Long time reader, first time poster here.

I have a long-ish history of guitar playing, but due to moving abroad 8 years ago I suddenly quit and I'm only picking it back up again now (at 33 years old). Now, I've decided that I want to become the best player I possibly can, but I feel I am:

1) drowning in advice on what (and what not) to practice from scouring the internet


2) seriously strapped for time

I have a full time job, a girlfriend, go to the gym 3-4 times a week after work and finding time to set aside every day for practice is really quite hard. At best I can probably squeeze in two 1-hour sessions during the work week, and possibly a longer session on a Sunday night.

In terms of goals, I am pretty happy being a bedroom/hobby guitarist, and really what I mostly enjoy is playing along to my favourite music and/or jamming to backing tracks. If I could pick some sort of absolute be all end all holy grail song to one day be able to play it would probably be the solo from Under A Glass Moon by Dream Theater although it will probably take me until I'm 60.

Currently I have the following routine:

Theory: 10 mins
Currently running through "Fretboard Mastery" and planning on moving onto "The Practical Guide to Modern Music Theory for Guitarists"

Warmup: 5 mins
Chromatic scales, spider-arpeggios (or whatever they are called), etc.

Skills: 25 mins
Alternate Picking, Economy Picking, Legato, Inside Picking

Ear Training: 10 mins
Usually trying to transcribe a piece of music, currently working my way through Midnight Tango by Al Di Meola (well, up until the crazy runs about half ways through, which are a bit out of my league at the mo)

Repertoar: 10 mins
Sort of self explanatory

I just can't help feel most of this is just drilling through scales and patterns – would it be better to spend more time learning songs i.e picking a song and thoroughly working my way through it until I can play it perfectly, making exercises of any difficulties I find on the way?

Thanks for reading if you made it through this belter of a post!


Your current routine is good, but I just want to add that looking at the genres you want to play, and then the common skills for said genres will sort of clear things up for what you want to learn.

EDIT: and unless you practice scales over the entire fretboard, they're nowhere near as effective.

and in real terms, they don't have much use for guitarists anyway.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
Last edited by Pastafarian96 at Sep 17, 2015,
Hey, super - thanks for the response!

I think there are a couple of things I can omit (economy picking for instance), and I'll have a look at more specific skills according to my taste/goals

In terms of learning scales all over the fretboard I take it you mean say, C Major, in all 7 positions? Just out of curiosity, why are you saying scales aren't of much use for guitarists?