How long should you practice/day?


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Randy Bobandy
10-08-2008, 12:22 PM
Is there a minumum amount of time that you should practice each day if you want to get considerably good, in say about a year? That is what I'm trying to do. I'ved "played around" with guitar and bass for about 5 years, but last summer i started learning theory and really committed and "focused" on guitar by practicing daily, each day. I'm up to about 3 hours a day but my problem is what exactly is the most effective material to be learning? Should it be more about scales/modes/theory or simply learning songs? I hear stories of people just focusing on a weakness for an hour a day, and conversly people who play for 10 hours. So what do you guys do?

MopMaster
10-08-2008, 12:26 PM
I do whatever I can, which is anything between half an hour and 3 hours during the week, I pretty much always have an afternoon-long jam on the weekend too.

So in total, something like 10 hours a week? Ish?

*edit* I usually do something like 50% learning songs, 25% theory and technique, 25% messing around. Obviously, this changes depending on what I'm working towards, but that's the general formula.

benedge89
10-08-2008, 12:30 PM
you could do a yngwie and practice ten hours a day for six years...

cthuludawn21
10-08-2008, 12:30 PM
i play whenever i want to. i don't set aside time or play for a minimum. i don't even look at the clock. if i feel i want to, i do. i might pick it up and play for five minutes, or two hours... guitar should be fun and natural, it shouldn't be rigorous chore and homework. obviously, if you play 10 hrs a day you'll progress faster than someone who picks up the guitar 2 hrs a week, but who cares? it's not about how you compare to others, its about enjoying the moment.

M.B.MetalTabber
10-08-2008, 12:31 PM
It's completley down to you and what you feel you need/want to do. I quite often just play for hours a day to pass the time.

To get good though, it isn't all about theory and songs. The best way is to learn a scale or two, then go and jam with your band or a few musicians you know. Have a guitarist in there who you feel is better than you if you can, and each member have a solo-off. This is the best way to get experience in my humble opinion.

Also, have regular rehearsals with your band (assuming you are in a band). If you aren't, I'd seriously consider it.

Work on everything with a metronome, and take theory in small bits, always with your guitar in your hand so thgat you can apply it straight to your instrument and understand it all.

Hope I've helped you out.

James Gadd
10-08-2008, 12:31 PM
bout 5-6 hours a day is always good. its a lot better and forces the instrument to come naturally to you. obviously there are "days off", but generally i practise about this much, although i do practise a little at college and so have some more time.

scott58
10-08-2008, 12:42 PM
I shoot for 3 hrs a day. Sometimes it's more sometimes it's less.

Randy Bobandy
10-08-2008, 12:51 PM
bout 5-6 hours a day is always good. its a lot better and forces the instrument to come naturally to you. obviously there are "days off", but generally i practise about this much, although i do practise a little at college and so have some more time.


I go to college aswell, and work all weekends. 3 hours/day is the most (i never take a day off from my axe) i do/can find time for right now. I'm preparing myself to hopefully be good enough to make it in a freind's (serious/pro) band, by next fall. But i will take your example and try to push towards 5 hours/day. Thanks.

Mind Kill
10-08-2008, 12:59 PM
About 4 hours/day.
50 % learning songs.
35 % messing around.
15 % theory.

metaxis
10-08-2008, 01:06 PM
3 hours a day is great. 6 hours is ridiculous and unless you are 14 and living with mommy and daddy it is really difficult to accomplish. Thing is, it is better to do 1.5 hours, 7 days a week then doing 3 hours 3-4 days a week. If you do 3 hours a day 7 days a week then split those 3 hours into two 1.5 hour sessions each day

As for what to practice, set aside a little time to do a little of everything.

10 minute warmup with chromatics
15 minutes working on scales
30 minutes working on rhythm/chords
15 minutes practicing licks (if you're into blues)
then spend the rest of the time working on a song you like

No matter what, you have to make it fun

rhettro
10-08-2008, 01:41 PM
I'd say you are on the right track. I would practice as much as you can, for me that means only 30 minutes during the week and two hours on the weekend. As for what to practice, focusing on weakness is great, but you need to think about your end goals. Is there a particular style of playing you are interested in? Do you want to write songs? Do you want to stay in key with a band? Each of those goals have a set of technique and knowledge behind them that you have to learn to master. Pick a direction and the things to practice will come to light.

jsantos
10-08-2008, 02:11 PM
Hello, I am new here!

