BlueIceBox
Bzzzz
Join date: Jun 2010
1,172 IQ
#1
I've been seeing a lot of the pro's talk about thier childhood and they always talk about how they used to practice for 4-6 hours every day.

Availibility of free time aside, how are people able to practise for so long? What sort of things do they do? I would love to be able to have even just 2 hours of decent practice every day, but I'm not really happy with my routine because I spend quite a lone time every day 'practicing' but I don't feel that I'm playing as well as I should be.

My usual routine is as follows, 10-15 mins warm up, then practice a few exercises relating to the technique I'm focused on at the moments for 30-40 mins. I would spend the rest of my free time playing songs or learning new songs or just noodling. In total I'm with my guitar for a good 3 hours every day, but I only spend the first hour practicing.

When I practice a certain technique I can only do so for a maximum of 40 mins before I just start playing worse or I get bored, so how do these guys manage for 3+ hours?
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supersac
Tab Contributor
Join date: Aug 2009
630 IQ
#2
some people consider learning songs or studying music "practice"

in my practice time now i mostly work on my ear ill spend a an hour or so just listening to things and tyring to play them out by ear or humming scales and singing chords to get that osund in my ear
THE-DUDE!
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2009
51 IQ
#3
I can easily practice for 6 hours only with a toilet- and cigarette break. I don't warm up I just play along to some music keeping a focus on the thing that I want to improve for a hour or two. Then I just mess around with some licks and maybe try to work a bit with some riffs I've made for an hour only to get back to the playing along.
It's easier than you think. Its all about doing something to like rather than boring exercises over and over again. Just choose some songs you like where you can improve.
You don't learn music sitting down, you learn it by playing it.
tommaso.zillio
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2008
1,321 IQ
#4
Professional do not just work on a technique at a time, they also work in implementing a technique into a song (either by composing a song with that technique, or learning an existing song that contains that technique), integrating the techniques so that you can switch between them instantly, and a number of other things that amateurs often overlook. For instance: playing while standing, or walking, or jumping; rehearse the whole show rather than one song at a time, etc.

Imagine yourself playing on stage or in a studio (two completely different situations) What do you need to develop in your guitar skills in order to be able to do it, and feel confident about it? You will see that you will NEED more than 2h to train all this. :-)
QPC_Sam
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
580 IQ
#5
Quote by BlueIceBox
I would spend the rest of my free time playing songs or learning new songs or just noodling. In total I'm with my guitar for a good 3 hours every day, but I only spend the first hour practicing.


Learning new songs is essential.

If you don't play as well as you think you should, then there must be some songs you want to play but can't. List them. Look at each in detail. Figure out what you've got to learn to be able to play them. Take it step by step.

Find a book, find a tutor.
Find people to play with.
Learning a new cover song? Feel like recording it? And have people listen to it? See the CATPM thread in the Pit. Here's the user group
Andy Pollow
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2012
44 IQ
#6
Try learnin the whole Tony Macalpine "Edge of Insanity" Cd from the power tab. That could keep you busy more than 3 hours per day. Freakin fun though. I like how his shred is more complex than some - he does like 16th notes but with a little 8th note triplet or one quarter note... thrown into the middle of the lick. Really complex. Sometimes I cheat a little.
Sickz
Jazz Musician
Join date: Mar 2010
1,594 IQ
#8
I think they can practice for that long because they have a very structured and organized way of practicing. I practice 3-4 hours a day myself, and i practice all of those hours, because i have set up things i want to do during my practice session that fills it out.

This would be stuff like:
Transcribing
Technique
Theory
Sight reading
Scales/Arpeggios.
Chords.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
bigblockelectra
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
571 IQ
#9
I heard an interview with Tom Morello on Adam Carolla's morning radio show back before the podcast he does now. He said that once the band was a full time thing he spent 8 hours a day practicing. 2 hours playing along with songs from the radio, 2 hours on technique, 2 hours coming up with new sounds, and 2 hours writing songs.
bondmorkret
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2012
168 IQ
#10
I've been playing for as long as I can remember (I'm 27 now) and I still practice for 6-7 hours a day, purely because I really enjoy it. The only way to do this type of practice routine is to have a really organised, varied practice plan that never includes mindless noodling. You should always know what you're practicing at any one time. I wrote a book on practice strategy actually, you can check it out here:

Guitar Practice Strategy Book

I need to see regular improvement to maintain this type of regime, which I always do, with the way that I practice. In fact it's basically impossible not to improve
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#11
I do 2-4 hours daily and still barely get everything done that I need/want.

