This Guitar Practice Strategy Helps You Get Better With Limited Time

by Tom Hess
Double Your Guitar Speed e-Guide

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Do you struggle with not having enough guitar practice time?

Or perhaps...

You are unsure about what things to practice within your limited amount of time?

You've come to the right place.

Here is why:

You might not be able to increase the amount of your guitar practice time…

...but you can make the time you have a lot more productive.

And when you do...

... it won't matter how much time you practice guitar anymore.

(Since you'll improve from each minute you spend with your guitar.)

This article and video will show you how.

To begin ... 

Here is a video shows what to practice on guitar to speed up your progress.

(No matter how much guitar practice time you have).

Check it out:

Most guitar players overestimate how much guitar practice time they need each day to reach their goals.

Double Your Guitar Speed e-Guide

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You do not need a lot of guitar practice time to see very good results. Consistency, frequency, efficiency and effectiveness of your guitar practice are most important. (More on this below.)

Each guitar practice strategy below improves your playing even when your practice time is limited:

How To Practice Guitar With A Limited Amount Of Time

Guitar Practice Strategy #1: Maximize Efficiency And Effectiveness Of Your Guitar Practice Time

Your guitar practice is efficient when you don’t waste time on things that don’t move you towards your goals.

You guitar practice is effective when you are able to achieve the results you want in your guitar playing.

Guitar practice tip: become very specific about your guitar playing challenges and isolate them. This helps you maximize your guitar practice time and improve your playing much faster.


ascending scale sequence

…you may have trouble with fretting hand accuracy every time you have to shift from string 4 to string 3 (the notes are circled in red). Most guitarists would practice this entire fragment instead of isolating the challenging notes and mastering them out of context first.

This makes your guitar practice effective, but very inefficient.

What to do instead: Identify exactly what the challenging notes are and why they are challenging. Isolate the problem and drill it without playing the rest of the phrase. Put the problem back into context after it is mastered. 

This process makes your guitar practice a lot more efficient, no mater how much time you have to practice. 

This guitar practice video shows how to make your guitar practice more efficient and ffective:

This guitar speed guide shows how to double your guitar speed and make your guitar practice very efficient and extremely effective.

Guitar Practice Strategy #2: Don’t Let A Single Day Go By Without Practicing Guitar

of your guitar practice is much more important than the amount of time you practice.

Don’t be discouraged if you cannot find a large block of guitar practice time. You may not have 1-2 hours to practice guitar every day…but everyone has 10-30 minutes to practice guitar. We all have some time for things that are really important to us.

Guitar Practice Strategy #3: Use Guitar Practice Items That Have A High Degree Of Transferability

A musical skill is transferable, when it helps you improve multiple elements of your guitar playing. (Example: fretting hand technique, picking hand technique, 2 hand synchronization, shifting from string to string, muting string noise, fretboard awareness, improvisation and many more…).

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Guitar practice materials that improve more than one of these elements at the same time have some degree of transferability.

Level of guitar practice transferability is determined by 2 factors: 

  • The number of secondary musical areas being improved (besides the primary area).

  • The size of the improvement in the secondary areas. 

String skipping is a technique with a very high degree of transferability. It trains your technique on both hands, challenges your 2-hand synchronization, and forces you to focus on muting unwanted string noise. The benefits of improving your string skipping technique transfer very well to other aspects of guitar playing.

Legato technique (as another example) has a much lower degree of transferability.  It focuses only on left hand technique (and some elements of muting string noise).

Question: “Tom Hess, are you saying that I should not practice legato??”

Answer: Of course not. Practice and master legato if it is part of your goals and you have enough practice time to focus on it. But don’t make legato practice a high priority when your guitar practice time is limited.

Guitar Practice Strategy #4: Use Effective Guitar Practice Schedules

Most guitar players waste 40-70% of their guitar practice time by not using effective guitar practice schedules. They under-practice some skills and over-practice others, practice elements of their guitar playing in the wrong order and practice mindlessly. These inefficiencies make it hard to reach your musical goals.

Your schedules must be specific to your musical goals and flexible enough to adjust to your progress and any changes in your guitar practice time.

This article helps you create effective guitar practice schedules.

Guitar Practice Strategy #5: Maximize Guitar Practice Time You Have Away From The Guitar

You have a lot more free time during the day than you realize. You can use this time to improve your musical skills even without the guitar in your hands.

Examples include:

  • Practicing ear training (singing scales, arpeggios and melodies) without your guitar.
  • Studying music theory concepts.
  • Practicing fretboard visualization by quizzing yourself on note names and writing out scale patterns on fretboard diagrams.

  • Writing musical ideas away from your instrument.

  • Improvising with your voice over a backing track.

  • Thinking through your guitar practice challenges and solving them in your mind.

Use the time you spend commuting to and from work (or school), eating, taking a shower, falling asleep as opportunities to improve your guitar playing. This time adds up quickly and helps you become a better guitarist.

Guitar Practice Strategy #6: Track Your Musical Progress

Tracking your results is just as important for your progress as practicing. It helps you assess the effectiveness of your guitar practice and make the right adjustments to make your efforts even more productive.

Tip: schedule a few minutes to track your musical progress each week and identify your current strengths and weaknesses as a guitarist. Use your progress as basis from which to create your guitar practice schedules.

Apply each guitar practice strategy to maximize your musical progress and become a better guitarist faster.

This guitar technique guide helps you increase your guitar speed and make your guitar practice efficient and effective.

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Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful fulltime careers in the music industry.

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