I haven't practised guitar seriously in maybe two years and I'm incredibly rusty. Aside from practising some scales and modes up and down, around the circle of fifths, and learning some jazz standards (though with terrible improv), I have no idea how to get back "in shape". And that is just a bit I took from a couple of Aebersold books a sax teacher gave me. I don't want to go back to mindlessly learning and playing covers. My music theory is on point though so I want to somehow apply that on guitar.

Come on share your practice routine. I need some ideas on what to practice.
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Last edited by cxrlxscr at Dec 14, 2014,
Justin guitar is a great place to start he is on u tube I been following his lesson.
My practice routine varies, i make one and stick to it for three months, then i evaluate it and make a new one based on my needs then.

Anyways, my practice routine always consist of a few topics. The topics being: Technique, Etudes, Repertoire, Ear Training and Improvisation.

So what do i want to do with these topics? Well since the span of my practice routine is three months i want to really focus on the weak aspects of my playing. So when it comes to technique it might be a specific technique (alternate picking, economy picking, legato etc) or a concept (Always playing in groups of five, playing lines in one area of the neck/all over the neck).

Etudes is when i chose a piece written for my instrument that will test my chops and help me develop further, note that this can serve many purposes. You might be very good at playing rock for example, so either you can continue to push that envelope and pick an even tougher tune that last time, or you can pick a tune in a style you haven't tried before and learn that. Three months is a great amount of time to learn new styles, or at least get started.

Repertoire is learning standards for me. I will often pick 2-3 standards and learn them inside out in this time period. Practice everything with them. Practice the melody and the changes, but then practice all the fundamentals of improvising over them. Playing chord tones over the changes, starting with triads, then seventh chords, then extended chords, then chord scales, then chromatic approach notes etc. A part of this repertoire topic is also finding language from the recordings of the tunes you are working on and getting that into your playing, learn it all over the neck, sing it, play in all 12 keys, and then make it your own.

Ear Training is what you expect, learning to recognize the fundamentals of music by ear. Singing intervals, triads, seventh chords, and changes with the aid of a piano. Also some transcription of pop music.

Improvisation is the last topic i tackle, and i could go on about it for days. There are so many things to practice when it comes to improvisation. Often times i pick a few concepts of improvisation and work on those for 3 months, since a big part of my repertoire practice is also based on improvising the standards i've chosen. But the potential for this topic is endless, you can choose to work on restrictive improvisation (only soloing with triads, or only soloing in groups of five notes at a time) or you can chose to work on adapting your lines to the changes. (Say you learn a phrase that works over a ii chord, only change the notes necessary to make it fit over the V chord and then the I chord). You can work with different sounds (like whole tone, or harmonic minor) or improvising in different time signatures (3/4, 9/8 etc). The possibilities are endless.

The important thing is to pick a few things for every topic, and then stick to it. If you chose the right type of material, the first weeks will be very hard, but then you will slowly see how you weakness becomes stronger and stronger until it is not a weakness anymore. Discipline and patience gives great rewards. Now, you can change the amount of time you put on these things if that works better for you. I've found that with the level of new material i chose, 3 months is a good period for me to keep a practice routine. And that routine does not include what i learn for gigs and teaching.

I hope that gave you some ideas, cheers.
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Mine to warm up is tremolo pick the open strings for about 20 minutes. Then I do spider , ladder exercise for 20 minutes. And right now I'm buliding my speed up so I spent about 1 hour practicing that. Then about 20 minutes going over techniques, tapping, bending sweep picking etc. then going over diffident chords and theory etc. also learning a song by ear is good. some days I change it to keep it fresh.

check out pebber brown module videos on YouTube. Check this http://www.pbguitarstudio.com/GuitarLessonPDF.html
Last edited by Guitar137335 at Dec 15, 2014,
These days I'm rather short on time. So just so my muscles remember how it feels to play, I play a few scales and basic exercises up and down the fretboard, I usually like to play the "Chameleon" bassline to practice syncopation (I replace a different note each time for a rest as well), if I'm learning a song I'll practice them, and I play a few old standards and arrangements to keep in shape (eg, anything rhythm or fingerpicking). When I'm feeling super energetic I sight read some classical stuff. Or I might just jam along to a song or something I've previously written and recorded.

Wish I had more time these days. Oh well, happy practicing
Quote by cxrlxscr
I don't want to go back to mindlessly learning and playing covers. My music theory is on point though so I want to somehow apply that on guitar.

You could always do your own arrangement? That can be challenging, creative and very rewarding. Pick a song and play it in a different style. Muck around with the chords. It doesn't have to sound exactly like the original. That way it's not just 'mindless learning' copying a studio recording note for note. Or you might try play the melody and rhythm or bass line at the same time.
I do a few things.

Small scale fragments.
Longer scalar patterns.
3 note-per-string scales.
Short rock and blues licks.
Work on a song with electric guitar.
Practice flatpicking a song with acoustic guitar.