As they say, practice makes perfect. The only way to get better at guitar is to play frequently, but with the bustle and craziness of life, it can be hard to dedicate your time to it. Having a space for guitar practice is essential for consistency; we tend to put things off when they're not easily accessible. So, here are our tips on creating the perfect guitar space!
For the most part, creating the ideal guitar practice space will depend on your living situation and how you can work with it. In certain locations, such as major cities, dedicating a whole room for guitar practice might not be feasible. However, even a dedicated corner of your bedroom or living room will do. If it's a place you enjoy spending time already, where better to set up shop for practice?
As long as your gear is easily accessible, any room could house your practice space. If you keep your guitar in its case in the closet, taking it out becomes laborious and you're less likely to do it. You should be able to sit down and have everything within reach.
If space is lacking, mounted guitar holders are often helpful as well. What better way to make use of a small space than store something on a wall? Not only will grabbing your guitar be easier, but it has the added benefit of serving as artwork! It's important to utilize the full extent of your space – whether floor, shelf, or wall.
There are a few things that are a staple in every guitar practice space. To make the most out of yours, here are our list of essentials:
Of all the gear a guitarist can have, a tuner might be the most important. How are you supposed to ensure what you're playing is quality if it sounds off or out of tune? Simple tuners are often affordable, too, and can be bought at any music store.
With an app for everything now, many musicians use their phones to tune instead. Although having a tuner app can be useful when in a jam, it shouldn't be the go-to in your practice space. These apps can be slightly inaccurate, but using your phone during practice could be distracting, too. It's best not to rely on it to avoid the risk of a notification pulling you away from practice.
Keeping time isn't only for drummers. Every musician should practice along to a metronome and work on their sense of time. Some guitarists will swap this out on occasion for a drum machine to practice with different beats and rhythms. People tend to forget that rhythm is a learned skill like anything else, and you need to actively reinforce your sense of time to improve.
The company Roland even makes a tuner/metronome hybrid if you're looking to condense your equipment and avoid spending too much. Either way, the practice of using a metronome will ensure accuracy in your guitar playing.
Your amp of choice should be right next to you, so practice is as easy as turning the power on and plugging in. It might be a good idea as well to keep a pair of headphones nearby, depending on where you live. Neighbors banging on your door isn't great for focus! If you have pedals you like to play with, it's best to have them on a pedal board and nearby, too. If effects are a major aspect of your live set, you should hear how they sound while you practice. Making set-up as painless as possible is your best bet at consistency and getting the most out of your practice session.
Utilizing a music stand while practicing is highly underrated. Although a table or desk can work just fine; leaning over your sheet music or chord charts can get uncomfortable after a while. Creating the best guitar space is about making it somewhere you want to be. If your back is hurting after thirty minutes, you're not going to get a good practice in or want to return tomorrow.
Just like a music stand, your seating can make all the difference in your practice space. You should have a chair that's comfortable to sit in for long periods of time and play guitar in. Many desk chairs and armchairs have high arm rests, making it difficult to hold your guitar as you would normally. Especially if you're an acoustic guitar player, you need this space to play.
Bonus: Foot Rest
Not many guitarists utilize foot rests, but they can make practicing far more comfortable. If you find yourself lifting your guitar up with your tippy toes or hunching over it, a foot rest can help elevate your leg to make playing more comfortable. That's all there is to it, and they're super cheap, too.
A Recording Device
Have you ever left a show feeling on top of the world only to listen back to a video later and realize your playing was off? We've all been there. Listening back to yourself while practicing is important for nitpicking the finer details and catching mistakes. An old-fashioned recorder is always great, but there are many other ways to record yourself, too.
You can make your desk space dual-purpose and use your computer as a recording device. If you have a favorite DAW, this could be an alternative for your recording device, amp, tuner, and metronome. Creating a new session for every practice will allow you to save and track your progress easily. With this, you can listen to yourself develop over time.
Although it poses a risk, just like phones, for distraction – if you're able to keep yourself focused, it can be great for watching lessons online, too. Watching others play can be great for generating ideas and practicing more creatively.
You can, of course, also use your phone. The voice memo app works fine, just like your computer, if you can keep yourself from getting distracted.
While keeping your guitars easily accessible, it's also essential to taking care of them. Having a humidifier, especially in dryer regions, is important to ensure your guitar doesn't crack or warp. This will also make tuning at the beginning of practice easier! You've already invested a significant amount of money on buying your guitar, so you should invest in its safety as well.
Overall, the best advice anyone can offer is to create a space that works for you. Your guitar room should be personalized – make it a fun, cozy, and productive space. The more time you want to spend in it, the more practice you'll get out of it. If your practice space gets you playing guitar, it works.