View Full Version : How much practice time for a beginner?
12-12-2001, 09:15 AM
Here's an interesting fact: I asked my friend, who is an accomplished violinist and violin teacher, how many hours a beginning violinist should practice a day. I thought, maybe at least 2 or 3 hours a day, in order to get a quick grasp of the instrument.
Interestingly, he emphatically said that the beginning violinist should practice no more than 30 mins. a day. His reasoning was that this would prevent the student from learning bad habits, also, any more practice a day would not have much of an impact on his overall skill. It's not until later on in the student's course of studies that he should increase the amount of practice time, in my friend's opinion.
Since the violin and the guitar are similar instruments, in that they're both stringed and require a similar amount of dexterity, stamina and finger strength, I thought that the same principles would apply to the guitar.
What do you guys think? Especially you who are teachers - how many hours (minutes) do you assign your students to practice a day? Do you feel the same way as my friend, in that a lot practice for a beginner is not necessarily a good thing?
(I would assume that the amount of practice time would differ depending on whether you take lessons or not.)
12-12-2001, 10:42 AM
I'd rather have my students work 5 minutes every day than 2 hours once a week.
I think the key is stamina and concentration, as you grow better, you can focus more on what you play
Check out http://www.zenguitar.com for more details on this
12-12-2001, 03:48 PM
I don't think I'd equate learning the guitar to learning violin. Most of my students really *want* to learn the guitar and play because they enjoy it. I'd imagine most students learning violin are doing so either because it's expected of them or because their parents are making them take lessons.
I usually tell my students to practice when they feel like playing. If you don't enjoy it, there's no point in forcing yourself to play. And if you do enjoy it, there's no point in forcing yourself to stick to a schedule that keeps you from playing.
If you enjoy the guitar and practice often, you'll learn to play better in a faster period of time. If you don't... you may be a great player someday but instead of it taking 5 years it'll take you 10 or 20.
Personally, I've never kept to any type of practice schedule... I don't think I've ever 'practiced' come to think of it, even when I was just beginning.
I just leave the guitar out ready to go at all times, and when I feel like it, I pick it up and play. I might be at it for 5 minutes or 5 hours... just depends on whether I'm getting into it or not.
12-12-2001, 07:38 PM
I totally agree with hootayah...I wouldn't force anyone to practice...just let them do it at their own pace. If they want to practice for only a minute or two or if they want to practice for a whole night. Practice does make perfect but, only if it's when you want to and at your own pace. :)
01-09-2002, 09:46 PM
yeah, i get in as much as i can. today i got in 3 hours, even though i had 80 math problems to do ( tough algebra too) so its like you have to make time if you wanna kick some ass.
01-10-2002, 10:39 AM
Do what you want, but i would never tell a beginner,
to practice 1 0r 3 hours a day.
I alwasy recomend to my beginner students to practice,
each thing they learn from me in sets.
Like 5 to 15 mins on each thing they learn .
01-11-2002, 08:53 PM
I usually practice when I feel like it. But I would say I spend about maybe almost 1-3 hours a day practicing and practicing helps.
My one friend has been playing for 5 years and I've been playing for 2 years and I'm better than him. I'm a faster player, I have a better technique, and have a good ear, we also take music theory, and I actually remember the stuff and the scales and modes, I'm pretty much overall better player than him. He doesn't practice that much and it shows in his playing.
01-12-2002, 11:17 AM
I got the best result and improvement when I practice 1 hour a day.
Now, after 9 years I take more time on compositions and arrangements. Sometime I will spend 3-4 hours working on a peice of music and sometime I will play 30 min of scales, licks and improve solo.
I would say around 30 min to 1 hour daily for beginner would be enough. It's important not to push someone to play because you could really help him to quit. At first, guitar is hard and you need to practice chords, scales and a lot of finger exercises. It's not the most fun things to play and can get boring. 30 minutes of scales can feel like an eternity.
Parrot Head 1970
01-12-2002, 03:41 PM
So long as your practice is focused and your technique (especially left hand) is sound, you can practice as much as you want. I'd never force anyone to practice but, I'd never discourage it. If you wish to practice more than an hour a day make sure you warm up properly. Do it in half hour pieces followed by time to reflect on what you've accomplished and what you wish to accomplish. That way you'll see progression rather than sit frustrated on a line or part you haven't got yet.
01-12-2002, 03:46 PM
I forgot something. Record yourself. And listen, you'll be amazed.
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