If you’re wondering how long should you practice guitar a day – well, there isn’t one solid answer. Instead, it depends on various factors, like your goals and skill level.
However, you should see positive results with only 15 minutes of practice per day if you’re a beginner. If you’re more advanced, then you should practice anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes a day. Try to avoid long sessions at a time. Take small breaks every 20-30 minutes to get the best possible results.
Beginners should focus on building finger strength and stamina, so 2-hour sessions can be impossible for them. It’s not really about how long you practice but rather how well you practice learning guitar.
Read on to figure out how to make the most of your practice time.
How Often You Should Practice and Why
Starting to learn guitar can be quite an uncomfortable experience. Your fingers aren’t accustomed to the steel strings, especially the fifth and the sixth strings, which can even cut into your fingers while playing them for too long.
Your fingers also aren’t used to making the unusual shapes needed to play most of the chords yet.
It can take weeks till you start developing your guitar calluses and actually start enjoying the process of learning guitar. Through this initial period of learning the ropes and getting accustomed to your guitar, we suggest playing 15-30 minutes every day, depending on your preference.
Later on, you can increase this as you start getting into more music theory and have tougher hands.
Things to Know Before You Start
Here are a few things you should know before you start your journey to learn guitar.
Tune Your Guitar
An untuned guitar never sounds good. Make sure to tune your guitar every time you play it. Extended sessions or the guitar being stored away for a while can cause it to go out of tune. There is almost no point practicing on an out-of-tune guitar.
Use an app to do this at first, and later on, after a lot of practice, you will have enough ear training to do it on your own.
Use a Metronome
Using a metronome helps you develop control and rhythm over your playing as it enables you to lock in the rhythm of your songs. It allows you to stay on the beat, as we humans tend to speed up or fall behind.
If you’re learning guitar (or any other complex skill), just remember that consistent practice is critical. Practicing just 10 minutes a day is still better than practicing an hour only on weekends. In other words, have consistent shorter sessions rather than inconsistent longer ones to speed up the guitar learning process.
You need a lot of focus to learn the guitar. For efficient practice, make sure you’re in a place where you won’t be disturbed, and preferably where you can’t hear any external sounds.
Turn off the tv if it’s playing and put your phone on silent so your time practicing isn’t interrupted.
How Many Hours Should You Spend Playing Guitar in a Day?
Answering this questing isn’t easy as everyone is different, and picks up the guitar differently.
Practicing more than an hour a day will be very unproductive as humans tend to lose focus by that time. We don’t recommend doing that.
Studies have proven that there is little benefit from practicing more than 4 hours a day, and the gains usually start to decline significantly after the 2-hour mark.
It’s best to start small and work your way up. Take breaks in the middle of your guitar practice schedule. Start your guitar journey with a 10 to 15 minutes practice session a day but remember to be consistent.
If you’re busy and can’t spend all 7 days a week practicing due to work, family, or other hobbies, then it’s perfectly fine to just practice for 4 or 5 times a week.
Why Long Practice Sessions Are Bad
Guitar practice requires a lot of focus, and humans can only focus for a limited time before they get tired. Usually, our brains only remember the beginning and end of a practice session. For this reason, spaced repetition can be better than long, grueling sessions.
The thing to remember is that the longer the practice session is, the less effective per time committed it becomes. Adding 10 minutes to a 15-minute session is fine as the session is still short enough that all of the time will be effective.
In contrast, adding 10 minutes to 2 hours of practice is far less effective as you cannot get much out of adding them. Instead, if you really want to practice for a longer time, divide your sessions.
This means that if you’re doing 2-hour sessions per day, then maybe try having 1 hour in the morning and an additional hour in the afternoon instead.
This way, every time you pick up your guitar again, you will feel fresh and motivated and it will make a big difference.
Certain muscle groups in your hands and wrists can also be compromised by over-exertion for long periods. Elite athletes don’t start out there, and just like them, you need to improve your strength gradually and safely.
Exceptions to the Rule
If you do prefer one longer session while playing guitar, break your time down into smaller chunks.
You could learn songs for 15 minutes, then practice scales to improve your muscle memory for 15 minutes, then practice a new guitar technique you haven’t tried before, work on some bad habits, and repeat.
You could also stop playing completely just for 5-10 minutes at a time to let what you’ve learned sink in.
Imagine if you were with a guitar teacher, they wouldn’t just have you drilling something over and over for the hour you’re with them. They’d use their time to break things down into chunks.