Here's what I at least try to get done every day:

Warmups:
15min RH
15min LH
15min scales
15min arpeggios

45-60min of covers

45-60min working out new covers or originals

60min of Jazz

1-4 hours of rehearsals 4x weekly

Sometimes I'll do random technical workouts or sight reading stuff in place or in addition to the above. Comes out to about 24-30 hours a week of music if I'm diligent.
musician26
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
577 IQ
#12
Okay...kind of as an aside. How the heck do you find 3+ hours to practice a day? I work full-time and have other responsibilities. I'm lucky if I can get an hour of practice. Do you guys cut out a lot of leisure activities, like television and such? Is music part of your job?
musician26
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
577 IQ
#13
Okay...kind of as an aside. How the heck do you find 3+ hours to practice a day? I work full-time and have other responsibilities. I'm lucky if I can get an hour of practice. Do you guys cut out a lot of leisure activities, like television and such? Is music part of your job?
Tempoe
. . . ∆ . . .
Join date: Oct 2008
2,511 IQ
#14
I have more than enough time, lucky I guess. Yeah some advice, never get a job. ever. Work is good though, just not a "job"

also yeah I play electric quiet when I watch tv all the time
Last edited by Tempoe at Feb 5, 2013,
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#15
Quote by musician26
Okay...kind of as an aside. How the heck do you find 3+ hours to practice a day? I work full-time and have other responsibilities. I'm lucky if I can get an hour of practice. Do you guys cut out a lot of leisure activities, like television and such? Is music part of your job?


I put in about 70 hours a week between "real" work and music. On days I'm not lazy about music, I might get 1-2 hours of uncommitted time for things like interneting, TV/netflix, eating, and relationship maintenance.

Short of actually working in music, which is my goal, having a regular day job is the best thing for my musical improvement. Having predictable income means I can upgrade and maintain my gear, keep gas in my car, and take paid vacation for gigs if I need.

Making that much time for music IS a challenge, but it takes a lot of consistent effort to break into music as a profession.
sweetdude3000
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2012
1,172 IQ
#16
How do people work 8 hour works days at jobs that hate ?

I find myself addicted to music and try to figure out how to limit the amount of playing time. If you get a lot of reward from something, you repeat it - it's human nature.
bondmorkret
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2012
168 IQ
#18
Quote by musician26
Okay...kind of as an aside. How the heck do you find 3+ hours to practice a day? I work full-time and have other responsibilities. I'm lucky if I can get an hour of practice. Do you guys cut out a lot of leisure activities, like television and such? Is music part of your job?


Good question. I based my life around playing, so my job allows me to practice as much as I need to. Nowadays I teach and run the website, which gives me a lot of practice time. Before that I simply wouldn't take a job if it didn't fit around my practice/gigging schedule. All a matter of priorities!
ProphetToJables
Tight Tight Tight
Join date: Dec 2008
1,529 IQ
#19
Quote by musician26
Okay...kind of as an aside. How the heck do you find 3+ hours to practice a day? I work full-time and have other responsibilities. I'm lucky if I can get an hour of practice. Do you guys cut out a lot of leisure activities, like television and such? Is music part of your job?


I work 9-5 Monday to Saturday, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays as soon as I get in I pick up my guitar and play for 4 hours. On the weekends I can play 6 or 7 hours each day.
It leaves you with time for other stuff if you're smart about it. For instance I play while im watching tv or eating.

Quote by sweetdude3000
How do people work 8 hour works days at jobs that hate ?

