#1
my long term goal is to really shred on the guitar. currently, i have been playing 6 months.

how should my practice time be divided?

50% learning songs 50% practicing scales, technique, etc.???
25% learning songs 75% practicing scales, technique ????

I realize this ratio is probably different for everyone. any opinions on this? i am thinking about setting a stopwatch to become more disciplined with dividing up my time into defined sections. currently, i skip around a lot, where i will work on a song for 5 min, then try and do scales for 1-2 min, then try another song, then maybe more technique for 5 min, then practice another song for 3 min, etc. I skip around so i won't get bored, but maybe my time would be more effective if i structured it more?
#2
I think I'm abut 50/50 at the mo. I practice technique and stuff for roughly 1.5 hours a day then spend about the same amount of time playing songs or randomly improvising.
#3
You aren't going to shred properly for another 10 years, so don't have it in your mind that you will. Focus on music. No one wants to listen to another shredder whizz up and down scales, they want to hear music. Instrumentals do have their place, but don't focus on that in the beginning.

I'd suggest playing everday (and wanting to), get a few lessons, familiarise yourself with the pentatonic scale, learn some songs by the classic rock bands etc. Importantly, learn the fretboard and familiarise yourself with the notes and the intervals between them. Aim to hum something in your head and then reproduce it on your guitar.

The way you use notes to phrase things through a guitar is what will make you stand out and sound good, and coming up with new licks, riffs and ideas will strengthen this. Also take ideas and learn from the people that put music where it is today (think The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin) . A great genre for phrasing is blues.

Its really important to concentrate on rhythm guitar and be able to play along to a beat.

A useful thing to do is record a simple chord backing and then play a lead part over the top. You'll probably notice you can come up with some ideas and form a song, if not then you need to keep playing until you can.

I hope i've made it clear not to practice whizzing through scales at 200bpm, if thats what you do it will come naturally over time -- but the most important thing is to get into rhythm.
#4
^^ 10 years is a bit of an overstatement...You should do 80% playing the guitar, to get the technical ability of a shredder really quick, and 20% learning music theory on the side, till you have done this for about a year or so. After that, try to even it out at 50/50 of each, since you will play so good, you dont need to practice as much to increase technicality, and you will learn more and more theory. And by playing the guitar, I mean like learn really hard songs you know you can't play yet. Learn them, play them SLOW, then up the tempo bit by bit, and pay attention to technique. Want to work on a specific technique? Look for a song that uses that technique alot, so you add to your repertoire, and learn the technique all in one go.

EDIT: Also, every now and then you should listen to a simple song, and try to figure it out on the guitar by ear. This will help later on when you hear melodies in your head and want to be able to play them without too much tinkering around.
#5
if you want to shred, the following should be included:

Technique
Theory
Improvisation - including playing to a backing track
Learning Songs
Ear Training

and how much you spend on each is purely up to where you think your weak points are
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it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.


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