Habit stacking and Music

What’s Habit Stacking?

Habit Stacking is:

  • Where you do two or more habits in a row.  You start with one habit (i.e. brushing) and then you add other habits that you do right after the first habit (i.e. brushing, then flossing, then mouthwash)
  • Where you do two or more habits at the same time. You start with one habit (i.e. taking a shower) and then you add another that you can do at the same time (i.e. singing while you take a shower). Just make sure you aren’t accidently pushing out other habits you were unaware of doing while you did the first activity!

Creating and practicing good habits will (most likely) help your music!

I’m in the process of learning about how to create new habits and good habits. There are some potential drawbacks but I’m willing to at least try stuff out and then see how it goes.

A lot of creating new habits revolves around finding easier ways to do certain things.

And making sure those easier ways a readily available.

For example, I’ve wanted to compose/record every day for a long time. At first, I thought I was being lazy because I’d wake up planning to record. But by the time I actually got around to setting up all the microphones and doing everything, it became the project of the day, instead of something I did every day for 20 minutes.

So, the challenge was to find a way to record with minimal setup and in whatever location I wanted to record.

Luckily, it’s 2016 and I have a portable recorder. It was never that hard to record every day, I just gave up looking for the solution to problem too soon. I made excuses for it not happening instead of creating the environment where I record a simple song in 20 minutes, with video and audio and 2-4 tracks. Sure it may take longer, probably more like 30 minutes, but with a little practice, I’ll be able to do the whole thing real quick.

Record Every Day

Here’s the challenge:

  1. Record everyday, as a quick habit, not a major daily project that I may not have time for.
  2. The whole process can be done, including setup and take down, in under 30 minutes.

Here’s the solutions that worked for me:

  1. Get rechargeable batteries and have extra batteries charged
  2. Get a portable recorder (Zoom H4N)
  3. Don’t worry too much about sound quality, just record straight to the Zoom using multitrack mode
  4. Be done in 30 minutes
  5. Process audio (and video) later when I want to

Habit Stacking in Practicing Music

I’ve been learning to sing for awhile. I am nowhere near even decent, but I have made some improvements. I can almost sing a couple of songs completely in key. Here’s how habit stacking helped me.



  1. Find time to practice without taking much time out of my day-to-day life
  2. Practice every day


  1. Copy all practice tracks to Google Drive
  2. Get all songs on Amazon Music
  3. Have headphones and a portable music player
  4. Make sure all tracks are available offline on my phone
  5. Do the singing warmup everyday with headphones on while I do other stuff in the morning, like clean the room, take a shower and am cooking breakfast
  6. Play tracks while I am driving.

Most of these solutions to practicing singing don’t take much more than an extra few minutes of my time. I am stacking them on top of other things I am doing, like cooking, driving, showering, and cleaning, so I really am not taking any more time than I already would be taking to shower, drive, cook.

Think about how much time you spend each day cooking, driving, showering and cleaning. Probably at least an hour. That means you probably could be practicing singing for at least 30 minutes a day with hardly any extra effort, once you set up the systems and get in the habit of practicing while you do other stuff that’s good for you!


Got some extra habits you might want to include in your life?  Maybe there’s a way to add them on top of other things you are doing?  Or maybe you can add an extra 2-5 minutes on to the end of an already established habit?

I suggest brainstorming a list of habits you might want to create.  And see if you can stack any of them easily.

Best wishes!

Habit Stacking and Music
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Habit Stacking and Music
Learn to use habit stacking to improve your musical practice habits.
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