I Didn’t Practice Much This Week

We hear it all the time. I was too busy, we were out of town, I was swamped at work, (insert your own excuse here!). What can you do to find practice time?

Set Aside a Block of Time:

I know it’s difficult, but if you REALLY want to learn to play you make the time to practice. It’s like going to the gym, starting a diet, or vowing to exercise every day at home. You start out totally dedicated, pretty soon you miss one day, feel guilty and get back on track. The next time you miss 2 days, again you feel guilty, but by day 2 you start making excuses. You miss several more days, give yourself a lecture about self-discipline, and restart again. Remember, the more you miss the easier it is to justify. Picking a specific time, not making excuses, and setting goals is the way to be successful at practicing.

Record Yourself, It’s Easy:

The days of having to have expensive recording equipment, a dedicated studio and hours to achieve perfection are over. A cell phone, computer or tablet is all you need. You’re not trying to make a perfect recording, you’re trying to see what you really sound like. I tell students all the time “recordings don’t lie”. I can guarantee you’ll be shocked at how much different it was than you thought. Record a couple songs, but them away for a while, record them again and you’ll be shocked again, but this time it will be at how much better you sound. That’s provided you’ve practiced.

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Playing through songs, making the same mistakes, and going through the motions isn’t practicing! You’re trying to improve your playing by fixing the parts you have trouble with. If you’re learning a new song, you’re trying to commit it to memory and make it sound better.

That’s it for this time. The next post will deal with specific techniques to help you improve your playing.

Categories: Blog


I play and teach guitar, banjo and ukulele.


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