Sometimes longer sessions can be good depending on exactly what you’re working on. For example, techniques that require hours upon hours of drilling to get right. But remember, it can still be good to intermittently stop practicing and come back to it later.
Why Deliberate Practice Time Is Better Than Mindless Repetition
Learning how to practice effectively is something that most beginner guitarists don’t really focus on. Now just learning your favorite songs and a dozen chord progressions can help you around a campfire but will it make your guitar skills sharp? Not likely.
So, what separates a focused practice routine from a mindless one? Most people choose to practice the painless way. It’s just to practice a piece for 30 minutes or repeat a tune 10 times. Plan your practice session out in advance and bring your best focus.
We can’t stress how much this impacts your guitar learning experience.
Here are a few problems with the mindless practice.
It Can Be a Waste of Time
Not only is a mindless practice session a waste of time, but it may also be bad for you. It’s because there isn’t any proper guidance, and you may end up strengthening bad habits and patterns, making you mess up more and more in the future.
Later on, it may be challenging for you to fix these mistakes as you have already strengthened the unwanted habits. Correcting these habits in the future may require a lot of time and effort, so it’s best to avoid this way of learning in the first place.
An exception to this could be playing songs on your acoustic guitar so you get used to not having to think while you play. It’s a good precursor to singing and playing at the same time.
You Won’t Be Consistent
Not having the techniques right means that you won’t be able to produce the same results consistently.
Not only does it hurt your confidence, but it also gives you that hint of doubt, meaning you’re constantly suffering from stage fright.
The only way to gain stage confidence is if you’re able to perfectly nail your piece every single time. You should be able to play it on demand and know your weaknesses and strengths.
Usually, when you play, it’s not a conscious mode, so if mid-playing, you do switch to a more conscious way of playing guitar, you may end up panicking and not play well.
It’s Boring and Feels Like a Chore
A mindless guitar-playing session is more of a chore than a fun activity.
You may have been told about the infamous 10,000-hour rule. To some extent, it is an excellent way of learning but what some people tend to forget is that 10,000 hours of bad practice is still worse than 100 hours of good training.
Instead, we need to focus our time and effort on specific goals rather than the ‘practice this passage 20 times’ method. This will help you produce the results you want when you want.
Deliberate Practice When You Play Guitar
This is a structured method of practice where instead of trial and error, you experiment with how you learn and set clear goals for what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. Often, focused practice is prolonged and involves the repetition of small sections rather than a portion of the song.
This also requires a lot of analysis as you monitor your progress in real-time by recording it and constantly looking for new ways to improve your work.
You have to listen to what you play and figure out what went wrong. For example, maybe a note was too loud or too soft, perhaps it was too sharp or flat.
Now let’s assume that one note was a little too sharp. So, what do we do now? Considering that note was just a bit too sharp, you’ve likely got your fingers one fret too high.
This cycle of playing and listening and correcting your errors is a significantly better way to spend practicing guitar than to just play and learn.
Most beginner guitarists do not take the time to stop and analyze, so they may face many problems in the long run.
How to Have a Successful Practice Session
You can’t become a great guitar player if you practice guitar but don’t have any skills to show for it. You need to have consistent progress to be a better guitarist.
Most beginners get stuck in a loop of watching a Youtube video and playing along to it. This is fine if you just want to learn a song to play for your friends, but this approach is detrimental to genuinely understanding the guitar.
Instead, what you should do is to know what you want to do. Plan out your sessions very carefully. This not only includes setting how long you want to practice guitar but also what time you want to practice and making notes to help you correct your mistakes and errors.
Assume that your main focus for a session is to learn a strumming pattern.
- Start by watching several guides on how to do it and the mistakes people make.
- Now try it yourself and record your playing so you can know where you’re going wrong.
- Lastly, try to fix the error so it doesn’t get embedded and negatively affect your playing.
Here are a few key things to know for more effective practice.
Duration of the Session
Limit your guitar playing sessions to a time where you can stay focused. There is no point in playing the guitar when you can’t even focus on learning. These can be short 10 or 20 minute sessions for beginners or younger students, while older or more skilled individuals can have 30 to 90 minutes of guitar lessons.
Timing of Your Practice
You should always practice at a time where you feel the most energized. Before you even pick up the guitar, track times of the day when you feel the most energetic. Some people may feel the most active in the morning, while some feel it in the afternoon.
