3 Surprising Places To Find Practice Time

Making the sun stand still excluded.

Practice makes better and one of the biggest obstacles to practicing is the lack of time.  Most of us run schedules so full that finding extra time feels impossible.  So where do you find time where there isn't any?
I've got three for you that you might find surprising.

Immediately after work/school

If you're anything like me, the jump from work life to home life isn't always the smoothest transition.  I get home and immediately my kids are tugging on me, dinner needs to get on the table and my brain space is crowded by lingering issues from my day.  It's amazing what 15 minutes of slow, deliberate practice time will do for my evening.  The repetition is soothing and focusing on something other than my job helps me push the reset button.  It not only makes me a better guitar player, but the clean break makes me a more present dad and husband.

Internet time

The Internet is an incredibly powerful resource...that we waste on celebrity news, cute cat videos and pictures of what we ate for lunch.  When was the last time you spent an hour on Facebook and thought "Wow, that was really productive and fulfilling"?  Answer: never.  I get that we all need down time and I wouldn't try and make you feel guilty about it, but if you look at practicing the right way, it is down time.  Turn you Internet browser into a practice trigger by making Worship Artistry your home page and see what it does for your skill level and your mental health.  I deleted CNN a few years ago and I've been a much happier person since.  Besides, do you really need to check your Instagram account one more time?  That's what work is for.  Speaking of work...

Lunch break

Did you know you can chew food and play guitar at the same time?  Well, some of us can.  Keep a beater guitar at the office and use your lunch break for something other than work.  Not only will you improve on your guitar, you'll really show all your coworkers what a super-cool fun person you are.  
If you're worried about the noise, use an electric guitar or pick up a little backpacker guitar to keep your strumming at an office friendly level.

Conclusion

You've only got 24 hours in a day, but how you use them is up to you.  Music is a worthy pursuit.  Give it the time it deserves and I guarantee you'll reap the rewards.  So where do you find time to practice?
 

Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for WorshipArtistry.com

3 Surprising Places To Find Practice Time

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The reset

Jason, that's a great point about resetting after work and being a better dad/husband.

God, family, guitar in that order.

Worship at Work

I've been playing guitar for 5 yrs. and have utilized my lunch hour for every bit of it. From G chords to leading worship at my church, one hour a day at work has made up at least 90% of all my practice time. I'm 38 with wife and 3 kids from elementary to high school. Being able to practice at work has made all the difference.

Awesome!!

It's that kind of stuff that makes such a difference.

practice

just went on a 10 hour road trip - sat in the back seat most of the way practising... it was awesome. little difficult on bumpy roads but freeway was great - trip went very quickly! (maybe not for my poor husband who was driving)

Carving Out Practice Time

There are some practice activities that require music or music staffs and there are some activities that don't. After I'd learned the scales, the pentatonic version, and the blues version, I found that I was able to extend my ability to play the modes while I sat watching TV. Likewise, some speed drills don't require music. I found that I could watch my favorite program and perform finger-strengthening run drills...and I didn't even get bored! I don't recommend dividing one's attention in this way for much; however, for these two things, in a tight schedule, it worked for me.

Carving Out Practice Time

There are some practice activities that require music or music staffs and there are some activities that don't. After I'd learned the scales, the pentatonic version, and the blues version, I found that I was able to extend my ability to play the modes while I sat watching TV. Likewise, some speed drills don't require music. I found that I could watch my favorite program and perform finger-strengthening run drills...and I didn't even get bored! I don't recommend dividing one's attention in this way for much; however, for these two things, in a tight schedule, it worked for me.