We’ve all experienced it – sometimes life just gets in the way of playing guitar.
Whether it’s work, a job, or just life in general, sometimes it can be hard to always make time for playing guitar. Sometimes taking a week off can help with getting through a plateau, but any longer than that and your fingers may start slowing down or you might forget how to play some of your songs. That is why it is important to always make time for at least a small amount of practice during your busy schedule. Picking your guitar up for just half an hour can be enough to keep you in the zone and keep you improving.
Depending on your goals as a guitarist, you will need to try and follow some sort of practice schedule. Once a week may be enough to keep you from dropping the guitar altogether, but to consistently improve you will need to put in at least a few hours a week spread over a few days. If you haven’t played guitar in a few weeks, then your fingers will take a little longer than usual to get used to playing the guitar again, especially if you are playing on a steel string acoustic guitar. We did an article previously on building your callouses for guitar playing. If you don’t play for a while, your callouses will start to soften which can make playing the guitar painful again. When this happens, you will need to push through the pain again in order to build your callouses.
What about depression?
If you are feeling depressed and negative, then it can be really hard to pick up the guitar to practice. But even if you don’t feel like practicing for whatever reason, it is a good idea to just pick up the guitar and play something. Playing the guitar isn’t just about improving; it is also about the feeling and emotions that playing guitar can evoke. Some of the best songs in history were written by guitarists while they were down and depressed. In fact, the entire blues genre is all about people expressing their sadness with their instrument. So instead of letting depression get the better of you and stop you from doing the things you enjoy, rather try and use that energy to create something new.
Figure out what being a guitarist means to you
Not everybody wants to be a star. Many guitarists just play for the release of creative expression that is really good for the human soul. Others do it for that and also want to be famous and some even want to be the best in the world. No matter what your goals are, consistency is key, it is the accumulated time of all the guitar playing you have done in your life. Remember that if you stop playing for long enough, at some point you will not be able to call yourself a guitarist anymore.
As guitarists, we identify with our instrument and wouldn’t be the same person without a guitar in our lives. Be sure to give your instrument the love and attention it deserves as often as possible and it will reward you with a feeling of satisfaction that only playing a musical instrument can bring. Remember that we all have our off days, weeks or even months, but it is our responsibility to get back on our path and do what we love because no one is going to do it for us. All the best as always and happy shredding!