Try to practice in these periods when you naturally feel productive as at these times you will be feeling fresh and focused.
Choosing The Material for When You Play Guitar
You know how many days and how much time out of those days you can dedicate to your daily practice.
Now, it’s beneficial to list out the material you wish to master.
If you commit 45 minutes to practice every day, you can choose to work on guitar theory, chord changes, or alternate picking techniques. Within these 45 minutes, divide them equally so you can touch upon every topic for the day.
Some tougher-to-learn material may need to be touched upon every day over a few days, weeks, months, or even years, so alternate your regular practice schedule to easily fit in the extra work.
Make sure to prioritize the more critical topics and leave the others for later.
By breaking up and dividing the material over a few days, you won’t get bored of the same thing while spending split time on each subject, which keeps it fresh and exciting.
Setting up Goals for When You Play Guitar
This is one of the most important things you should be doing. Make a habit of using a notebook to take notes of your lessons, track your progress, and write your goals.
You should have your goals laid out in steps. Jumping straight to barre chords before you learn basic chords won’t only just demotivate you, but it’s tough. The key here is the get into the zone where you have a clear intention on what you want to learn in this session.
This way, you know what type of sound you want to produce so you can start to produce it consistently. As soon as you figure something out or fix any of your errors, make sure to write it down.
As you practice guitar more, you will learn that writing everything down in a journal helps give purpose to your practice routine.
Practice Smart, Not Hard
Sometimes, you may notice that a particular note isn’t playing the way you want it to, which can happen for several reasons. What it means is that you need more practice and not just an unengaged practice session. Sometimes you may need to try a new strategy altogether or a different technique.
If you keep playing the same notes and repeating the same mistakes, then you’ll end up being frustrated and giving up. Instead, take a step back, analyze and brainstorm a different solution to your problem.
Guitar skill is not only the ability to play but also the ability to improvise, so keep trying new things till you land on something you’re able to work with efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Hours Should I Spend Practicing Guitar as a Beginner Daily?
It’s best to start slow if you’re a beginner. You don’t want to injure your fingers by pushing too hard on the strings as your calluses haven’t developed yet. We recommend starting with 15 minutes of practice every day.
It’s essential to follow a guide with clear goals if you’re studying on your own. What you learn may compound on itself, allowing you to grow at a faster rate.
Do I Need to Practice Guitar for Four Hours Every Day?
Most of us don’t have enough hours to put aside to learn to play the guitar. But being consistent with your practice is what’s essential. Taking your guitar lessons regularly and just practicing half an hour per day is more than enough to put you on the right track.
The pace at which you learn depends on how many quality hours you put in. So, 4 hours a day of smart practice for 6 months can get you to become an advanced guitar player, while just putting in 30 minutes per day for 6 months will probably have you at an intermediate level.
Is It Possible to Learn Much Quicker?
Yes, it’s possible. Daily practice with extreme focus allows you to be able to learn much faster. However, as we mentioned, you need consistent, focused practice, and you need to be present and engaged to make this happen.
Spending one day practicing then once again next week is not enough.
Why Is Learning the Guitar So Frustrating?
As a beginner, you expect quick results that you cannot get, as guitar learning takes a long time. When your abilities don’t match your expectation, you can start feeling frustrated.
You can easily overcome this by having structured learning and challenging yourself often by setting smaller more realistic goals for yourself.
Can Guitar Be Self-Taught?
Of course! In this new era of technology, you have thousands of videos and guides to learn the guitar. However, we still recommend learning the guitar from a teacher who can guide you properly and correct your mistakes so they don’t become embedded in your playing.
Is One Hour a Day of Practicing Guitar Enough?
One hour of practice is a great way to see rapid improvements in your playing abilities. However, as we recommended, it’s best to break up your sessions with a 10-minute break after every half an hour.
We recommend starting slow as learning the guitar is a long and arduous process for beginners, and you don’t want to overload your brain with information. We recommend starting with 10 to 20-minute sessions in the beginning.
