Guitar Practice Sucks!
Guitar practice sucks, but it doesn’t have to! It’s not your fault when you don’t practice (seriously!)
Everyone has off days with practice when it comes to guitar playing. There are days when you don’t pick up the guitar and days when you know you should but you’re just not feeling it. It happens. We are human after all. If someone tells you they never missed a day of practice, they’re most likely lying.
Those missed days of practice can start affecting you negatively, however. The self-doubt can start creeping in. And it’s easy to obsess over all the days you missed. To worry about all the progress you missed out on. Or to start wondering when you’ll ever feel “good enough.”
So, who’s fault is it when you don’t practice? The first answer you may come up with is ME. It’s my fault. How can it be anyone else’s fault? But here’s the truth of it all: it might just be that your habits are letting you down. And habits make up a lot of your ability to follow through on what you want to do. Habits are like the key piece that many of “naturally” put in place without realizing it. But for those of you who haven’t naturally got the best habits in the world, there are ways to develop them and keep your guitar practice going.
Here’s a short list to help you during those days when you either forget to practice, or you just don’t feel like it.
- Leave your guitar somewhere you can see it often. It’s best if you can put it in a room you spend most of your time in. When you see it often, you’ll want to play it more often.
- Lower your expectations of how long you should be practicing for. The first two minutes are the most important. Get yourself a victory first. You can worry about the rest after.
- Link your practice to something you do every day no matter what. For example, you may link your guitar practice after you have dinner or when your child is asleep. Associate a specific time and it will start to become a habit that you don’t break.
- Make practice fun. Start out by playing something fun or something you already learned to play. Goof around a little and then get to practicing what your instructor has asked you to practice.
- Start your practice and then reward yourself at the end. Start playing a song you are trying to learn, for just a few minutes. Or literally reward yourself with a treat (ice cream, beer, wine, whatever your thing is)
Practice doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be something you dread. When you get in the habit of practicing, it will become an everyday common thing like doing the laundry or watering the plants (only much more fun).