These are three approaches that I use to keep playing every day.
Practicing is a habit and can take some time to build. If you are finding it difficult to consistently practice guitar, here are some methods that you can use to be more consistent.
No.1: Keep a practice journal.
Some people journal their entire days; I think you can use this concept with guitar.
Keep note of when you practice and what you practiced. Then review this periodically. For the practice journal to really work, have an idea of exactly what song you want to practice. Ideally, you should also know which parts of the song to concentrate on - more on that later.
In my case of late, my choice of what to practice is influenced by the music that I am going to make into a tutorial.
Once you’ve decided what to practice, it’s now time to decide how to break up your practice session.
Because you can’t practice the entire song in one go when you are starting to learn the song, it’s important to divide the song into sections. Since most fingerstyle song structures use the song structure (verse, chorus, bridge, outro) you can use this blueprint to divide your song into playable sections.
Once I've figured out the workable chunks, I like to start practising the sections from the end of the song and move towards the beginning. The reasoning for this stems from the fact that it’s too easy to start playing from the beginning each time.
In this manner the beginning of the song becomes hyper-practiced and the end of the song is under-learned. The practice journal can make sure you don’t over-practice certain sections. In your journal, lay out the parts that you are going to practice and check to see that you don’t have the same section written too many times.
No.2 Get inspired
Like I pointed out before, the repertoire that I am going to practice is dictated by what I need to learn for my next music lesson, either online or in-person. This gives me a concrete goal for what I need to practice.
There are days however, when you won’t want to practice, no matter how loaded up your schedule is. Some people recommend leaving your instrument out in the corner so that it’s easily accessible for play whenever you want. I personally don’t do this and I outline why in the next tip.
But I’m no superhero.
When I don’t want to play guitar, I watch other people play guitar. And this makes me want to do the same thing.
It’s actually a very useful way for me to re-connect with the joy of making music. It’s imitation, and you can insert some corny joke about how this quality has been with us since we were Chimps. We might as well use it to your advantage.
No.3 Pick the Same Time Every Day
This is all about building habits - I’m not saying, set an alarm at 6.10am every day to pull out your guitar.
Actually, that’s worked for me before, but only if I’ve put myself on a tight schedule with a looming deadline.
I’m referring to making it a habit to pull out your guitar at the same moment every time of the day.
Choose a time in the evening when the kids have gone to bed, or in the morning before you have breakfast. Pull out your instrument and play something.Then do it again the next day, and the next.
This, by the way, is why I’m not much of a proponent of leaving your guitar out in the open in case you have the urge to practice. By scheduling a practice time, you can develop longer lasting habits and be more consistent.