#1
Guys, I have a small question.

Okay, I practice every day. No exceptions. I LOVE playing guitar. Everything about it is fun to me. And I find even practicing fun. So yeah, playing an exercise, a lick, whatever to a metronome or a drum beat is fun to me. Think about this when answering (if it has any kind of connection with it).

Should I focus on say 2 things in 1 day?

I usually warm up, and then practice alternate picking. I have tons of exercises, licks, stuff that's based on 1 string patterns, multi string stuff, 3 NPS, string skipping. I also write down max speed and such on a piece of paper. Later I move onto sweep picking and arpeggios. I also have exercises, licks, song parts with this.

I'm planning on putting quite more legato and tapping into my routine, but this isn't really the question.

Should I say do alt picking and sweep on Monday, then legato and tapping on Tuesday, then alt and tapping etc. or do all in 1 day (which isn't a problem to me)? I play all the time throughout the day when I'm not in school or studying or playing games. It's usually 2 hours of playing, then maybe an hour of studying and 30 minutes of internet, then hours of playing, I chill a bit, then more playing etc. I mix learning songs with what we call practice.

Also, if I do everything in the same day, should I switch exercises and licks? Even if I really master a lick, would it be good still playing it so that I can play it perfectly whenever I want? Or I can rest a bit with that, maybe doing in every few days?

I have the AB guide to theory, and honestly so far I haven't seen anything that could really help me in guitar. Which parts of theory can I apply? Everything I've read was about notation (and honestly, I know how to read it, but I doubt I'd ever note something that way. I'd tab it), except for constructing some scales and some intervals.

Cheers!
#2
The best thing is usually to practice something at Monday --> something else at Tuesday etc... This is usually the best way to get faster results. Then it's also important to make some long term goals and not have the same practice routine for weeks.
Tom Hess may have some answers for ya. Check it out: http://www.tomhess.net/Articles.aspx
#3
If you have the time then there's no reason not to focus on many things in one day.

You should be able to pull out a lick you can remember once you've learned it if your general technique remains the same, it might take some time to remember but beyond that there shouldn't be any issues.

You can apply all of theory; theory is about music, the guitar is a tool to make music. If you can't see the link between what you're learning and the guitar then you should probably look again and/or think a bit harder about it.
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#4
From what I understand about how the brain works, it is better to practice some technique a little bit every day rather than schedule one day a week to practice that technique a lot.

Maybe it's just me, but I find it better to just practice whatever you want to work on at the time rather than schedule times to do certain exercises. To me, a schedule just seems too restrictive but at the same time I can see how it would benefit people. I have heard things like "Oh, you shouldn't practice the same thing for more than 20 minutes at a time!" but you really can benefit from practicing something as long as you want as long as you can keep paying attention to what you're doing.

Personally, I just practice something until I either want to play something else or my attention starts to waver; there is no planning apart from the decision of what I want to practice on the spot.

Of course, do whatever you think works the best. You probably already know this, but practice is about what you learn while practicing and not how long you spend practicing.
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#5
Thanks guys. Taking everything into consideration, I'll definitely continue doing everything every day, since I have the time and will to do so.

Cheers!
#6
Quote by Metal-pro
The best thing is usually to practice something at Monday --> something else at Tuesday etc... This is usually the best way to get faster results. Then it's also important to make some long term goals and not have the same practice routine for weeks.
Tom Hess may have some answers for ya. Check it out: http://www.tomhess.net/Articles.aspx



Bullshit.

TS- i will get back to this eventually, for the time being Jim Dawson´s advice rocks!
i would only add a practice schedule.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 6, 2012,
#7
Quote by Slashiepie
Bullshit.

TS- i will get back to this eventually, for the time being Jim Dawson´s advice rocks!
i would only add a practice schedule.
*Usually* not always.
#8
Quote by Metal-pro
*Usually* not always.


Sorry Tom Hess lies piss me off sometimes:P
How i hate the way he places those made up statistics with percentages but no data whatsoever and then sells you the holy practice generator..

