How often should I practice? This is a question I have gotten a lot and honestly has surprised me by how many times it has been asked.
I think it surprised me because there is no perfect answer and I am not sure if people think I can give them one. I often tell them that for me, when I started to learn, I had such a passion that if I was anywhere near a guitar it was in my hands even if I was watching TV or with friends, it was in my hands.
Also one of my best friends growing up was learning to play bass guitar so whenever we hung out he had his bass and I had my guitar. So it is hard to say, well I practiced 2 hours a day, it never felt like practice to me it was just a part of me.
Now, I will ask what the students schedule is like and help them determine a practice schedule if they (or the parent) would like but when it comes down to it, play whenever you can!
And I just want to throw this out there, as a teacher I can tell the kids that have time and want to learn and the ones that have a passion to learn. There is nothing wrong with either but it is exciting to see the ones with the time and passion.
Also another question to think about… what is your goal? Do you just want to be able to play around for the fun of it, do you want to get involved with a band or in your head are you already some rock star playing stadiums with some multi-platinum selling band? I was the latter, ready for stardom but things did not work out with that plan, (I will get into that in another post) but your goals and dreams will guide you in your practice.
By the way I never want to squash a dream but… here is a little reality, there are some amazing musicians that never get a record deal, talent is not enough, it is also hard work and knowing people and being in the right place at the right time, even then it may not happen. There are too many bands/musicians and only so many record companies and contracts to be had, although the internet has helped many that may have not had any chance to be seen and heard years ago it is still not an easy road.
If you have the passion though you will be like I was and forget that last paragraph in about 2 minutes and say I will still make it. Good for you, but don’t forget where your gifts come from though. I may not be a multi-platinum rock star, the plans are not what I dreamed but you know, it is still awesome.
I have played in front of anywhere from about 500-2000 people every single week at church over the years in different services, not including the children’s and youth camps and special events we have been asked to play. On top of that I feel it helps make a difference in peoples lives and although I am involved it is not about me, it is about the One that gave me the gift and Jesus should be the role model, not me. I am not the best guitar player but I am thankful to have the gift and ability to be good enough to do what I do.
Wow, that went in a way different direction than I planned, maybe that is a good thing and someone needed to hear it. I will stop there for now. Watch out for part 4!