#1
I currently practice guitar for 4 hours, with 1 hours sight-reading practice

4 Hours is subdivided:

3 Hours working on picking strokes, I recieved a really good article on different picking strokes, so I work on that for 3 hours, cover six different strokes, for 30 minutes each.

The six strokes are

1: Alternate Picking, with the accent on the downstroke
2: Alternate Picking, with the accent on the upstroke
3: Inside picking on two adjacent strings
4: Outside picking on two adjacent strings
5 & 6: Two different sweep picking exercises

The other hour is spend working on 2 legato sections from John Petrucci's Rock Disciplne.

Than for my sighreading I'll spend half the time working on real book charts that I have not played before, and the other half working on a little reading exercise I developed, which is all notes off the stave, which is my main weakness.

How does this look, not enough? too much? ineffective

Also, I'm currently studying music at university, so the max I could probably put in with that is 5 hours technique work a day, but the sightreading practice would probably slide, which I didn't think would be a good idea, with four hours one hour extra probably isn't going to help me as much as some sightreading practice.

So basically boiled down to things I do:

1 hour Legato
1 hour alternate picking
1 hour inside and outside picking
1 hour sweep picking
1 hour sight reading
Last edited by JamesJamesJames at May 18, 2010,
#2
First of all I don't really think sight-reading counts as practice, playing sure but not practice.

Secondly, this is probably the inside limit of how much you can get away with, I would recommend trying to fit in 5 hours technical practice and 1 hour sightreading.

At university level in music (at least where Im from) you should be doing at least five to six hours of technique practice minimum. Just my two cents
#3
I wish I had five hours to practice.
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#4
Quote by jesse music
First of all I don't really think sight-reading counts as practice, playing sure but not practice.

Secondly, this is probably the inside limit of how much you can get away with, I would recommend trying to fit in 5 hours technical practice and 1 hour sightreading.

At university level in music (at least where Im from) you should be doing at least five to six hours of technique practice minimum. Just my two cents


****. That's what I was afraid of, I have a lot of better players & teachers telling me that I should be practicing 6 hours minimum, but I just don't have 6 hours (cept on weekends) like I said I could fit in 5 maximum weekdays, but no more, how do you guys do it?
#5
If you don´t think sight reading counts as a practice, then I´d like to see you play some jazz standard or any random song for that matter...what´s the point of having the best chops if you can´t play a melody to some Beatles song...yeah I know you don´t need it, but I don´t think Steve Vai would have agreed with you :-)
#6
Sight Reading most definitely counts as practise. Your practising your sight reading, aren't you?

Inside and outside picking should count as alternate picking anyway, and should be addressed when your practicing your alt picking. So that's one hour you've got now to do something more productive, such as improving your general understanding of the guitar.

For that I'd buy a book called The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick, not a method book, but far more usefull if you put the incentive in. Which you clearly seem to be doing.

Another thing you might consider practicing could be learning songs, such as standards, from a real book. Really usefull for your overall musicianship. Just some food for thought, remember the audience doesn't care if you have spotless technique, but they do care if you play great songs and put on a good show.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#7
What you're practicing seems to be good, I'd just try to variate it on a daily basis. Just remember quality over quantity, when practice. Sure an instructor will tell you to practice often, but honestly just spend more time on covering your weakness and the rest on the upkeep of your strengths.

Note: You don't necessarily need a lot of practice if you absorb information well, you just need to make sure that you're getting some value out of it.
I'm a musician/composer before I'm a guitar player.

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#8
Quote by Elden G20
Sight Reading most definitely counts as practise. Your practising your sight reading, aren't you?

Inside and outside picking should count as alternate picking anyway, and should be addressed when your practicing your alt picking. So that's one hour you've got now to do something more productive, such as improving your general understanding of the guitar.

For that I'd buy a book called The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick, not a method book, but far more usefull if you put the incentive in. Which you clearly seem to be doing.

Another thing you might consider practicing could be learning songs, such as standards, from a real book. Really usefull for your overall musicianship. Just some food for thought, remember the audience doesn't care if you have spotless technique, but they do care if you play great songs and put on a good show.


I actually have the Advancing Guitarist but have not read it yet. My previous guitar teacher lent it to me, and what I read of it seemed very good

I know about 50 standards, both my previous guitar teacher and my current teacher are jazz guitarists so I have been exposed to a lot of that sort of thing, but fo' shure, you can never know enough standards.