How long should I practice guitar a day to get good? ›
Consistency is key – try to practice guitar for at least 15 minutes per day, five days a week, but also follow these tips: Avoid long and unbroken sessions. Don't practice for more than an hour at a time. Set short breaks if you plan on practicing for more than 20 minutes.How long do professional guitarists practice each day? ›
We've gone through advice from some of the biggest names in metal. There are many paths to reach the level of a professional musician. For guitarists, the variance can be anywhere between ten minutes a day to 8 hours a day. The key to all of these guitarists is not free time.Is 30 minutes of guitar practice enough? ›
If playing guitar is your hobby, then 20-30 minutes of practice is enough for you. On the other side, if you want to be on a bit higher level, and maybe if you need one hour of practice per day. If you want to play in a professional sense or be in a band, then one to two hours a day is enough.Is 2 hours of guitar practice enough? ›
The time needed to invest in practicing the guitar is completely dependent on your goals. Serious guitarists who want to play for a career need to practice around 4 hours a day, while a casual player who wants to learn fast needs only half an hour every day.How long does it take to be perfect on guitar? ›
How long does it take to learn guitar: Your first 6 to 18 months. After six months, you should start to feel comfortable and know your way around a guitar. You might not be busting out amazing solos quite yet, but you've mastered the basic chords and you feel comfortable playing.What should I do everyday to get better at guitar? ›
- Learn how to bend. ...
- Record yourself. ...
- Practice a technique every day. ...
- Try to make music with two notes. ...
- Don't practice bad habits. ...
- Know what you're going to practice. ...
- Buy a new guitar pedal. ...
- Learn a cover song.
But it usually averages out to around 6 hours a day, 6 out of 7 days a week. On Sundays, I take a break and only do 1 hour of maintenance practice. So that comes out to about 37 hours practice a week, and about 26 days of serious practice in a month. I practice in my apartment, or in a hotel room if I'm traveling.Is there such a thing as too much guitar practice? ›
However, doing so can have some serious consequences. Results of too much practice can manifest in depression, burn out, and physical injury. In fact, overuse injuries are not only prevalent among professional musicians, they can occur from too much practice.How many hours do pro guitarists practice? ›
Most professional guitar players practice 180 minutes — 240 minutes each day.Can I learn guitar in 2 years? ›
If you practice enough, you could be playing most songs in 2 years. Of course, you'll need to practice them before you can actually play them, but learning a song at this stage is very quick, as you'll have mastered most technical elements already.
What is a good guitar practice routine? ›
- 5 Minutes – Warm Up/Stretching.
- 5 Minutes – Chromatic scale ascending & descending (start tempo: 80bpm)
- 10 Minutes – Chord Study.
- 10 Minutes – Speed training with metronome over major and minor scales (alternate picking) (start tempo: 80bpm)
You will need to set 20 minutes a day aside for your practice sessions. No more and no less. And you are asked to do this for 21 days straight. Yes, you can skip a day or two but the daily repetition and practice regiment is the key to your success.Can you get good at guitar in a year? ›
Depending on your commitment to practice you can become a good hobby player in as little as 6 months or as long as 4 years.Does grip strength help with guitar? ›
One of the surest ways to make guitar playing easier is to supplement your practicing with grip strength training. There are several popular methods for improving your hand strength, and they'll all help your guitar playing in subtle ways no matter what your style is.How often should I take breaks when practicing guitar? ›
I assure you that your practice will be more productive and your hands and body more comfortable and relaxed if you take at least a five-minute break every 20-30 minutes. You will play better after the break.What is the fastest way to get good at guitar? ›
What is the fastest way to get good at guitar?How long does it realistically take to learn guitar? ›
How long does it realistically take to learn guitar?Can I get good at guitar in 3 months? ›
Can I get good at guitar in 3 months?What not to do when learning guitar? ›
In my experience, the most common mistake beginning guitarists make is using too much force when pressing the string to the fretboard. Using too much force is especially common in beginners because some believe that pressing down on the strings and the act of playing guitar should be physically strenuous.What is the most important guitar practice? ›
Ear Training – 20 Minutes
One of the most important elements of any practice routine, and the one that many guitarists avoid, is ear training. Though ear training is tough, it's the biggest reason why you see growth in your playing over time.
Why is getting good at guitar so hard? ›
Learning to play the guitar is so difficult because it requires muscle memory and knowledge that cannot be obtained in a short period of time. It requires repeated, disciplined practice that can feel discouraging and overwhelming to the person attempting to learn how to play.How many hours a day did Mozart practice? ›
According to Mozart's own statement, he often composed late in the evening until 1 o'clock in the morning. With this information, you can add up the hours Mozart spent composing every day. 2 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the afternoon, 2 hours late at night…that's 8 hours of pure composing time a day!How many hours a day did Chopin practice? ›
Frédéric Chopin: 2 hours a day
The great Polish Romantic swore by no more than two hours of practice a day. Writing to one of his pupils, Delfina, he wrote: “Once again I repeat – don't play more than two hours a day; that is quite enough during the summer.”
