Practice Challenges

Over the last two weeks I have gotten my simple fitness program in place, but, as you may have noticed, my regular blogging habits have taken a hit. My usual slow morning of catching up on guitar blogs and capturing my own blog entry ideas has been replaced by morning runs, yoga, bike commuting, and basic calisthenics. I’m not in training. I’m just taking the time to get back into shape. To get fit. Once I increase my basic level of fitness, then I plan to focus my workouts on developing specific elements of strength, power, speed, and endurance for fencing. Hey, I spent all those months studying for my fencing coaches prevot certification, I might as well use it.

So what does this all mean for guitars? Let me answer that with another question.

Why is a half hour each morning easier to dedicate to basic fitness then to learning to play the guitar?

  1. I don’t feel comfortable playing (even unplugged) when the rest of the household is asleep
  2. I want to plug in (both my pedal board and amp) when I practice
  3. I feel overwhelmed and distracted by all the things (songs, styles, genres, etc.) I want to learn
  4. It is taking more effort than I like to admit just to work out each morning, keep the house in good repair, work, etc.
  5. I cannot set up a consistent practice schedule during my lunch hour at work
  6. I like spending time with my spouse and kids more
  7. I feel guilty when I use potential family time to do something selfish like guitar practice
  8. I’m still not sure what to do when I practice

This last one somewhat baffles me. I’ve read a lot about how to practice and what to practice. I have a general concept of what a daily practice regimen should consist, but each time I sit down I have to come up with the actual things I’m going to do. And I don’t always know what I should be doing (see #3). My workout regimen is so simple that I do it without thinking. I literally go on autopilot when I wake up, get dressed, run 2 miles, stretch, and do a series of calisthenics. The only real thought process I have is when I ride my bike to work and that is basically to just make sure I have all my clothes for work (not taking pants to work would be a problem).

And I’m really not up for punishing myself for failing to act.

Anyone out there got any suggestions for how to build a guitar practice regimen and what to put in it so I can do it on autopilot? I need something that I can fit into my current lifestyle. I realize it has only been two weeks of working out, but I’ve been more consistent with it then with my guitar practice attempts. Having the discipline to sit down and do it takes so much effort that I should take away all other delays and challenges just as I have done with my work out. It needs to be at a time that doesn’t detract from family and work responsibilities. And I need to be somewhat mentally and physically awake so I don’t opt for the nap.

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