Knowing how much we should practice is a question that’s always being asked by musicians of all ages and skills. And it’s a hard question to answer! There’s no magic number of minutes or hours that are required to know that shredding solo, or being able to play and sing that song at the same time.
If you’ve ever asked someone, “how’s your day going?” it’s likely you’ve heard a pretty generic answer- “Good thanks!” If you’ve ever asked “How much should I practice?” I bet you’ve heard the same nonspecific answers- “all the time.” “every minute you can” “every day”. Do those answers not sound daunting?! Luckily, we have an answer we think you’re going to like.
There’s your answer. Practice for 20-30 minutes. Why? Ok, so you’re only going to get better the more and more you practice. But practicing an hour or more a session- you’re going to lose focus, feel sore, and most importantly run out of productive things to practice!
Practice is not your time to goof around. Practice is improving on new ideas and techniques. 5 minutes of practice won’t do you very good, but if you focus and stay in the zone for 30 minutes improving that one or two skill sets I guarantee you’ll grow your playing. Play your favorite songs for fun later! But for the next 20-30 minutes, practice.
Don’t call it quits
It’s easy to lose focus. But don’t give up. This time is dedicated to your instrument and musical growth. Set a timer and don’t call it quits till the timer goes off. Start with a more manageable goal- like 20 minutes (out of your ENTIRE day!). You can do that!
Most importantly- if your timer goes off, you’re being productive and don’t want to stop… Don’t! I encourage you to practice more! The secret to practice is how long you can stay focused and work on things that are improving you.
How many days?
To be entirely clear, there’s no limit to how much you can or should practice. I for one know that I can only be productive for about 45 minutes at a given time. But I also have practiced multiple times in a day- one practice session in the morning, another practice session after dinner. In a week sometimes I practice 3 times, sometimes its 10 or more times.
“Sooo…. What about me?”, you’re probably still asking. 5 days. 5 separate days, and once a day at least! It’s important to take a day off from all the things you have to do. You still need to keep your chops up! If you practice more- awesome! You’re going to progress if you practice one day a week, just exponentially slower than if you practice 5 days a week.
I encourage you to practice and play all the time! Music never gets boring. I also understand it’s an endless road and we’ve got to rest once in a while.
As teachers at Littleton School of Music, it’s our job to help you learn, and also help you find the best practice routine for you. Our teachers love taking on the challenging questions like “how much should I practice?” So if you’re looking for music lessons in Colorado in the Denver area or Littleton area, give us a call, email, or contact us here. We teach guitar lessons, piano lessons, voice lessons, drum lessons, and more!
Keep playing, more importantly- keep practicing!
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