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#1
Hello Ultimate guitar, I'm glad I found these forums.

I was just wondering how much everyone practices their guitar, say in a typical day or week. I have been playing for almost 10 years now and in the beginning I played so much that I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome and now I can only practice for about an hour a day. Much more and I will have severe pain and not be able to practice for several days. I try to make up for it by playing that hour every single day that I am in a room with a guitar.

I am mostly just curious. How much on average do you practice? Maybe add in how long you have been playing and what kind(s) of music you usually play.

I typically play metal/rock and classical.
#2
I should practice more but college is being a bitch xD
Now I try to practice 2 hours during the week and about 5 hours on weekends when I'm at home.

I usually play blues-rock.
Fender Jazzmaster
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Martin OM-1 (acoustic)
#3
i try to play for 3-5 hours a day on schooldays. on weekends i either rest and dont play, or play for around 7-10 hours and during the holidays i like to make huge improvements so i play for about 10 hours a day.
ive been (seriously) since i got my electric guitar. so 9 months. i have shot up from practising 1 hour a week (2 if im really focused), to an average of 30 hours a week. since 2 months ago, i could safely consider myself the best guitarist i know, and thats cos others have said so, but that doesnt really bother me much.

i play lots of blues and rock, occasional jazz, fusion and classical, and i also play quite a lot of metal.
#4
Quote by itamar100
i try to play for 3-5 hours a day on schooldays. on weekends i either rest and dont play, or play for around 7-10 hours and during the holidays i like to make huge improvements so i play for about 10 hours a day.
ive been (seriously) since i got my electric guitar. so 9 months. i have shot up from practising 1 hour a week (2 if im really focused), to an average of 30 hours a week. since 2 months ago, i could safely consider myself the best guitarist i know, and thats cos others have said so, but that doesnt really bother me much.

i play lots of blues and rock, occasional jazz, fusion and classical, and i also play quite a lot of metal.


Be careful. I used to play around 5 hours a day, sometimes more, and that's how I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome, the reason why I can no longer consistantly play for more than an hour.

I don't want to discourage you because it is great that you are so determined, but just a warning from someone who has been there, you can hurt yourself!
#5
I try to practice around 7 hours a week. I don't always because of friends and college and stuff, so usually it's something closer to 7 hours of playing rather than 7 hours of focused practice.
#6
Quote by Rotschefeller
Be careful. I used to play around 5 hours a day, sometimes more, and that's how I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome, the reason why I can no longer consistantly play for more than an hour.

I don't want to discourage you because it is great that you are so determined, but just a warning from someone who has been there, you can hurt yourself!


I spent a year playing for well in excess of 6-8 hours a day, often much more but my wrists are fine. Just because it happened to you doesn't mean it'll happen to everyone.

I would say that your injury likely came as a result of poor technique; that's what people should watch more than the amount of time they play.


Slightly more on topic: now I basically don't practice, I don't have the time or inclination like I used to to just hit the metronome like that. I play generally at least an hour a day but practice... nah.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jan 19, 2012,
#7
I play between 2 and 4 hours a day and around 5 or 6 on weekends. Have been playing just over a year and I have no idea if im doing well or not but I guess that isnt the point. I have a pretty wide taste in music so I play all sorts.
#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I spent a year playing for well in excess of 6-8 hours a day, often much more but my wrists are fine. Just because it happened to you doesn't mean it'll happen to everyone.

I would say that your injury likely came as a result of poor technique; that's what people should watch more than the amount of time they play.


Slightly more on topic: now I basically don't practice, I don't have the time or inclination like I used to to just hit the metronome like that. I play generally at least an hour a day but practice... nah.


Playing is one way of practicing for more advanced players. After 10 years I don't need to practice with a metronome either, I just learn songs and play them until I have them memorized and can play as flawlessly as possible. Preferrably I always try to play more challenging songs.

As for carpal tunnel, it is just caused by repetitive movements making the muscles around the carpal tunnel to enlarge and put too much pressure on the tendons and the median nerve. It can happen to anyone who does any kind of repetitive activity requiring use of the tendons.
#9
Quote by Rotschefeller
Playing is one way of practicing for more advanced players. After 10 years I don't need to practice with a metronome either, I just learn songs and play them until I have them memorized and can play as flawlessly as possible. Preferrably I always try to play more challenging songs.

