#1
Hi,

I always read on this forum and other forums that the key to practicing guitar is training the "right" way.

What is the right way?

Is it:

10 min pull-offs/hammer offs
10 min chromatic scales
10 min power chord

Or how does it work?

How does 1 hour of practice look for you? Is it diffrent depending monday, friday or sunday?

I know your suppose to work on your weaknesses, but if my weakness is lets say string skipping. Do I just skip strings for as long as possible or do you do a specific exercise for this?

So many questions, hope to get even more answers
#3
I would say, if you're a beginner. Go play some songs. Most techniques that you need to practice will be in those songs. Do you have a teacher?

Play slow and controlled if you have trouble with something until you can play it clean, if you can't play it clean slow it down.

If you're a beginner, everything is your weakness and you need to practice everything. If you want to improve certain areas then fine, focus on that, but I would say that until you can't play stuff that you feel you should be able to play or its ridiculously sloppy or hard to play (which is when you should post in the technique help thread at the top of this forum) you should just chill and learn song after song and look at the theory behind it.

So.

Songs.
Theory.
Slow anything down that causes problems.

Others may have other ideas, but I feel that techniques are best learned in songs.

How long have you been playing? What can you play, what bands do you like?
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Jan 9, 2013,
#4
Ive been playing for 6 months and i feel like a make some progress from time to time and can play quite a few songs. Mostly thanks to rocksmith wich Ive had for about a month.

But as you would expect it dosent sound as good as I want and I can get much better
in all areas.

I play riffs slow and then speed up when i play it perfect and relaxed.

But still i would want a 30 min schedule with excercises I can begin my session with.

Should i then just bend strings for some time, then string skip, pull-offs and so on. Thats what i do now between riffs and when watching TV.

How do i practice "right"?
#5
You've been playing for 6 months. I recommend this book to you, then the second one. I advise you to seek inspiration from all things regarding this man.

YouTube is your friend.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Guitar-Cutting-Edge-Techniques/dp/1860744621

Get off to the best possible start.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 9, 2013,
#6
See you say intermediate, which you aren't. It can take years to get to intermediate.

Rocksmith does NOT teach you how to play guitar, it teaches you how to play Rocksmith.

Guthrie Govan is immense. That book should be good. Try and get a teacher if you can as it really will improve your playing, if you can't get a teacher try www.justinguitar.com and follow the lesson plans.

Theory will be the difference in just playing songs or understanding them. Trust me/us; it takes a little time to get to grips with it but the benefits are huge.

I would say I'm at the mid to upper end of intermediate, or my teacher does. I've been playing 18 years and for 16 of those years I just learned songs, worked on random techniques, ignored all theory and just thought I could improvise with notes that I thought worked together but really didn't a lot of the time. I've had to work hard in the last year but now all my information is filed properly and I've come on well.

That works for some people, but in my experience, for the vast majority of people they'll follow a similar path and not go anywhere. Theory and good tutoring will change that.

Think about it!
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Jan 9, 2013,
#7
I would suggest doing whatever is FUN for you and whatever will keep you interested in the guitar. And do what Mephaphil suggest and just learn songs...everything will fall into place when the time is right. And you will improve a lot without evening noticing.

I remember when i could barely barre chord anything and it seemed so hard...so i barley ever practiced...then one day I just realized I was doing it. Practice a little bit but not to much to discourage yourself and eventually things will fall into place.

So practice a bit but remember that playing songs is practice too....and alot more fun. What about scales...their fun practice.
#8
Quote by Dreal
What about scales...their fun practice.


Haha I don't know about that

When you've practiced them and you can use them, that's fun! I love utilising multiple scales and modes when improvising or creating solos.

They really freed me from the confines of the 4th position of the minor Pentatonic.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#9
I spend the bulk of my time primarily learning songs, perfecting known songs, and learning theory and secondarily doing ear training. I do some technical drills too as a warmup, but that's about it.
#11
Quote by johnyere
i recommend finding a GOOD teacher if possible.


and this, specifically. I know a lot of people are really good at the self-teaching thing, but it just never worked for me. Even for the things I'm most passionate about, I find myself getting easily sidetracked and becoming stagnant in what I know instead of challenging myself with what I suck at. Taking lessons helped A LOT.
#12
Quote by Mephaphil
See you say intermediate, which you aren't. It can take years to get to intermediate.

