There’s no definitive answer to the question of how many times a week you should practice guitar if you want to see results. It depends on your individual goals, abilities, and schedule. However, we can go over some general guidelines that will help you determine how often you should practice achieving your musical aspirations!
If you want to see progress in your guitar skills, you should be playing guitar 3 to 5 days a week. This will allow you to gain hand-eye coordination, memorization skills, and more, without losing those over longer periods. This cadence will also allow your fingers to heal better between practice sessions so that you don’t become discouraged.
So why should you practice guitar three to five days a week?
Just like anything, practice makes perfect! The more time you spend practicing guitar, the better you’ll become at it. If you practice guitar almost every day, you’ll see results much faster than if you only practice once a week. This will also allow you to retain everything that you have been learning in previous practice sessions.
In the beginning, it is quite easy to forget the details you learned in your practice session, as it is up to muscle memory, and if enough time has gone between sessions, your muscle memory can forget.
Of course, over time, this is no longer an issue! I have quite literally gone years before between practice sessions, only to find I had no problem playing even the most intricate songs on my guitar (of course, I didn’t have calluses anymore).
This brings me to my next point, which is building up your muscles (quite literally), and your calluses.
Practicing 3 to 5 times a week will give you enough practice sessions to build up your muscles. In the beginning, you will likely find your hand gets tired quickly, as it doesn’t naturally have the muscles built up that is required from a guitar. Much like working out at the gym, you are working out these muscles.
As for calluses, you essentially are damaging your skin, and the skin builds back stronger afterward. You need to be able to do this enough, so your skin knows that it should grow back thicker and stronger to defend against the strings.
How much time should you spend playing per day?
So we have nailed down that you should be playing guitar at least 3 to 5 days a week. However, how long should each practice session be? I would generally recommend trying to play 30 minutes in the beginning.
That said, your fingers (and hand muscles) will likely let you know when you are done. For some people, that could be 5 minutes (if this is you, maybe think about purchasing some lighter strings), and another can play for an hour, it really is up to your body.
Either way, listen to what your hand is telling you (metaphorically), and stop when it says it is time. Now, the next day you should try to play just a little longer than the day before. If it helps, you can write down how long you played that day in a notepad.
Just like working out the rest of your body, you want to see progress, and keeping note of how long you are playing will help you see your progress.
When should you practice less than three days a week?
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule of playing 3 to 5 times a week.
- If you have an injury that prevents you from playing guitar.
- Your fingers hurt to play. Of course, you need to power through it sometimes, but if it becomes too much, it is okay to allow your fingers to heal before your next practice session.
- You are going on vacation. Seriously, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t play.
How often should you play guitar with others?
I can’t express how helpful playing guitar with others is. Even in the beginning stages, when you have no idea what you are doing, you should be learning from others.
Even after years of playing guitar, I have found myself learning new strum patterns, new ways of playing chords, and more, many times from people with less experience than me.
Playing in a band is great, but even just playing with another guitarist, fiddling around with different notes can make a huge difference. You will quickly find yourself growing in your confidence, and in your quality of playing.
I have also found that other musicians are extremely happy to encourage you in your journey, and are more than happy to help you learn from them.
That said, if you can play with another musician at least once per week, you will find your progress on the guitar grows exponentially over if you don’t.
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Can I learn guitar in 2 years?
If you follow the practice guidelines above, you should have no problem being more than confident to play guitar in front of other people, even if on stage! Playing guitar is a ton of fun, and if you put in the work, you will get the benefit of knowing how to play an extremely versatile instrument, that many just wish they could play.
Just think, if you did anything 520 different times (this is how many practice sessions you will have if you play for 2 years, 5 days a week), how good you would be at that one thing. Don’t sell yourself short, and just know that you can do it, and all the hard work will pay off.
So, to answer the question of how many times a week should you practice guitar, it really depends on your goals and schedule. However, in general, you should be practicing guitar three to five days a week if you want to see results in your playing!
And, if you can play with others, even better! Don’t forget to have fun too. After all, that is why we play guitar in the first place! Thanks for reading. Until next time, keep on pickin’!