Practice Efficiently: Make The Most of Your Practice Time | Hub Guitar

Practice Efficiently: Make The Most of Your Practice Time

Artwork by Sergey Banityuk

Practice Success

Aside from the total number of minutes you spend practicing, the methods that you use to organize and energize your practice will have the greatest impact on your results.

Observe these points if you want to maximize your results.

Practice daily

Practice daily! Whether you feel you are doing well or not. Nobody is inspired all of the time. The truly great people on this planet got that way through the habit of carrying out their work regardless of their mood.

Make a goal

Successful music learners have a practice goal and they follow it. Everyone can learn an instrument. If you are busy with work or school, revise your goal. But never quit.

Create a “practice space”

Set up a place where you can practice daily. The more time you have to spend “getting ready” to practice, the less time you’ll practice. Your practice space just needs a chair and whatever accessories that you use. And it should be ready whenever you are.

Avoid distractions

If possible, structure your practice so that there will be no distractions. That includes family or roommates, cell phones, and computers. Unfortunately, merely holding an instrument in your hands is not enough; you must also concentrate. It’s a good idea to minimize anything that could draw your attention away from learning the guitar.

Practice while traveling

Travel is not an excuse — it’s an unsolved problem. Some guitar players have practiced while staying at their relative’s house, sitting on a train or even hiking through ancient ruins in South America. This page was written near the ocean in Pattaya, Thailand— with a Traveler Guitar just a few feet away.

Set a time

Make an appointment with yourself. Just as you set a place to practice, you must also set a time. It is crucial. If you rely on the possibility of having “spare time” to practice, life will make other plans for you. The best time of day is different for everybody, the most successful learners will practice at the same time every day when they can.

If at all possible, consider making guitar practice your daily morning routine. Morning time is one of the few times that rarely gets interrupted by other plans.

Anchor your time

It helps to anchor your practice time to another daily event that is consistent. For instance, if you usually wake up at 7:00 am, you could start practice at 7:30. Try to choose a time that will rarely be disrupted.

Get organized

Write down what you are practicing or what you practiced. Resist the temptation to think that the time spent organizing is wasted. These few moments save you from thousands of minutes lost to unproductive work. Nothing could be more important than being organized.

Be deliberate

The best way to be deliberate is to have a single area of focus for your guitar playing during any given period of time. You might decide that you want to focus on your rhythm for two months. Or, you might want to focus on your improvisation skills for one month. Students who have the best results are the ones that are the most focused. Remember: it is impossible to learn the guitar. At any given moment in time, you can only ever be learning one aspect of the guitar.


The total amount of time you’ve spent practicing is the biggest factor determining your total level of ability in playing the guitar. The second is the quality of that practice. All other factors are secondary.

As the creator of Hub Guitar, Grey has compiled hundreds of guitar lessons, written several books, and filmed hundreds of video lessons. He teaches private lessons in his Boston studio, as well as via video chat through TakeLessons.

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