Organizing Guitar Practice For Fast Progress

by Ryan Duke

Do you find your guitar practice is basically you deciding to pick up the guitar without any plan? This is very common and not a reassuring approach. I have done this a lot and it is better than not practicing at all, but if you really want to make serious progress then you have to organize your guitar practice.

This can and should be very simple. Especially at first. If you get too detailed it will be overwhelming and hard to follow. Though there are some personalities where this will feel more empowering. Proceed with caution.

Scheduling Time

First you should be scheduling time for practice. If there is not a designated time to practice it becomes very easy to forget, ignore, or skip. Not practicing guitar surprisingly does not bring results. Who knew?

Pick an optimal time of day to practice. Schedule it in a calendar you can see and look at regularly. A digital one with notifications can be quite helpful. Just make sure to turn on notifications for this and turn off notifications for everything else so you are not distracted.


Another simple step. List the things you want and need to work on to achieve your guitar playing goals. Rate them either high priority, medium priority, and low priority.

Priority can be decided based off a few factors. First, how much does it mean to you and motivate you. Second, is there a literal due date? If so, then great. It will help you rank it more easily. Third, how much do you need to work on the specific item based on where you are at in your skill level with that item AND the above 2 factors.

You will have to decide how much to do of which element or area of your guitar playing. If you have learned a bunch of songs and don’t want to forget them, then I would imagine this is a low priority. It is low because it would be maintenance. Something you do, but not every day. If you have to perform these songs then it would be a high priority.

Cut The Fat

It is a good idea to take inventory of what you should be practicing and determine what you can stop practicing. Hint: you should not stop practicing something just because it’s hard.

There are times when you will grow and things you learned before are just so simple now that you don’t need to practice them. Reward yourself. There will be other things that are too hard and right now isn’t the time for them.

Final Thoughts

If you find this overwhelming to do yourself, or just don’t have the bandwidth in life right now, don’t fret. Having a great guitar teacher who can guide you in this or assist you in it helps a lot. Going at it all alone often wastes more time in the end.

The further you get into you guitar playing, the more you will need to assess your priorities and adjust what you are investing your time into. There will be more things to maintain, you will learn faster, and your skillsets will become broader. Keeping everything moving forward requires just a little bit of planning and lots of follow through. The outcome is more milestones reached and a massive sense of accomplishment.

There are of course other organizing approaches. Use what is comfortable to you. Tweak it to fit your personal preferences. But if you have no approach, then just get started with this one. I would review how it went every week and make small adjustments and improvements if needed. The more you do this the more you will learn about yourself self. You will also grow over time and need to adjust because some older things won’t work any more.

Ultimately, having clarity on what to do and why will make practicing easier and more fulfilling. This is my hope for you, that you find greater and greater fulfillment in your musical journey.

Have an awesome day! :)

About The Author:  Ryan Duke is a professional musician, songwriter, guitar coach, and owner of Supertonic Guitar providing guitar lessons in Franklin, TN.

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