The practice hump: Why some guitarists find it hard to practice

Practice is the backbone of improvement for any guitarist, yet many of us struggle to make it a consistent part of our routine. In this article, we’ll explore common reasons guitarists avoid practice and delve into why cultivating a positive mindset towards practice is crucial for achieving rapid progress on the guitar.

Top 10 excuses guitarists use to avoid practicing

  1. Fear of being heard: This fear is prevalent in shared living situations or apartments where noise can be a concern.
  2. Lack of dedicated practice space: Not having a quiet room or space where you can play without disturbance.
  3. Time constraints: Busy schedules often leave little room for dedicated practice sessions.
  4. Lack of motivation: Finding the drive to practice regularly can be challenging, especially when progress feels slow.
  5. Uncertainty about what to practice: Not knowing which exercises or techniques are beneficial or how they contribute to guitar improvement.
  6. Perfectionism: The pressure to perform flawlessly during practice sessions can deter guitarists from even starting.
  7. Physical discomfort: Issues like finger soreness or hand fatigue can make practice sessions uncomfortable.
  8. Distractions: External factors like noise or interruptions can disrupt focus and hinder productive practice.
  9. Self-doubt: Feeling inadequate or comparing oneself to others can undermine motivation to practice.
  10. Lack of accountability: Without guidance or accountability, it’s easy to procrastinate or skip practice sessions.

Developing a success-supportive mindset

Overcoming these challenges begins with cultivating a success-supportive mindset. Here are some strategies to help you build consistency in your practice routine:

  • Create a dedicated practice schedule: Allocate specific times in your week for practice, treating it as non-negotiable.
  • Adapt practice to your environment: Use headphones or quieter techniques like fingerstyle or muted strumming when noise is a concern.
  • Mix up your practice routine: Incorporate scales, chord progressions, and technique exercises to ensure comprehensive skill development. Remember to include time for ear training.
  • Set realistic goals: Break down larger musical goals into smaller, achievable milestones to maintain motivation.
  • Seek feedback and support: Join guitar communities or seek guidance from experienced players to stay motivated and accountable. You can start by following Rapid Guitar Results on Facebook!

For a more detailed discussion on developing a positive mindset to achieve your guitar goals, check out our related article here.

Why guitar exercises matter

While playing songs is enjoyable and builds confidence, it’s essential to balance this with structured exercises. Here’s why:

  • Technique Refinement: Exercises target specific aspects of guitar technique, correcting flaws that playing songs alone might mask.
  • Finger Dexterity: Regular exercises improve finger strength and dexterity, enhancing your ability to play complex passages effortlessly.
  • Musical Understanding: Exercises improve your understanding of music theory and help you apply it practically while playing.

For a deeper dive into the importance of including exercises in your practice routine and a discussion on where music theory comes in, read more here.

Overcoming the practice hump

Remember, practice isn’t about achieving perfection overnight. Instead, it’s a journey towards consistent improvement and breakthroughs in your guitar playing. Embrace the process, stay committed to your practice routine, and you’ll pave the way for rapid progress and mastery of the guitar.

Could your playing benefit from receiving 1:1 coaching, mentoring and support from a world-class guitar performance coach? Please contact me at any time and let’s chat.

Here’s to better playing for everyone!

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