May 12, 2019 by Klaus Crow
There are times when life gets in the way of playing, and practicing is falling short. Real short. Like zero activity.
Don’t worry, that can happen. There’s no reason to panic.
The trouble really starts when more and more time passes and your guitar is getting from dusty to rusty. That’s when the alarm bells need to go off.
At this time your mind is creating it’s own illogical explanation for not getting behind the instrument.
It’s going to rationalize your absence of regular woodshedding. You will start telling yourself these stories like, “I’m always late from work”, “I’m just too old for this”, “My fingers are getting sore or stiff”, “I have my kids to take care of”, “I just don’t have what it takes”, or “I’m just too tired”. There are a zillion of those you can come up with.
Just stop making those up! They are all worthless excuses. Don’t believe them for a second. They are things you choose to tell yourself, but they are not real.
They are lies that crawl up because you don’t play. You got to play to get back in the groove!
Here’s what you got to do:
Set a guitar practice goal: A song, a solo, a riff, anything. Practice for 30 minutes every day for 30 days with purpose, dedication, patience and persistence. And set a timer!
Along those 30 days you will already start feeling different. You’ll see progress in your playing and all kinds of things start happening. The way you think and feel changes completely. You will learn again why you wanted to do it in the first place and why you love it so damn much.
Everything will start making sense again. Your excuses will diminish, your doubts will fade away and your excitement and passion will rise again.
You will see what practicing unfolds. The payoff will flow through your fingertips and you will become a better guitar player.
The habit keeps the playing alive and kicking. So first practice, and talk later.
Now go for it.
Start your 30 minutes right now!
I signed in already but what do i do next????
Maddie Myers says
Klaus, don’t know if this will be preaching to the converted, but I learned something in my personal practicing that might help others. Sometimes a song would have a part I just couldn’t play – the chord changes too hard. So, instead of playing the song over and over again – always screwing up the hard part, I started writing own 3 chords – the one preceding, the hard one, the one after the hard one. And just practiced that sequence over and over again during the day, any time I had even just 5 or 10 minutes like while on hold on phone call, or waiting for water to boil for pasta, etc. My guitar lives on a stand next to my breakfast table and is always handy. Really works!!
useful article !
Klaus Crow says
That’s a good one! And it’s a really effective and efficient way of practicing those hard chord changes.
Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it helps a lot of readers.
Klaus Crow says
Klaus Crow says
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Guitar Kits Guy says
Loved your post. Great work. I haven’t touched a guitar in a few years, and recently picked it up again. I definitely used the “I’m too old for this excuse. Glad I am back in the saddle now!
Kelsey Austin says
Really great article, I think we all know how it feels to get a bit out of shape with our guitar habits. I myself put the guitar down for a five year stretch. The important thing though is that I did pick it back up. I’m now a better player than I used to be.
One thing that improved my playing style and guitar tone was switching genres. I made a drastic change in the genre I played, and my guitar tone is so much better now.
Before, my only concern was plenty of distortion. But now, I’m all about clean sparkly tone with multiple delays, and reverb. And my ability to play cleanly and clearly has gone way up. Thanks for the great article, keep up the good work!