Guitar Practice Advice: Using The 80/20 Rule To Get Better Guitar Playing Faster
by Tom Hess
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- 80% of your guitar practice time brings you only about 20% of your total guitar playing progress.
- 20% of your guitar practice time brings you only about 80% of your total guitar playing progress.
No, I didn't just pull these numbers out of the air. These statements are based on Pareto's Principle - (The 80/20 Rule). It would be too lengthy to go into detail about the origins and facts behind Pareto's Principle here, but I'll just tell you Pareto's Principle has been proven true in many areas of human life, industries, economies, time management and many other areas of the human existence. It affects us all, not just in your guitar practice, but in everything.
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Let’s say there are two players (we'll call them John and David), the first player (John) does guitar practice for 30 minutes a day and makes tons of guitar playing progress and the other guy (David) practices 90 minutes a day and makes less guitar playing progress than John. What are the two things you might expect David to say about John?
- "John must be practicing guitar more than I am, so of course he is getting better results."
- "John must have more natural musical talent than I do."
In our example the first statement cannot be true. Although it is possible the second statement could be true in rare cases, it is not as likely as it would seem. David failed to see that John's better results probably were due to what he focused on and how effective his guitar practice time was.
To be effective you must have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish during your guitar practice session, then you must analyze your current skill level in each area you will be practicing. Then you are ready to implement the 80/20 rule into your guitar practice time which I state as this:
- Any weak area that is preventing your strengths from being used to the fullest potential, is a weakness you must overcome as soon as possible. These weaknesses are part of your important 20% that you should focus on, because overcoming these weaknesses will likely bring you 80% of the total guitar playing progress you want.
- Any weakness that does not interfere with the implementation of your strengths to the fullest potential is usually non-essential. These weak areas are part of your non-essential 80% of what you probably currently focus on that will likely bring you only 20% of the total guitar playing progress you want.
If you are having a hard time following this, it probably is because you have not sufficiently researched Pareto's Principle.
If you change this one approach to your guitar practice time on a consistent basis, your results will massively improve. You can accomplish a lot of positive forward momentum in your guitar playing even with limited guitar practice time. But please do not misunderstand me, I am not implying, in any way, that short guitar practice sessions are as good as longer ones, nor that short practice sessions are a substitute for longer periods of serious guitar practice time. What I am saying is "effective short guitar practice sessions" can be very valuable when longer sessions are impossible.
If you already know that tomorrow, you will have only 20 minutes of guitar practice time possible, you might be tempted to just say, "forget it, what can I accomplish in 20 minutes? I'll wait for the next day when I know I will have an hour for guitar practice. Don't do this to yourself, because daily consistency is the best fuel for forward momentum. Use that 20 minutes and pack it with practicing on what really matters, don't sit around and play a bunch of stuff you already know how to do well. Learn more getting results with your guitar practice while having limited time in this FREE guitar practice video.