June 28, 2024

About the Author: Cameron Hayes

Cameron Hayes is a guitar educator at the London Guitar Institute, teaching a wide range of styles such as rock, metal, blues, jazz, folk, RnB, acoustic, and many more! He teaches a large volume of students on a weekly basis and always looks to provide outstanding value in each and every lesson!

Going on holidays is lots of fun, but often when we come home we find that our fingers don’t want to do what we tell them to do when picking up a guitar for the first time. Try these simple tips for getting back in the groove with your guitar practice after returning from a holiday.

Woman playing guitar at home

Start simple

There are positives and negatives about coming home from a holiday. Positives: you had a great time, you come home feeling refreshed, you now have a sun tan.

Negatives: you get the post holiday blues, you have to go back to work, you fingers are now out of shape for playing guitar. Note that that last one is kind of half true.

Although I personally find that I usually lose a bit of coordination in my hands that can take a few days or longer to come back when playing guitar, I also approach the instrument feeling refreshed and don’t fall into my usual ruts that I do when I am playing a lot.

But how do we get back into playing guitar if our hands can’t keep up? Start simple!

Take some simple warm-ups and exercises, and use these to get your fingers moving. I like the usual suspects: major scale, pentatonic scales, and chromatic scales.

I also find that playing a minor pentatonic scale in fourths is a great way to warm up the fingers and get the muscles moving, as all of that rolling between strings gives the fingers a good stretch.

Man wearing headphones playing guitar at home

Play through some old favourites

Once you’ve done a bit of a warm-up, dig out some of your favourite songs that you were practising previously before your holiday.

Preferably, these are songs that you have more or less ‘completed’ and aren’t still working on as much to allow you to fully play along with the track and jam out a bit.

Not only will this get the fingers moving again but it will also give you a massive morale boost, because hey, who doesn’t love playing guitar along to their favourite songs really loudly?

Mobile phone and wired headset

Make a playlist

This tip is not necessarily just relevant to getting back in the groove after a holiday, but one way to really get keen for practising guitar again is to create a playlist of some songs that you would like to learn on the guitar.

Perhaps it is something that you have heard whilst away on holiday or something that you were regularly listening to whilst on the aeroplane.

Make a playlist and bring it to your teacher (if you take lessons) to ask them what would be the most appropriate for you to learn at your level, or simply just listen to them for your own enjoyment and envisage yourself playing them.

Beautiful woman playing guitar


Something that I like to do to boost my creativity and morale for guitar that isn’t necessarily practising is to mess around with some different sounds that I wouldn’t usually go for on my amp and pedalboard.

This will cause you to play differently and approach the guitar with a different mindset. Try using some different effects such as chorus, delay, reverb, phaser, or use a different amp setting that reacts differently to your playing.

By changing your sound, you can unlock a different version of your playing and, in turn, get back in the groove of practising guitar!

Tags: Guitar practice, Guitar tips, Playing guitar tips

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Tags: Guitar practice, Guitar tips, Playing guitar tips