Times when you shouldn’t practice guitar

This may sound like a strange thing to say, but there are times when you shouldn’t practice guitar. This article will briefly explain when you shouldn’t practice guitar and why. Have a read through the points and keep them in mind next time you decide to practice guitar.

When you’re tired

If you practice when you’re tired you won’t be focused and may develop bad habits. Practicing the guitar properly requires a good amount of concentration and focus. If you’re tired you won’t be able to do either. Tired players will play more wrong notes than normal and will be slack in their technique. Any time you practice wrong notes and slack technique, you strengthen bad habits and poor technique. So next time you sit down to practice guitar, ask yourself “Am I tired?”. If you are, have a rest and come back later on when you are fresh and alert.

When you’re stressed or angry

Everybody deals with stress. Whether you are a school student studying for exams or you just got home from a bad day at work, there are times you will be stressed. Practicing guitar when you are stressed is a bad idea. The point of practicing guitar is to push yourself to improve and focus on correcting any mistakes as you go. If you are stressed, you probably won’t be in the mood to push yourself and practice harder. Also, if you do play mistakes or struggle playing something you learned the day before, it will only increase your stress level. The same thing goes for anger. Many people feel that guitar is a good outlet to release all your aggression. This is true for when you are on stage or jamming with a band, but not when you’re practicing. So only sit down to practice when you are calm and relaxed. You will struggle to become a better player if you’re always stressed when you practice.

When you feel you ‘have to’ practice

Sometimes people will feel they ‘have to’ practice. Maybe your parents are nagging you to practice because they paid for the guitar. Or maybe you’re unhappy with your current abilities and feel you need to force yourself to practice. Basically, if you aren’t motivated to practice, you won’t improve in your practice session. So never force yourself to practice. If on the other hand you have trouble with procrastination, have a search on the internet for techniques to overcome the problem.

When you’re bored

What happens when you practice when you’re bored? Your practice session will be boring. Then you won’t want to practice the next day because you think it might be boring again. If you’re bored you won’t want to practice exercises, study music theory, or anything else that may sound boring but crucial to your improvement.

When your guitar is out of tune

This is without a doubt the most important point. Never practice when your guitar is out of tune. Playing an out of tune guitar sounds bad, so you might think to yourself “Hmm I must be playing wrong” or “Why can’t I improve? This sounds horrible”. An out of tune guitar is a very effective de-motivator. Imagine one person playing an out of tune guitar and another person playing the exact same thing with a guitar in tune. Which player will sound better? Of course the person with the tuned up guitar. Another reason you should never play out of tune is that your ears will get used to an out of tune sound. You don’t want this to happen. You want to develop your ears’ ability to hear the right notes.


Hopefully you will notice a theme among the points above. Basically if you feel negative, it will transfer to your practice sessions and it will have a negative impact on your progress. So don’t play when you’re sleepy, angry, bored or any other state that may have a negative impact on your practice session. Practice when you’re happy, enthusiastic, motivated, alert and keen to improve. Practicing when you’re positive will have a positive impact on your progress. It’s so simple yet so many people ignore it.

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