Thursday, March 24, 2011

Five Minutes a Day...

You've heard of "7 Minute Abs"?

I've taught a lot of private lessons through the years.  Many to students with jobs, families, mortgages, etc. In other words to people with more important things to do than practice guitar for an hour a day.  (I know what could be more important?)

Consequently no practicing would tend to get done because a busy lawyer, electrical contractor, dentist, couldn't carve out an extra hour a day to practice their Guiliani Arpeggios (link pdf) or the changes to Giant Steps.

I had a simple two-fold solution.

First, set aside 5 minutes a day to practice.  This serves the purpose of dismantling any real or psychological time restraints.  We can all find five more minutes in a day right?  The reason I don't go to the gym every day is because it's a two hour commitment... driving there, cardio, weight lifting, stretching, driving back.  Yeah, not going to happen.  No matter what, I know it's two hours out of my life.  This is true tomorrow, the next day and the next.  Five minutes I can plan for.  I can sneak in.

Plus, five minutes turns into ten or fifteen or thirty without you even realizing it.  Especially if you are doing something you love.  So if your time barrier is psychological you've blasted through it with small manageable snowball to roll down the hill.  OK, lame metaphor I know.

Second. To help you remember to pick up the guitar, or guilt you into picking it up, have one on a stand in your office or your home office.  Or hanging on the wall.  Maybe even have a music stand with the music you are working on right there.

Guiliani Arpeggios - for right hand skill (Classical and Finger-style)
120 Studies for Right Hand Development (Classical Guitar Study Series)

Off The Wall Hangers - like the ones in my studio...
Off The Wall Guitar Hanger (for Standard Instruments)

Ultimate Support Guitar Stands also found in my studio...
Ultimate GS100 Support Genesis 100 Guitar Stand

Manhasset Music Stand found in my studio...
Manhasset M48 Symphony Music Stand
On-Stage SM7211 Professional Folding Orchestral Music Stand, Black (this one folds better and is cheaper!)

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