Setting Yourself Up To Practice

Keyboard Practice

Every extra step you need to get ready for practice is another barrier to getting started. And if it’s hard to get started, it’s much more likely that you just won’t practice at all.

Once you miss a practice session, resistance to practice increases. It then becomes a downward spiral from there as you put off practicing day after day.

Don’t panic! There are some simple steps you can take to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

Lower Resistance

  • Have your instrument out on a stand.
  • Have it plugged in if it requires it.
  • If it’s an electric instrument have the power plugged in so that all you need to do is to flick the power switch and start.
  • Have cleaning equipment on hand so that you can clean your instrument when you’re finished.
  • Have some kind of recording device handy.
  • Have a metronome or drum machine ready.
  • I prefer to practice in headphones.

Instruments on stand

Many of the ‘things you need’ can be found on a smartphone or tablet:(metronome / drum machine, tuner, recording device, headphone amp simulator). I’m a big fan of Garage Band on the iPad and iPhone as it contains pretty much everything you need for a good practice session wherever you are.

Keeping it in sight

  • If you’re always seeing your instrument when you walk past, you’re much more likely to pick it up and have a 5 or 10-minute play on it. That’s a great way of clocking some extra hours on the instrument.
  • If your instrument is hidden away, you’re more likely to forget to practice altogether, or to miss out on those great five or ten minute practices when you walk past.

Make a regular time

  • Make a consistent time to practice.
  • Have start and finish time in mind.
  • Also, just play for fun whenever you want to.


Get yourself setup to practice and do a minimum of five minutes per day and you’ll be blown away at how consistently you progress. It can be a great idea to record yourself also so that you can come back later and check on your progress.

In the meantime, happy practicing!


Andrew Farnham is one of the two directors of  IMA Music Mentoring where he leads the Guitar Lessons team.

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