As for carpal tunnel, it is just caused by repetitive movements making the muscles around the carpal tunnel to enlarge and put too much pressure on the tendons and the median nerve. It can happen to anyone who does any kind of repetitive activity requiring use of the tendons.


yeah and not usually: injury comes from bad habits (poor posture, extreme tension, awkward angles, carpal tunnel actually occurs because the ligaments are being tensed in an unnatural way) the repetitive movement alone doesnt cause the CTS, but the repetitive movement in a highly stressing manner and with no countermeasures to prevent the damage (stretching, healthy food, healthy habits)

Are you sure you only have carpal tunnel ? it can be fixed.. so you shoudlnt have to suffer from it your whole life..
and you could go back to woodshedding for hours

I play around 7 hours a day btw and ive been struggling with some friggin tendonitis i got from weight training.. the doctors so far have all been so incompetent.. but the guitar wont be a bitch if you really pay attention to technique..
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Jan 19, 2012,
#10
I'm sure unnatural movements don't help but any repetitive movement of the muscle will cause the muscles to grow and put pressure on the tendons and the median nerve, carpal tunnel is not even considered an injury as far as I've been told, just a condition.

As for the solutions... I was told that I would need surgery, and after that I would not be able to play for around 6 weeks

Anyway, I did not want to turn this into a carpal tunnel syndrome discussion.
#11
Quote by Rotschefeller
I'm sure unnatural movements don't help but any repetitive movement of the muscle will cause the muscles to grow and put pressure on the tendons and the median nerve, carpal tunnel is not even considered an injury as far as I've been told, just a condition.

As for the solutions... I was told that I would need surgery, and after that I would not be able to play for around 6 weeks

Anyway, I did not want to turn this into a carpal tunnel syndrome discussion.


Haha sorry :P
Have you tried chiropractors already tough?
I have heard from my teacher there are chiropractors that specifically treat carpal tunnel syndrom and that they are the best option for guitarists :P
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
#12
Around 25 hours+ a week, usually around 2 each a weekday and then 4 or 5 each on Saturday and Sunday. i mainly play blues and rock and have been playing for just over 3 years.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
#13
Quote by Slashiepie
Haha sorry :P
Have you tried chiropractors already tough?
I have heard from my teacher there are chiropractors that specifically treat carpal tunnel syndrom and that they are the best option for guitarists :P


No I have not, but I will look into it. Thank you for the advice.
#14
Quote by Rotschefeller
Playing is one way of practicing for more advanced players. After 10 years I don't need to practice with a metronome either, I just learn songs and play them until I have them memorized and can play as flawlessly as possible. Preferrably I always try to play more challenging songs.


I keep the ideas of learning, playing and practicing very much separate; practice is specifically focused on improving whereas playing is just playing, learning is obviously learning new material.

I don't practice any more because I don't have the time or will.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#15
If you're worried about carpal tunnel syndrome, examine your wrist. Playing a lot is not going to hurt you. Playing poorly will hurt you. Your left hand wrist should remain as straight as possible. If you're bending it, you're putting pressure on the carpal tunnel.

It is very easy to play the guitar well. It is very difficult to play the guitar poorly. —Pepe Romero
#17
There was a time that I practiced for 8-10 hours a day. But as with Zaphod, I no longer have the patience for regimented practice sessions. I still try to play as often as I can, but I haven't really done any actual practice for some time. Now, I just spend a few minutes doing some warmup exercises and then spend the majority of my time either playing stuff I know, or improvising.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#18
One of the benefits of working in a store that sells guitars is that I can practice various styles and various combinations of sound

On days when I work I'll probably get about an hour to an hour and a half of scattered practice. On my days off I try to do 2 or 3 half hour sessions which could include anything from exercises, trying a new scale/mode, or song writing. When I'm at work I generally only noodle around, partially to improve my speed, partially to impress customers, and partly as a method of song writing.
#19
Acoustic 1 year, no pick.
Electric 6 months, picking.

