#1
Well, I've been playing for 5 years and I've always wondered why I couldn't break the 100BPM mark cleanly. I'm able to do it, but only on good days.

Anyways, I got to thinking; "Maybe I spread out my practice routine too much."

Here's my basic day. After school, of course.

4:00 - Get Home and visit UG for a while, so I can rest a bit.
4:30ish - Guitar (I play standing up a lot, so I get tired very easily)
5:00 - Hang out w/ friends
6:00 - Eat
6:30 - Guitar
7:30 - TV (My favorite show is on for an hour )
8:30 - Guitar
9:30 - CPU (Take some time to unwind a bit)
10:30 - David Letterman
11:30 - Bed

Is my practice too spread out? Should I keep my practice time all in one spot so that I can focus on that for a while.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Mar 2, 2009,
#2
Nope, doesn't look like its too spread out. Good for rest. What do you practice?
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#3
Quote by SilverDark
Nope, doesn't look like its too spread out. Good for rest. What do you practice?

I mostly practice alternate picking. I want to get it down good before moving on to something like sweeping.
#4
Use metronome.

Find a scale you enjoy ( I enjoy Phyrgian in F minor )

Play scale to metronome, starting at 60bpm. (or the highest you can play cleanly and comfortably)

Hit 4 notes per beat.

Increase bpm by 2 when you can play it cleanly and comfortably.

Work way up to desired level.

I'm at 120 on good days, after a quick warmup (I start at 100~)




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#5
How about ignoring speed and just play some music? I recently found out my speed increased from 110 to 130bpm (on 16th notes), and all I did was not pay attention to speed, just playing melodies.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#6
If your practising often enough (half hour a day is plenty) and you can't get past a point then there is something wrong with your technique. Get a teacher.
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#7
Quote by The_Sophist
If your practising often enough (half hour a day is plenty) and you can't get past a point then there is something wrong with your technique. Get a teacher.

That's easier said than done, my friend. Espessially when you live in a very small community like mine.
#8
Then get your research skills in order. Spend ALOT of time looking at instructional videos, researching the muscle systems in your hand, physics of tension, and ask people better than you everything you can think of.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#9
The_Sophist is pretty much right.

Watch instructional videos, even if it means spending an hour or two to find a good one.

Practice what it teaches.

Read lessons.

Learn not only about the human body (elbow/wrist/hand/fingers) but guitar theory, correct practice, etc.

tl;dr
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#10
If you have a webcam, record a video of you practising both slow and fast, the same sequence, and post it in AT. Read all the answeres and determine a consensus (unless of course Freepower or Shred post, then just listen to them).
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#11
It's good to have a spread out practice routine and have a break at every hour at the minimum. I followed the setup of this musician on the AAJ Forums. He broke down his practice sessions into groups which were:

Technical
- To develop a flawless technique, practicing everything along with a metronome slowly concentrating on perfection each and every time.
- Use things like classical violin studies, bebop heads/solos, and exercises

Vocabulary
- Chords/Rhythm, Scales/Arpeggios, Improvisation
- Getting a good 'vocabulary' of everything to use in playing

Repertoire
- Learning and Mastering the techniques of various styles.
- Includes transcribing, analyzing, improvising, comping, etc.

Music Studies
- Ear Training, Sight Reading, Composition/Arrangement, Music Theory, History, etc


Now I split the categories evenly with the time I have that day and pick one or two sub sections to work out of. The secret is to not be mindlessly practicing. Short sessions on subject will have you remembering and understanding the concepts much quicker and easier. An example would be say learning chord forms or inversions. You can only practice them for so long before your mind starts to drift. Once you start thinking about other things you know it is time to do something different because you aren't focusing 100%
#12
Friends, food, and sleep. There's your problem right there!
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#13
You're on your way, but you'll have to get rid of distractions like education and friends first.

Your practise schedule is fine, but if you are that concerned about speed, I suggest you head over to the AT forum. They have a whole bunch of stuff on developing speed and such.
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#14
Your practice isn't too spread out at all. Answer me this - are you aiming to beat 100bpm, or are you aiming to improve your picking? Because they're very different things.

What I would do in your shoes (and did, about 6 months ago at a picking roadblock of my own) is make sure to do an hour of pure alternate picking every day. Make every single pickstroke as perfect as possible, take things from extremely slow tempos and and move them gradually to about 75% of what you think you can currently pick, practice moving between dynamic levels, practice single string, whole fretboard and string crossing exercises. Sure enough, 6 months later I'm still seeing improvement from the practice I did then.

Although tbh, reading your blog as well, it doesn't sound like you're having much fun with your instrument. Why not take a few months and just play?