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Practice Pep Talks Part 1 of 3: "Manageable practice regimen, with my crazy busy life?!?!

or, "If we said to our friends what we say to ourselves, we wouldn't have any friends."

Part 1 - Creating A Regular Routine

The three biggest issues when it comes to practicing are:

1. creating a regular routine.

2. honoring your learning curve.

3. creating a comfortable space to do it.

The following are what I suggest to my students and they're always really happy with the results.

The first issue is creating a manageable schedule. Pick 5 days during your week and schedule in 10 minutes. Put it in your calendar and treat it like you've made a date with your most favorite person on the planet. If you have young kids, wait until after their bedtime. Set an alarm for 10 minutes and let phone calls go to voice mail, answer the text or email later. The dishes and laundry can wait too. If you only had 10 minutes with your most favorite person on the planet you wouldn't do these things because you'd be interrupting your time with them and it might hurt their feelings. Treat yourself that well. Students who adopt this routine are amazed at how quickly their playing improves.

If you have time and feel like it, by all means play longer. Just remember that it's not a moral issue; it doesn't make you a better person anymore than a short session is a negative. Just know that what's most helpful is repetition over a period of days.

Comments Section

Wow Harry, that is such a kind thing to say! xo And thanks for passing along my link!
If I had a daughter and she asked me how to be, I'd point her in your direction. As a matter of fact, my niece Jane is starting to learn guitar, so I will send her dad a link to your blog...

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