So would you than recommend

1 Hour: 15 Mins inside picking, 15 mins outside picking, 15 mins alternate picking accenting downstroke, 15 mins alternate picking accenting upstroke

1 Hour Legato

1 Hour Sweep Picking

1 Hour ?

1 Hour Sightreading

For the extra hour would something like economy picking or string skipping help? Maybe 30 mins of one 30 mins of the other maybe an hour on just one of them what do you guys think.

Also, thanks for the advice Elden, thanks for the posts everyone else
Last edited by JamesJamesJames at May 18, 2010,
#9
I just wrote up a huge post but lost it.. Damn.

Well, considering your top speed in alternate picking will be governed by your weakest stroke, I'd consider practising inside picking more. Or better yet, an exercise that trains all types of alternate picking. You mentioned john petruccis rock discipline,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPE5courrwY

Around the middle of the video is an exercise that strengthens inside picking, outside picking, strings skipping, alternating accents. Where he goes through those arpeggios, picking each note two times, then three times, then four times. I find those etude type things usefull in their own way as you dont get bored of them (ie. they sound like music), allowing you to practise them for longer.

With the advancing guitarist book, I'd personally go through "the approach" section of the book, starting one string at a time then building up from there. I noticed that you were missing improvisation on your pracise routine, so this might be able to fill in the gap. Bear in mind you can't actually "complete" the advancing guitarist book, so take it at whatever pace you feel comfortable, perhaps make it a long term goal?

You could do economy picking as part of your sweep picking routine, seeing as the two motions are the same.

Also, if at any point you find yourself bored with an exercise, find or create a new one that maybe cross trains another technique as well as the one your practicing. Keep things interesting.

Thanks for the appreciation, you made it easy for me to type this out twice.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#10
Thanks for writing all that up, Ill definatley put some of that into my practice. I've got the rock discipline DVD (though a freind took it in his car and leaked gasoline all over it : ( but its been a while since I've watched the thing through in its entirety

I thought the advancing guitarist had some really good thoughts in the section where it has small thoughts from mick goodrick on various things. Good stuff, mental food, maybe it will not help my playing but its all stuff thats good to think about
#11
No problem. I only got the book about a month or two ago but have made a lot of progress with it. I was suggested to read it by some pretty amazing players and I can see how it's affected their playing. I loved the concept of playing up and down one string, it really made me think melody when improvising, instead of shape or note.

Another great book is Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene, which is great for learning how to put all those extended chords into use, through chord subs and stuff and like that.

There were some good ideas in rock discipline but there were alot of scalar exercises you could just make up on your own. I sort was hoping for a more petrucci esque feel to some of the licks.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#12
I also have chord chemistry but I haven't looked at that one at all, but I've heard a number of players recommend it (Steve Vai)

The best part of rock discipline for me was the warm up stuff, which I use on a dialy basis. The stretches and the shapes.

Also Mick Goodrick is a monster player, if you haven't seen this video, this is brilliant.
#13
Same for me with Rock discipline. Carpal tunnel is genetically prominent in my family, so the whole preventing injury thing is usefull for me.
Thanks for the link, I've never actually seen him play, awesome improv hey.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#15
Idgi, how can you be getting told you need 6+ hours? Look up a guy on YouTube named SwedishBerzerker, the guy's got really high technical skills and he's said he only -practiced- an hour a day since he started playing.
#16
He certianly is pretty good aye? That cover of Hangar 18 is killin'
If I could play that I'd be pretty proud. I guess he just practices well.
#17
You seem to be practicing pretty good, but try to change it from time to time as it was already said here. But the way you practice is really to become great technical guitarist, which is perfectly ok if you want to go that direction. But if you want to be a composer, I suggest you should incorporate into your schedule various techniques to practice composing, orchestration, and really just the basic study of song forms. There are some damn good articles on this, but the most important thing for me would be to start working on your ear. You said you´re studying at a music university, so you should be familiar with perfect and relative pitch ear training exercises. But the most basic thing you can do is to set yourself half an hour or and hour a day to really just pick some piece of music you like and listen to it. Then you write out the form of the song, some interesting things going on in vocals or in instrument section. I´ve been doing this for some time and you just subconciously show your brain all possible methods the song can be arranged. This will help you immensely when you´re composing something of your own. Just thought I´d tell you :-)
#18
Yikes, I'm lucky to get 30 minutes practice time a day. Your dedication is incredible but I would definitely recommend you assign some time to just improvising and jamming over a backing track, this is where you will really see your progress when you have to use all your techniques and scale knowledge at once.
#19
That's a lot of techiniques to practise per day. What about other stuff like theory, learning songs, improvising over jam tracks etc.?
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