I find myself addicted to music and try to figure out how to limit the amount of playing time. If you get a lot of reward from something, you repeat it - it's human nature.


Money, for me it's money to fund more gear.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
WaltTheWerewolf
Caffeinated
Join date: Sep 2008
1,313 IQ
#20
Warmups, Scales/Modes, Finger Picking Exercises, and the majority of the time jamming to backing tracks...sometimes just drums in the backing track so i can freestyle everything guitar/bass related.

BUT with kids i tend to not get a chance to practice for several hours...
RedMist
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
44 IQ
#21
I think when you here of Eddie Van Halen praticing for 8 hours, I think it's mainly listening to and copying tunes/noodling.
Bazz22
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2011
246 IQ
#22
I used to be able to play for hours straight, no problem.

Unfortunately, as of late I've been getting really frustrated with my playing, to the point where I'll end up stopping after 30 minutes because I'm unhappy with my playing abilities.
SP1N3SPL1TT3R
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#23
Quote by RedMist
I think when you here of Eddie Van Halen praticing for 8 hours, I think it's mainly listening to and copying tunes/noodling.


Most likely true, or thinking of ways to kick out Dave and replace him with another family member.

I practice 3-5 hours daily. At least 30 mins of it is me screwing with settings, because perfect tone is impossible, and I use the sweep rate of modulation effects as a metronome.

IMO, if you're in a band you should practice 2x as long as your setlist, 5-7 days a week.
GuitarFreak1387
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
504 IQ
#24
I use to play anywhere from 3-6 hours semi regularly back when I was in school. The main thing that made me want to play that long was simply just determination. It wasn't a strict everyday thing though. If I had the free time to do it, I would play. If I had other things to do I wouldn't play, wasn't a big deal.
Freepower
v It's Back! :D
Join date: Feb 2004
3,277 IQ
#25
Believe it or not, you can practice practice.

As you practice more you figure out how to keep motivated and what you want to improve. There's also a nice cycle where you

Practice A
See results with A!
Wish you could see results in B and C as well
...
So now you practice A B and C!

Aside from that, obviously you don't waste your time - TV is usually shit, personally I prefer playing guitar to drinking... etc etc. If guitar is your favourite leisure activity it makes it easy to find the time.
Vicious_Turtle
UG Member
Join date: Jul 2010
3,030 IQ
#26
Quote by Andy Pollow
Try learnin the whole Tony Macalpine "Edge of Insanity" Cd from the power tab. That could keep you busy more than 3 hours per day. Freakin fun though. I like how his shred is more complex than some - he does like 16th notes but with a little 8th note triplet or one quarter note... thrown into the middle of the lick. Really complex. Sometimes I cheat a little.

lfcagger
twat
Join date: Jan 2011
637 IQ
#27
It's mostly a question of time management - I'm in school 9-3, play hockey 8 times a week, but I still have time to put in 3+ hours a day, more on weekends. Just cut out useless stuff like going on facebook, watching TV, and you'll be fine. Sure, 20 minutes on the Xbox is okay now and again. but you have to be disciplined to use your time wisely.
My stuff


Gibson Les Paul Studio
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thetrueballs
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
23 IQ
#28
I'm not sure I understood your question. If you mean how people end up practicing so long, it's because some have strict routines, which they follow strictly. Some people just strum their hearts out and then a few hours just go by. :-)

If you're having problems staying motivated, just remember, you should be having fun, first and foremost.

If you push yourself into practicing more than you really like to, then you'd just burn yourself out, and you won't get anywere in the long run.

