Five hours a day

April 6th, 2013

Five hours a day – I wrote in my preface to my new book.

That’s what you need to do to achieve virtuosity.

I know some people will be asking, isn’t this asking too much? Who has the time to do all that practice?


And that’s why not everyone will become a virtuoso.

But yet, there will be others who will think, ‘but that’s hardly enough.’

The point is, it takes effort to accomplish anything.

And the more complex and greater the task, the more effort is required. We’re talking about conquering an Everest here, not some hill in the park.

You can get by with two hours, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Three hours is the minimum, but you’re just getting warmed up with three hours.

It’s only after three hours that magic happens.

That’s when your fingers begin to loosen up, they seem to become charged with a special kind of energy. Things that you had difficulty with before suddenly become easy.

This is when breakthroughs happen.

Imagine if you only have the patience and dedication to do three hours a day.

Just as you’re getting warmed up, you stop playing.

Think of all the breakthroughs that were waiting to happen, but didn’t because you stopped too early.

A short clarification.

By five hours, I don’t mean five hours consistently every day.

Some days you might do two, and others, eight.

It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re playing all the time. Five hours a day is really another way of saying you should be practicing all the time during this 60 day period.

Every chance you get, you’re holding and playing that guitar.

That’s part of that virtuoso reality you will be introduced to, part of that state of mind I wrote about earlier.

So this course is not some happy talk designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And it’s not a magic pill either, that will turn you miraculously into a virtuoso in 60 days, without you having to do the requisite practice.

But perhaps you’re saying.

Isn’t that stating the obvious?

If you’re practicing five hours a day, wouldn’t that automatically make you a good player, with or without any special book or program promising such a thing?

Not necessarily

It depends on what you practice.

If you spend five hours a day practicing follow-throughs, that’s unlikely to develop economy in your movements, which is vital to virtuosity.

If you spend five hours a day trying to hold your hand straight at the wrist, that’s unlikely to give you the relaxation you need to produce speed and power.

And if you spend five hours a day trying to play exclusively from your knuckles, that’s unlikely to improve your precision, another vital component of virtuosity.

To produce results, you must practice the right things.

(‘Right’ meaning things that will bring you your desired results.)

And that’s what this book will do.

It will help you develop the fundamental conditions that are vital to virtuosity (described in the AOV) and to tapping into your natural speed and power.

4 Responses to “Five hours a day”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Today’s society is one with so many distractions like technology, and the effects of being raised in a culture focused on consumption, constant stimulation and immediate gratification. I’m sure this has to affect us younger player’s attitudes towards, and our ability to commit that much time to practice on a consistent basis. As well as how fully we engage ourselves during actual time with the instrument. How should one approach quieting the mind and bettering one’s inner poise?

  2. Philip Hii Says:

    First, I should mention that the five hours refers only to the 60 day period. It’ll be hard for anyone to keep up a five hour practice regimen for life. But to succeed with the 60 day course course, it’s crucial one set aside time for practice. Think of it as a 60 day retreat. How does one go about quieting the mind? That’s a hard one to answer because we’re all different. Some of us need the distractions while others don’t. I guess it comes down to personal vision. If your vision is strong, you’ll be able to ignore the distractions and focus on achieving it.

  3. Lawrence Says:

    Hi Philip

    You are a good teacher and always had ideas how to teach guitar students to improve their playing. One caveat is we must hire or engage a good and experience teacher to teach us music first and then come to guitar playing.

    As I observed through the years, many teachers start to teach students with scales , arpeggio, interval, short studies M. Guilani, F. Sor, Aguodo but not much about music, history of music, music appreciation, etc.
    My thinking is that students should learn the history of music, composers, structure of music, counterpoint, etc. before we start playing the guitar. Ones has the musicians attitude, he/ she can learn faster with a good teacher. Nothing can replace a good teacher, right?

  4. Philip Hii Says:

    Yes, nothing can replace a good teacher although, I think sometimes no teacher is better than having a bad teacher. It’s hard to come up with a fixed system of learning because we all learn differently. The best thing is just to keep on playing and the rest will come.

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