Beginners: How Often Should You Practice?
When you’re first starting out, a common question is: “How often should I practice?” You may think that you should be practicing every single day for an hour or more, and if you want to do that, by all means practice! But thankfully that’s not the standard of practicing for beginners.
All teachers will let you know how often they want you to practice and how much you should practice, but the main thing usually remains the same: practicing a little is better than not practicing at all. Even if you practice ten or fifteen minutes a day for three or four days a week, that’s still better than no minutes a day for no days a week! This method of practicing for a shorter amount of time over the course of the week helps build the strength you need to keep getting better and creates a habit of practicing that will set you up for practicing for longer periods of time in the future. When you get to longer and more complicated pieces, you’ll need more time to practice, and if you already have some time set aside on certain days, it’s easier to add on time than to add on a whole other day!
It’s also important to remember that practicing everyday can make you and your muscles tired, so it’s important to have a day off to rest during the week to recover, especially in the beginning stages of learning. It’s hard to expect a beginning guitar student to sit and practice for a long time when their fingers are hurting. They need consistent time to practice to build callouses. With beginning piano students, finger strength and dexterity takes time to build, and it happens better with consistent practicing. Singing is similar, as well. When you’re first starting to learn how to sing, your voice will get tired more easily and it will do more damage than good to practice past that point. So when you are beginning to learn your instrument, be sure to start out small and give your muscles (and brain!) time to adjust and learn!
The main thing for all you beginners out there to remember is that you are in charge of getting better, and you get better by practicing, even if it’s just for a little bit. So get practicing!