When I first started learning, I would practice every day. After a while, I found myself making excuses to not practice. So, I decided to schedule one day off every week. No matter what I take a day off.
The result has been that I feel like I’m missing something on my day off (well, today I changed the strings on my electric, but that’s not practicing) and am looking forward to getting back to it the next day.
I try to do something every day. This past summer I was very busy with a project so a lot of days i just did drills. Scales, riffs, finger exercises, chords. Things that didn’t require alot of thought that i could do in 5 or 10 min. I was able to memorize all the forms of the pentitonic scales just doing it a few minutes a day. This was prior to joining Justin. Now that I have the Justin song app I will practice chord changes for a song for 5 or 10 min when I don’t have the time or the energy for anything else.
I do practice every day, no less than 2 hours, and I just passed 6 months before I picked it up. Although I know some theory as I played alto sax in school and some time learning piano.
Anyway, I always thought playing guitar was no big deal. Now I have so much respect for quality players. I never knew the amount of time that’s required and the unique skill that is developed. Millions like me have already taken this journey and it is with this understanding that keeps me going. Sadly, unless it’s someone who lives with someone learning guitar, no one will ever know or appreciate what each and every one of us goes through to get to the skill level that everyone else thinks we just picked it up recently and poof, we can play anything. That’s because that is what I thought before I started this obsessive journey. It can be a bit lonely knowing only another player will understand.
My fingers and hands do hurt at times and that is what forces me to stop for a couple hours for rest. Regardless, passion is a tough boss.
At least, don’t feel guilty.
Practicing 6 days out of 7 is great actually.
It’s better to do frequent sessions, even if they are short, than saving it all up for a long day in the weekend or something.
You don’t need to be physically playing every day either. A useful day can be a time to sit in a comfy chair and start reading and learning about theory.
What is the use of a scale?
How do you use it to build chords?
what chords go well together and why?
and so on.
It is real PRACTICAL knowledge you can use to udnerstand music, to improvise over backing tracks or even write your own music one day!
Firstly, try not to stress about it. If you’re practicing 6 days a week, you’re going to be making steady, consistent progress. And as @LievenDV noted, you can read up some theory or something similar you’re so inclined, without the pressure of timers and metronomes.
I agree with this. When I decided to pick up the guitar at age 54 my thought process was something like this: how hard can it be? Literally millions of people can do this. Look around, there are plenty of kids who can do it. Old folks, young folks, skinny folks, folks with big sausage fingers, folks with short stubby fingers, folks with less than a full complement of fingers, brown folks, yellow folks, smart folks, stupid folks, drunk folks, all kinds of people! So how hard can it be?
I quickly realized that all of those people had to have worked very hard and I gained a new appreciation for players of all levels. The difference between people who can play guitar and people who try and fail is the people who can do it did not quit when it got hard. So, if all of those people pushed through and put in the hard work, so can I! I am not going to quit (even though my wife might want me to).
… which in my opinion is the main strength of this Community.
There are very few questions ever asked here that are not covered in the lessons or readily answered by a quick google search- but we all want to share our experiences on the guitar journey with folk who understand and are interested in the process
Yeah, I totally agree. The real problem is when you keep promising yourself that you’ll practice tomorrow and end up doing only one day a week.
We each have to work out what works best for ourselves. Doing it every day (I’d say that applies to doing 5 days a week, every weekday) makes it part of our ongoing habits.
What I liked was once my daily practice (initially 15 minutes a day) progressed to where I could play a full song all the way through, it when from being a chore to being something I REALLY looked forward to every day.
If you’re learning and want to get good there will be some element of having to practice when you don’t want to but I say once you’re reasonably proficient just play when you want to. Keep the guitar around so you’re inspired to pick it up.
Remember it’s meant to be fun! But again I’d caveat that some element of hard work has to go into it to learn techniques etc. I suppose if you’re fortunate enough to have learned young you maybe didn’t notice all of the effort and had more time
I usually practice something just about every day, but it isn’t necessarily guitar, and there may be some days (once or twice a week, at most) that I don’t practice or play anything. I figure that’s fine. Sometimes some “rest days” seem beneficial.
I generally practice something every day, depending on commitments it might be anything from 15 minutes to 3 hours. I can relate to what @tony said about learning songs, it can really give you the confidence and motivation to practice more when you have the sense of achievement on completing a song. Cheers, Mike
That’s good. If I recall correctly, Justin recommends 5 days a week of practice.
I know the feeling, take it easy, relax and enjoy the day off. Actually, I had to go to the psychologist because of anxiety, for pushing myself too hard and not enjoying breaks or “non-productive” activities.
Pretty much practice something new or rehearse something already learned every day here going on two years . Being retired from the work force helps
in that more time is available for it.
Tried to think about how much time has been put into it so far
and probably nearing a thousand hours at this point so I agree with some others here about the crazy amount of time it takes to get beyond the amateur stage.
I’ve got a long ways to go but continue picking, plucking and strumming every day almost. Did miss a few weeks last year healing a elbow injury but do pick it up most days.
At times I also had that feeling on rest days that actually, it would be nice to practice something instead of taking a day off. However, when I have to work overtime or I’m otherwise exhausted, I can rarely bring myself to make even a few strums. If I don’t have at least some energy in my head, I just put off practicing/playing to the next day.
I think consistency and finding how to fit practice into your schedule wherever you can is the goal to aim towards. For myself, working full time and forcing myself to play 7 days a week wouldn’t be sustainable long term and would make it feel like a chore.
Also, taking days off often unlocks new ideas or a fresh perspective when you return to practice.
Yep, I definitely find this to be true. Same is true for me if I start to feel a little stuck. I switch to something different in my practice, then a few days later when I come back to where I was stuck it usually feels better somehow. The brain needs a little time to let the information marinate!