Tour rehearsals typically last eight hours or more. You read through the lyrics and get a feel for the music and the show. Then, you'll run through the songs, usually 12 or more with alternative arrangements.Why do I get bored of playing guitar? ›
If your playing motivation is at an all time low, it might be because you've veered too far from the path you set out on. Ask yourself why you wanted to play the guitar in the first place, and see if you're still on track towards that goal. If you're not, then it might be time for a course correct.Do guitar players make mistakes? ›
You will make mistakes. It's a reality that every musician must learn to accept. The big difference between professional and amateur performers isn't necessarily the amount of mistakes they make, but in how they handle those mistakes.Is it okay to clean guitar with alcohol? ›
We don't recommend it. Rubbing alcohol may dry out the wood of the fingerboard, and may damage certain plastic materials on the guitar, and in some cases, even damage the guitar's finish. We've found that it can even make your strings squeak more! Your best bet is to use a tried-and-tested string cleaner and lubricant.Is 20 years old too late to learn guitar? ›
You are never too old to learn guitar. You can start learning guitar at any age. While younger people tend to learn faster, you are still capable of learning guitar as a beginner whether you are 30, 40, 60, or even 70.Is guitar easier than piano? ›
For a beginner, it is easier to learn and memorize the notes on a piano because they repeat in the same pattern across all the keys. To make things even easier, most piano teachers will start off with teaching only the white keys for adults (a total of 7), or all black keys for kids (a total of 5).Can guitar be self taught? ›
So, yes, you can successfully learn guitar by yourself. However, it will go faster for you and save you some trouble if you use good resources. And some things about learning guitar will go smoother with a skilled teacher. But it is entirely achievable to learn guitar on your own!
What makes a good session guitarist? ›
In simple terms, you must be an excellent guitar player, a musician, and a cool dude known by many producers/artists/engineers as a guy who can quickly come up and record great guitar parts. Being funny helps a bit too! Generally, we can divide the skills needed to become a session guitarist into 3 main categories.Is 27 too late to learn guitar? ›
Is 27 too late to learn guitar?Is 1 hour a day enough to learn guitar? ›
Is 1 hour a day enough to learn guitar?What are the 4 best guitar chords? ›
Let's not beat around the bush any longer - The first 4 chords you need to learn as a beginner player are E major, E minor, A major and A minor.How long does it take to reach Grade 1 guitar? ›
The Grade 1 Guitar exam is for candidates who have been learning between six months – one year and have mastered the key basic skills. There are two types of exam available at Grade 1, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.What is the success rate of learning guitar? ›
Here, are the true facts: 90% of complete beginners give up playing the guitar after barely four months of learning. If you're still playing after four months (from being a complete beginner), then you already belong to the top 10% of aspiring guitarists.What do your fingers get when you play too much guitar? ›
How long does it take for calluses to form? Developing calluses on your fingertips can relieve a lot of the initial pain of learning to play guitar. On average, it takes 2 to 4 weeks for calluses to fully form.Does stretching fingers help guitar? ›
Before you even lay a finger on the guitar fretboard, it's beneficial (and important) to spend five or so minutes doing some simple finger stretching exercises. Just as you would warm up and stretch before working out at the gym or playing sport, the same applies for using your fingers!How do you toughen your fingers for guitar playing? ›
Ultimately, the best way to build calluses on your fingers is to play, play, play. Make sure to play every single day, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. The calluses you'll form will need maintenance, so don't take long breaks from playing the guitar once they start to form.How long should I practice guitar day? ›
For most people, 30–90 minutes per day seems to be a good goal. Total beginners may see good results in just 15 minutes per day.
How often do professional guitarists break strings? ›
A professional who plays every day will probably change their strings every three or four gigs. Guitarists who sweat a lot, or play in smoky clubs, or spend hours a day playing, especially playing aggressively, will need to change their strings more often than a player who doesn't.Does playing guitar everyday make you better? ›
It requires focus, which can help take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress. Playing guitar can also improve your motor skills and coordination. The more you play, the better you'll become at it. In turn, this can boost your brainpower.Is 3 hours of guitar practice enough? ›
Is 3 hours of guitar practice enough?Can I learn guitar in 30 days? ›
Can I learn guitar in 30 days?