“Hey Helen, I’m learning to play the guitar, and I try to practice everyday, but when I pick it up, I don’t know when to put it down or when to stop” I get comments like these everyday. Many people especially beginners make comments and ask questions a lot of times regarding how many hours should be invested daily in practicing the guitar. Guitar practice or playing does not come cheap or easy; it comes with a lot of responsibilities like self discipline, dedication and commitment, determination, regular practice amongst other requirements. There is basically no hard and fast rule as to how many hours one is expected to practice every day, whether as a beginner, intermediate or advanced guitar player.
The question of how many hours you should practice daily basically depends on your set goals and what you plan to achieve with learning the guitar. Do you want to be a world-known professional guitarist? Or do you want to play just for fun or in front of family, friends and small crowds? The answer you choose to the category above plays a major role in determining how long your daily practice time should be. One thing to note is that the more committed minutes or hours you put into practicing the guitar, the better you become; that’s a given fact!
In my opinion, as a complete beginner, the minimum amount of time you should spend daily in practice is 25-30 minutes if you really want to go very far; but if you just want to be on the average, then you can settle for 15-20minutes? per day or even 3 times in a week. If you can step it up to 1hour, 2 hours, 4 hours etc within the next couple of months, perfect! But if you can’t, just keep up slowly, steadily and more importantly CONSISTENTLY, you’ll get there too.
However you choose to practice, remember that you should stop and take breaks especially when your body demands it. Don’t ignore the signs your body gives you to stop, rest when you need to, take tea breaks during practice time, eat snacks, take strolls, and when you have calluses, rest your fingers until they heal up reasonably well enough for you to play again.
If you’re going to be practicing for long hours daily (anything from one hour and above), be sure to stagger your practice sessions, don’t practice for that long at a stretch; the most profitable results are best achieved from a well-rested, unclogged mind. Practice more effectively, practice smart, start with those areas you’re weak and are struggling with. If it is strumming, divert more efforts in learning strumming patterns; if it is chord changes, channel more efforts on how to switch successfully from one chord to another. Do not take in too much at a time, if you do, you’ll end up with far less results than you anticipated, simply make the best use of your practice time. Clustering the brain at the initial stage of learning the guitar will only slow down your speed and progress, not only that, it will reduce your zeal and passion with time because you’ll get so choked up with so much to learn and you’ll begin to see playing the guitar as some chore or laborious task that bores you and weighs you down instead of the fun-filled activity that it is.
Settle down, take your time and practice the guitar; put in your best whether its 15 minutes a day or 2 hours a day you decide to practice, just make sure it’s what suits you and you feel comfortable with.