I don't know about you, but this summer has been crazy! You may be the type of person who practices on vacation (if you are, go you!), but when I was in Mexico, I was sharing a hotel room with friends, constantly at the beach/pool, and wasn't able to pack my guitar. While spending time at the beach drinking pina coladas and soaking up sunshine is essential to mental health, it's not always conducive to making me a better guitar player...
It also makes it really easy to keep missing the practice train because I 1) am scared maybe not thinking about guitar for a week has somehow made me terrible 2) I can't completely remember what I had been listening to and practicing before I left and 3) My fingers always become weirdly slower. Because all these things are the literal worst, I thought I would make you a little guide to you can skip the vacation hangover and get back to your passion for playing guitar!
1) Play a song you already know and love
It never hurts to build the old guitar confidence back up! Starting by playing a song you like rather than trying to play something really hard right of the bat is going to help revive your muscle memory and start getting those creative juices flowin' again. If you have someone to jam with, even better. Whenever I sit down and start jamming with my husband (he's a bass player), it always helps me remember why I love playing so much and it's nice to have someone to bounce creative ideas off of!
2) Start your real practice with some finger exercises
If you try to start your finger exercises off too fast, you are going to feel sloppy and discouraged (yay...). So just start slow and don't worry about proving to yourself that your fingers are still speedy!
3) Choose a solo
Once you are all warmed up and feeling great (I'm convinced sometimes playing guitar is half confidence!), choose a new solo or lick and dive into copying it note for note. This is the main way I practice all the time. Reviewing your scales can only take you so far and then it becomes all about the finesse and the feeling you can put into your sound!
4) Find another human with an instrument
Lastly, schedule a jam, gig, or ask a friend to come play with you! Nothing gets you back into playing like another person-it's the main factor that forces you to play whole songs through and try to sound as professional as possible. :)
I hope this helps you if you are coming back from a full month of vacation like I am! Obviously none of this is rocket science, but sometimes a little outline can just help give you the little push you need to start!
I would love to know if there is anything that's been helpful for you getting back into playing when you've felt a little rusty- please comment below with your thoughts!