I get home from school around dinner time. 7-8pm eat dinner and cram homework as fast as I can. 8-9pm practice. Sleep. 4am-6am practice. Then off to school.

I wish I could practice more.
I'm already giving up all my free time, there's so many video games I still want to play.
I gave up 4-year piano, I used to practice everyday.
I gave up arts for now, it was my dream since kindergarten.
I'm giving up my studies, I used to be salutatorian, now my quizzes have passing marks and fails.

Teacher says below 2 hours is no good. But I just don't have the time. I'm so busy.

I'm sad. I'm missing so many things. I love music so much but.. is it worth all these things?
Last edited by luxeion at Jan 20, 2012,
#20
I gave up my studies to play music.

I play piano 4 per day (am) and guitar 6 per day (pm).
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
Last edited by Syndromed at Jan 20, 2012,
#21
Quote by luxeion
Acoustic 1 year, no pick.
Electric 6 months, picking.

I get home from school around dinner time. 7-8pm eat dinner and cram homework as fast as I can. 8-9pm practice. Sleep. 4am-6am practice. Then off to school.

I wish I could practice more.
I'm already giving up all my free time, there's so many video games I still want to play.
I gave up 4-year piano, I used to practice everyday.
I gave up arts for now, it was my dream since kindergarten.
I'm giving up my studies, I used to be salutatorian, now my quizzes have passing marks and fails.

Teacher says below 2 hours is no good. But I just don't have the time. I'm so busy.

I'm sad. I'm missing so many things. I love music so much but.. is it worth all these things?


Dont fret, you are gonna be a tremendous musician if you keep up the hard work.
You have more discipline and understanding of the sacrifices it requieres than most people i know

But dont slack off in school, do just enough to pass , but dont do so little you have to repeat years or have knowledge gaps, it could come back and bite you in the ass someday.
When you are done with school you will have 16 hours a day to practice :P So bear with it for the time being, and congrats on squeezing that time!!
Your love and desire for it will grant you success i bet you my bawls

is it worth? thats up for you to decide, but do you love it ? if you do it is worth every second
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
Last edited by Slashiepie at Jan 20, 2012,
#22
I guess my answer would have to depend on what you define or count as practise. But I don't really have a formal practise "schedule". I play guitar almost everyday, but that could be anything from open jam night to noodling at home to conciously trying to work on something. I consider getting out and playing with other musicians all the time, some of whom you may have never met or played with before, to be a kind of practise.
#23
I spend 3-4 hours a day practicing, 1 and some days 2 hours improvising or playing, then 30 minutes of pure concentrated practice before I sleep. (Well all this before I sleep but the practice and improvising are interchangable. 30 minutes is always RIGHT before I go to sleep )

I read somewhere the brain retains information better right before going to sleep. Seems to be true as I improve anything I do around 50% better then If I practiced randomly in the middle of that day. I've combined this with the 21 day thing and it's pure bliss

But my routine generally invovles getting home at 7, eatting, 8PM-1AM practicing, 1AM-1:30AM pure technique practice on one technique like Alternative picking, economy picking, sweep picking, tapping, and sometime sweep pick tapping

Then I get up at 6AM...
Gibson Les Paul Custom (Aged White)
Custom Kramer Baretta
Custom Fender Strat
Epiphone Black Beauty
Epiphone AJ
Marshall JCM900 4201
Blackheart Little Giant
MXR Dist. +
MXR Six Band EQ
MXR Phase 90
Last edited by Xter at Jan 20, 2012,
#24
Quote by luxeion
Acoustic 1 year, no pick.
Electric 6 months, picking.

I get home from school around dinner time. 7-8pm eat dinner and cram homework as fast as I can. 8-9pm practice. Sleep. 4am-6am practice. Then off to school.

I wish I could practice more.
I'm already giving up all my free time, there's so many video games I still want to play.
I gave up 4-year piano, I used to practice everyday.
I gave up arts for now, it was my dream since kindergarten.
I'm giving up my studies, I used to be salutatorian, now my quizzes have passing marks and fails.

Teacher says below 2 hours is no good. But I just don't have the time. I'm so busy.

I'm sad. I'm missing so many things. I love music so much but.. is it worth all these things?


No, it's definitely not.

