March 29, 2021 by Klaus Crow
Sometimes you can feel like you’re stuck in a rut and wish you would make more progress with practicing.
It seems there’s always something else coming up in the midst of practicing.
You get distracted, you think of an idea while you play something and you go along with that idea and that idea leads to another idea and so on. No progress in what you actually should be practicing.
Another time you feel like this fast lick is too challenging, so you throw in the towel and decide to play something else that feels good instantly. No progress there.
Or you feel absorbed by everything around you and stuff that is on your mind and as a result you lack focus. Progress? Nope.
So how do you change this?
You set time limits for practice.
If there is a time limit and the clock is ticking, you know there’s no time for your mind to wander and think of other things. It’s easier to focus because you don’t have that much time to squander and you want to go straight to work and practice that riff, solo or song. It makes it more manageable.
Also when you’re aware of the time limit, you can’t spend too much time on Youtube, not even for practice reasons, let alone getting distracted watching a Foo Fighters interview, checking out the new Star Wars teasers or whatever Kim Kardashian is doing.
Now there’s nothing wrong with all that, but not now during your valuable practice time. When you practice you practice!
And then there are times when you don’t feel like playing because you feel lazy, (again) the time limit makes it doable and you just start because it’s just a few minutes. And the beauty is that you do start, you do practice, you do focus and that leads to progress.
Setting time limits will make you more productive, learn faster and give you a real sense of accomplishment and fulfillment after practice.
How to divide your time
Let’s say you want to practice for one hour. Here are some options to divide that time:
– 2 practice sessions of 30 min each.
– 2 practice sessions of 15 min and 1 practice session of 30 min.
– 4 practice sessions of 15 min each.
– 6 practice sessions of 10 min each.
What to practice
So what will a one hour practice session look like? Here are some ideas:
– 15 minutes of practicing chords – 15 minutes practice strumming – 30 minutes practicing a song.
– 15 minutes of practicing scales – 15 minutes of practicing licks – 30 minutes of improvising.
– 10 minutes music theory – 20 minutes ear training – 30 minutes song transcription.
– 10 min chords – 10 min scales – 10 min sequences – 10 min arpeggios – 10 min intervals – 10 licks.
– Set a timer on your ipad so you know when time is up.
– Practice in a private space. Lock the door and put a “No disturb” sign on the door.
– Design your room to improve your guitar playing.
– Vary your practice sessions every day to keep it fresh, fun and exciting.
Be effective and set your time limits today!
If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
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Thank you kindly for another beautifully inspiring post :)
Klaus Crow says
Thank you for reading and may it inspire you to practice and improve!
Hi Klaus sir,
This post shows the beauty of setting time limits.The productivity in our practice can be enhanced by setting time limits.This is really an golden tip.I also learned about setting time limits from your another post “12 ways to keep focused”.The tips you have provided are useful especially the last tip vary your practice sessions…I will surely try these ideas.Thanks for sharing.
Klaus Crow says
Indeed I have mentioned it before, I thought it could use some clarification and give it more attention because of it’s value.
Miguel Patricio says
Thank you so much for this practice information. I am guilty of forgetting what I started out to do, and with this system I see how it will keep me on track with my practice. I really liked the tip on what to practice, because I so often drift away from practicing the basics, and this will really keep me focused on what I’m doing. Again thank you for the posts and taking time to share with us.
Klaus Crow says
Yes it’s a good thing to practice on different aspects of your playing. Your overall playing will benefit from it and you will really see that, also it will stir you towards being an accomplished guitar player.
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.
Eli Mcmullen says
Thank you for mentioning how you can focus on your guitar practice by setting a timer in order to minimize distractions. My younger brother would like to learn how to play the guitar so that he can perform during his school’s talent show next year, but he tends to have trouble focusing for long periods of time since his friends often invite him to hang out with them. Maybe he should find a professional that can help him maintain his focus as he learns how to play.