How to find time to practice?

We all are busy people here; we are either students, parents, full time workers, boyfriends or girlfriends but we are also wanting to learn to play guitar.

Finding time to practice is probably one of the biggest challenges in our life, unless we are a full time muso which not many of us are lucky enough to live from music at the moment.

We have talked about a practice routine and how to create one, We have also mentioned the importance of being disciplined with your practice. But, do you really have the time to practice?

I know each of you will have different schedules and each one will decide how to spend your spare time, if any. But I wanted to bring this up after reading something in our Jamorama books. “Practicing at least 30 minutes a day is enough…” but do you have 30 minutes a day?

The rule is: The more often we practice, the better we get… there is no point in practicing for 5 hours once a month. What really works is to practice as often as you can, no matter if it’s only 10 minutes per day.

I think there is a time of the day where all of us can sit down and practice the guitar for at least 15 or 20 minutes… those glorious 20 minutes would be our connection with what we love and with what we enjoy doing the most. Do you use those minutes to play your guitar?

I know there are some “enemies” that fight against our will of wanting to learn to play the guitar, be it TV, computer, video games, phone, couch, kitchen…the list goes on.

My idea here is to push you to leave or sacrifice some of those pleasures for another pleasure that we know we want to do but usually don’t pay it the attention it deserves. Do you get the idea?

We have to try and become better friends with our lovely guitar. If you are chillin on the couch, why not have the guitar with you? It doesn’t matter if you’re watching TV, you can always play some chords or a tune during the ad breaks.

Or even better, why not chill out in your backyard or on the porch? Take your guitar with you and build a connection with it; relax when playing it, make your guitar playing and routine a part of your life, not because you have to, but because you want to. It is not a job.

I really hope you get my idea. I would love it if you share how you combine your spare time with your guitar playing.

Happy Holidays!

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  1. Rick

    I tend to grab those precious 10 to 20 minute slices of time whenever I can. Unfortunately…my wife does not support my love of music and finds it annoying. She is a wonderful person and I don’t want to offend so I usually have to grab time when she is out of the house…or I head to the basement (where my big amp old Ovation 4 x 12 combo amp…circa 1969!) I keep an accoustic in the bedroom, An accoustic in the basement, and a strat in the living room (next to a 30 watt Line 6). If there’s a will there’s a way! (I even have a set of AmPhones so I can head outside) I think the short practice sessions a couple times a day help me more then extended “jams”.


  2. John

    I find about 1.5 hrs every evening after work to practice my guitar chops. I would go for more, but I have neighbours to consider. Over the weekends I have more free time so that’s when I go into a serious practice routine starting with warm-ups, scales, a few easy songs and then start my Blues lessons. Not having small kids at home gives me a lot of free time … I’m a late bloomer (started to play only 6 yrs ago) so I have a lot to make up for.

    1. Jon Coursey Post author

      Hey John, well 1.5 hours everyday is a pretty descent time for practicing, I am sure you have some good chops under your fingertips now! I am a drummer and I try to practice by myself at least 2 hours everyday but must of the time it is impossible as I have other job and I am playing with 3 bands. What I do get to do is to practice with the bands for four hours three days a week, it does help but nothing better than practice your own stuff on your own space. Anyway, it does sounds that you are going on the right direction John, congratulations!


  3. Osiris

    This is the real enemy of guitar development, I have two kids (3yo and 9 mo) and there is just very few spaces to fit in guitar practice. One of my more successful experiments is keeping a guitar at work, if I rush lunch I get 30 minutes of practice time every other day. It’s a lot more than I did before :-).

    Otherwise I totally agree with you, you have to trade in something else for practice time.

    I wrote a blog post a while ago about this, incidentally titled almost exactly like this: How do you find time to practice

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