How Much Should I Practice?
Use these ideas for maximizing your practice time to help you figure out just how much time you should spend doing it.
By Dan Macy
You might be asking, “How much should I practice?” Fifteen minutes a day? Half an hour? Ask 10 different teachers, and you might get 10 different answers.
So how much practice is enough?
The answer depends on your skill level and goals. For beginners, building finger strength and stamina takes time, so longer practice sessions aren’t possible. People also have different abilities, so being able to switch chords or feel a rhythm might come easier to some than others.
A Better Question
The real question isn’t “How long should I practice?” Rather, it's “How well am I practicing?” Because 10 minutes of focused practice is better than 30 minutes of distracted practice.
It’s possible to accomplish a lot with a limited amount of time, but it has to be deliberate and focused. We all have busy schedules, which means being efficient should be a priority.
Here are a few tips to make sure your practice time is well spent:
Tune Before Practicing
An out-of-tune guitar never sounds good.
Use a Metronome
A metronome counteracts your tendency to speed up and slow down while playing, keeping you in time and building a sense of rhythm.
Consistency Is Key
Consistent, shorter practice periods are better than inconsistent, longer sessions. Ten minutes each day during the week is much better than one hour on Saturday.
You May Think You Can Multitask, but You Can’t
If the TV is on or your phone is buzzing with Facebook notices, you’re not practicing efficiently. You’re wasting time.
Use a Practice Journal
Keeping a notebook helps you stay focused on goals and is a great reminder of progress, showing just how far you’ve come.
How long you practice is completely up to you, just remember quality matters as much as quantity. If you are able to commit 10-20 minutes several times a week, you’ll see lots of growth in no time.