This week I’ve got a great question and I’d like to not only share my answer with you but also ask that you share your experiences as well.
How do you find the time to play and LEARN the guitar? I participate in volleyball and basketball and don’t forget homework! But I really want to learn how to play!!!
Time is one of those things that we approach differently depending what we want to do with it. We find that we make time for things when we need to or want to but don’t always see where that time comes from.
I started playing when I was seventeen. I was a junior in high school and basically between classes and working I didn’t get home until seven. Then homework. Then it’s time for bed already.
When you’re this busy you have to make time somewhere and you also have to make the best use of your time. As a beginner, the thing I worked on most was changing chords so I could play smoothly. I did this by learning songs. So on the weekends, I would take an hour or two that I might normally not be doing much of anything (sleeping late, watching television – no computers back then or I’m sure I’d be doing that as well) and learn one or two songs. Then during the week, whenever I had a moment – perhaps before dinner or waiting for my turn at the shower (four kids in the family) or (most usually) as a reward to myself for getting through one subject’s homework – I’d play what I learned over the weekend. Sometimes only once through, but usually, when you added it up, I got to play a half hour to an hour every day.
The thing is that I was always learning something. When refining a song during the week I might hit upon a technique that I’d try to remember to work into another song that I might learn the following weekend.
Time adds up. Even if you manage to find fifteen or thirty minutes a day, it adds up. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll FIND that time and then MAKE it your guitar time.
You might want to check out a couple of articles I wrote on the subject: Ten Ways for Beginner Guitar Players to Improve in a Hurry and A Question Of Balance. There’s also a page full of practice tips and ideas from many of Guitar Noise’s contributors here: Getting The Most Out of Your Practice.
As I mentioned, I’d love to hear some of your opinions and experiences on this. And I’m certain the person who wrote this would like to as well. Please share your thoughts on finding/making time to play and learn guitar in the comments below.
If you’ve got any questions, we at Guitar Noise are always happy to answer them. Just send any of your questions to David at firstname.lastname@example.org. He (or another Guitar Noise contributor) may not answer immediately but he will definitely answer!