I’m just starting and I would say I play about an hour to 2 hours a day in the evenings. I like it so much I am considering adding another hour when I first wake up in the morning. I’m finding that the more time I put in the more I get out of practicing. I’m really wanting to build up my muscle memory in my hands so they know where to go without me having to think too hard. Every practice I make sure that I spend a little time pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying to nail something difficult. I figure if I am always pushing myself I have a better chance of nailing something difficult because I have put the time and effort in to not avoid it. So maybe you need to ask yourself why you’re avoiding practicing ( if you are) and figure out what makes you really want to practice and go from there. Even if you find you don’t have the time to practice maybe you do something else beneficial to your playing like reading music or watching the way a musician you like plays. Just keep your passion/fire to learn burning and then apply it and I don’t think you can go wrong! Don’t be too hard on yourself.
My original point was that I think the one day off a week keeps me from getting stale, keeps me enthusiastic about getting back at it. I play an hour and a half to two hours a day, six days a week, and taking a day off gives me a sort of “reset.”
Everybody is different in what they need. I’m glad you have found what works for you!
I thought I remembered him saying that in a lesson I saw a long time ago.
It was said, Not studying every day…but playing songs you learned is not meant by that,
I’ll echo these 4 quotes as they are often overlooked.
Although I stimulate practice, keeping it healthy is a crucial meta.
You want to keep this something that attracts you instead of repelling you.
Having a rigorous schedule will make you progress fast but you can’t keep that up unless this is your LIFE now | for some it is but for most, music is where they heal their hurts, escapece, make fun, feel accomplished by the progress they make etc.
Everybody has a different path so it isn’t easy to detemrine what is enough or too much.
It is up to YOU to know what the indicators are: what indicates that you enjoy it? that you progress? that it becomes a drag? that you avoid practice? etc
I think that this is spot on. Each individual has a different thing that works for them.
As far as practice goes, sometimes I find myself at a point where I’m stuck with something. Getting disappointed or confused and demotivated.
A good sleep helps…
But when I’m having hard time (either physically or mentally) practicing, I feel nice holding my guitar and almost automatically I feel this irresistible force to play to play something… random notes.
This triggers something in me. So instead of practicing something, I’m playing random strings-frets, which may or may not belong to a certain scale (as I know only few scales). If it sounds sour, I don’t play that note again. Worse comes to worse, I, slowly learn the position of various notes on the fretboard.
The happy accident is that as I’m fooling around like that, I sometimes hear a melody that sounds familiar. So I use my ears to try and come up with the rest of it! Of course it’s not going to be all the right notes in the song but at least the melody sounds half decent.
The other night as I was “not practicing” in that manner, I came up with that melody and without really saying anything my wife started singing the song which the melody reminded her of, which I took as a compliment.
My point is, to me, practicing may not be “practicing” at all in the strict sense…
Just this. Sometimes I just enjoy the feeling of holding the guitar. I might just sit in front of the tv with the guitar in my lap and mindlessly strum a chord quietly without really thinking much about it, then do a few chord perfect exercises or very deliberate chord changes during a commercial break. Not trying to practice anything, just enjoying the feeling of the guitar and the strings under my fingers. Just like you said, sometimes that triggers a “real” practice session. So far it has NOT triggered my wife to break out in song, though!
I allow myself a day off whenever I feel I need it. It isn’t very often, but I work on not feeling bad about it.
A lot of days I am mentally drained after work and it is hard to actually learn a new lesson. But if t is a great time to consolidate skills, like strumming pattern, finger picks patterns, scale patterns, songs I know well already and so on. I am starting the Giuliani studies.
How many burned out evenings have I thought “I’ll just pick up the guitar for 10 min and strum a little…” then put the guitar down an hour later.
Practising every day is something I try and do, but it is often the case that I simply can’t, and some days I can only get a few minutes to try a scale or some chord changes. It’s not that I work or anything, just the time is always taken up somehow.
Worst days is when it is pain stopping me - whether my neck, leg or the stupid nerves in my arm, I really hate it when I want to practice but can’t.
