minimal practice.

 

 

Don’t Practice Things That Are Irrelevant To Your Playing

 

Before you begin practicing, you must know what it is you are going to practice. I suggest you write everything down you want to achieve with your guitar playing (the big picture).

 

Then break these things down into smaller pieces.

 

From there arrange these smaller pieces into a daily practice routine.

 

Don’t assume you have to practice everything. It will largely depend on what it is you want to be able to do with your guitar playing.

 

Sure, there are the fundamentals that are most important, but why practice shredding if you don’t play a style that requires it, or why learn every chord under the sun if you only want to play rock music, why learn to solo if you are only interested in being a rhythm guitarist etc.

 

You get the idea, right.

 

So first know what is required of you to play guitar the way you want.

 

Developing A Practice Schedule

 

From here you should develop a practice schedule and rotate stuff in and out of it, don’t feel like you have to practice everything, everyday, all the time. You’ll go crazy trying to do that, and it just isn’t necessary.

 

For example, let’s say you are currently focusing on the following items:

 

- Fingerpicking

- Arpeggios

- Strumming

- Music theory

- Rhythm/Timing

 

You might arrange these practice items over a week like this:

 

Monday:

 

- Fingerpicking

- Arpeggios

- Strumming

 

Tuesday:

 

- Strumming

- Music theory concept

- Rhythm/Timing

 

Wednesday:

 

- Arpeggios

- Strumming

- Music theory concept

 

Thursday:

 

- Rhythm/Timing

- Fingerpicking

- Music theory concept

 

Friday:

 

- Fingerpicking

- Strumming

- Rhythm/Timing

 

Saturday:

 

- Arpeggios

- Music theory concept

- Rhythm/Timing

 

 

Sunday:

 

- Arpeggios

- Fingerpicking

- Strumming

 

*  I have colour coded each item above, so it’s easier for you to see the frequency at which each item appears throughout the practice schedule across the course of a week

 

 

These are just arbitrary examples of course, you will be more specific with your schedule, but the idea is that over the course of a week, each item get’s sufficient practice, not necessarily everyday, but by rotating, you cover each item enough over the week.

 

The above schedule does not take into account any crossover. By this I mean items that can be practiced simultaneously, for example strumming patterns in time with a metronome. This works on both your rhythm/timing and strumming items in the schedule.

 

This is always good to do where possible and if suitable. Killing two birds with one stone, if you like.

 

 

Your practice schedule is not set in stone. It will naturally evolve as items come in and out of it. This might happen for a number of reasons. For example, you develop and move into more specific areas of guitar playing, or you simply are going to work more on a specific area of your playing for the next week/month or whatever.

 

Practice takes practice, so you will always get better at practicing your guitar as you do it more, and by following the steps in this article.

 

To summarise:

 

• Know what it is you want to be able to do with your guitar playing

 

• Create a list of items from this to practice

 

• Set up a schedule that rotates these items across 7 days of the week (you could set your schedule to rotate across fewer, or even more days if you wish)

 

• Practice each item accordingly

 

• Change your schedule up regularly, be it after a few weeks, or a month

 

 

 

Author Box:

 

Simon Candy is a professional guitar instructor out of Melbourne, Australia, who plays and teachers a number of styles including rock, blues, and jazz. He runs both his own guitar school locally, as well as providing online lessons for acoustic guitar players around the world.