He has incredible good advice on many topics, but hes perfectly willing to throw a good lie or two to throw you off and plant some seeds of doubt so that you run to him and give him your money!
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 Feb 6, 2012,
#9
Quote by Slashiepie
Sorry Tom Hess lies piss me off sometimes:P
How i hate the way he places those made up statistics with percentages but no data whatsoever and then sells you the holy practice generator..

He has incredible good advice on many topics, but hes perfectly willing to throw a good lie or two to throw you off and plant some seeds of doubt so that you run to him and give him your money!
I'll agree with that
#10
Id say it depends on what you're currently working on. I could be goin way over the top but I feel like as a guitarist you (obviously) should always be looking to improve so you should break your practicing into sections, starting first and foremost with your warm up.

Depending on what you are practicing the first 5-10 min of your warm up should just be devoted to getting the blood in your fingers flowing and progressively building your speed up with as close to perfect technique as you can, then (again depending) the next 5-10 min of warm up should be devoted to warming up your picking and fretting hands for speed.

After I like to spend 10-15 minutes working on either chords, scales, theory, etc. I feel if you're learning a new scale a week consistently you are at a good pace, just don't forger to devote some time to practicing the scales from prior weeks.

At this point you want to switch your focus to technique. If you're a beginner, this means mastering a new technique such as hammer-pulls, trills, tapping, w/e it may be- it could even be something like playing to a metronome. I like to spend about 30 minutes or so on this. I'd say practicing 2 different techniques a day should be good unless one is giving you a bitch of a time, in which case- focus more time on that technique. If you are a more advanced player you need to take a look at what your strengths and weaknesses are. You can argue for hours either way if you should work more on your strengths or weaknesses more but in my opinion you should spend slightly more time on your strengths. You'll have more fun that way So if your practicing for 30, a 20/10 split is good.

Now that you've practiced everything you need to continue to consistently grow as a guitarist it's time to unwind and have some fun. The last section of my practice time I devote to learning songs. Something to make playing guitar that much more fun because if you feel like you're working to improve all the time it can get boring.

So if your practicing for 2 hours I'd recommend a 15 min warm up, 30 min on scales, chords, theory, etc. 30 min on technique and 45 min working on songs.

Hope you got somethin useful out of all that. Feel free to ask any questions or disagree.
#11
Make sure at some point you have some fun though man. Play some scales over some songs, jam and mess around. Having fun after a tough practice can go a long ways.
#12
Yea man, you definitely need to be having fun when you practice or you'll get pretty bored pretty quick. That was my biggest mistake when I first started learning years back. Dropped the axe for a good 7 years before coming back :/
#13
Thanks for the replies guys! I'd say that I'm practicing in a good way, then, because a lot of stuff you guys said applies to my practice. And having fun is no problem, even though I often learn/write new songs (or improvise), I actually have fun practicing scales and whatnot. To me, playing with my fingers in any way on the guitar is fun. Cheers!
#14
If you can stay focused while doing more stuff per day, of course you should do it. As long as you are practicing well, i don't see anything bad with it.

Myself i practice many stuff per day. My schedule is basiclly this atm (if you look at the very basic version).

Sunday - monday - Tuesday = 10 min warm up/hand, very technique oriented riffs/licks (All different techniques, alt pick/sweeping/tapping etc), Theory, transcribing.

Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday = 10 min warm up/hand, "insert song here", Theory and transcribing.

If it works for you, do it. My schedule works for me, so therefor i use it. If you can practice many things and still progress well, you sure as hell should do it!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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#15
It isn't a small question at all - it's a very important one and I think you deserve a lot of credit for being wise enough to ask it at aged 17.

Here are some tips for learning techniques when you practice.

a) Do make sure to warm-up at the start of a practice. If you don't have time to warm up you don't really have time to practice, either. You can find lots of suggestions for warmups on this site and elsewhere. I'd say ~10 minutes is an appropriate amount of time to spend warming up.

