#1
I started guitar under a week ago, and im having trouble figuring out how to practice.

At first, i learnt a few simple riffs, and spent very little time on Chords.

Today I began this schedule-

I practiced about 5 times today, eact time I did this-

Step 1- 5 Mins- Practice getting all the Major Chords to sound good.
Step 2- 5 Mins- Practice switching between Chords
Step 3- 5 Mins- Practice a song (Im learning Knocking on heavens door atm)
Then I spend about 5-10 mins practicing small riffs and the Minor pentationic scale (Sorry if I spelt that wrong)

So each sessions was 20-25 mins long.

I go back to school tomorrow, So I wont have as much time to practice, but I could probably fit in 2 25 min sessions plus a few random 5 min goes.

So, is this an effective way to practice?

I would be playing about an hour a day on weekdays, plus 2-5 on weekends (Depends if im out or not)
If I stick to his, when could I expect to see a considerable improvement in my playing?

Wow, i just realised how vague that question was, ok, when could I expect to be playing the riff of "Smells like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana?
And can it be done on acoustic guitar?
#2
well, it depends how fast you progress, smells like teen spirit isn't hard, but playing it right will take a bit more experience. also it's powerchords if i'm not mistaken, so real chords are useless for it =P
and you can play most electric stuff on acoustic, you just sound different.
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#3
if you just started playing a week ago, then dont play knockin on heavens door. start off with simpleer riffs and get used to those b4 u start playing that kind of stuff. smells like teen spirit is a great first riff to learn so learn that instead of knockin on heavens door
#4
you seem to have taken a pretty organized method of practising but dude.. Dont time yourself THAT much.. I mean i think you should take each step at a time.. But do it till you think its right.. Or at least till you think its better. Other than that you sound determined and focused so keep practising and you will get better. The song you chose is a good one to start with.. Once your done with that move on to smells like teen spirit. Yes you can do it acoustically.. Try doing some more nirvana also.. Their songs are simpler.. I'd also recommend trying Californication - RHCP, but if you like that song n you know it well. Dont attempt to learn something you havent heard enough..

Just keep practising and you'll be fine. But i hope you know this isnt an overnight thing.. Itll take some time before you start playing smoothly and properly..
#5
Ok, ill get right onto Smeels like Teen Spirit in a few days.
By the way, im only playing a simplified version of knocking on heavens door.
And i have trouble with Power Chords. I either strum to many strings, or mute all the ones I dont need to play, but then the ones i play dont sound right.
#6
Quote by m0o
you seem to have taken a pretty organized method of practising but dude.. Dont time yourself THAT much.. I mean i think you should take each step at a time.. But do it till you think its right.. Or at least till you think its better. Other than that you sound determined and focused so keep practising and you will get better. The song you chose is a good one to start with.. Once your done with that move on to smells like teen spirit. Yes you can do it acoustically.. Try doing some more nirvana also.. Their songs are simpler.. I'd also recommend trying Californication - RHCP, but if you like that song n you know it well. Dont attempt to learn something you havent heard enough..

Just keep practising and you'll be fine. But i hope you know this isnt an overnight thing.. Itll take some time before you start playing smoothly and properly..



I can do the intro to Californication, but nothing more.
#7
And about Knocking on Heavens door, i know all the Chords, and i can almost switch between them fast enough, but I cant seem to get the strumming pattern.
#8
try to mute the other strings with your finger.. This will take a bit of practise i guess but its fairly easy..

The intro to californication is also the main riff in all the verses.. So thats half the song done. The chorus and bridge are simple chords so its not that hard.. Even the solo for this song is very simple and it sounds great. It was the first solo i learnt and theres not that much to it... I'd recommend you learn the solo in smells like teen spirit cus thats even simpler..
#9
I don't think that's enough practice. Well, what i mean is it's enough, but practicing individual things for 5 minutes is no good. By the time you get into it you move onto something else. I think it'd take a long time to see improvements like this. Also i've noticed you don't warm up. It usually takes me half an hour to warm up before i can play anything decently.
#10
YES! A pleasant warm-up will prevent your sessions becoming a chore. Also, reward yourself at the end with playing a favourite. You'll get better and better at it and it will set the standard for the rest of your playing. I did that with Substitute (the Who) when I was starting to play. (smashed the light with my first windmill)
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#11
Quote by Ikonoklast
I don't think that's enough practice. Well, what i mean is it's enough, but practicing individual things for 5 minutes is no good. By the time you get into it you move onto something else. I think it'd take a long time to see improvements like this. Also i've noticed you don't warm up. It usually takes me half an hour to warm up before i can play anything decently.


I agree and disagree with you. A agree that 5 minutes and no warm up isn't the best approach. Having said that, warming up for me generally involves what he's doing atm anyway - running over some scales and chords to get my picking and fretting hands co-ordinated again.

