A lot of guitar players have phases of very intense focused practicing and then long breaks of nothingness. They have moments when they play and practice a lot and then it drops. A lot of times, it is caused by our day to day life. We have additional work to do, it is spring and we have to work in the gardens and so on ….
But a lot of time, it is caused by setting our achievement bar too high. Our excitement for practicing may be triggered by seeing some very cool live performance, or some gig you watched on TV. We feel inspired and make a decision that we are going to be really good on the guitar by practicing from today for 2 hours a day. The problem with that is, that it may work for the first week, or even the next three weeks but after this time we may be disappointed with our results.
The guitar is a beast that brings awesome results but … very slowly. As a result, we feel that we are not reaching our full potential and we drop our practice regime. Then a few months later the circle repeats again.
One cure for this problem is trying to practice for less but more frequently. A lot of times we feel like we need to practice for significant amounts of time. It feels like if we don’t practice for 30, 40 mins, or one hour it’s not worth picking up the guitar. This statement can’t be further from the truth.
Even picking up the guitar for 5 minutes will bring you results. Not amazing ones obviously, but it will give you something. You will progress at a much slower pace, but you will still progress. Isn’t that better than not doing anything?
I have noticed that the guitarist who picks up the guitar with the intention to play for a little bit ends up practicing much more than the desired amount of time. Also, if you practice like that, you will be more connected with what you’re working on. You will remember strumming and chords better and you will be in much better overall musical shape.
One of the reasons that I have structured my online guitar lessons into small chunks, is to help you with your guitar playing by presenting the knowledge in manageable portions. You may aim for one unit a day, or one unit every second day with one revision day in between.
I always repeat that the guitar should be this nice addition to our life, not something that you feel obliged to practice. One of the ways to reinforce this feeling is by playing a little bit every day, or every second day. Keep your guitar outside of the gig bag, in a place where you can see it. You can alway pick it up for 1 minute to play one song, then put it down. Even that way, you will feel good about your guitar skills!