Warmups help prepare you for the harder stuff you'll be doing during practicing and can help prevent the onset of over-use injuries (e.g. "Carpal Tunnel"). It may not matter so much at aged 17...but you'll be glad you did this later in life.

b) Do not attempt to learn a new technique when you are tired. Trying to do this when you are tired will reduce your chances of success or may cause you to learn it improperly...in which case you need to spend time re-learning it. So do this relatively early in your practices.

c) Do not attempt to the increase speed with which you perform a technique until you are sure that you are correctly performing that technique at a lower speed.

In truth, none of these are "guitar-specific" practice tips. I have a very good friend who uses these principles to organize training sessions for martial arts and my girlfriend also uses these when she teaches kids to ice & roller skate.
#17
Quote by BMusic
Thanks guys, I'll make sure to stick to these.

You have around 5 hours every day right?

My suggestion is to divide your routine into Modules:
Since you are a beast and find pleasure in fun in everything you will progress insanely fast, because you will tear through boring excercises insanely quick and see results earlier

1) Right Hand
Here you place any picking technique (alt,economy,pima,hybrid,as well as string skipping)

2) Left Hand
spiders(independence and warmup), ladders, chromatic excercises, trills, two handed trills (tapping) string skipping ladders, etc..

3) Scales
(getting the muscular memory is just the infant stage, what you want is to start playing around with them and getting the sound in your head, i dont spend much time strictly playing scales, but trying to see the scales and notes all over the fretboard. This is where you also visualize and hear intervals) This is also the place where you practice using different time signatures and all kind of notes (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9ths)

4) Chording
Progressions, Chord Formation, Chord Exploration (making up your own chords), training your hands to land the chords perfectly effortesly and quickly withotu looking etc..

5) Arpeggios
Maj,min,dim etc etc.. fun fun. especially when you start working on arpeggio progressions.

6) Aural Training and Theory
Singing (yuck), Melodic/harmonic aural training/ transcribing

7) Improvisation/Composing/Repertoire
Fun yay

Basic concepts:

1)The underyling principle to all of this is that you always practice with the closest you can get to perfect technique and perfect rythmical sense.

2)Recognize what excercises requiere the most concentration and effort and tackle them accordingly, for new information use time frames (start with 15 minutes of your full attention and then 5 minutes of resting (you can do mindless things like tremolo picking or just post sth on ug)

3) Work most time on whatever you SUCK the most and work on it EVERYDAY

4) Repetition/Constancy is key, if you start something do it everyday untill you finish it.

5) It is way more efficient to work on just a couple of things and get really good at them, than try to work on a whole lot and learn them so-so.. orient your plans and practices with this in mind, your goal is to be a well rounded musician, but it is best to first train to be good at 2 things and suck at other 3 than to be bad at 10 different things. You will get there with both methods, but one is more efficient.

6) You pick what you want to work on because it is all modular, however you will find rigth hand left hand technique influence what you do on other modules immensely, hence you might need to go "back" and spend some more time woodshedding certain aspects.

7) You have to find your treshold of excercises per day, keep a schedule, pay attention to how you learn better:
If you can handle 15 different concepts in one session do it! if you get too tired or feel overwhelmed cut it back, if you are immersed in one concept so much that you drill the same thing for 5 hours! go ahead! do it everyday like a maniac! you will rule that guitar!

8) Recognize that some kind of learning cannot be pushed in just like that, things like aural training and theory are best tackled bit by bit and by putting them to use. (i and many others have made the mistake of reading material for hours and at the end forgetting 75% of it because we did not put it to any practical use)

9)While you are on your journey, be inspired by your heroes but have something in mind that will set you appart from 99% of all guitarists out there. While you are trying to play as good as X,Y virtuoso, its you vs you and you are actually searching/polishing your individuality. You will be as good as you can get and as unique as you can!
Your ultimate goal is to play music and to express something meaningful to you. Not to copy other guitarists.

Best Wishes.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 9, 2012,
#18
Personally, what works for me is to pick two main areas of practice, and work on them consistently for at least a couple of months. I do about 2-3 hours practice atm, which would probably break down into -

1 hr metal rhythm technique
1 hr playing over chord changes
30 mins sightreading
30 mins whatever I feel like

I'll be keeping this up at least until I feel the results "lock in" and they start feeling totally natural, then I might change things up.