How Long Is a Piece of String?
The blessing and curse of this question is that there is no straight forward answer to how many hours a day you should be practising the guitar. This will depend from person to person, and will also depend on other factors such as how much spare time a person realistically has per day to dedicate to their practice. This will also vary depending on the age of the student. If a child student realistically has 15-30 minutes free after school before they eat dinner to then start winding up for the day, they may find that this amount is seeing good results in the progression of their understanding of the guitar, meaning 15-30 minutes a day is a good target amount for a younger player.
However an adult may not find those 30 minutes quite long enough for the information to sink in since they may have many other things on their mind such as work commitments, taking care of their kids, and making sure that all of their bills are paid! An adult student may need closer to an hour of practice a day before they feel more comfortable with their progression from week to week, and before they start seeing some results. The important thing to remember is that this is all totally relative to the person, and should be personally measured against how the student feels they are progressing on the guitar. Think of it like a graph, the more practice increases, the more your improvement as a guitarist will increase!
Don’t Be Lazy!
Now don’t think because you’re busy that means that practising once a week or less is going to get you the results that you want on the guitar! The truth is that everyone is busy and has multiple commitments to balance, the trick is to effectively manage your time to set aside time to practice. I see many students of all ages come into their lessons and give me excuses why they didn’t practice at all over the past week. Although everyone has busy weeks and months, your guitar playing will unfortunately not magically improve on its own, so it’s important to set aside the time if you really do want to see the results.
Consistent & Regular Practice
Although the secret to improving on the guitar is practice (which is hardly a secret!), I think that the hidden secret is consistent and regular practice. Shorter but more frequent bursts are always more effective than one long practice session per week for example, so keep this in mind when scheduling in your practice time. By following this method, you are allowing your brain multiple sittings to absorb the information to be able to retain more than it would have if you crammed it all in on one day of the week. Give it a try!
But Don’t Stop There!
So we’ve established that there’s not really any magic number for the question “how many hours should you practice guitar a day?”, but if we had to pick a number it would probably be between 15-60 minutes per day. But what if you reach the hour mark and you still feel like playing a little longer? Then by all means keep on going! You may reach a point in your practice session where you’re not really working on challenging pieces or scales or theory, but rather you are playing through some old favourites of yours or jamming to a backing track. Don’t feel as though you have to stop, since this will be a great way to boost your morale and improve your overall musicality. In fact if you get to this stage in your practice session, then it probably means that your practice routine is proving to be effective!