I have been playing guitar for a long time( 8years-4years serious though) but I never really developed a constant routine. I usually just practiced what I thought I needed to work on at the time.

I NEED a good practice routine and a practice/guitar playing goal in general.

but how would I develop one if I want to be able to play in most any style?

Jazz/Metal/Rock/Funk/ect. I have played/jammed with others on most every style but I

am only mediocre at best.

In a routine that I would develop It would be 2 hours a day and three if I can push it. Is THAT even enough time?? I'll need time for lots of things it looks like. incl. warm-ups, ect.
To be able to play many different things you don't necessarily need a practice routine, you need to listen to, learn and play as much as humanly possible. Not just in terms of time but also in variety terms. You'll never be able to play a style unless you're aware of the tropes that go with it so go out and learn!
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To play in almost any style is a huge undertaking and really not possible. I mean, you can play something that sounds like Jazz, or Blues, or whatever...this can be done, sure. It is this that you want? Then you could generally create practice plans and make divisions in technique related practice items (hybrid picking, strumming, string skipping, etc...) and other "building blocks" of music like rhythm, chord construction, phrasing, practicing pieces...and divide your available time per day.
I would not practice the same things every day but alternate - say every second day between items...this will provide variety for practice and give you results at the same time if you practice consistently.
Style wise you could change the style of the material you work on every month.
Let´s say you practice rhythm - The first month that could mean to practice rhythm, but in the style of Metal.
The next month rhythm practice would be in the style of Afro-Cuban music...or whatever you choose...
You can do the same with all these elements as the use of them varies according to style.
I work with a stop watch and limit each item for max. 30 minutes and then switch to another item - I have found that I cannot really keep up a high level of concentration for longer that this.
Of course, also during these 30 minutes, my mind wanders off here and there and I have to bring it back...
I practice about 2-3 hours a day like then and then commence to writing music.

Hope that helps you out,

Last edited by DerkStiepelmann at Nov 28, 2011,
Thank you for the helpful replies, The friends that I have that also play guitar usually stick to one genre they wish to progress in, while I am mediocre in multiple playing multiple styles of music. Would I be a more successful guitarist if I were to stick to one or two genres of music to progress in??
That really depends on what you understand as "being successful". For doing something in the music industry a lot of things have to come together...
But - of course - the more you specify - the better you can be in that specific niche.
It really all depends on your goal and what you really want to do.
This is what I would really find out first - What are my goals? What do I want to do with music or guitar?
And then take action steps toward that goal, whatever that might be for you.

Hope that helps!

Best wishes,
Out of curiousity, what are your ultimate goals for guitar playing? I still need to discover mine and I was just wondering about what others are.

Thank you,
my focus is songwriting and guitar playing that is really song-oriented, nice chord constructions, melodies, hybrid picking - Of course, I have to be able to sing at the same time.
That´s my goal and focus. But I still practice every day for two hours guitar and then I start to practice songwriting. I alternate guitar practice one day with piano practice on the next day. The composition and songwriting time stays the same.

Hope that helps!
Best wishes,
Very helpful Derk, I am going to start mapping out a few of my musical goals tonight.

Thank you for the help!
Quote by Nervouspace
Thank you for the helpful replies, The friends that I have that also play guitar usually stick to one genre they wish to progress in, while I am mediocre in multiple playing multiple styles of music. Would I be a more successful guitarist if I were to stick to one or two genres of music to progress in??

I think ultimately you're going to be most successful, at least concerning your practice routines, if you go after what you're most interested in. When I started playing I was pretty much all over the place with my practicing ideas, and until I figured out what it was that I was interested in and figured out an approach to practicing it, I wasn't getting as far as I wanted. So if you're genuinely interested in all these genres, go for it; if you're not, I'd recommend tackling your main interests first.

The specific elements of your practice are good in moderation as well; don't spend too long on one particular exercise or routine unless you're really enjoying it or just in the zone, so to speak. For example, most of the stuff I listen to and play is pretty technical, and I'm consistently pushing myself to get better at the technical aspects of playing, but if I sit down to practice a technique for an hour or two I won't do the same thing over and over. I'll split that session into maybe four half-hour blocks, or a combination of 30 and 20 minute blocks, etc. to stay interested will working on the same technique.

Also, a lot of people tend to forget the reason they're practicing, which is to create and play music. Don't lose sight of that, and give yourself plenty of time to just play the guitar and enjoy it. Speaking from personal experience, the last week for me has been between 2.5 and 3 hours of nothing but straight technical practice per day, so today I cut the end of that short and just played actual music for a while. The practicing element is important, but just remember to keep it in perspective.
Also, play for the song or instrumental piece, and don't play for the guitar itself. Focus on that which is unseen and become blind to that which can be seen.