I often get asked, “How much should I practice guitar” and “How much practice will I need to do to get good at guitar?” Everyone has their own answer for this. I find the answers most people give to be quite overwhelming. People think 2 hours every day! Or 8 hours in the weekend! And I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
My answer is this: a little each day.
I will always recommend to just pick up the guitar everyday and see what happens. Very rarely will you do less than 5 minutes of playing… It’s more likely you’ll play for 5-15 minutes if you’re not feeling that inspired or have to go and do something else. Some days you’ll be inspired and an hour or two will just disappear in a blissful meditative way. But you’ll never know until you start. Just pick it up and tinker away… You just might have the most enjoyable few minutes of the day.
When I just started playing guitar, I was a teenage boy who was heavily into sports and solitude. My room was my haven to escape from the crazy dramatic family life I was experiencing. I had one distraction, a black and white TV. I would put the TV on and sit at the end if my bed with guitar in hand… Tinkering away on something I was learning during the add breaks mostly… But that would often turn into hours of playing as I found I would ignore the TV and get lost in my guitar. Later I would lift my head to find the show I was ‘watching’ had in fact finished.
The other great thing I did was making sure my guitar was visible and grab-able… So it was easy to just grab and play. This meant homework never got done, but that didn’t turn out so bad for me.
Is it bad to practice a structured 1-2 hours a day? No of course not. If you can do this and still love playing, then by all means do it and you will be an incredibly skilled guitarist in no time. But for most of us, we have lives and families to tend to, so be gentle on the amount of playing you expect yourself to do. Simply resolve to ‘just pick it up’ daily.
Happy practice guitar freaks!