Here is a practice regimen I have developed that may be of some interest.

My main goal is to achieve accuracy, dexterity, finger independence and speed

The whole practice session takes about 3 hours on a moderate tempo setting

Broken down into segments, the regimen consists of:

1) Scales and Modes = 70 positions (Alternate Picking)
2) Cycle of 5ths/4ths (Alternate Picking)
3) Arpeggios = Major, Minor, Aug, Dim, Dom (Alternate Picking)
4) Chromatics on all frets (Alternate/Reverse Picking)
5) Hexatonics (Alternate Picking)
6) 7th arpeggios (Alternate Picking)
7) Triad Arpeggios (Sweep Picking)
8) Chord Inversions (Strumming/Fingerstyle)
9) Pentatonic Tapping (Tapping)
10) Sightreading (Aural/Visual Training)
11) Improvisation over Sequences (Free Form)

I practice all this with a metronome (Very important)

Randy Bobandy
10-08-2008, 05:16 PM
By reading some of these posts, maybe i am approaching it wrong.

I will spend the whole time each day focusing on a topic, depending on what day it is..ex Monday-scales Tuesdays-Chords, Wensdays-picking, Thursday-songs ect.......

I guess it would be better to practice everything each day, rather then to do this?

BR0THERALEX
10-08-2008, 05:19 PM
until it hurts

:)

Wylde_Man
10-08-2008, 05:20 PM
I dont like to have a set amount of time to play,When i pick up my guitar i do what i feel like doing. I used to have a schedule which i would follow, but i find that to be too boring, and the reason i play guitar is to have fun! Thats why i just go with the flow when it comes to practicing. Obviously, i just dont sit there and wank all day, i try to have a goal by the end of practice, but thats about it. I practice as long as i feel like practicing, when i want to practice, some days im too busy with school, some days i play for 5 hours, it really depends.

jsantos
10-08-2008, 05:21 PM
By reading some of these posts, maybe i am approaching it wrong.

I will spend the whole time each day focusing on a topic, depending on what day it is..ex Monday-scales Tuesdays-Chords, Wensdays-picking, Thursday-songs ect.......

I guess it would be better to practice everything each day, rather then to do this?


In my situation, I practice what I've already learned and it takes about 3 hours a day.

This is called Maintenance Practicing where you go over stuff for the purpose of not forgetting them metally and motorskill wise.

When I do learn a new skill, I focus on this skill and practice it until I get it good.

But I still do my maintenance practice before it, we are talking 6 hours now of clicking to a metronome.

It all depends on what you think is important.

edusty2010
10-08-2008, 05:57 PM
I set aside about 2-3 hours a day on weekdays, 4-6 hours on weekends. I do occasionally take a weekday off though. I usually try to work on speed/precision/picking drills for an hour or so, then work on a weakness (SWEEP PICKING) for another hour, then I tend to goof around and just play. I really hardly ever learn songs.

I'd say I play around twenty hours a week, give or take a few hours. The only thing about this is, when I come home and pick up the guitar and I don't feel excited about it, I immediately put it down. The next day I'll be dying to play. This doesn't happen often though.

Adam E
10-08-2008, 06:31 PM
i wouldn't worry about practice regimens; it will turn your pleasure into a chore.
i once read an article where b.b. king said he never practiced much more than a half hour a day to prevent him from getting bored with playing. obviously, he has a lot of natural talent and probably spent a lot of time jamming with other people, but an interesting perspective nonetheless.

happy playing.

Jhachey22
10-08-2008, 07:39 PM
it doesn't matter how long you practice, use the time wisely. playing on and off twenty times for fifteen minutes a day, or playing without really concentrating for a hour doesn't really help.

put in at least six solid thirty minutes practice times a day.