If you're asking how people are able to practice so much, then it's a question of dedication, MOTIVATION, discipline, priorities and time management. :-)
ThisIsBS
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2010
375 IQ
#29
When I started playing, I used to practice 10 hours a day sometimes, WITHOUT calluses. I have a blog/journal/diary thing on my profile which I stopped doing, but you get the idea. I was addicted to playing guitar, not so much now but I still practice almost everday :P
Playing guitar since 2010

Quote by theogonia777
well said

that galalayo nigga would have been all like

bitch ain't no way they'll ever have telescopes that can see pluto

but we have telescopes that can see pluto so fuck that guy
ProphetToJables
Tight Tight Tight
Join date: Dec 2008
1,529 IQ
#30
I clocked around 9 or 10 hours on Sunday.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
deltadaz
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
100 IQ
#31
Stick your strap on carry your guitar everywhere cooking tea and picking practice
Cutting the lawn and strumming.
But seriously people spend hours a day doing things they don't like.
yet cant seem to motivate themselves to do something they are supposed to love if the
If guitar is something you love make time.
you have to seriously look at your life if your being forced to do things other than you want
do you really want to play guitar that bad.
Dont sit around in 40 years time wishing you had, do it now. whatever the restriction
do away with them if they wont allow you to do something you love..

Sorry got into rant mode ..
But this goes up to 11
Last edited by deltadaz at Feb 12, 2013,
RyanStorm13
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
484 IQ
#32
How do teachers teach for 8 hours a day 5 days a week(roughly)....because they have study plans for all the students and pre-plan what they do before the week starts(and even have a years worth of plans outlined, maybe not in detail), which includes an outline with goals, and tests to see which students are moving forward periodically.

This testing, is like gigging and recording, so even if you play an empty bar of friends and family, its still good practice/testing to see how far you have come, or by how well your songs sound.

Take the same concepts of a teacher and put it in your music learning.


The best advice I was ever given, I was told to play the guitar like it were a real instrument. Like flute players just don't just pick it up and jam on it for 20 minutes, then look up their favorite bands tabs(that aren't always correct) and try and play it without a metronome or actually listening to how the song is played.

Also, I was told not to obsess trying to replicate what others do as my main source of learning, like spending a whole summer learning Tool's Lateralus Song Book before I even knew what Minor Penatonic scale was....


It is always better to learn all the traditional stuff that these double platinum musicians used to make their songs first. Cause a master of all the different methods and styles of guitar playing, who can read music, will be able to play other guitarist's songs for the most part.....the other half to traditional learning is studying other guitarists work.

Part of learning the guitar is from other musicians who transformed music and guitar through out the years, from Robert Johnson to BB King to Chuck Berry to Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page to Van Halen to Randy Rhoads to Dimebag to Jack White to Buckethead to Paul Landers/Richard Krupse etc etc etc Each of them learned what was done before them, and implemented their own style and improved upon what they know.

Learning guitar isn't just playing, there is so much more....just make sure you understand what your playing.
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#33
playing is playing, practice is practice. They are not interchangeable. And if you're doing some other thing while you play or practice... you are neither playing nor practicing. Unless you're practicing specifically so you can watch football on the bar's TV during your set.
ProphetToJables
Tight Tight Tight
Join date: Dec 2008
1,529 IQ
#34
I disagree, being able to play guitar whilst focusing on something else is beneficial.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
hamza hashmi
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
787 IQ
#35
my university timmings are like 7am-4pm. at home i practice around two hours and on weekends maybe more like 3-4 hours. i think 1.5 hours are enough if you arrange a proper time table for your practice session.
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#36
Quote by ProphetToJables
I disagree, being able to play guitar whilst focusing on something else is beneficial.


Only beneficial to whatever you're doing that isn't music. What else besides music would you need to focus on while performing?
QPC_Sam
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
580 IQ
#37
Quote by cdgraves
Only beneficial to whatever you're doing that isn't music. What else besides music would you need to focus on while performing?


Audience reaction.
I suppose you could always rely on other people to tell you which songs went down well. Or watch a video. But why wouldn't you want to watch it live for yourself? You might be able to react to them.
Learning a new cover song? Feel like recording it? And have people listen to it? See the CATPM thread in the Pit. Here's the user group
Last edited by QPC_Sam at Feb 15, 2013,
bburritt1
Sauron Hates EMG's......
Join date: Feb 2013
188 IQ
#38
I know what ya mean i used to practice for HOURS now im married work six days a week and have a son for whom i will be teaching soon (he is nine months old the clock is ticking my boy)and i have artritus in my left hand. So im lucky to get 1 hour in a week.
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