Organizing Your Practice

author: daniel.kPL date: 05/04/2012 category: correct practice
rating: 10 / votes: 9 

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There are many practice routines roaming over the internet, with examples like Steve Vai's 30-hour practice routine, or any other "ready to use" regimes that have every minute of practice explained and organized. Problem is that there is no universal way to practice that fits every one of you, and you should be able to make your own routine by yourself. A good one. What is a good practice routine? The answer is simple. Yours. If you feel that you progress and your exercises are diverse and you are not getting bored with it, you get more and more motivation to play and this is the cause of a good practice routine. The Vai's practice routine that I mentioned above includes 10 hours of practice every day. Yes. This is a lot of work, and not many of us can sacrifice our private life to guitar, and not many of us want to, fortunately. So, the first thing when you want to organize your practice is to: 1. Consider how much time you want to practice daily. It is important to pick the time amount that you will be able to practice Every Day. It's a nonsense if you practice 12 hours one time a week and don't even look at the guitar by the next six days. Playing guitar is some kind of sport (you use a lot of muscles), so it's important to stay "fit". This means that it's better to find 30 spare minutes every day, than force yourself to do practice in a manner of one marathon weekly. Next big thing is to be sure what you want to practice. If you're just doodling around you're not progressing. Stay focused on the subject you want to learn. But first, decide what it is. So, the second thing is to: 2. Pick the things you want to practice... Wisely. As I've written at the start, don't overwhelm yourself. Pick some subjects and be sure that you don't start the next before mastering the ones that you've started. When you picked the topics to practice, organize them into a routine. Take a blank paper and write them down. When it's done, consider how many of them you will be able to practice daily, and how many of them you want to put on hold to practice later (within a month, or so). 3. Write the routine on a paper card Keep the card in the place you practice, maybe post it on wall, just as I do. Look at it between your practice and check if you are doing all that you've planned. When it comes down to practice, don't forget to do the warm-up. Your muscles and tendons are really fragile, even if you think they're not. So before every heavier practice session be sure that you are properly warmed - up. Here you can read my article on warming up. Also, be sure to use the metronome. It's a very important thing to do. Practice every exercise starting from a slow tempo and speed up gradually. Also, practice songs. Don't forget about building your repertoire. 4. Do the warm-up, use metronome and speed up gradually. Don't forget to build up your repertoire! The last advice is for the business people. If you don't have time to practice in a continuous amount of time, spread it into few mini sessions. In learning a chord progression, practicing 10 minutes few times a day is a good method, so have it in mind. 5. Spread the routine into mini-sessions if you don't have much time. You can also practice finger exercises even when you watch TV, wait for the pizza to get cooked (or delivered, you lazy!) or when you wait for something and you have nothing to do. At the end, I will show you an example preparation of the routine. Here I am, answering the questions. 01. I can practice 3 hours daily. 02. The things I want to practice are : learning intervals by ear, transcribing music, mixolydian scale and two-hand tapping. 03. Scratchscratchscrape (writing it on a paper) My great practice routine
  • Intervals
  • Transcribing
  • Mixolydian scale
  • Two hand tapping 04. I'm adding the warm-up to the routine, and going to the music shop for the metronome. 05. I'm not able to practice 3 hours continuously, so I'm dividing the practice into few mini sessions:
  • Intervals(2x20 min)
  • Transcribing(2x20min)
  • Scale(2x30 min)
  • Tapping(2x20 min) 06. I'm changing the name, deleting these wimpy hearts and kisses. And that's all. Hope that this will help you to make your own practice routine. Visit and like my Facebook profile, comment and rate this lesson, and read my other articles at Ultimate-Guitar.com! Thank you for reading! Daniel Kaczmarczyk, lodzgitara@gmail.com
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