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How to IMPROVE on your instrument with limited practice time

If you are a weekend warrior guitar player like me, you probably don’t have much time to play your instrument (guitar, piano, saxophone, whatever it might be), let alone to PRACTICE. Now playing and practicing are 2 different things, but that’s a topic for another post.

So with limited available time with your instrument (let’s say just a few hours a week on the whole) how can you still hope to make constant improvements?

In my experience, when faced with limited time, you will make more progress by dividing time with your instrument into lots of smaller chunks rather than just 1 or 2 big blocks.

For instance, rather than just playing/practicing for the whole afternoon on Sunday and then not touching the instrument again till the following weekend, it would be far better to spend just a little time each day (maybe 15-20 minutes) throughout the week, and forego the big Sunday session.

You will have to re-organize somethings in your life to make just a little time each day (or every other day for a start). And in return, you do on that Sunday afternoon those other little things that you put aside on the weekdays so you could have just a little regular time for your instrument.

Constant “touch” with your instrument, even in small chunks, is better than extended time in one block with large gaps in between where you don’t play at all.

A simple analogy (not perfect but you will get the idea) is exercise: Doing something a little a day, say a 15 minute walk each day, is obviously better than going for a 2 hour walk once a week and lying in bed the rest of the time! Same sort of idea. When you keep in constant touch with your instrument, you brain and body naturally figure out ways to get comfortable (and better) at it.

 


Reader Comments

  1. Thanks ! I have a full time job but I hope to excel in the guitar playing. Your suggestions are very good. I will try that. Sometimes I just don’t have the motivation to practise the guitar after a hard day work. Btw, which country are you from ?

    1. Hey there! Living in NZ now but originally from SG. Yeah I know it’s hard to get motivated sometimes to practice, especially at the end of the day when you are most tired out. I actually do most of my practice early early in the morning before work, waking up extra early to make time in this way. You could try that. Good luck!

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