The 750-Hour Guitar Practice Challenge!

Posted by Brian Parham on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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If you follow this blog, then you know there is only one sure-fire way to improve your guitar playing: practice. In fact, your guitar playing skills are directly proportional to two factors: the quality of your focus as you practice and the quantity (or the total number of hours) of your guitar practice.

Since we covered the quality and quantity of your guitar practice routine extensively a few weeks ago in The Ultimate Guitar Practice Guide for Kids and Parents, I am going to focus on my personal New Year’s Challenge for 2020: The 750-Hour Guitar Practice Challenge.

 

What is the 750-Hour Guitar Practice Challenge?

 

The 750-Hour Guitar Practice Challenge asks one simple question, “Can I practice the guitar with purpose and focus for 750-hours between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020?” In order to meet that challenge, I will need to practice 2.4-hours per day, six days per week, over the entire duration of 2020. (Allowing one day per week for rest and recovery.) 

 

Why is the 750-Hour Guitar Practice Challenge so Important?

 

Since I’m always talking to my students about the importance of practice, I decided to model the type of commitment it takes to master the guitar at the highest levels. According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, it generally takes about 10,000-hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. While this has been a fairly controversial topic, Gladwell acknowledges this number has been fairly over-generalized by the public. “In truth, [10,000-hours] symbolizes the fact that the amount of time necessary to develop your innate abilities is probably longer than you think.”

 

 

Indeed, there is a wealth of research that suggests as a general rule of thumb, it takes about 10,000-hours or 10-years of consistent, deliberate, and focused practice to master a cognitively challenging field such as rock guitar. In a similar fashion, rock guitar god, Steve Vai, has said 10,000-hours is a starting point for developing virtuosic levels of guitar skills. Indeed, Vai has said the true number of hours it takes to play the guitar at a world-class level is closer to “20,000 or 30,000-hours of practice.” 

While it would have been simpler to choose 1,000-hours as a nice round number, I didn’t think I would be able to hit the target without some serious negative side effects because doing so would have necessitated 3.2-hours of guitar practice per day. To do so, I would have had to sacrifice some effectiveness as a business owner, guitar teacher, and husband.

 

Guitar Practice Guidelines

 

Here is a basic guideline to the type of results you might expect based on the number of hours spent deliberately practicing the guitar:

 

Daily

Monthly

10-Years

Benefits

No practice

___

___

 

Your child can have fun and gain valuable social skills, but will not experience technical results on the guitar.

5 mins

150 mins

___

Same as above.

15 mins

450 mins

900 hrs

Can play some songs, take some solos, & enjoy making music.

30 mins

900 mins

1,800 hrs

Can play in a band and perform at clubs.

45 mins

1,350 mins

2,700 hrs

Can teach guitar for a living.

90 mins

2,700 mins

5,400

hrs

Earns the respect & recognition of professional musicians.

190 mins

5,700 mins

10,800 hrs

Master guitarist.

 

Where Can You Follow My Progress?

 

I’ll be documenting my guitar playing progress on my Instagram channel. You can follow me at https://www.instagram.com/bparham79/ Each week, I post video updates of my guitar playing progress along with the total number of hours practiced. As of February 26, I have logged in 138-hours of guitar practice, which means I am well on my way to smashing through the 750-hour milestone.

 

Your Kid Can Get a Black Belt in Rock!

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GET A BLACK BELT IN ROCK!

 

The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.

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