Hi! As you probably will see English is not my first language but i will try to explain as good as i can.

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years and i am starting to feel that I'm standing still in my guitar playing. Usually i just play whatever comes to mind or trying to learn som songs but i never really ''practice'' and i realize i must make some kind of schedule to get to the ''next'' step in my playing.

I can play about 3hrs a day but I'm confused what to actually practice lol.

I listen to bands like Megadeth, Exodus, Alter bridge, Enforcer and Avenged Sevenfold and my goal is to be able to play those solos in the future.

So what I'm trying to do now is to make a schedule that will help me accomplish those goals and also develop my ear, rhythm and theoretical skills.

I am thinking of something like :

10 min warmup

15-20min right hand picking in different shapes and

15-20 Legato practice, different exercises

20min Sweep exercises

20 min Hand sync exercises like chromatic runs up and down the neck.

All this with a metronome since i never used one and my playing is pretty sloppy thanks to that.

Then practice some theory

20 min Major/minor scales to learn every position. One key at the time.

20 min on learning the fretboard

20 min learning what chords are in what key so i can know what scales i can use over a progression.

After that the rest of my time goes to messing around with backing tracks and trying to learn songs by ear.

Does it sound good or ******ed? How do you set up your practice schedule?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
I think you should also learn the names of the intervals, what they look like on the fretboard, and what they sound like. Once you've learned the names and their fretboard shapes learning songs by ear will help with learning what the intervals sound like if you're paying attention to which intervals you're using.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Jan 7, 2015,
Well, good luck with that schedule! Nice one. Wish I was that motivated..
I break my practice up into seven aspects

Ear training
Theory & Fretboard knowledge
Learning new songs
Practicing existing repertoire
Jamming out, improvising and having fun.

I have identified these as areas that I want to improve in and try to spend an equal amount of time on each of those things on a daily basis.

Each of those aspects is a big job in itself and can cover a lot of ground. So I break them down and take things slow. I develop a structured programme for each aspect and practice between 1-3 exercises for that aspect before moving on and as I progress the exercises increase in difficulty to remain challenging and push me. I know that if I put in the time regularly then those small improvements will add up over time.

If I have three hours of a practice window then I'll spend 30 mins on each thing.

If I have more than three hours then I will often spend the extra time learning new music, jamming out, playing my existing repertoire etc.

Another thing is that the different aspects that I practice are not isolated and independent of one another. They are all interrelated and support one another. For example if I'm learning a song with a specific right hand picking pattern then that will improve my right hand picking technique. If I'm doing transcription as part of my ear training then I might also be learning a new song at the same time. If I'm practicing finding specific chords in different places on the fretboard and moving between these chords then this could help my finger independence, theory, and if I'm singing the chord tones it could also be helping my ear training etc.

Any one exercise will have crossover benefits in the other areas. However, I ensure that my PRIMARY focus is always on the task at hand. Any secondary benefits are a bonus. When I'm learning a new song with a new right hand picking technique I am learning the song and that is my focus, not the technique. Though I do try to play it perfectly it's about mindset and focus.

(I haven't included writing as I treat it as a separate discipline which though it typically involves playing my instrument it doesn't always so I haven't included it. I also haven't included vocal exercises.)

Personally I couldn't do the exercise regime you have there. But that's because it doesn't fit my goals. Looking at your practice regime it would seem that your primary goal is to improve your technical proficiency. Looking at your post it seems that your goal is to be able to play certain solos and develop your ear, rhythm and theoretical skills. They don't seem to match up very well. There is no ear training and playing songs and jamming out seems almost like an afterthought.

Those are just my personal thoughts though.
I advise you to keep a notebook and write down any challenges, improvements, progress, thoughts, feelings, and observations, as well as to keep a log of your practice and what you practiced. It can help you keep focused and help you figure out where your practice needs to head in order to continue improving. It's also good when you're feeling in a slump to look back six months and see how far you've come.

Anyway good luck man. The most important thing is to enjoy playing your instrument.

Here's mine:

1/4 Right/Left Hand Technique (The physical game)

1/4 Fretboard Knowledge & Theory (Scales, arps, improv concepts, the mental game...)

1/4 Improvisation (The combined application of the physical and unconscious mental game)

1/4 Composition (The application of the mental game)
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
I could never stick to a schedule like that - that's real nose-to-the-grindstone type stuff I think it's important to keep your practice routine fun, that way you stick with it. I'd work on a song for half an hour and if there were certain technical aspects of the song that I was having trouble with, I'd do a few exercises to work on that particular technique. Then go on to another song, etc.

Over the years you'll have gone through enough songs that every area of your technique will have gotten plenty of work.

Of course that's just me
Last edited by Jack Strat at Jan 8, 2015,