Being realistic and positive about practice

If you are one of those people who makes new years resolutions, a few weeks into the year is about the time that you may get to feeling disappointed in yourself. 

If you play the guitar, you love it and are serious about it, then you may not be keeping up with your plans to master this or that song or style, or practise x hours a day and x days a day  that you promised yourself you would in 2020.  Life and other commitments have got in the way - this is probably true, but you feel bad because that sounds like an excuse.

Well, don't feel too bad, because many experienced musicians may well be going through this too, at whatever level, we all want to progress and fall short sometimes.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Was I overambitious in the time I would devote to practise?
  • Am I making the most of the time I have playing my guitar? Am I clear about what I want learn or improve?

I'd advise that playing for just a short time, even 10 minutes or so, is better than thinking "I don't have enough time, I'll have to  try again tomorrow". That's why it's good to have your guitar available on a stand to pick up and play.  

As a guitar teacher, I find that I spend many hours teaching, preparing lessons and writing out music/tabs for songs, so I sometimes  I find I don't have the time I expected to have to play and practice or work on my own areas that I've identified for development (for me, one of these is jazz).  I find that I can do a lot in a short time if I feel positive about what I have achieved rather than worry about what I haven't. 

Also - listen to music, listen to music and songs you love over and over again. Strangely, this can be neglected by those who approach learning an instrument in an overly task-focused and technical way.

Okay, that's enough time spent writing this blog - I need to play my guitar!

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