Poll: How many minutes or hours per day do you practice?
Poll Options
View poll results: How many minutes or hours per day do you practice?
30 min
2 7%
1 hour
12 40%
2 hour
7 23%
3 hours or more
9 30%
Voters: 30.
I was wondering for everyone out there how do they practice and how do they know what to practice?
For me, my biggest problem is that I need to learn to just play songs. I'm a solid player on rhythm and lead. I've started off as a blues kind of player, turned into a more metal player, and now I"m more of a jazz musician. But I have a hard time picking out songs and playing them. Instead, I kind of just jam aimlessly. This is a big problem and I have to start working on songs in order to start some kind of career in music eventually. I've been in blues bands and metal bands, and now I'm in a jazz band but in jazz the songs are kind of different from metal and blues in that you have to improvise more. I work on a lot of real books and stuff but I guess my question is how should I practice knowing all that I've said?
Last edited by Spacemarine at Jan 17, 2015,
I'm only 14 so I can't really give a professional opinion haha. But there aren't many days I dont pick up a guitar and muck around. I have spent a year or so mainly on technique, running through Petrucci-style exercises, mucking around with different signatures and minor/major scales and their different variations.

When I play, 90% of it is usually soloing over different progressions I loop with my pedal and then 10% is learning songs I like, which I usually do by ear.

I would say how you practise should be reflective on what you want to achieve, if you want to gig look up some tabs and download some backing tracks and you'll be set. If you want to expand on your theory, pick up a book. Technique, exercises and scales. Composition, i find just jamming and implementing the other components usually leaves you with a decent end result.

Just my adolescent 2c hahaha
How do I practise? And what do I practise?

If I can call it practise well ok I am fine with that.

What happens is that I got my 2 favorite guitars to each of my sides and pick them up when I feel it. So it is usually several times to a little every day.

I also got my old trusty 1978 Marshall 2104 combo standing by to switch on and play through. Sometimes I do that.

I have been playing since late 1980's so my guitar skills are firmly active at all times.

So I look at my weak spots and what I am interest in learning at that moment I pick up the guitar of choice and or I use my Marshall.

Are my left hand up to scratch? My right hand picking?

Otherwise pickup from where I was the last time I picked up my guitar.

An example was the intro to Satch boogie by Satriani which I had the first few bars of. I decided to learn the next bits and get them down.

Then learning major, natural minor and harmonic minor scales in A in 5 positions.

Keep on playing Yngwie style to notice where I am at.
when I was younger sometimes hours at a time. Now a few hours a week.

Basically do what your comfortable with. The more you practice the faster you will get better
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Jan 17, 2015,
I practice 1 hour at a time, 1-3 times a day. What to practice? Stuff that you like and stuff that challenges you. And learn new songs regularly.
Been playing guitar since 2007 and would consider myself a pretty good hard rock guitarplayer. I just play what I like the sound of for the moment. Sit with a guitar in my hands when I watch TV and listen to music. Always did, and it has never hindered my progress. Impossible to tell you how long these sessions are. I just laugh when someone says you need a schedule to make any progress. It that was true, I would still be on the level of Kirk Hammett.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
You should practice things you need to play the stuff you want to play better.

For example, if you want to learn a certain song with a difficult passage, practice that passage more so you get it down.

If you want to improve alternate picking, practice that, but in a context you can use in a musical way.

Don't play mindless exercises without musical usefulness. It's a waste of time.

Practice to a drum track, backing track or a metronome, depending on what is best for what you are practicing.

Use a timer and practice for a specific time, like practice a specific thing for 5 minutes for example, then move on to the next thing.
Last edited by Virgman at Jan 18, 2015,
Doesn't matter what you practice honestly. The most important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter how long you practice. That's not the most important factor here. The most important rule is "Quality over Quantity". No one can really give you any specific answers because all musicians have different related goals. That each individual wants to accomplish. You could spend 7 hours a day practicing, but still not make any real gains.. Only you can really answer these questions.

All in all it's a trial, and error process when trying to figure out which way of practicing works for you. Just because one thing works for your friend doesn't mean it's going to work for you. If anything the highest amount of time I'd reference for timed exercises is 2 minutes per exercise.

If you do more than that you're pretty much wasting your time with building technique. With everything you do, you have to be focused. You can't just half ass when you're in a practice session because if you do you'll end up making none to a little amount of progress. As you go along you'll figure things out. I change my approach to how I practice every 2 weeks including different things I want to learn in my practice regimen. At the same time I understand how long I can stay focused for so I don't try to add a bunch of things that I know I won't be able to really focus on.

I used to practice up to four hours a day switching between different styles on a daily basis, but now I just focus on two styles for a couple of months. Then I proceed to pick up where I left off with whatever style I was practicing before. This to me is the best way to really get your skills up if you're versatile, but like I said what works for me won't necessarily work for you. I could go on, and on about different ways to practice, but it's mainly up to you, to figure out good luck.

If anyone reads this post I'd highly recommend that you try timing your exercises for 30 seconds to two minutes each. All in all it really depends on how long your exercises are. You'll make so much gains doing this with whatever you're working on. As long as you stay focused during that 30 seconds to two minutes with whatever you're practicing. Whether you are building your technique up or just working on strumming patterns or trying to get that new chord into your vocabulary. Doing this is very useful for gaining speed.

As I know a lot of people struggle with doing that. It's way better to just practice a scale or picking exercise for a short duration of time than spend 10 minutes working through it making a bunch of mistakes. Remember at the end of the day building technique is solely based on muscle memory so you really have to focus on not making mistakes, and doing everything correctly. Your fingers will remember the movement you did the previous day so it's definitely something to look in to.

Just doing this has highly benefited me, and I wish all the other musicians luck with their practice regimens. Once you try it you might never want to go back to your normal routine. It's all quality over quantity when it comes to learning music! I wish the best of luck to you all peace.

EDIT- I also forgot to add another important thing with practice schedules. Have everything on your schedule structured! Just don't go and write down a bunch of random things that you want to practice. Start out with your weaknesses, and end your schedule on your strengths. Doing this will lead to way better results as you'll be more focused at the beginning of the practice session than the end. So you'll end up getting better at what you suck, at rather quickly.

Last edited by Black_devils at Jan 18, 2015,
Ideally I'll practice 3 hours a day, of course sometimes I'm too busy or too lazy. And sometimes I'll get in 4 hours in a day. I work from various instructional books, mostly blues stuff. I'm working on 3 songs right now, for two of them I'm practicing the lead, rhythm and bass guitar parts and for the third just the rhythm guitar. Also working through a bass instructional book. And I do about a half hour of improvising a day along with backing tracks.
Have you thought about finding yourself a great jazz teacher? You really can't beat the guiding hand of a world-class teacher and the prospect of having to face them eery week or two to show them your progress. Even some top flight guitarists take tuition from other great players.
Thanks for all the replies. I have since gotten a jazz guitar teacher and have made some leaps and bounds in my playing the last couple months. I'm still not satisfied because I want to work on more than just jazz stuff. But I'll have to work on that on my own.