OK, quick bio. I started learning guitar in 97. I didn't take it seriously and wasted alot of my mom's money. I can play rhythm pretty well, like galloping etc but I never learned scales or pretty much anything for lead guitar. I was lazy and if it took more than 5 minutes(more like 1 minute) to get half way good, I quit. Fast forward to now. I'm 28 and want to get serious. I love metal but can't play a solo to save my life.

Now that you know me, here is my question. I have seen dozens of really well thought out exercises(including full books on the subject), but they all leave one thing out: how long(or how fast) do I play an exercise before moving on to the next one. 100BPM? 150 BPM? XBPM? And during a session, should I be doing multiple excercises(3 for example) , 20 minutes at a time for an hour or just one for the whole hour(just using an hour as a for instance)?

I guess what I'm looking for is structure, not just a laundry list of exercises but how long to play them, when to move on to the next one, how long to play at a clean bpm before adding speed etc.

Most lessons say find your max CLEAN speed for the day and take it down a few metronome clicks and practice there. Awesome, but again, for how long?

I'm sorry for the long first post, but once I get a good proven practice routine down, I can start practicing efficiently instead of just winging it. Thank you so much in advance.

P.S. I did read the 21 day challenge thread and the other stickies, but I don't think they hit on my question. If they did, feel free to slap me upside the head.
BABY STEPS BRO! Learn a solo, but learn it one run at a time. Once you have the first phrase down PERFECT, start working on the following phrase. Then learn to play the BOTH, seamlessly. Now you are ready to learn the next part of what is really just a bunch of riffs, strung together in different octaves etc.

Soloing is just like riffing, but the riff is a 32-measure phrase.

Don't forget to have fun either. I would much rather know a couple open chords and sing a little bit, and still enjoy music well into my old age, then burn out early and end up not touching the thing for half your life anyways.
"If you're looking for me,
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Last edited by DeathByDestroyr at Mar 11, 2012,
You decide. We can't tell you how long to do something. But the best thing to do to build speed is to play slow. As you learn and get better, speed will naturally follow. But, you also have to build speed on certain things to get better. Don't concentrate to much on just running though exercises. Practicing an exercise over and over will just make you good at that exercise. Instead, take bits of songs or solos that are giving you a lot of trouble and use those in place of exercises. I have a repertoire of over 100 exercises, but I almost never use them aside from playing a couple for a quick warm up. You should always work with a metronome and start at a speed that is almost too easy. Once you can play it 5-10 times in row, bump up the bpm a bit. How high you go depends on you. Do you want to get to the tempo of the song? Do you want to push the envelope a bit more and go beyond that? Or if it's way out of your range at the moment, take it slow and go up like 20 bpm or so.
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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.
I always practised more than only 1 exercise and as long as I felt was right. If you don´t have a feeling for that jet maybe try 15 minute blocks for the beginning. If you think you worked on an exercise, song/part or mechanic enough after 15 minutes go ahead and do the next thing on your list. If you don´t stay there for another 15 minutes.
It's a good idea to also consider how interested you are in a particular exercise. Don't practice to a clock which insists you practice a boring scale for 20 minutes, you'll kill any enjoyment. I can't practice scales for more than 15mins without losing interest, so I stop there. But I can play master of puppets for an hour without getting bored, so I do that too. Push yourself a little bit, but not to the point where you lose interest. One of the most important things about setting up a practice routine, is being able to set up one that is sustainable. A rough guideline might be 20mins of scales or theory work, 20mins of some technique you need to improve (chord changes, spped drills?), and finish off with 20mins of just running through your favorite songs, but it's important to find your own pace through these.
Last edited by innovine at Mar 11, 2012,
They don't tell you because like Junior said, it's down to you to make that call.

Nobody else can tell you how long it's going to take for you to learn something.
Actually called Mark!

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