How to motivate yourself to practice guitar every day

It’s not just a cliche – practice really does make perfect. The greatest guitar players of all time didn’t just pick up an instrument and start playing – it takes time and effort to get good at guitar. 

When you’re first starting out, it’s natural to get frustrated or not want to practice, but working on your instrument, even a little bit every day, will help you get better at it. 

Ideally, you should be practicing guitar 30 minutes to 90 minutes a day, but that’s not always feasible for people with busy schedules. However, even carving out 10 minutes of time on a busy day to practice will help you build dexterity, knowledge, and skills. 

Here are some tips to motivate yourself to practice. 

Set a goal

Do you want to shred like Eddie Van Halen? Maybe you want to master prog rock like Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders or play intense riffs like Tom Morello. Setting yourself a concrete goal (like, “I want to be able to play “Eruption”) will help motivate you to pick up your guitar every day. 


Play songs you like

A lot of guitar teachers start their students off on songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” – not exactly riveting material. 

Make a list of songs that you want to learn by your favorite artists and work your way through them. Don’t be afraid to play them slower than originally recorded to get the hang of it. 

Check out this list of songs for guitar beginners.


Find a course that works for you 

Fret Zealot has hundreds of guitar courses available. You can choose the learning style that works best for you, whether that’s learning the fundamentals of music theory first, or diving right into daily exercises with the Guitar Gym. You get to pick your own curriculum with Fret Zealot, so you’re not stuck just playing the same scales over and over.


Cultivate a positive mindset about guitar 

Above everything else, learning guitar should be FUN – it shouldn’t be a chore! No one gets great at guitar overnight, so don’t be hard on yourself. Take it one note at a time. 


Avoid distractions 

A text message or social media notification can derail you from a great practice session. Set yourself an alarm for 30 minutes (or however long you want to devote to guitar in that session) and mute your notifications until you’re done! You can also minimize distractions by playing at “weird hours” late at night or early in the morning – just use headphones. 

Play with other people 

Playing with other musicians will give you a sense for playing in real time and matching other musicians’ cues. It will motivate you to get better at your craft all around, as well as give you confidence in your abilities. 


Go to live music events 

If you’re feeling blah about picking up your guitar, go check out a local band or open mic night in your town. Watching other musicians play is a great way to regain your motivation. 


Pencil practice into your routine 

Practicing sporadically won’t help you reach your guitar goals in a timely matter. Take a look at your schedule and see what times and days you can realistically put aside to practice – and then stick to that schedule. 


Leave yourself notes 

Leaving inspirational messages or just reminders on Post-It notes where you’ll see them is a helpful tool to remember to practice (and to remember why you want to play guitar). 


The top three mistakes new guitar players make – and how to avoid them


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