How to Practice Guitar Every Day | 7 Secrets

how to practice guitar daily
If you want to practice guitar every day, it's probably becuase you're eager to improve. You think that by practicing more often, you're likely to get better faster. And you're right. So let's discuss how, realistically, we can get you practicing daily.  

1) Think of the Guitar as an Extension of Your Body

Too often guitar players distance themselves from their instruments. If you're going to practice every day, your guitar should be physically close to you more of the time. 

Luckily, guitars are fairly small, lightweight, and portable. That means there's almost no excuse for locking them away in the basement or leaving them at home when you travel. If you want to be a serious player, you should start to feel a magnetic attraction to your guitar. 

The secret here is to store your guitar someplace you feel at home, where you spend most of your time. Basically, you want the instrument to be within arm's reach at any given time. Think in terms of proximity: the stuff you're always around is the stuff you're going to use.

The great fingerstyle player Sungha Jung once said that when he was growing up, the guitar was his best friend. This is another excellent way to frame the sort of intimacy we're going for. Keep your friends close and your guitar closer. 

2) Practice More Than Every Day

In many ways, our goals are relative. Someone who practices guitar once a month might resolve to start playing once a week. Similarly, a once-a-week guitarist might increase their commitment to every other day. 

If you want to practice guitar every day, you should consider practicing multiple times a day. I know that may seem difficult, but sometimes raising the bar like that is the easiest way to secure your real goal of daily practice. 

I find that if I limit myself to a once per day/week/month rule, that goal tends to feel like a bigger deal than it is. For instance, if you plan to do cardio three times per week, each time is going to be more intimidating to start than if you're always moving. That way, cardio is built into your lifestyle rather than some weird scheduled punishment. 

So strive to practice continuously and freely rather than once every so often.

3) Cultivate Your Relationship with the Guitar

Remember how Sungha Jung mentioned the guitar was his best friend? Well, that's exactly what we're talking about here. If you want to play guitar every day, you need to develop and maintain a good working relationship with your instrument. 

Take a second to reflect on your current feelings around the guitar. Do you associate playing with frustration, discouragement, or helplessness? Or do you think of playing as liberating, elevating, and thoroughly enjoyable? 

Clearly we're aiming for the latter. That means if your feelings around the guitar tend to be negative, you should work on that. You'll find that the better you feel about your playing, the more you'll play. 

When you're always excited to play, you won't have to force yourself to practice. That's the secret of guitar enthusiasts, and of all great players. Don't rely on superhuman discipline—just keep doing what you like, and make guitar something you like. 

4) Give Yourself a Reason

If you're having trouble motivating to practice, try giving yourself a reason to improve. I've noticed that there's a big difference between practicing for something and practicing aimlessly. 

Suppose you sign up for an open mic the following month. Your plan is to play two songs there and impress everyone (or maybe someone in particular). This is a great way to be self-directed, because there's no motivator like not wanting to look like a fool on stage. 

But your reason doesn't have to be public-facing. Maybe you have a bone to pick with yourself. Maybe you want to believe in your own latent musical talent. In that case, I recommend you set a few concrete goals for yourself that practicing every day will foster. 

5) Embrace Personal Change

One of the reasons practicing every day is hard is because it may require you to change your ways. You're building a new habit, but, more significantly, you're building a new you. 

You might be thinking, "Well, I'm happy to build a new, great-guitarist version of me." But you have to realize that any sort of personal change, even in a positive direction, faces a kind of selfish resistance. 

That is, your old self wants things to stay the same. You want to keep your routine because it feels comfortable, safe, easy. Things are going fine, why push it? 
I think it's crucial to recognize this dynamic within yourself. If you don't, you may find yourself controlled by a subconscious normalizing force you don't entirely understand. 

Really meditate on how you want to change as a guitarist, what that will look like, and even on how you may lose a part of yourself in the process. If you carve out time every day to play guitar, you're going to be replacing that with what you used to do. Are you OK with that? 

Of course, you have to figure out these things for yourself. But my main point is that if you think them over, you're more likely to be successful in making and maintaining the change. 

6) Don't Ever Miss a Day

I'm not being extremist here. Don't miss a day, ever. There's almost no excuse, and even if you encounter a good excuse, you should try to squeeze in a short session if you can. A productive guitar session can take 5 minutes or less, and who doesn't have that, even on a crazy day? 

In my view, breaking the chain of daily practice rarely happens for practical reasons. Most of our lives aren't exciting or horrible enough for that. Rather, we skip daily practice because of how we feel, and we come up with reasons to validate these feelings. 

For example, let's say we haven't practiced yet but we go online and watch a virtuoso guitar clip. Although in some small way we feel stimulated by such an expression of talent, our primary feeling is one of disillusionment. We'll never play like that, so why waste our time with guitar? 

I can't answer that question for you. (Although my answer, if you're interested, is that each musical moment, each sound, is a unique aesthetic experience as valuable as any other, a gift to the world. Thus, any sort of comparison or ranking of musicians or musical instances is misguided.)

The larger point here is that we need to attack our pseudo-rational guitar negativity. It's just a mental roadblock we set for ourselves. Always return to this bare truth: there's almost no reason to skip a day of practice, period. 

7) Tell No One

I can say from personal experience and the results of this study that if you communicate resolutions to others, you're less likely to realize them. I know it feels like it should be the other way, but trust me (and the science) on this one. 

The reason for this, apparently, is that when you tell others, "I'm going to practice guitar every day this year," you receive a hit of dopamine, as though you'd actually done something. And having received the reward, you feel like you've achieved something when you haven't. That's why we love to make resolutions but rarely honor them. 

Solutions to this issue there are many. You can try to gossip yet continually remind yourself that it's just talk and you still need to do the work. Or you can focus on the "others hold me to my goals" aspect of telling people things.
However, I think the best solution is to keep your guitar goals to yourself. Or at least keep them to yourself until you've had some measure of true success. This gives you a mental safety net, hopefully protecting you from self-defeating rewards. 


If you want to practice guitar every day, you should employ at least one of the methods above. I find that sound planning tends to beat out willpower, even if you're fairly disciplined. 

Best of luck forming good guitar practice habits!