Creating An Effective Practice Space

There is one element that most of guitarists lack - having an effective practice area.

Ultimate Guitar
I commonly encounter guitarists who have just about everything together. They have 1) clearly set goals, 2) a vision of what they want to sound like, and 3) good basic technique. However, there is one element they lack - having an effective practice area. This is so important to the success of a musician that it must be taken care of as soon as possible. Here's what you'll need: 1. An Entire Room - Dedicate one room of your house/apartment to only making music. For many, this is out of the question for various reasons like, "My child lives in that room!" or "That's my Dungeons and Dragons room!" If you already have a "cave" where you can retreat to at the end of a working day, set aside a space in the corner of the room. If all you have is your bedroom, again, set aside a space in your room for only making music. 2. A Music Stand - Research shows that musicians who use a music stand practice 80% longer than those who don't. Ok, so I don't know if that's true, but it sure sounds good and I think I heard it somewhere once... I can tell you from personal experience it has made a huge difference in my playing and many of my students' practice habits. If you're anything like me, you'll plan to sit for only 5 minutes to run through a few practice ideas and before you know it, 30 minutes has passed by. You'll be more focused and you'll spend more time practicing and not even realize it. Spend the $25-40 on the stand. It's worth it. 3. Written Goals - Make sure your goals and practice schedule are taped to the stand. Having a goal in mind is OK, but seeing it on paper in front of you has a much more significant impact. Again, I don't understand the science of this - I just know it works. 4. A Practice Time - Set aside a time each day for practicing so it becomes a regular part of your daily routine - as routine as brushing your teeth, only longer. It's better to practice a few minutes every day than multiple hours once a week. 5. A Guitar Stand - Place your guitar of choice on a guitar stand. Set it next to your music stand. Cover it with a sheet or blanket when not in use to prolong the string life. Or hang up five of them on your wall. It's win/win either way. Suddenly, the "I don't want take the time to remove the guitar from the case" argument goes away! This is fairly straightforward stuff. No big secrets here. The key is to implement these ideas and others like it as soon as possible. Time to grab a guitar off the wall and get to it myself!

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My Last Words
    I would like to add something to the first point; Make sure there are no distractions like TV or other people talking to you. It's about you and your instrument.
    I already have been doing the point #5 i got a guitar stand because 80% of the time i get so tired from job and then to take the guitar out of the gigbag then doing all conections suddenly i lost interest into practice, now i just grab guitar from stand hool it up to the amp and play, good article!
    I dont have a music stand, to much fiddle farting around turning pages etc. I just use the PC for tabs etc and have it right next to my gear.
    Danjo's Guitar
    Guitar on a stand is definitely important, I play most days if my guitar is out, but I can go several weeks without touching it if its still in the gig bag. Music stands are really only necessary if you're practicing with paper music. I mostly go by memory from stuff I've written, or write more stuff. Then again I don't really "practice" I just play.
    LOL, I can't even read sheet music! I can just barely read tab! ...Wait, that's not a good thing...
    I would add that having an acoustic guitar around, even if you're an electric player, is a huge motivator for practice. Since I don't have to wait for my amp to warm up or tangled cables, I end up practicing on my acoustic more than the electrics, simply because of that little bit of convenience.
    I find it helpful to have banners, flags, or posters of your favorite bands and musicians one the wall. Good inspiration.
    link no1
    1) I wish I had an entire room to dedicate to music. I only have a very small room to work with. I use my bed as a chair and can reach my guitar, xbox, TV and computer without having to get up...very claustrophobic. Off topic though, it's a very good point, it leaves less room for distractions. I am awful for getting distracted. 2) Does this just mean have a music stand, even if there is nothing on it at all? I can't see how this would help all too much. 4) I tried doing this but it didn't last that long. It started to feel like playing guitar was a chore, I HAD to do it. It got to a point where I just didn't look forward to it anymore. I just try to pick up the guitar at least once a day for at least an hour (yesterday that one hour turned into eight) 5) This is very true. I try to take my guitar out of it's case whenever I get home from practice or a gig. I noticed myself that when it's on the stand I will pick it up every day BUT when it's in the case I have gone for up to a week without even thinking about it it. Amazing what difference something small like this can make.