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View Poll Results: How much do you practice within one session
Practice everything 4 23.53%
Practice a few things 13 76.47%
Practice only one thing 0 0%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

Old 06-25-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
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Practice everything or focus on a few specific things

When you guys practice do you practice everything in one practice session (like scales, arpeggios, alt picking, sweep picking etc etc) or do you just focus one 2-3 things for several weeks before moving on to some other things?

I find that when I try to practice everything in one session, I get burnt out. I cant go for more than 2 hours of practice at a time. Is this normal or is it due to my lack of ability to focus for long periods of time?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:38 AM   #2
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Personally I've never really liked the idea of forcing yourself to practice everything just for the sake of it. Generally I would say that practicing a song is the best way of getting everything you need to do in to a practice session but if you don't feel like learning a song then just working on something you feel like you want to work on or something you feel like needs work is a better way to go.

That said I used to practice for 6-8 hours a day so working one most things in that time is pretty inevitable
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:44 AM   #3
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Hmm I'd say practice as much as you can, just to review some things and not let your technique slide, but focus on one or two different things and dedicate more time to those. So if you're trying to focus on legato, instead of only spending 15 minutes on it like everything else, work on it for 30 minutes plus try to learn a song with legato in it.

Also, as far as burning yourself out goes, I find it's a good idea that for about every hour of practice, 15 minutes of that is just taking a break. If after a couple of hours you're still getting tired out, take a break for a couple of hours and during that time maybe think of something else that you want to work on. The key word here is "want" because you're probably going to need some motivation to keep practicing. I find that it's best to get exercises, scales, and all the other repetitious stuff out of the way as early in the day as possible and learn new things ideally before you go to sleep because your brain will retain the new information better.

Last edited by socrfb : 06-25-2013 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:01 AM   #4
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I tend to practice things that I want to improve on.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:24 AM   #5
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I do everything that I want to do. I couldn't organise a piss up at a brewery so I can't regiment or focus on anything specific, I just do anything and everything that seems like fun at the time. Some would call me sloppy, which, well, I can't really dispute...
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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Back during the period of 10 years or so that I subscribed to Guitar Player, most everyone who was interviewed that I had any respect for said that one should practice the things that were giving you difficulty.
It's never a bad idea to "keep your chops up", to spend some warm-up time going through things you already know pretty well, but to make progress you need to push your limits.

That's if you're actually interested in "making progress". I know a ton of players who are quite content to know what they know....
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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hey guys thanks for your feedback.

socrfb i agree with you about the whole getting exercises, scales etc out of the way at first. the longer i practice the more mistakes i make, so i always do those first, and end with less demanding stuff like chords.

i should probably also take breaks, thats something i never do.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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I practice whatever is relevant to the music I need to play. In the cover band I play with, the repertoire ranges cocktail hour jazz to Van Halen solos, so I have to maintain a pretty wide pallet, technically. And, of course, learning a large volume of music from recordings means keeping your ears in decent shape, which is an easy skill to lose if you don't keep practicing it.

About the only technique I don't practice or use regularly is speedy economy picking. But developing a solid left hand legato makes up for that a little bit.

edit: I should point out that I rarely get around to practicing "everything" in a single day's practice. There are things I do every day like RH/LH rudiments and scales/arpeggios, things I do most days like jazz and rock, things I do a few days a week like original music and covers, and things I do rarely like speed/metal techniques.

Last edited by cdgraves : 06-26-2013 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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You'll get the most work done if you practice what you feel like practicing at the moment. If you're in a heavy metal mood, work on your 16ths and right hand technique. If you're in a blues-mood, play along to some backing tracks and experiment with new shapes. Imagination is key!
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
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Practice enough to express yourself musically. Find the things that will get you to the point of showcasing what's brewing in your head.
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