How can we make guitar practice so fun and easy that we are excited to do it every single day?
One of my favourite books to read at the moment is a book named ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. It is an awesome, practical and effective guide on how to establish a habit and more importantly how to stick to that habit in the long term.
In this article, we’re going to see how we can use the habit-forming techniques discussed in ‘Atomic Habits’ to make your guitar practice sessions super fun, satisfying and easy so that you want to do it every single day.
Make It Easy
Firstly, we need to reduce the amount of friction associated with the activity of guitar practice. If getting your guitar out to practice is a long and arduous task, you are way more likely to swap guitar practice for re-runs of Friends because the former requires way too much effort to do.
How do we make guitar practice easy?
One of the most effective things you can do is to invest in a guitar stand. Get your guitar out, place it on the guitar stand and situate it in the most frequently visited room of the house (and I don’t mean the toilet).
I recommend placing your guitar in the corner of the lounge room or dining area. Firstly, guitars on guitar stands look amazing *chefs kiss* and will add to your lounge room decor very nicely, but the main reason why we do this is that it makes it super easy to grab your guitar throughout the day and also makes it easy to set up your guitar when it comes time to practice.
Here are some extra tips on how to make guitar practice super easy:
- Keep the guitar tuner attached to the headstock of the guitar so it’s ready to go
- Buy a pick holder that attaches to your guitar, ensuring that you don’t have to search around the house for a pick
- Invest in a music stand to hold your songs at eye level
- Use a music folder to organise your loose sheets of guitar music
- Use a stable chair that doesn’t have armrests for best results and guitar-playing posture
- If you have an iPad, you can make looking up songs and building your song list even easier by getting a TAB library app like Songsterr (absolutely free for the basic version)
Employ the 2-minute rule
You may know that to establish a long-term habit, the most important thing you can do is to be consistent. Easier said than done right? Life happens and before you know it, you haven’t played guitar for 2 weeks and you’re deep into the ‘Funny Cat video’ rabbit hole on Youtube instead of playing your favourite songs on your Fender Telecaster.
Well, the 2-minute rule makes it easy to be consistent.
In the initial stages of developing your guitar practice habit (1 or 2 weeks), you need to practice guitar for only 2 minutes per day. Yes, that’s right! 2 minutes. After you’ve completed the 2 minute practice session for the day, you celebrate it as a win and mark it as a successful guitar practice on your calendar or habit tracker.
I know it sounds crazy but there are a few reasons why this 2-minute rule is super effective. Everyone has 2 minutes of time in their schedule, and by initially reducing guitar practice to 2 minutes, it makes it so easy to consistently practice guitar.
Obviously, you won’t make heaps of progress by doing only 2 minutes of practice every day but that isn’t the point. The point is to consistently practice guitar every day and prove to yourself that you are a committed guitarist who puts in the effort to practice. By making that identity change from hobby guitarist to committed guitarist who is always improving and learning new skills, you are way more likely to stick with guitar playing long term.
Once you’ve completed the first week of 2-minute practice sessions, you can now increase it to 5-minute practice or 10-minute practice and increase it further. However, if you find yourself missing a couple of days of practice in a row, decrease the practice session time until you are practising on a daily basis again.
Attend regular Guitar Lessons (Accountability)
The final thing we can do to improve our excitement to practice guitar is to get an accountability partner. This partner could be in the form of another guitarist friend or a guitar teacher. If your local guitar teacher offers group lessons, you have access to both super-effective forms of accountability!
A lot of aspiring guitarists try to learn on YouTube and they show some initial progress but that excitement and progress can fade over time without that positive push of accountability and social connection. By attending regular group guitar lessons, you will be challenged and excited to complete songs to show your classmates and pushed to learn guitar skills every week.
In addition to this accountability, your guitar teacher will help fast-track your progress on the guitar. It is easy to lose your way when you’re learning the guitar. There will inevitably be roadblocks and mental barriers that you will find challenging along your guitar learning journey. By attending regular guitar lessons, your experienced guitar teacher will have seen others struggle with challenges just like yours and will be able to guide you through these problems. A problem that you’ve been struggling with for 4 months can be solved within 10 minutes by an experienced guitar teacher!
Practising the guitar is such a big part of the puzzle when it comes to becoming a great guitarist. These 3 strategies have really helped me in my guitar-learning journey and I hope they help you too!
If you want to learn more about guitar practice check out the free guitar practice articles on the Melbourne Guitar Academy blog
Special Guest Author – Alex Stroud
Alex Stroud is a popular, kids guitar teacher from Brisbane, QLD. He specialises in teaching fun and engaging guitar lessons to kids and teenagers and is passionate about developing children into life-long guitar players. If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Rochedale, you can book a free trial guitar lesson with him here.
Alex is also a member of Guitar Ninjas a guitar curriculum for kids that gamifies the approach to learning and makes guitar lessons fun and engaging for