What Happens When You Play Guitar Too Much? 

You may have just recently picked up playing the guitar, but you might wonder what can happen if you are playing it too much. Many people believe that the more you do it the better you become, which is a universal truth, but if the playing is not controlled, it can lead to consequences. So, what happens when you play your guitar too much? 

Playing the guitar too much can lead to physical injuries, such as wrist and finger injuries, back and neck pain, and irregular posture. This does not only occur among professional musicians but guitar rookies as well. Extensive playing can also affect a person’s mental health, leading to depression due to not achieving the desired results. 

Do you want to know what happens when you play the guitar too much? Well, in this article, we will discuss the physical and mental consequences that may occur due to extensive guitar playing. Keep reading to learn how much time you should dedicate to practicing the guitar to accomplish positive results and not overdo it!

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Reasons Why Playing The Guitar Too Much Can Be Bad For You

It is common knowledge that when you do something frequently, you gain skills and improve. This is true for almost everything in life, and we are not here to deny that fact. However, another fact is that overdoing anything can have negative effects. 

This means that you need to find the middle ground to achieve the results you want. When it comes to playing the guitar, you will need to find the amount of practice that suits your abilities. You may think that playing the guitar too much can quickly make you a better guitarist, but you need to know the consequences before taking that risk. 

Read on to learn a few reasons why playing the guitar might not be such a good idea. 

It Can Lead To Physical Injuries 

It might sound impossible, but playing the guitar can cause physical injuries. In fact, the guitar is considered a challenging instrument for a few body parts. If you are not careful, mild physical injuries can become more serious and with severe consequences. 

When you play the guitar too much, you should bear in mind that few parts of the body are put at risk. The parts that might be affected by extensive playing are the following: 

  • Fingers
  • Wrists
  • Neck 
  • Back

Fingers 

Guitarists use their fingers the most when playing the guitar, i.e. the biggest pressure is put on them. We are talking about an instrument that demands using the fingers in a curled or straight position most of the time. Often, many guitarists are faced with arthritis in the fingers caused by excessive playing. 

Wrists 

Similarly to fingers, wrists are also engaged in the process of playing the guitar at all times. One wrist is always in a grip and the other one is constantly moving. When you play the guitar too much, you can develop harsh pain in the wrists which can lead to burnout. 

Neck 

It is difficult to maintain a straight posture when you play the guitar. When the body cannot stand in a proper posture, it aches and most of the pain is felt in the neck. The neck is always leaning down, so with extensive practicing  the pain can get worse.

Back 

The back can get seriously affected when playing guitar too much. Generally, playing the guitar requires a sitting position, which can get uncomfortable after some time. Since you are holding an instrument in both hands, it is really difficult to sit straight up. This way back pain can easily develop, but it may get more serious if you are overdoing it. 

It Can Lead To Mental Exhaustion 

Playing the guitar regularly can really enhance concentration and focus. In addition,  it will definitely make you a better guitarist because without hard work you cannot expect positive results. Yet, if you start overdoing it, positive results might not be the outcome. 

When you work towards a particular goal, you engage your brain a lot. This is similar to playing the guitar as well. When you play the guitar, you move your fingers, but you also use your brain in order to move your fingers the right way. In the same way as all muscles in our body, brain muscles can get exhausted and not do their job anymore. 

When your brain becomes exhausted, everything you do leads to no result, meaning your guitar practice might be pointless. Not achieving the desired results can lead to depression, which may additionally drive you to give up playing altogether. 

How Long Should I Play My Guitar Daily??

It is up to your individual abilities to determine what amount of time will be enough for playing the guitar without consequences. For instance, you may play the guitar for a few hours but not every day. On the other hand, you might want to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day practicing, which is also okay if your body seems to respond positively to this. 

Many professional guitarists spend about 3 hours a day playing the guitar. However, if this is just a hobby or you are a rookie, then try spending at least 15 minutes practicing every day. If you want to practice for more than 15 minutes, you can prolong the practice sessions while including short breaks in between. 

This is an example of what a 2-hour guitar practice should look like:

Duration Guitar exercise 
5 minutesStretching/ Warming up of muscles (fingers, wrists, back, and neck)
10 minutes Practicing ascending and dissenting of the chromatic scale 
15 minutes Practicing chords (focus on the difficult ones)
20 minutes Speed practicing with metronome 
30 minutes Freestyle playing 
20 minutes Practicing chord changing (arpeggion practice)
20 minutes Practicing a song you are working on 

FAQ 

Is Practicing The Guitar For 2 Hours A Day Good? 

Many people recommend playing the guitar for 2 hours each day. While this might work for some, for others, it might be too excessive. If you do not feel any pain or exhaustion while playing the guitar for 2 hours, then you can do it. However, make sure that you are careful not to overdo it. 

What Is The Recommended Guitar Practice Time For A Rookie? 

Real beginners should start by practicing the guitar for 15 minutes a day. This will help muscles adjust to the instrument and build muscle memory. In addition,the body and the brain will develop a habit, so the possible frustration that might arise due to the slow progress will decrease. 

How Long Does It Take To Become A Good Guitar Player? 

If you want to develop basic skills for playing the guitar, it might take about 6 months. This period refers to those who intend to practice every day. Others might need up to 4 years to become good guitar players. 

Conclusion 

We are not saying that you should not play your guitar every day, but that you need to limit the amount of time in your practice sessions. As you can see, overdoing it might lead to serious consequences, and you certainly want to avoid that. We hope that our advice will help you to determine the ideal practice time that will get you amazing results!   

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