Why You Should Practice Guitar Every Day


person practicing guitar

If you’re a beginner, you probably wonder what the general rule of thumb is on how often or how long to practice guitar. The answer to this depends on your goals and experience level, but in general it’s a good guideline to try and practice guitar every day.

Why Should You Practice Guitar Every Day?

If you want to be a great guitarist, playing every day will lead to faster progress. You’ll build calluses quickly and progressively build your skill on the instrument over time.

Even if it hurts a little at first, there’s nothing as sweet as making music. The songs may be simple at first, but they get better. After a while, the question of how long to practice guitar a day will be determined by the time you have available, not what you have to spend.

But it may be difficult for some new players to get used to practicing every day. Let’s take a closer look at why I feel this is still a good recommendation.

Benefits of Practicing Guitar Every Day

Playing guitar without stopping: ho... x
Playing guitar without stopping: how to practice playing the neck

It’s good to make a habit of playing every day. You’ll make steady progress if you work on it each day, and you won’t have to worry about skipping a few days and having to start over from where you were before that.

Playing and thinking about music is like building a muscle. You are building the muscles in your fingers, so it’s easier for them to finger the chords. You want it to be second nature.

The more you exercise your fingers, the better they work for you.

Practicing Daily Leads to Faster Results

Anything you set out to learn- from a class on electronics to a new skill like woodworking, is going to take months, maybe even a year, for you to become good at it. There’s no substitute for practice.

With the guitar, what are your goals? Do you want to play? Do you want to be good? How about amazing? Depending on what your goals are, it will take time and effort for you to get there.

You’ll notice your progress. Not all at once. But suddenly, you’ll be able to do something you couldn’t last week, or you’ll know a new song. Celebrate your achievements. But keep practicing. Your goals will tell you how long to practice a guitar a day.

Practicing Guitar Every Day Builds Calluses

That pain in your fingers from fretting chords? It’ll be gone when your calluses form. It takes two to four weeks for them to totally develop, but don’t worry. They start to form quickly if you practice regularly, and you’ll have some relief.

What Happens If You Practice Guitar Every Day? (A Timeline)

Here’s a possible timeline of what your results might look like if you practice guitar every single day. Note – This is very rough and just meant to give a general idea. Some people may achieve these results much slower or faster than others:

  • 1-2 months     Play basic guitar tunes, strumming, and changing chords.
  • 3-6 months     Play songs with a higher difficulty level with some technical challenges like pull-offs and hammer-ons.
  • 1 year             Play songs of an intermediate level, popular tunes, blues, riffs, etc.
  • 2 years           Play most songs with some practice.
  • 2-3 years        Able to improvise after learning some theory.
  • 5-6 years        You’re game for anything.

Why Does It Take So Much Practice to Learn the Guitar?

Because people don’t stick with it every day. Often, beginners pick up their guitar and stick to it for a few days. They get discouraged and put it down for a week or two. Then they decide to pick it up again and put it back down.

If you keep at it steadily, it moves a little faster. This is why daily practice is so important. It takes a few weeks even to learn to change chords. It doesn’t happen overnight. Time is needed to build muscle memory and train your hands to play, so it’s second nature to pull off those technical tricks.

What Should I Practice on Guitar Each Day?

This depends on the guitarist, but we each have a system we follow. I wrote a big guide to 50 acoustic songs that nearly everyone should be able to learn.

Scales are suitable for warming up-you don’t want to start playing when your fingers aren’t ready, chords are essential to practice, music theory is crucial if you’re going to improvise, and of course, you want to work on whatever song you’re learning.

What’s most important is that you do practice, and it’s up to you how long to practice, or what to practice on your guitar every day.

Can You Practice Guitar Too Much?

Repetitive joint injuries are a real thing, especially in stringed instruments such as guitars. It’s always a good idea to use moderation, as you don’t want to damage your hands, to the point where you can’t play anymore. You can practice guitar too much.

More importantly, mindless repetition during endless practice can cause other problems, too.

  • Boredom from constant mindless playing
  • Repeating bad habits
  • No regular progress

One website says you shouldn’t practice more than three hours a day, but it’s up to you how long to practice a guitar a day.

Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?

Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out my favorite resources below:

Best Strings

Elixir Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Unique polymer coating allows strings to last for months or years at a time, making for an exceptional value.
  • Provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for.

Best Guitar

Martin D-18

  • Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever.
  • An excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is what I play myself.

Free Guide

Chords, Tabs & Lessons for 100 Songs

  • This free guide from Acoustic World gives you chords, tabs, and video lesson for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar.
  • I spent hours putting this together all by myself to help you get better at guitar, faster!

Free Book

Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar

  • Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style.
  • Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach.

Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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