how long should i be practicing and what should i be practicing?

i play about an 1hr - 2hrs a day,

i practice the songs i know and learn new ones

ive been playing for about 3 and a bit years

but im not really improving any more

what should i be practicing, should i just be reading about music theory?
and how long?
I practise music theory on a keyboard, it sinks in much easier.
Helps me remember the intervals in the scales and chords too, give that a try?

oh and if you want to improve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES1RypBww_g

Practise this. WITH A METRONOME.
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Last edited by Speckled_Hen at Aug 8, 2010,
How much and what to practice depends entirely on you and your goals. There's no point asking others what to practice because everyone has a different opinion.
2 hours of technique practice a day is enough if you are practising correctly and do it every day. You should progress fairly quick (ie. see some progress every 2-3 months, film yourself and compare).

If you are not practising correctly, then you can waste 10 hours a day and get nowhere. For example playing songs, random jamming to a backing track, sitting in front of telly with your guitar unplugged and playing scales, playing with your guitar unplugged, playing through some shit modeller amp with tons of reverb and delays on top (because it sounds so "cool"), trying to play too hard things for your level, having bad posture etc.. are all examples of "practising" incorrectly and wasting your time.
Get a very good teacher I'd say, or at least get a couple of good DVDs (Paul Gilbert's "Intense Rock", Andy James "Speed Soloing" for example) and work with them honestly and precisely.

Theory, song writing, improvisation, etc.. can easily take 4-5 more hours a day.
Last edited by mdeeRocks at Aug 8, 2010,
Quote by symba05
How much and what to practice depends entirely on you and your goals.


Quote by symba05
There's no point asking others what to practice because everyone has a different opinion.

Not so much this.

You can get a lot of good advice on what to practice and how to improve you technique. Even if you only do a couple of things people suggest you'll improve somewhat.

However, it really depends on what you want to play and what you want to acheive. Some styles of music can be technically mastered pretty quickly, but some require many years of dedication.

If you post what your goals are you'll get a lot more replies.

Whatever you play though, most people would benefit from working on their rhythm and timing, so in the meantime, do that.
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Last edited by expertzone at Aug 8, 2010,
I try to practice at least an hour a day. This consists of techniques, songs I'm learning and other things I just want to learn.

As for improvements, the best way would be to get lessons, guitar teacher can help loads and are also good for motivation at times.

Otherwise search online for various techniques, or read a few above and go through them.
Gotta admit I practice 6-7 hours EVERYDAY. And on Sunday well all day it depends on tour commitment
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my goals are to be able to make songs and riffs that are good not boring and plain, my type of music is like metal stuff. and what is the correct way of practicing?
I would turn the whole situation around and find some people to play with and start working on songs. Then practice whatever you're having difficulty with in rehearsal.

When practicing by yourself, it's very difficult to figure out what to work on. When you have a musical goal in the form of performing songs with a band in the future, it's easy to know what to work on.
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If you feel like you're not getting better then i'd bet you're not really practicing.
This is kind of a weird question. Practice how ever much you want to practice in order to achieve your goals or targets which you want to accomplish. In my opinion, I reckon one to two hours a day is pretty good.

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practicing 10 hrs a day wont get you anywhere if you're not learning something

Sure, somedays you wanna get down that one solo and you bust your ass for it and sure you may,but real gains can come from an hour or two of honest and dedicated technique or scale practice

it's all dependent on you and how efficiently you put your time to use
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Practice as much as you can and feel like that day. Sometimes I play 7-8 hrs, other times I go a few days with nothing. I try to do at least 1000 hrs a yr, probably more by quite a bit.
I don't really know what my average time I spend practising is - it varies from day to day - with my mood, if i can be bothered to learn something new etc.
Normally when I'm playing I spend a good half hour or so playing through the songs I already know (as a kind of warm up) and from then on will either try and find something new to learn (be it a whole song, or simply a challenging section that will benefit my playing - for instance I learned the intro to Crow Killer by Unearth today) then I'll just tend to play around the limited scales i know, practising my sweeping (which is the main thing I'm trying to perfect at the moment) and just seeing what riffs I can come up with.
I wouldn't class myself as a "serious" guitarist in the fact that I know minimal music theory, and I've never been in a band or anything; I just enjoy learning tunes that I like and jamming with my mates.
Some pretty good answers here. I think mdeeRocks hit the nail on the head - it really is the quality of your practice that counts, not the quantity (how many hours).
If you set goals for yourself and work through them you can achieve more in 40minutes a day that other people who 'practice' for 7+ hours a day.

