Do You Have to Practice 8 hours a Day to Play Guitar Well?

I am sure you have heard this before more than once. That it requires that one practices 8 hours a day to become a great guitar player. This is something that is said due to listening to a lot of famous guitar players claim that they practiced for 8-10 hours a day. And you would think, who is the most knowledgeable about what it takes to become a great guitar player? You would think that those who have done it would clearly be the ones to know.
This is a big reason why some people do not even try to play the guitar even though they really want to. They go on the internet or see an interview with a guitarist they like and they believe them and think “what’s the point in trying to attempt to play the guitar. I don’t have the time to practice the guitar 8 hours a day”.

Well I have some great news. You absolutely can play the guitar well and it doesn’t require 8 hours a day.
Sure it takes practice to become a great guitar player and of course the more you practice the quicker you would get there.
But you absolutely DO NOT need to practice 8 hours a day. If you did, then there would be almost no great guitarists in the world because no one practices that long a day. No great guitarist in the world practiced 8 hours a day to get there. They may have practiced that long on some days but not every single day.
Also, it is not all about the amount of time you invest into practicing guitar. Someone could practice for an hour a day and make less progress than someone who practices 30 minutes a day. It is also about how you practice and practicing the right things in the right order depending on what your goals are. You will need a great guitar teacher to help you with this as figuring this out on your own is nearly impossible and will take years, even decades if you do figure it out.

No matter how long you practice, if you practice things in the wrong way, your progress will be slow
No matter how long you practice, if you practice the wrong things, your progress will be directionless
No matter how long you practice, if you practice things in the wrong order progress will be slower than it could be.

Often when people practice long periods they don’t do it consistently
And this does not lead to big results in guitar playing progress. Small consistent practice sessions, assuming you are practicing the right things in the right order and in the right ways is better than really big but inconsistent sessions. Consistent practice leads to results.
This should be helpful for you in finding time to practice the guitar and should help you feel better about this. Because you do not have to find 8 hour practice sessions, 4 hour, 2 hour or even 1 hour practice sessions. You will make progress if you do great practice for 30 minutes, 20 minutes or even 15 or 10 minutes. The more time you find the better but if you can only do under an hour this is fine.

So what do you do from here?
1) Realise that you do not have to practice all day every day. Small practice sessions every day should be enough.
2) Practice time is only 1 factor, make the best of having great practice habits and practicing the right things in the right order in order to make more progress.
3) Find a great guitar teacher who can help you with practicing so that you can play the guitar the way you want much quicker than 10, 20 or 30 years.

About the author: Jake Willmot has been playing guitar for quite a long time and honestly the more he plays the more he enjoys it. So much so that you can even take guitar lessons in Exmouth with him. He has many guitars some of which are your standard Stratocaster and some of which are not your typical shape. He likes to think out the box.