When I first started practicing guitar, all I had was a chair, a music stand and a guitar. Sometimes I would even play sitting on the floor with my music. This minimal practice setup felt good initially, because I felt I could be free, but I was soon experiencing aches and pains (not sitting properly) and I didn’t feel that I had the tools necessary to practice well.
I recently read the book, ‘The Musicians Way‘ by Gerald Klickstein which inspired me to think more carefully about how I set up a space to practice. After reading this great book, I decided to write my own practice space inventory. I was really surprised to see how much stuff I actually needed to practice well:
- A good armless chair (at a suitable height)
- Music stand
- Music (everything you need all in one place, including any technical exercises and sight-reading material)
- Guitar stand
- Music notebook (for jotting down musical ideas as and when you have them)
- Footstool / guitar support
- A music stand light
- A light / lamp for your general practice area
- CD / mp3 player (for transcribing / listening to examples)
- Nail care equipment (files, polishing cloths, nail cream, and nail scissors for the left hand)
When choosing equipment, get the best you can. Nothing is more frustrating than a music stand that does not stand up properly or a pen which doesn’t work. Everything should be geared to making practicing as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. If something frustrates you, change it.