I don't want to get too technical, but there's a law called 'diminishing marginal returns' that basically means that your first hour of practice is the most useful, then from there every extra hour per day will be less and less beneficial to your playing. In other words - you probably won't achieve much more playing 9 hours a day then you did at 5 hours a day.
Just some food for thought.
I love to teach guitar almost as much as I love to play it.
It doesn't matter how long you practice, but what you practice. You can play the same 3 or 4 songs you know everyday for 5 hours, but I guarentee the guy who practices his dexterity and pushes himself outside his box will improve exponentially faster at 20 minutes a day.
Until your fingers blister...sleep.. wake up, pop the blisters and play till they bleed....repeat untill you can play like Yngwie Malmsteen
It's all about consistency in your practice. I've become better because I practice around an hour to 2 hours a day. Make sure that the practice is focused and you have your goals in mind. Don't stick to one exercise or technique to long. It's often good to take a break every half hour of playing. Just get up and get a drink and come back. Practicing more can be a bad thing if you don't take breaks. Many of the times people end up playing worse when they play for 7 or 8 hours straight. But every person is different so see what works for you.
Believe me or not, but if you have dedication and discipline and know how to practice (that means not making any mistakes whatsoever in your posture, hands placement, tension etc. which usually requires a master teacher), 2 or 3 years of practicing technique 2-3 hours a day consistently should take (and will, I've seen it) anyone to Malmsteen level technique wise - progress from being able to play some chords and pentatonics to technical proficiency is not that hard as people think, assuming you are doing it correctly (and lots of people don't). Although being able to play with such feeling and being able to compose and improvise like him takes lifetime tho.
Last edited by mdeeRocks at Aug 15, 2010,
As much as I hate to say it, I've had better results with a realistic, consistent program than I have had with more intensive ones. The key is consistency and attention to detail when it comes to technical practice.

As far as what to practice.. assess where you're at. Do you feel like your technique is holding you back from playing the things you hear in your head? Or maybe that creative voice in your head is silent? Maybe you hear it, but don't know how to express it?

It all depends on what you really want to do, so figure that out first. If you want to be a songwriter that performs his own material, you're going to spend a lot of time honing your chops by learning challenging material while picking it apart and taking the licks, progressions, voicings, and riff ideas and putting them in your own vocabulary. Unless you are seriously interested in becoming a virtuoso guitar player, you will probably be better of putting non-musical technical exercises on the back burner until you really know what you're doing on the fretboard.
Practice several instruments, not just guitar

Play Piano for getting a grip no music theory, intervals, stuff like that much faster (and it's also somewhat expected in musician's circles to at least have basic knowledge of the piano)

Whatever you play, sing along to it either IRL or in your head, and then try to sing ahead before playing it - this helps you with subconsciously laying out patterns so that you'll be able to "play what you sing/feel/hear inside your head" after having done this enough. You'll get less dependant on knowing every note/interval of every scale when you build a library of sounds in your brain.

Since you've already GOT quite some practice time, you'd also want to check the physical side of it - how is your posture, straining, picking etc? Could be that you're too tense to accomodate to the newer stuff by not playing fluidly.
Last edited by -Vogel- at Aug 31, 2010,
Quote by Calibos
If you feel like you're not getting better then i'd bet you're not really practicing.

I don't think you're right ,

I'm playing since i'm 14 , I am now 21 , from 17 to 20 .. I've been stuck , I felt like him .. like if i was going nowhere with all the time spend on my guitar and i swear i was practicing. It's not because he's not practicing , it's only because he don't focus on the right things , playing the same songs everydays is not gonna make you better ( learnt that by myself lol ).

Well , to get back to the thread lol.
As everyone said , this is not the time spend on you guitar ... It's the quality.
Here's another tip , play with someone better than you ( if you know someone ) . They
can help you out - give you some tip.

Well , Take care and good luck in your improvement
I am a student and also learning guitar, could you please give me tips that how to learn guitar own and tell me how long should i be practicing?

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There's much better things to practice than songs, maybe that's why you're not improving. Don't get me wrong, songs are great. There's better stuff to improve your playing, besides learning some one elses, though. Look up exercises for the Techniques you wanna get better at. Learn some new Scales/Modes and work on improvising in them. As for the time, Practice as long as you want. You'll know when you're getting bored with it.
Quote by recoverdata
I am a student and also learning guitar, could you please give me tips that how to learn guitar own and tell me how long should i be practicing?

File Recovery

I would give youtube a go, there's always great videos to show you what to do so you know you're doing it right. I always link to this website because it has it all...