It’s of course, more critical now than ever that you find as much time as possible to play and practice, since you are in the developing period of your life as a musician. But as many of us know these days, there are added pressures on us all, economically and time-wise, that make it very hard to really steal away for enough of that precious playing time we really need! Many of us have to not only work a job, but maybe a few jobs to make ends meet. One of those jobs may be actually be music itself, but for most of you, that particular job may more be a “labor of love” right now than anything else! This, of course, is fine, and is as it should be, because you better love it, or else it’ll never really mean enough to you to garner the kind of dedication it deserves.
Still, all in all, we must find the time, and make it an exercise in relaxation and pleasure to be able to play whenever we can. I try to never miss a day of guitar playing, even if it means dropping by a local music store to have a look at something. I also love how teaching privately also creates a set amount of time where I am playing rather intensively, always keeping my “chops” up! I have done a lot of traveling of course, and love taking “travel” guitars with me, wherever I go. I once took the train across the country, and what a pleasure it was to have a small guitar I could keep playing and writing with in my little room I had on that 3-day train ride!
Be sure to set aside that precious playing time for yourself whenever and wherever you can….it can mean playing for others, or doing some very introverted and private, personal playing that keeps your ideas flowing. I try to play something new every time I pick up the guitar, but that’s just my natural tendency, due to my early days of always teaching myself. I always pledged that I would try to discover something new on the guitar every time I held it, and that has always pretty much stayed true.
I just know that I have heard of too many young, promising players who gave up the guitar because life got in the way. Guitar must also become an important part of life, and you should never let anything become so dominant over it, that it will rob you of it altogether! I can’t imagine that ever happening. After all, playing an instrument is such a gift, we must never ignore it completely. It means the guitar is our friend when we’re lonely, and many times, as in my case, it literally is our other, or “inner” voice.
So make sure to find that time to play, practice, create, express and to just “be” with your best friend; your guitar!