Rocksmith does NOT teach you how to play guitar, it teaches you how to play Rocksmith.

Guthrie Govan is immense. That book should be good. Try and get a teacher if you can as it really will improve your playing, if you can't get a teacher try www.justinguitar.com and follow the lesson plans.

Theory will be the difference in just playing songs or understanding them. Trust me/us; it takes a little time to get to grips with it but the benefits are huge.

I would say I'm at the mid to upper end of intermediate, or my teacher does. I've been playing 18 years and for 16 of those years I just learned songs, worked on random techniques, ignored all theory and just thought I could improvise with notes that I thought worked together but really didn't a lot of the time. I've had to work hard in the last year but now all my information is filed properly and I've come on well.

That works for some people, but in my experience, for the vast majority of people they'll follow a similar path and not go anywhere. Theory and good tutoring will change that.

Think about it!


I acutally looked up the meaning of intermediate before posting :P It means something like in the middle.

And what I meant with it was that i wasent a complete beginner. So i wouldent get hints that i should learn the blues scale or open chords.

I "know" most techniques but that dosent mean I do them good.

And thanks MDC, I´ll order that book.

So in short terms. There is no way to "practice right" just to practice everything?
#13
The Perfect way to practice is to spend most of your practice time practicing what you need the most (Technique) and/or what is F'n up your sound because of bad technique - i.e. Things you need to fix.

The goal being to solidify your foundation.

The other part of your practice time should be spent building vocabulary (patterns, licks, theory, etc)

If you are happy with your technique for the songs you are playing, alot a larger slice to expanding/vocabulary. There is a balance there between the two.

Also keep in mind that "Practice" here refers to the physical reinforcing of technique/theory. If you don't understand the technique in the first place, you need to first study/observe it and understand how to do it correctly BEFORE physically attempting to over-burn it.

Oh, and MOST importantly, as Freepower (and many others) have said, it is PARAMOUNT that you practice at a speed slow enough to where you are "Programming your muscle memory CORRECTLY", many people obssess over speed and over-burn flaws during practice time which will haunt them for life...

In regards to fixed schedules... schedules are good, BUT as you practice, you get better and as such your needs change - so should your schedule. Don't get so rigidly fixed on "I need to do 10x of these". What you should really do is re-assess yourself frequently and adjust your goals.

It is a LOT like body-building. If you just do curls, curls, curls, curls - yeah, you'll have great biceps, but that's it. To have a great body, you need to move around and sculpt ALL areas.

Keep in mind that you can only play x number of hours per day. It is the desire to play Music (Songs) that is really our goal. So a lot of your time should be spent playing songs - Applying Technique. It is those songs you play (or songs you aspire to play that you lack the technique for) that drive us.

Analogy 2: Basketball players spent a LOT of time shooting free throw drills. BUT they spend even more time playing basketball.

Happy Jammin!
Last edited by InfiniStudent at Jan 10, 2013,
#14
What helped me when I picked up the instrument was trying to be like my favorite guitarist. I would take lessons at a music shop downtown and on my off time I would try to tackle songs by metallica and blink182. The most important thing is to not get frustrated even if it seems that you are making no progress. Just take one day at a time and I promiss that the future will be good to you.

As far as a schedule goes TS, that one seems fine. However I wouldn't be overly anal about exactly how much time you spend. Guitar shouldn't be like going to the gym and doing reps and sets. Just practice at what ever pace you want each day. Some days will be different then other days and you have to allow yourself for failure.
Last edited by TheProtoTYPE at Jan 10, 2013,
#15
Thanks alot guys!

"The most important thing is to not get frustrated even if it seems that you are making no progress. Just take one day at a time and I promiss that the future will be good to you."

