Quality time on the guitar does not have to be something that complicates your life. When you plan your life according to a strict schedule it can make you even less likely to practice.

But we don’t have to be strict in order to get more time in on the instrument, and more time playing means more time progressing as a musician!

Don’t make life complicated, use our 3 tips to achieve more time on the fretboard without making it a chore.

1. Keep Your Guitar Within Reach

So many of us have our guitars in cases or in a whole separate room of the house, but if there’s one key approach to success that always works it’s removing barriers between you and your goals.

Want to play more? Remove any barriers between you and picking up the instrument. Keep your favorite guitar out on a stand next to your desk, couch, toilet, wherever you spend the majority of your day – but please, see a doctor if it’s the toilet!

Keeping things always set up and ready to be played is one of the best ways to remove those stupid excuses we make up in our heads about being too lazy to dig out the case, or not being able to find a pick. Don’t let laziness keep you from playing!

2. Surround Yourself With New Music

Listening to the same stuff you’ve jammed since high school isn’t exactly going to provide you with a new creative spark… why not change that? Creativity is the reason we make music, but hearing the same old stuff over and over can only provide you with so much of it.

Set out to listen to something new once a day. It’s incredibly easy to fit in just 3-5 minutes of music in your day. You can do this on your commute, while making dinner, or even on the toilet. There’s no excuse not to fit this one into your day!

By listening to new music we hear variety, and hearing variety opens up our minds to play with more variety as a result. Part of this is going to be natural and can be accomplished purely by listening, but you can also improve this practice by learning anything you find interesting from that new music.

Like that riff? Learn it. It might teach you about a scale, chord movement, or solo lick that becomes your new favorite. New material means more excitement, more excitement means more playing!

3. Chill Out… But Try To Push Yourself A Bit

If you don’t want to play, then don’t. That’s always been my view… with one major exception: try to motivate yourself to play first before making the decision not to practice.

Sure, you really want to play that new video game or just sit and watch one more episode of your Netflix series, but before you commit to that, just take 5 minutes to watch a performance that you love. More often than not, I find it shifts my mood into wanting to play music!

I’ve got a playlist on YouTube filled with videos that make me want to sit down and practice. They can be my favorite bands that make me want to write, some extremely technical music that makes me want to grind out some hours on the metronome, even some world music on an instrument that’s completely foreign to me.

It’s alright to skip practicing if you just aren’t in the mood, but the least you can do is take that opportunity to indulge in some great music and see if it can trigger that mood shift that leads you to put in just a couple more hours than originally planned.

Don’t Overcomplicate It

Playing music is supposed to be fun, and while part of growing as a musician is practicing, don’t stress too much over the hours you didn’t put in. You never want your relationship with the instrument to become a chore!

About The Author