#1
Hello

Ive been playing for about 3 years.The first year played alll the time and then I lost that drive. I never had a practice schedule and i am really bad at sticking with songs to learn all the way through.

Now that i have significantly more hand strength to learn most things i just couldn't before i want to get more serious about practice. I NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY THOUGH!

I want to increase my nonexistent repertoire and blues improvisation the most. I also wanna start practicing technique and scales and all that good stuff.

Any advice!?
#2
Practicing to get better, is all about practicing effectively to how you want to play. What works for you, might not work for other people.

I know for me, practicing scales and technique all day would get redundant and boring.

And as for improving your improv, that mostly comes from improving your understanding of the fretboard and your overall understanding of music and then playing to whatever your strengths are.
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#3
practice practicing
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#4
The best advice I can give is to practice methodically and technically, but also musically. If you learn a bunch of fast scales and you can't create music with it, it's useless.

The best way to do this is to play with a backing track that has a click. If you have access to a DAW like Cubase, FL Studio or such, you can create backing tracks that can vary in tempo, which is useful.

Don't ignore your ears. Learning the music you enjoy is incredibly important to maintain your drive towards a goal. Start jamming with other musicians around the same level as you. This will make a big difference; believe me.

If you throw on a backing track to improvise over and literally don't know what to do, there's a sign you need to learn the character of scales. Play the scales slow and let each note's flavor sink in. Every single note apart from the root has a specific mood that you need to learn how to work with. Such as the 5th, which is very reassuring and can be powerful. The 3rd is going to add the emotional content.
#5
Something I've been told to do recently by a tutor is to sing everything I play on the guitar. This apparently will help my understanding of the fretboard, how all the notes work together and improve my aural skills so that I will be more able to play what I am hearing in my head with the guitar, so maybe try to do that when you practice improvising over a backing track?
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#6
I bookmarked an article on practice a while ago:

...the practice schedule I'd recommend is based around the three components of repertoire, scales and arpeggios and sight reading. How much time you spend on each of these and the specific ground you cover depends very much on your level of playing ability.


http://www.oreshko.co.uk/practice.htm
#7
Quote by cherp
I NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY THOUGH!

I want to increase my nonexistent repertoire and blues improvisation the most. I also wanna start practicing technique and scales and all that good stuff.

Any advice!?

This is what is important to you right now. So practice it. As you grow as a musician you'll find that what is important to you will change over time.

When things start becoming easy, don't practice them, it'll be a waste of time. Practice those things that are most difficult for you.

So for example, when you've mastered a certain area of blues improv, like say, chord tones, focus on another area of blues improv like Q&A phrasing. Tbh, this stuff is a life long thing, but you'll find that it's tme to move on at some point.

For technique, one thing for sure, is this. Develop your legato before your picking. People think it's the picking hand that's the problem when their hands are out of sync. But you need to have a well developed fretting hand before anything else.

One of my teachers had a student once who wanted to get really fast at picking. So he told him to run through a scale or passage using legato... his legato sucked. So he sent him away with about 2 months worth of legato exercises before even starting to work on any picking. From what I heard, in less than year he was shredding the shit outta the guitar... utilizing both techniques freely.
#8
Here's a really important piece of advice that I've learned since I started playing violin. Really listen to what you're playing and think about how you're playing it. If you do those two things you'll know when you're making a mistake and you'll be able to correct it. If you find yourself thinking about something other than the music and your technique while practicing STOP, get your mind focused again, then start practicing again.
#9
Practice slowly at first.
My one friend who plays the saxophone was saying to me today that he can only play a certain song at a fast speed. I asked him if he can play it slowly. He replied, "No." Can he play it properly at all. No he can't. Metronomes are your friend.

If you find yourself making a consistent mistake at a particular point, correct the mistake in isolation and then in context a few times to ensure that you have ironed out the error. Don't press on after making the mistake when you're just playing through the song/piece because then you are in danger of that error setting into your playing - stop and correct there and then.

Just a few tips off the top of my head.