I know that feeling. But that whats makes it satisfying. When you practice for 1-2 weeks and feel like you havent improved at all. Then suddenly you nail a hard riff or lick
#17
Quote by InfiniStudent
The Perfect way to practice is to spend most of your practice time practicing what you need the most (Technique) and/or what is F'n up your sound because of bad technique - i.e. Things you need to fix.

The goal being to solidify your foundation.

The other part of your practice time should be spent building vocabulary (patterns, licks, theory, etc)

If you are happy with your technique for the songs you are playing, alot a larger slice to expanding/vocabulary. There is a balance there between the two.

Also keep in mind that "Practice" here refers to the physical reinforcing of technique/theory. If you don't understand the technique in the first place, you need to first study/observe it and understand how to do it correctly BEFORE physically attempting to over-burn it.

Oh, and MOST importantly, as FreePower (and many others) have said, it is PARAMOUNT that you practice at a speed slow enough to where you are "Programming your muscle memory CORRECTLY", many people obssess over speed and over-burn flaws during practice time which will haunt them for life...

In regards to fixed schedules... schedules are good, BUT as you practice, you get better and as such your needs change - so should your schedule. Don't get so rigidly fixed on "I need to do 10x of these". What you should really do is re-assess yourself frequently and adjust your goals.

It is a LOT like body-building. If you just do curls, curls, curls, curls - yeah, you'll have great biceps, but that's it. To have a great body, you need to move around and sculpt ALL areas.

Keep in mind that you can only play x number of hours per day. It is the desire to play Music (Songs) that is really our goal. So a lot of your time should be spent playing songs - Applying Technique. It is those songs you play (or songs you aspire to play that you lack the technique for) that drive us.

Analogy 2: Basketball players spent a LOT of time shooting free throw drills. BUT they spend even more time playing basketball.

Happy Jammin!


Thanks alot to you also. For taking time and writing such a good answer! I salute you

One question. With slow is it so slow that i hit every note correctly around 50-70 bpm or so slow i make minimal movment, and concentrate on fingers not flying off wich are not being used (my pinky has a tendency to do that, altough its gotten alot better) Like 30 bpm?
#18
There are some incredible finger dexterity exercises in that book, TS. But yes, minimal movement, and complete relaxation in the body. Make sure you don't start hunching your shoulders or anything like that. Breathe (you'd be surprised).

Maintain optimum tension with picking exercises. Optimum tension is fretting the note only hard enough for the sound to come out when you pick it.

Legato is a different story.

You'll have to wait a couple of minutes for the ad's.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTY1MjgwMzEy.html

Look out for the part with 3rd and 4th fingers.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 10, 2013,
#19
so slow i make minimal movment, and concentrate on fingers not flying off wich are not being used (my pinky has a tendency to do that, altough its gotten alot better) Like 30 bpm?


This slow. The idea is to program your fingers to act this well all the time. It does take practice but a bit every day is the important thing.
#20
Thanks alot guys! Really appreciate this. I can't remember I've ever done a thread in any forum where people have been so helpful!
#21
Exercises of stretching, sweep picking, legati, scales, pull/hummer, arpeggios are very important...you must do exercises with metronome...initially at 40 bpm...if you want to be very good guitarist, you need a good teacher...
Dario Hooker Di Marco
Last edited by Hooker84 at Jan 10, 2013,
#22
Quote by Ringo86
Thanks alot to you also. For taking time and writing such a good answer! I salute you

One question. With slow is it so slow that i hit every note correctly around 50-70 bpm or so slow i make minimal movment, and concentrate on fingers not flying off wich are not being used (my pinky has a tendency to do that, altough its gotten alot better) Like 30 bpm?

Slow = "Analysis & Tuning Mode"

It is way beyond just going slowly enough that you make no mistakes but it's not so slow you make "minimal movement".

It's so slow that your mind is free to analyze your execution and mechanics of what you are doing and ascertain whether it is correct, and if it's wrong, STOP and fix it.

If you aren't going slow enough, you might notice the mistake but then be swept into the next measure... You should be going waaaay slower than that.

Personally "Golden Slow" for me is about 1/2 the speed I can play the lick relaxed (not pushing for speed) or however much time I need to think about how I'm executing the elements involved and run through my mental checklist.