Most people are confused about the amount of time that they should practice the guitar especially when they are beginners. But practice is the sole ingredient that is going to turn you into an advanced player from a beginner. Let me explain to you, how I used to practice the guitar when I was a beginner. I always made it a point to keep the guitar right in front of my desktop so that I would see it the moment I walked into the room. Then I would put in about 15 minutes of practice in between other activities. My whole day would have about five or six such sessions and at the end of the day, I easily practiced for about an hour and a half. On weekends, I used to practice for an hour at a stretch. Without sounding clichéd, ‘practice makes a man perfect. And you cannot deny this fact.
The difficulties in practicing
It isn’t easy to practice. At times, you can simply become de-motivated and put the guitar down. So it is very necessary to set short term as well as long term goals. Then simply work towards achieving these goals rather than practicing everyday.
Write down your goals: A lot of people have difficulties setting goals and then working towards completing them. The first step in overcoming these problems is to write down your goals. Make sure that you write it down at a place which you can see everyday. Slowly, but surely you will find that yourself working automatically to complete those goals. And let me add that you will never find yourself short of goals to complete when you are a beginner. There are arpeggios, sight reading, improvising on chords, strumming patterns and a lot more to learn.
Daily Goals: Let’s say that your last guitar session consisted of a chord progression. Then your current goal should be to perfect that chord progression. Work on it everyday for an hour and then by the time your next class arrives, you will be perfect with it. You see, the practice happens automatically.
Monthly Goals: Your monthly goal should be to learn at least 4 to 5 new chords and then alternate between them easily. You should also try to learn at least one song every month.
Time for finger exercises: Make sure that you allot at least 15 to 20 minutes of your practice time to finger exercises each day. Finger stretching, fret board playing, chord practice etc should be a part of your everyday routine and there is no room for complacency here.
You need to be adept at time management. It might seem difficult at first to allot a fixed time for guitar practice. But you need to be persistent and eventually, your body will adapt to the new routine. If you find yourself making excuses like, ‘I don’t have time to practice’, then go back to the drawing board and think about it. Do you find time to brush your teeth everyday? Do you find time to log on to myspace and spend at least 20 minutes on it? Then why not practice a guitar? If you still can’t, then maybe it’s time to accept the fact and move on in life. You are not made to become a musician.
A place to practice
It is very important to find a quiet place devoid of any distractions to practice. If your home isn’t the best place, then maybe you can move on to the terrace or your backyard. If you read tablature, then the place must have sufficient lighting to help you read it.
I ensure that you will no longer find yourself a beginner after just a couple of months of playing if you practice everyday.
Jeff Carson is the owner of TheReviewMine.Com. His web site offers a diverse selection of ebooks, CD’s, DVDs, and other information that will teach you how to play guitar.