Get your priorities straight.
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Peavey Vypyr 30


"When you look into the eyes of a man grown old,
wonder about the secrets gone untold.

When you look into the eyes of a young child,
marvel at the innocence running wild."
#25
Used to play all the time, something like 6 -7 hours a day, but now it's probably only an hour or two a day, maybe 3 or 4 hours on the weekend. Strictly speaking, I probably put in around half hour of genuine practice a day and faff about the rest of the time. Then again; it's not about the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours
#26
Don't sacrifice sleep for practice time, because if you're geniunely only getting 4 1/2 hours sleep a night your playing will suffer (as will most things in your life).
#27
Quote by Anon17
Don't sacrifice sleep for practice time, because if you're geniunely only getting 4 1/2 hours sleep a night your playing will suffer (as will most things in your life).


It doesn't affect me, I have an extreme insomnia problem. I didn't sleep for 4 days before. I don't get tired or get exhausted, I just can't sleep lol. My doctor said that I was perfectly healthy, just to report any exhaustion problems or extreme amounts of sleep.

It's nice staying up for hours and hours though, just annoying if there's nothing to do
Gibson Les Paul Custom (Aged White)
Custom Kramer Baretta
Custom Fender Strat
Epiphone Black Beauty
Epiphone AJ
Marshall JCM900 4201
Blackheart Little Giant
MXR Dist. +
MXR Six Band EQ
MXR Phase 90
#28
I try to get around 2 in every day. Some days, it's only an hour. I can't really play during the day anymore due to either work, school, or a kid running around. It's too hard to focus on anything with a 2 year old running around and interrupting. So my window is between 9pm and whenever I go to bed. But through the years, I've figured out that 2 hours of very focused playing is better than 8 hours of unstructured playing. I've gotten to the level I want, now it's about refining that. I don't play games anymore, I don't go out. If I'm not working on school work, actually working, or playing with my son, I'm playing with my guitar. But I like keeping busy. Keeps my mind off of everything else.
#30
I tend to practice 4-5 hours a day on weekdays (I play before I go to work and when I get home), and at the weekends it's usually about 5-6 hours unless I have other arrangements, such as seeing my girlfriend.

I have a really screwy right wrist from typing/mouse use (clearly my computing technique is a bit off) but I can play guitar for hours and not feel any pain whatsoever. It's all down to technique, if you practice relaxed and with good technique you'll be able to play without stopping for hours on end (until you get sleepy that is).
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#31
I've been playing roughly 4 years now and mainly dabble in blues-rock, hard rock sort of music. I practice anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day depending on my mood.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#32
Xter: i agree with the before sleeping thing! you're lucky i feel incredibly drowsy if i get 6 hours of sleep, and i hate sleeping D:

Slashiepie : yes i love it, but i love arts and video games just as much, and piano, i spent years and years of my life with those things everyday.. D:.. especially my grades...

Quote by Scopic
No, it's definitely not.

Get your priorities straight.

i'm just at a loss, i'm having a hard time organizing my priorities,..
#33
Quote by Anon17
Don't sacrifice sleep for practice time, because if you're geniunely only getting 4 1/2 hours sleep a night your playing will suffer (as will most things in your life).


+1
Xter excluded (you lucky bastard )
Sleep deprivation will cause problems in the short and long run, it will also slow your progress and learning curve.
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
#34
Quote by luxeion
Xter: i agree with the before sleeping thing! you're lucky i feel incredibly drowsy if i get 6 hours of sleep, and i hate sleeping D:

Slashiepie : yes i love it, but i love arts and video games just as much, and piano, i spent years and years of my life with those things everyday.. D:.. especially my grades...


i'm just at a loss, i'm having a hard time organizing my priorities,..


