#1
I'm fairly new to guitar and have started practicing seriously. I realized that I need a solid plan that I can follow daily to help me get better. I'm thinking a 2-3 hour plan would be sufficient. If I have more time a day than that, I'll just do it twice.

I'm thinking:

20 minutes of trying to get better at chord changes
20 minutes of doing arpeggios
20 minutes of alternate picking practice

Can anybody suggest more things to add to my plan?

Any help is appreciated!
Chinese Democracy is a great album, people need to get over Slash.

Proud fan of Pop, Rap, Rock, and Metal.
#2
Probably fit in general technique work (hammerons/pullofs, bends, whatever) and theory work, eventually some transcribing time.
#3
What does 'playing arpeggios' mean? Finding where they are? String skipping arps? Sweep picking? Rather than sticking to some plan, start playing. Play some simple tunes that you like. Figure out where your weaknesses are and work on them.

Every time i start a song there's something in there that i find a challenge, so i just work on it, perfect it and then bring it to the song. I find this much better than sticking to a regimented schedule, which can get boring. Just warm up, sync up your hands and ears and then play whatever you want, and look for your weaknesses.
#4
I agree with Ikonoklast. I tried having a set practice time each day and running through scales, pretty much a strict regiment. It's okay at first but after a while it's no fun. I don't put any expectations on my practice. I play when I want to and don't when I don't. Whatever you do it has to be FUN. Then again if you enjoy a strict schedule of practice, more power to you!
#5
if you are new, then your bending probably isn't spot on. And you can't tell till you record yourself cus it's like those american idol singers who think they are good but suck. I recommend highly that for like a week you sit down with your guitar plugged into a tuner and practice bending whole steps and then practicing bending half steps up and down each of the 3 high strings until you have an internal recognition of pitch and know that you are bending to the correct amount. then WITHOUT a tuner, SLOWLY slide up 2 frets and try to recreate that sound by bending on the fret you started on ex: slide from 12/14 on the b string then try to make the same sound by only bending on the 12th fret to practice whole step bending then do this for each fret on the top 3 high strings increase the speed of the slide as you progress. to practice half steps, only slide up one fret and recreate this by only bending on the starting fret as before. Trust me, it sounds like a monotonous exercise, but it will make your soloing/ linear playing top notch. And it really only takes a few weeks. you'll know when you are bending too much and when you aren't bending far enough.

good luck
#6
Quote by Ikonoklast

Every time i start a song there's something in there that i find a challenge, so i just work on it, perfect it and then bring it to the song. I find this much better than sticking to a regimented schedule, which can get boring. Just warm up, sync up your hands and ears and then play whatever you want, and look for your weaknesses.


I agree with you. I learn so much by learning songs, and most of my practice time consists of working on licks from difficult songs. I do work on some exercises too, but I will specifically pick them to improve deficiencies noticed from whatever song I'm learning - for cases where just practicing the lick more isn't targetting the deficiency enough. I think the only exercises I do just because are the 1-nps spider (as my warm-up) and some of the Paul Gilbert alt picking exercises. I've found both of those very helpful so I stick with them, though I vary them from time to time to keep them fresh.

Working on parts of songs is so much more fun. Playing music that sounds beautiful and is technically challenging beats the crap out of running up and down scales all day. And there's a much more tangible, meaningful goal - learning to play the whole song to the best of your ability while becoming better at the instrument.
#7
The best thing to do is to practice in structured blocks that force you to concentrate on what you're playing.

Martin Goulding, a columnist in Guitar Techniques magazine (and one HELL of a player), advocates using no more than 5-10 minute per specific exercise while woodshedding. When you think about this idea, you'll realize that if you are really focused while practicing, 5 or 10 minutes can be an eternity. Practice smart.

Additionally, I would advise against just learning songs. Try to learn a song, then write a passage (it could be as little as 20 seconds long) based on the song that reflects some of the techniques you have acquired. This can really help to break any lack of inspiration/dedication to your craft.

Remember, if at any point in developing your technique do you feel like you are grinding scales/exercises, you need to stop and re-evaluate your approach. If need be, create ANOTHER thread in this forum asking for help. That's what we're here for.
Last edited by plainsight at Jul 25, 2009,
#8
Quote by plainsight
The best thing to do is to practice in structured blocks that force you to concentrate on what you're playing.

Martin Goulding, a columnist in Guitar Techniques magazine (and one HELL of a player), advocates using no more than 5-10 minute per specific exercise while woodshedding. When you think about this idea, you'll realize that if you are really focused while practicing, 5 or 10 minutes can be an eternity. Practice smart.

GT is an amazing magazine. I found this very interesting. John Wheatcroft talks about making a practice plan.
#9
Quote by sshaun007
GT is an amazing magazine. I found this very interesting. John Wheatcroft talks about making a practice plan.


I'm not sure If you misunderstood me (I don't mean this offensively), but Goulding DOES advocate practice plans...he means that the exercises within those plans should not take more than a few minutes of your time.

I actually took my idea about writing passages based off familiar songs from Wheatcroft. He says when you learn any example of his from GT, you should make up your own idea along the same lines.

*Side note: After picking up GT, I never want to go back to Guitar World or any other horribly rock/metal focused mag ever again. Granted, I don't subscribe to any of the zines, but they are great for airport layovers/delays, haha.
#10
Quote by plainsight
I'm not sure If you misunderstood me (I don't mean this offensively), but Goulding DOES advocate practice plans...he means that the exercises within those plans should not take more than a few minutes of your time.

I actually took my idea about writing passages based off familiar songs from Wheatcroft. He says when you learn any example of his from GT, you should make up your own idea along the same lines.

*Side note: After picking up GT, I never want to go back to Guitar World or any other horribly rock/metal focused mag ever again. Granted, I don't subscribe to any of the zines, but they are great for airport layovers/delays, haha.

Nah, sorry if it seemed like that. I was just adding to a point.

But back on topic, consider adding ear training and what everyone else said.
#11
Get a metronome. MAke it ur best friend, practice slow down licks with it, if your not pracitsing with a time keeper, get a metronome, and get really used to tapping your foot with it. Every beat it plays, you tap your foot. The metronome is one of the most underused learning aids today.
#12
Have your gear setup and ready to go at all times so you can just sit, turn eveything on and play. No messing around with plugging in gear and tweaking.

Also get a metronome, or drum machine and maybe a phrase trainer for practicing songs.

Get the Groove Box and SPT-667 Phrase Trainer from these guy's. There's a demo of both. They sell them bundled for around $40. Good stuff.
#13
Metronome is a very VERY useful tool, learn to love it, it will keep your playing in time, because sometimes and off beat solo or riff can sound pretty awful :p

Another exercise i like to do is pop the radio on (usually Planet Rock for me since i live in the UK) and just improv over the tracks that are played. Depending on the track i will try to come up with little fills, solo's, rhythm riffs etc. over the track, if you can incorporate some work on your weaknesses as well then this could be a very valuable thing to do!

It also helped me a lot since i was having to keep in time with the drummers on the tracks that were playing.

Just my 0.02$ worth!