I've also found that shorter practice sessions (15-20 minutes each usually focussing on one particular technique/song etc. that I'm working on) regularly have improved my playing substantially as I can focus more intently for a short period of time, take a break and then come back and do another session. I found when I was playing consistently for longer periods of time; a) I found it more difficult to concentrate and ended up practicing ineffectively and just going through the motions after a while, b) I found it more difficult to fit my practicing around life and c) it was more intimidating and easier to procrastinate if I thought I was going to have to commit for a long period of time.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing guitar, but I'm a procrastinator, and I find it much easier to do 3 or 4 shorter practice sessions which add up to an hour or so than to sit down and do that practice straight up for that period of time. I'm not usually leaving great lengths of time between sessions, it's just enough to give my mind a break and by the end of the break I'm itching to play again!
Last edited by firesprite at Feb 2, 2009,
#12
Did I really just read something basically saying that Smells Like Teen Spirit is easier to play than Knocking On Heavens Door?

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#13
Quote by rocnroll4evr93
if you just started playing a week ago, then dont play knockin on heavens door. start off with simpleer riffs and get used to those b4 u start playing that kind of stuff. smells like teen spirit is a great first riff to learn so learn that instead of knockin on heavens door

Knocking on Heaven's Door is a damnsight easier than Teen Spirit.

TS, you just need to calm down - don't feel you need to learn everything at once. Just concentrate on getting a feel for the guitar for the first couple of months, what you're doing is fine but don't time yourself and you should really spend longer than 5 minutes on things, that's barely long enough to get warmed up, particularly so early on. Practice your chords for at least half an hour, when you get bored then work on using them in a song for a while. If you don't have that much time then just work on chords - there's no point trying to learn a song if you're still trying to learn all the techniques required, it;s like trying to write a story before you've learned how to spell the words you're using.
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#14
I'm doing something similar to the OP, though my practicing is a little more basic. I figured finger dexterity would be the most important thing to work on first, so I pretty much practice the same scale for 30 minutes. I've noticed an improvement, which is good, but I can't help but feel like my training regimen isn't very good overall.
#15
Woah, haha. I just practice as much as I can, Im going on 5 years of playing.:P
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#16
If you just starting off the first thing to learn in most of the easy to play open chords as you seem to be doing. At the same time practice changing between the chords. I would just do 4 down strums change chord and then 4 down strums change chord to begin with.

When you first do it make sure you keep the strumming action going even if the chord changes are a bit off to begin with. Once you have that sorted for a few chords you can then try and play a few songs. Watch for the chord changes in the song and make sure your chord changes fit them. Also make sure you play at the right tempo for the song. It helps if you sing the song as you play it. Due to my terrible singing ability I just sing the songs in my head as that way you can sound like anyone !!!

When you get that down you can then look at strumming patterns. The problem with strumming patterns is it is like riding a bike you can either work them out and play them or you can't. Youtube is handy for showing how people play songs and you can copy the strumming patterns you like the sound of. This may all take you a few months to learn unless you have loads of free time on your hands.

Hope that helps a bit and don't worry the practice will pay off.

#17
hmm... I disagree with one point only. Singing and playing might be a little too complicated for a beginner even if hes singing in his head.. It takes practise to get the lyrics and the strumming in sync (No pun intended!) with each other.. So i think youre best bet would be to try to get the strumming down. Stick with knocking on heavens door. Theres barely any chords and the strumming pattern is very simple.
On the other hand youtube really is a great way to learn as well.. Look for any song and you'll be able to see dozens of lessons for a song, especially such a well known song such as knocking on heavens door.

Dont try to do everything in one day. You'll end up worse than you were before. Dont time yourself as such, even if you are on a schedule. You be the judge of what to do and for how long to do it, not the clock.. Keep it light and dont try to take on too much. You'll end up frustrated and dejected.. It'll just make you give up. Keep your goals achievable and you'll be much happier and will become a better musician, in due time.
#18
the structure to your practicing will pay off in the long run.

organization is always a good thing, even non music related.
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#20
Quote by tenfold
No school and only 25mins to practice?


25 minutes, 5 times a day.
I probably couldnt keep my concentration to maximum for longer than 30 mins.
#21
Oh my bad I was reading as once a day for 25mins lol.
Kevin Trudeau, in his studies of learning, says you should practice at something for 20 minutes then have a 5-10 minute break to let the information soak in then you can repeat that if you want.
I'd say do that and go slow to make sure your playing is perfect.
#22
haha I have just started as well. How I have learned is by playing like a section of the tab at a time then work on linking them up. If that makes sense?
#24
Yeah, im trying to learn the entire Califiornication song, so I learned the main Riff, now im owring on the solo, then ill learn those odd inbetween bits, and i'll have it.
#25
Yeah I learned the solo a while ago. Not a hard one but sounds good. The most important thing there is to stay on rhythm; record yourself playing with a guitar pro backing (if you need it I can send you it) and you will probably see that you're off timing.