Find Time to Be a Better Musician
By Ben Blakesley
We're all pressed for time. I can't think of one person I know who just has oodles of time to waste away. So how does a musician (especially a budding beginner) cope with the hard reality of "Not Enough Time To Practice?" It's easy: Discipline.
Ouch. There are few words in the English language that induce such cringing and contempt as the word discipline. It sounds so...restrictive. But I tell you, this is the key to becoming the next great guitar/drum/keyboard/ukulele/darbuka player. And it doesn't even have to hurt.
George Hines (the "George" in George's Music) has a favorite saying that goes a little something like this:
"If you save 5 minutes per day, that's over 30 hours per year."
There is the key! Discipline yourself to pick up your instrument for a minimum of 5 extra minutes a day. That will add up to over 30 hours of extra practice per year and you'll be on the road to being a better player. Even if that means getting up 5 minutes earlier in the morning or staying up 5 minutes later at night, it won't adversely affect your health, but it WILL positively affect your playing.
To make sure this discipline doesn't end up in the dusty corner along with your New Year's resolutions of years past and that ab-cruncher you spent way too much money on, find a calendar to put next to your instrument and put a little check mark each day that you complete your 5 minutes of practice. That will give you a visual reminder to practice and will give you a great sense of accomplishment when you've put in your time for the day.
Above all, remember, music is supposed to be fun. You should enjoy your extra 5 minutes per day and at the end of the year, you'll be 30 hours of practice better than you would have been and be a happier musician.
Ben Blakesley heads up the Marketing and Technology division of George's Music and spends his 5 minutes per day split between the guitar, ukulele, mandolin, darbuka, and keyboard. Maybe he should focus...