The Six Day Week

I’m taking a day off from practicing today.  I came on this six day practice week a while ago, but it was not my own idea.

Notably, Ricardo Iznaola mentions it in his book, On Practicing: A Manual for Students of Guitar Performance, mentions the following:

“The week should consist of six days only, with a seventh day of rest from practice (although you may play all you want on that day!).”

Obviously, I agree.  However, most people strictly schedule every aspect of their practice, I do not.  Nor do I like the idea of doing that.  “Well, I spend 20 minutes on scales and 10 minutes on etudes and 5 minutes checking my phone to make sure I have missed anything while I was practicing,” sounds dumb to me.  I am a fan of goal oriented practice.  I’m not a fan of scheduling a day off.  Let it happen organically.

If you don’t feel like playing one day, don’t.  This is especially true for aspiring professionals or people in school for guitar.  We get so focused and burnt out, that it can be detrimental to push ourselves too far.  Taking a day off when those feelings begin to set in can be a great refresher.

From a “real life” standpoint, some days just suck.  Being extremely busy or having a few other things to do can take up all the practice time available very quickly.  Most times these days aren’t planned, they just happen.  Well, that’s a great day to take off from playing!  It’s one less thing to stress about.

The only thing to be worried about is to keep that to one day a week and be sure to pick up the instrument the other six days.  Usually, after a day off, I miss the instrument and I’m more excited to get back to it; the taking more than one day off rarely is a problem.

Posted on in Classical Guitar Practice Tips


  • Emon

    Thanks for dropping by, Christopher! I was more than happy to share your blog on the mix. We need more blogs like yours that share what guitar players go through and how you tackle them. Practical advice is always appreciated.

    What’s important to note from your post is, the heart has to be there when you practice and when some days or nights simply just don’t work, it’s best not to force it.

  • Brendan Hunt
    Brendan Hunt

    good schedule. I also like to practice in little blurbs.
    I sit down and focus on arpeggios or something, then after about 10 or 15 mins I get up and leave the room. This just gives you a little relaxation for your hands and brain. This prevents impending frustration or muscle exhaustion. When you return you will be delighted to see you are more warmed up than you had expected.

  • Gretchen

    Yes! Goal-oriented practicing! I’d love to see this post. The mindless approach is just a waste of time.

    I practice 7 days/week. For me, it’s too easy for 1 day off to morph into something much more.