Yesterday was a nerve day and a pain day - so Codeine came out of the meds counter, which totally messed my brain up (well, that’s my excuse) and the nerves in my right hand played up so I could hardly put a chord down right.
Same today as well.
All I need to do is start the metronome and all bets are off in landing cords. Hate to think what I would do if I drank or took a painkiller.
Pain sucks playing and I have been struggling with this as well. There are several threads here discussing various pains and some options to try to minimize them.
I did something to my mid back (bad and pretty relentless spasm) hunching over the guitars trying to play in cowboy position. That is the guitar in right leg, like in Justin’s and many other videos.
I have sorted this and any left wrist pain by adjusting my position quite a bit. I still have the pain and spasm, but now it goes away completely when I play guitar (coming back at work or if I sit wrong elsewhere).
I should say, sorted with my acoustic and hollow nylon electric. My regular electric I can’t seem to resolve and have not been able to play much. Working on it. Straps hurt too. Sigh.
Look through the forum and research ways to hold the guitar. It does not have to be painful at all.
Spasms in the back can be real bad.
It’s not the pain directly affecting the playing (although my shoulder will have that effect) but just the intensity of pain that just messes my head so much that I can’t concentrate on the guitar. Nerves in the right hand (I’m a lefty) don’t hurt so much as not communicating wth me!
I treat, or attempt to treat a lot of nerve pains. It never works out that well. Sorry to hear of your troubles. Have you spoken to a neurologist (that is not me on the forum) or seen a pain specialist? Depending on what it is, there may be some options.
Seen a neurologist for the neck/head pain I get, but need to see a specialist - last one said 'can’t se anything, keep your neck flexible"
On Gabapentin for that, but the right hand issues are due to what is probably a tear in the brachial plexus, which ocurred over 30 years ago. Initial Neurologist was great as he had an interest in sport (I was a sports therapist) and we could talk easily about the damage.
I’m not holding my breath about seeing a specialist. NHS is under serious pressure at the minute.
Treating nerve pain is a…well, a pain. Neural stretches are good some times, but it is difficult nailing donw the root cause. I used to find that it was scar tissue near the nerve, or (especially with sciatica) muscle spasm (piriformis, glutes and hams were favourite) that caused people’s problems.
May be but the weekends are only really where I can give some serious time to practise. I may do 10-15mins sessions during the week and then 1-2 hours sessions at the weekend. Unless the wife tells me that we are going out for the day in which case I don’t!!
Don’t play guitar or go out?
Then so be it
That still doesn’t sound too bad.
We all need to find ways around the sub-optimal aspects of our lives and adapt somehow.
I understand what you’re up against - I picked up the guitar with a similar mindset, but I was 16 (I’m 51).
That said, I didn’t start practicing in any kind of methodical way until a few years ago, and with a family, it turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected to maintain anything resembling consistency. What’s worked well for me is something I picked up from my first guitar teacher - to commit to just five minutes a day. That way, on days when family duty takes precedence, I at least get my fingers moving and make a little improvement on whatever one skill I focus on, and on days when I’m just plain tired and lazy, the five minute commitment is an easy bar to achieve and invariably leads to more playing.
It’s been a solid tool to help keep me moving forward, even if at a snail’s pace, and I hope it can be of some benefit to you. Best of luck!
I think this is a good idea and do the same.
I read here so many stories of starting then stopping, restarting years later, multiple times.
I think that human nature is to get lazy, and if we don’t bother to pick up the guitar, it gets harder and harder to pick it up. Eventually, we feel like we have to start over and we all know the initial energy of activation is the most difficult part. Then we have stopped.
Picking it up and even just spending five minutes a day loving your instrument, playing a scale, a few cord changes, a strumming or finger pattern, just for a moment, keeps you in the game.
I agree and people always want the easy way out. Everyone want to be a supper star
but very few work like a super star. So when thing don’t come easily they tend to quit.
People are also a creature of habit. So if you don’t pick your guitar up every day
it becomes a habit not to.
If you pick your guitar up every day that also becomes a habit and little by little things
start to come together.