Updated: Apr 23, 2018
We all need to practice the guitar but how do we do it? How long should we practice for and how many days a week should we be focusing on practicing if the goal is to get better? Here at Inspire Music School In St Albans we believe that shorter bursts of practice is the more effective method and today we’re going to give you three reasons why.
We need to find a sustainable pace to work at. If we’re trying to do ten hours a day for the rest of our lives its true that yes, you will make progress for a while but you won’t be able to sustain this for very long. I would recommend aiming for 30 minutes (20 minutes for juniors) as a starting point for the player who’s starting out. This is both realistic and achievable and if you’re new to the guitar we don’t want to be faced with Everest at the first hurdle. We want progress over time, the drastic steps of trying to aim for hours constantly might seem doable in one phase of life but our schedule always changes. Eventually what was a big task but doable becomes an impossibility, a hassle and eventually something we just don’t want to do.
2. Retaining Information
Guitar and music in general is made of of many different components, techniques, laws and algorithms. Whilst learning we might wonder how we are going to remember it all? If we think about taking on the various different bits of information we stand a better chance of retaining it. I often encourage students to ‘build a wall of knowledge’. In a nutshell this basically means that we start out with one piece of information and we digest it and make it solid in our minds, then when we come to any new information, instead of forgetting everything that we previously learn we actually build on it. I give students very specific tasks throughout their time of learning within our school, I always re-emphasise that if we just take it one step at a time and go slow and regular with practice we will improve the quality of our learning dramatically.
I don’t know about you, but I hated studying for hours. I was hopeless at exams and the prospect of studying just made me switch off all together. Having to stare at books for hours on end just seems like one of the worst things I could do. When we sit there and try and cram for hours and hours we just wont enjoy what we are learning. Remember, guitar is our hobby in the beginning and we need to enjoy it. Why make it another job/school/university chore when we already have so much to do? Guitar practice is an alternative to watching TV or staring at the phone, it’s something that we can regularly sit down with and focus our attention on a hobby that makes us happy. If it’s regular and short its doable, if we can do it easily we’ll repeat and throughout this approach we will enjoy it far more.
Here at Inspire Music School we are committed to healthy practice habits and seeing our students get the most out of learning the guitar. Contact us for guitar lessons in the St Albans area today to see how we can help you!