Again: im not suggesting to slack off in school totally, but i had a fun time, i did what was needed and got good grades, then enjoyed the hell out of what i wanted (sadly i hadnt started on music yet) now im almost done with uni and let me tell you something, no one gives a flying **** about your grades or how "smart" you were in school or uni at all.. yup.. unless you are in an extremely competitive career and country not even your workplace will care :P

(learn for yourself out of your own interest and be excellent on those things that interest you, imo trying to be good at everything always ends up in mediocrity -there is just not enough time in a lifetime for it-)

hhh i am the only one who thought: Video Games + Piano + Guitar + Arts = Video Game Music Composer (The Video Game industry has already surpassed the Film Industry and pretty much all other industries except for Books :P )

Ask yourself what you want to do when you grow up/for the rest of your life ?
Do you want to be a virtuoso pianist or a viruoso guitarist? in your head do you hear incredible and complicated guitar solos or just power chords? do you hear complex piano melodies or just simple melodies accompanied by common chords ? what music do you hear in your head?

Imo you can skip the videogame thingy, when you are succesfull and dont need to practice 10+ hours a day anymore you will have free time for them :P

But its your life, decide and stick to it no matter what.
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
Last edited by Slashiepie at Jan 21, 2012,
#35
I get 2-3 hours in on weekdays (2 hours acoustic, one electric) fitted around hockey and school. On weekends it goes anywhere from 2-6 hours depending on what I'm doing. I've had a problem with practicing for any length of time, so I'm slowly increasing the time. I used to sit down, do twenty minutes and then say, "oh well, that's enough". Not anymore though!
My stuff


Gibson Les Paul Studio
Ibanez ADC120
Tanglewood TGRF VS
Blackstar HT20
Roland Micro Cube
#36
Been playing for a month and I've been putting in about an hour each day, usually 15-30 minutes of practice for whatever stage I'm on on justinguitar.com then after that I practice a couple of songs I want to learn. I'd like to practice more on justin's stuff so I can go through the stages faster, but being a beginner at this point his practice schedules include working on learned chords, followed by 1-minute chord changes. I'm starting to see more variety as I advance though so that's good.
#37
I started playing guitar 11 moths and 4 days ago
At the beginning I played for about 1 or 1 1/2 hours a day, because I knew few things and I didn't had any autonomy in learning to play music.

Actually, since I accidentally made a band wher everybody has 5 to 10 years of experience except me, I play as much as I can in a day (cuz I want to play solo guitar too, since we are 2 guitar players). During week ends I try to reach about 4 hours of playing a day. During the week 2 hours a day+a lesson of 1 hour once in a week.

My problem is that without a teacher it takes me a lot of time to learn even simple things...I think I'll have to learn a lot of stuff to make this faster.

About my "studing progress", started with classic for 4 1/2 months, with pick, now I'm playing electric guitar, mainly hard rock/blues rock and some stuff of dire straits (so no pick).
#38
I USED TO PLAY GUITAR 23 HOURS OUT OF EVERY DAY.... then i got shot in the knee with an arrow...


^ found him
#39
Quote by ajaxwins
I USED TO PLAY GUITAR 23 HOURS OUT OF EVERY DAY.... then i got shot in the knee with an arrow...

If you're gonna troll, at least do it right. The phrase is "...then I took an arrow in the knee"

P.S. Get off the forums.

*Reported*
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#40
Quote by luxeion
Xter: i agree with the before sleeping thing! you're lucky i feel incredibly drowsy if i get 6 hours of sleep, and i hate sleeping D:

i'm just at a loss, i'm having a hard time organizing my priorities,..


No it's not lucky Sleep is where your brain organizes the day and stores information for long term memories. I've adapted a bit to that though, my memory is pretty incredible at times, except remembering what I was going to do

School should be your number one right now. Eddie Van Halen might not have studied much but we can't all be rockstars. School affects you your entire life!

Quote by Slashiepie
+1
Xter excluded (you lucky bastard )
Sleep deprivation will cause problems in the short and long run, it will also slow your progress and learning curve.


Even if you can't sleep and you don't have a special "trait" we'll call it that as I do, even closing your eyes or reading in dim light will rest your brain. Meditation has been know to cause full rest upon 2 hours and in some cases just 1 hour! The human body is an amazing thing

Cheers,
Xter
Gibson Les Paul Custom (Aged White)
Custom Kramer Baretta
Custom Fender Strat
Epiphone Black Beauty
Epiphone AJ
Marshall JCM900 4201
Blackheart Little Giant
MXR Dist. +
MXR Six Band EQ
MXR Phase 90
Last edited by Xter at Jan 31, 2012,
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