If you’ve just started taking guitar or piano lessons, you might be tempted to think that the most important day of the week is your lesson day. But as most professional musicians will tell you, the 6 days between lessons are truly the deciding factor in whether or not you will reach your musical goals.
We all know we need to practice if we ever want to get really good at anything. But what do you do on those days when you get home from class, work, or errand running and you’re just too tired?
I have often run into this problem as a very busy working adult between jobs, musical performances, commuting, 4 pets, and a social life.This weekend, I watched this great talk from Andrew Price called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Artists. In this talk, he suggests that the best way to push through the “just too tired” excuse-making mode we all get into, is to give yourself a tiny goal.
Instead of “I will practice 1 hour, even though I’m tired,” tell yourself, “I will play one warmup.” Or, “I will practice one scale.” He says (and I have found this to be true as well) that the ritual of sitting down behind your piano or your guitar, getting out your music, and laying hands to instrument often inspires more creativity and longer practice than you’d expect.
And it starts with just one note.
My challenge to you is this: If you find yourself putting off anything that you know you need to be doing daily, start with the smallest possible part of it, and see where it takes you. Try to play at least one note every day. If you’re anything like me, you’ll see progress before you know it!