Practice Your Guitar in Just 20 minutes

Modern life is super busy, so people don’t have enough time to practice their guitars. But not everything is lost! With just 20min daily, you can build a routine that can help your improve your skills. Your can get a lot done with your guitar in just 20 minutes.

The reality is that, due to daily activities, guitarists don’t have enough time to practice. This is specially true when one need to have long periods of time for practice.

Despite these problems, if you want to evolve your skills fast, you need the guitar to be in your hands as often as possible.

Constant Practice

In this situation, it is better to adopt a routine of practice for 10-20 minutes every day. Dois this is preferable to dedicate 4 hours in only one day of the week.

No matter how much time your have, getting into the rhythm of regularly picking up your guitar is needed. Taking the time for a quick practice session is a habit that is shared by most famous guitar players.

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Ideas for Your 20 min Practice

So if you don’t have enough time for a full practice session, but you have 10-15 minutes to use, here are some of the topics you can practice during your 20 minute session:

  • Chord changes: this is a useful exercise. What you need to do is to switch between a bar chord and an open chord, for example, for F major to A minor, and vice versa.
  • If you spend just two minutes going over and over this chord change, you will improve your ability to do it at a higher level.
  • Start slowly, then each day increase the tempo a little bit, so you can master the skill.
  • The key for this exercise is to focus, and hone in on one skill. Doing this, you will improve in a short period of time.

Here is another example of shot time practice:

  • Work on a song you want to memorize.
  • Play the parts of the song you want slowly.
  • Keep practicing until you can play the song from beginning to end, without hiccups.
    This will give you a chance to actually play some music! You need to have fun in your practice to keep you fresh and focused.

Listen to a song on a CD and jam along.

  • This is an excellent way to improve your ear.
  • Try to get as much as you can from live music. At first, it may seem very difficult, but if you do this everyday you will start to notice common patterns.
  • Leaning to play by ear will make you a faster and better player.
    This is a great way to improve your playing, and itís particularly suitable for short practice sessions.

Some More Ideas for your 20 min Practice

blankAs you get better in your daily practice, you may be able to do these steps faster. In that case, you can incorporate other tasks, for example:

Work on a new guitar lick:

  • This is a way to improve your ear and playing skills.
  • Some licks are pretty easy, so you can learn them in a few minutes.
  • Repeat the lick until you master it.

Train different picking patterns

  • Picking is a very important skill to play solo guitar.
  • The more you practice your picking the faster you’ll progress.
  • Try different patterns, but take only one pattern per day, so you can make quick improvements.

Learn Scales

  • Scales are an essential tool that great player know inside and out.
  • Start with a simple scale, like the pentatonic.
  • Go up and down the scale for a few minutes.
  • Change positions for the scale each day.
  • When you get pretty good, start with simple solos using the notes in the scale.
  • Do this everyday, with different scales, until you master it.

Improve Your Speed

  • blankYou can use your scale knowledge to improve speed
  • Start with simple scales
  • Play faster during a short period: 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Do this every day, until you master high speed scales.

Use Your Creativity

blankIf you have little time to play, you need to use your creativity even more. Try to combine the exercises I mentioned, so you can learn two things at the same time.

This will improve your speed and knowledge of the instrument.

One thing you want to avoid is to make this process boring… If you get bored of playing the guitar, you will quiet in a few days without making any progress. Whatever you do, try to make it interesting for you so you get excited about guitar playing every single day.

Create Your Own Songs

Another useful exercise is to use your creativity to invent new songs. It may seem strange and difficult at the beginning, but I guarantee that it will become easier as you practice it.

For example, pick a particular style (pop rock, let’s say), and create a chord sequence. Then, you can sing a line along with this chord sequence, or you can create your own guitar solo. It is a fun way to learn many things as you go.

Have Your Guitar Ready

blankOne tip that will help you is to always have the guitar ready to play. In my home, I always have a guitar in the living room. This way, if I’m watching TV or siting in the couch, I can always grab the guitar and start playing. It has helped me to keep playing even if I didn’t plan it.

You can find the best arrangement for you. The idea is to have a guitar ready to play whenever you have a few minutes of time. This will keep your momentum going, so you never skip a single day, even if you have just a few minutes.

Start Your Practice

You may not think these short practice sessions help much, but doing this builds up your skills fast. You’ll surprise yourself by how much you improve just be having the guitar in your hands regularly.

However, you don’t want to solely rely on these quick practice sessions. Like most things, you need to strike a balance. A good way of finding that balance is to set up a routine.

When you have a routine, you will find it gets easier to find the time for practice. Once you’re in a constant habit of practicing regularly, you’ll find it harder to break out.