do you do a warm up? practice techniques? or just jump right into a song

for me im trying to learn a song so i practice that for about 20 minutes a day
then i do stretches a little bit then basically noodle around playing shit for a while

the things i want to learn/improve on is tapping and sweep picking but Im not sure what kind of drills i should be running to improve them. Any tips?
I practice about 2 songs at the same time, 2 different styles and one harder than the other.

Then I practice improvisation with backing tracks (different styles, different keys), and then a classical piece (which is very hard, a lot of arppegios, strings skipping etc...) to improve my technique.

I don't really practice scales, or chromatic exercices ... but of course, I learnt my scales, how to use them etc ... I'm at a conservatory since a long time now, so for the theory part ... it's ok (don't forget theory, it's very very important to understand what you're playing).

If you want to improve your tapping or sweep picking, just find a song which has sweeping or tapping and practice it until you can play it perfectly.
You can take some exercice to improve it ... but I find it's more interesting and more fun with a song.

Don't forget to have fun, good luck.
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
I have a very similar schedule to Syndromed.

I practice 2-3 songs at the same time, all pretty hard but from different styles i like. Big part of it is also ear training, learning the songs by ear.

I practice improv a few different ways. Often i will pick a root and then come up with a idea vocally, and then find it on guitar. Or do the same without picking a root on the guitar. I think it's important that when you are trying to develop your improv you don't want to think from the musicians stand point, but more like a listener. Like Victor Wooten and Anthony Wellington said in the "Groove Shop" masterclass, "Every non-musician can come up with a great bassline", i think that's the case with improv most of the time. You have to think as a fan of the music instead of a musician.

No scale practice here either. I know my keys and intervalls and that's what you really need. Scales by themselves are useless in my opinion (some disagree with me).

And as Syndromed said, if your going to work on techniques, why not with songs you like? One of the 3 songs i am working on at the moment is "The Ytse Jam" by Dream Theater, and that's cause i am worthless at alternate picking and need to work on it.

And as said again, don't forget to have fun. Cheers!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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