Quick Tips: 10 Minute Short Practices

3:30 PM Paul Horn 0 Comments

So, you got up late and you don't have time to practice. Or, you have plans tonight and you don't have time to squeeze in a few minutes on the guitar. Here's a way (for at least some of us) to practice even when our day is jammed packed (see what I did there). 

10 Minute Short Practices

Some days just don't work out like we plan them to. For me, that's getting up, having a cup of coffee (or two), reading the Bible, and then practicing the guitar for anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and half. However, when that can't happen, I try to practice in short 10 minute practices throughout the day. I wouldn't recommend this as your normal practice routine. It's only for those days when you have a limited amount of time.

For example: my practice routine is broken up into sections, scales, arpeggios, slurs, stretches, new piece etc. (actually, I have 11 key sections of practice, which I will elaborate on in another post). If you break those up into 10 minute slots throughout the day, you can effectively practice what needs to be practiced for that day.

More examples: You could spend 10 minutes on scales before work, then take a break in a couple of hours and spend 10 minutes on arpeggios. At lunch you could play through your slurs and stretches. A couple hours after lunch you could work on a section of your new piece. Adjust the schedule as needed.

Planning is Key

For this to work, you will need to plan for it. You'll notice in the example, the day is broken up into a two hours then break format. This has been my personal practice for years. If you need to do this kind of practice for a day, it helps to know what you're going to work on. Maybe you do scales in the morning and practice your new piece at lunch. As these are short practices, only focus on what's needed. I wouldn't try to do all 11 sections of my practice on a day where I have little time to focus on those areas.

Guitar for Off-Site Practice

Some folks have the opportunity to work from home. Having a home office or an office where you can bring your guitar in and play for a few minutes during the day. However, what if you don't have that opportunity? What if you don't want to bring an expensive instrument to your worksite?

Most of us will have inexpensive instruments around somewhere. There have been days where I would grab the cheapest guitar I had and take it to work with me. Then, on breaks, walk out to the car, grab the guitar, and work the passages I was studying for the day. If you don't have a cheap guitar and you don't fill like taking your guitar to work with you, then you might consider getting a cheaper instrument like the Yamaha C40. Something that can get damaged, lost, or stolen and it's not a huge deal. I'd rather break or scratch a $150 guitar verses a $3000 one.