How To Stay Motivated To Practice, For Musicians

Article by: Hannah Ureste
VQS Advice Blog

As artists and musicians, we know it’s not an easy job. Mastering your craft can be a lifelong journey. What happens when you burn out? How do you stay focused and motivated to practice your whole life for something that could never seem perfect to your own ears? Practicing is essential to any musician who is serious about their career.

Without practice, how can we improve? Sometimes we find ourselves staring at our instruments asking: “What’s the point of all this, is it worth it? I should have listened to my family.” How is your internal dialogue really affecting your future? Today here’s our top 5 Ways To To Stay Motivated To Practice For Musicians!

1. When was the last time you went out and got some fresh air?

If you are busy practicing cooped up in your room for hours, you probably haven’t even seen the sun all day. Breaks are essential when practicing. Try to go out every hour of your practice or every 30 mins. Practicing the same lick or exercise repeatedly can have you frustrated, your brain goes into overload, and your muscles could be telling you they need rest! Listen to your body when practicing. The phrase “Push through the pain,” doesn’t work for everyone and THAT’S OKAY!

When your body is telling you to relax or get that little bit of fresh air, you go. When you don’t, it could cause you to shut down mentally, give up and put your instrument away for the day. That’s the last thing you ever want to do. If you don’t want to stand outside, you can take a walk around your block.

If you don’t want to do that, make some coffee or get a nice cold glass of water and stand outside and drink and enjoy the weather. After you’ve come back from outside, take a deep breath and start practicing again. Now you won’t have negative thoughts in your head, and you will want to continue practicing to better yourself.

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2. Follow The Right People

Ever find yourself on social media for hours and when you finally get off, you’re depressed about where you are in your career? Here is the trick, stay off social media! I know that’s hard being in the music industry but try to limit yourself to an hour or two a day scrolling on pages. Try to follow people that bring you up, and not down.

If you know someone who just posts things to get followers and it makes you feel some type of way, unfollow them. Social Media should make you be happy for your friends and fellow musicians. It should not make you feel down on yourself or judge other lifestyles. If you don’t agree with someone and every post or tweet makes you angry, why follow them? Don’t follow people just because everyone else is, follow them because they help motivate you on your instrument or give great advice on a new practice routine.

I personally found myself following people that made me angry, when I finally realized this, I started following people I truly care about and who motivate me in music and outside of music. Social media can be a killer in disguise to one’s mind, but you can stop that by simply unfollowing.

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3. Explore New Music

Have you purchased a new CD or Record lately? I know it may be hard to find one these days, but you can still find some gems out there. Go find a local record store and go digging for some albums. Some have forgotten the feeling of purchasing a new or old album and putting it in your stereo system or record player and vibing out, getting new ideas for songs, and getting absorbed into the music.

This helps motivate people after listening to pick up their instrument or reassures them of why they picked up the instrument to begin with. There’s this feeling you get when you walk into an old record store that makes you feel like a kid in a candy shop at any age.

Start searching, and find something you love and that triggers you to press play and jam! You might even find an artist you’ve never heard of. Get out of your comfort zone and pick up something you never thought you’d listen to.

4. Who Are Your Real Friends?

Do you have a big friend circle but don’t feel like they bring you up? Here’s the problem, your circle is too big. Surround yourself with real friends. Not friends who just want to use you for your fame or connections. There is too much of this happening where everyone says they are your friend and, in the end, they will never call you just to check up on you and say hi. The only thing they ever want from you is information.

A real friend will call you at random times to hang out, jam, record, talk about life and be there to help pick you up when you are in need. A real friend will let you know when you should be in the practice room more, they will cheer you on when you sound great and push you to be better and to never give up on your dreams.

These friends are not easy to find, it takes trial, errors, and tests, but you need to be aware and not blind of whose around you and their hidden intentions. Once your circle is the correct size you will feel the love and push your need to move up and never go down.

5. The Benefit Of Supporting Your Friends

When was the last time you went to a concert? For some we need to physically see musicians killing it on stage for us to feel it in our soul. I know concerts can get expensive these days and sometimes on a musician’s salary it’s tough at times. But, do you know who has concerts that are great and don’t cost as much as your rent? YOUR FRIENDS!

Go out and show your friends some love at their shows and it will help you, stay motivated. Not only are you finally getting out of the house and socializing and networking, but you’re also there supporting your friends, and it’s going to make you rush home to jot down new ideas of songs, lyrics, and could ask yourself “how did they play that lick?” in which you now want to pick up your instrument and practice something you never thought of.


Commit to a lifestyle of hard work and practice. It’s tempting to compare yourself to others, but it does you no good. Everyone’s door opens at different times. Some doors are easy. Some must be kicked down with a steel boot.

Every artist sings differently, performs a certain way, and expresses themselves uniquely. That is what makes us special and when you find YOUR way, the right doors will open for you. How will you use these ideas on your journey? I’d love to hear from you.

Article by: Hannah Ureste

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About the Author
LA based video creator, producer and media coach.
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