Since February 19, 2012- I’ve kept my pledge to play guitar every day, no matter what. That’s 660 days! Yes, sometimes it’s just a few minutes right before bed. But more often, once I pick up the guitar, I end up playing for a good session.
I no longer need to draw X’s on a calendar, as in Jerry’s technique- I just know that I don’t want to miss a day. This technique really builds new, effective habits.
When travelling, I always bring my travel guitar (Traveler EG-1). I’ve taken it on multiple trips to China, Australia, Hawaii, and Japan, as well as road-trips, camping trips, etc. It has a full-sized 24 3/4” scale neck, so it’s an effective practice-substitute for my Les Paul. And it’s flexible- it has an integrated headphone preamp with aux-in and distortion circuit for playing along with mp3’s, though I most often play unplugged/acoustic.
So how has my playing improved in the last 660 days? I’m often surprised at the things I can play now that I would never have even tried previously (the solos in Jessie’s Girl, Just What I Needed, and Shook Me All Night Long stand out).
But still, I have a long way to go, and I need to consider how to make my practice time more efficient. Since I started this, I’ve learned so many songs that I always have a large library of cool licks and solos to review. But I’m realizing that I shouldn’t exclusively play songs – I also need to balance it with strengthening exercises and scales/CAGED knowledge, and improvising skills. I’ll try to do more of this in my next 660+ days of practice
Want to establish new habits? Try this, it works- Don’t Break The Chain!