#1
A day of practice for me usually consists of me sitting down, and jamming out to a bunch of tunes that I know. I will sometimes practice theory/scales, but I know I need to practice it more. I am wondering, how do you guys practice, and what is the most effective way to progress as a guitarist in your opinion?
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#2
I just jam and figure stuff out, also playing with guitarists that are better than you helps alot, its worked for me.
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#3
My routine consists of:

1. Warm Up/Stretch (very important)
2. Alternate Picking
3. Legato
4. Tapping
5. Sweeping
6. Theory/Sight Reading/Chordal Knowledge
7. Jam (learning songs, improvising, messing around with sounds, and the like)

Usually it all adds up to about 4-6 hours, depending on the day, conditions, etc. The sections are not divided time-wise evenly however, some sections get more time than others, i.e., Jamming gets more time that Tapping.

I have a teacher too, whom I study theory, go over scales and improvisation, and practice with. It's IMMENSELY helpful. Also, play with others! I can't stress that enough. Find a GOOD drummer, bassist, and keyboardist and get jamming, it helps so much for all aspects of playing.

Hope that helped.

EDIT: To the guy below me, DON'T practice only when you want to. If you want to be great, it requires commitment, sacrifice, and determination. Set aside practice time, and try to never miss it (of course you will sometimes). If you practice only when you want to you can get lazy. Of course, if guitar playing is only a minor hobby to you, by all means do whatever you want.

EDIT 2: Above all, however, have fun! If you're not having fun, it'll be a chore, and you won't get much better if it feels like a compromise. But what could be more fun than making music?
Last edited by JeffWiredBeck24 at Jul 10, 2008,
#4
I never have a practice schedule, sometimes I play just to jam, sometimes I jam for a bit then learn something new, sometimes I just study theory.

The best way in my opinion to practice is to only practice what you want when you want. Then it will have your full attention and focus on whatever you are doing so you maximize what you get accomplished in your playing time.
#5
I don't think the best way to practice is just jamming. With most people, if they only play along or solo over cds and things like that, they will never get any better and end up in a rut doing the same blues licks over and over.

I have been taught by many professors to take each topic (scale work, sight reading) and put them into small sessions. With the small times for each topic, you always maintain 100% focus and will start seeing better results. I use a egg timer to keep track of time and will go through a routine multiple times in a day.
#6
Damn man.... I feel like I have been missing out these 5 years I've been playing. I practice an hour a day, maybe more, maybe less. I don't practice enough at all! I really need to change my habits, and just do it. I love playing, it's just that I get back pain a lot nowadays. I don't really know why, but it makes me severely uncomfortable. I suppose I could lay in bed and play
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#7
Its perhaps not the only way to get better, but to me I find it to be the most effective way of getting better.
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#8
I vary things a lot, and mostly I do some kind of musical exploration with electric guitar and keyboard, but... I have been playing guitar for a long time. I still do very structured practice for classical guitar, which I've only been playing for a few years, and I spend a lot of time on long-tone practice on sax and then a very structured routine, because I have been playing sax for less than a year.

You can get really good at producing an individual sound just through screwing around, but becoming a well-rounded musician requires some disciplined methodical study. Just don't stop _playing_, in the sense of child's play. It has to be fun on some level, even if it is tedious on others. Otherwise the musical parts of your brain go on strike and you sound dull.
#9
Quote by Chance125
Damn man.... I feel like I have been missing out these 5 years I've been playing. I practice an hour a day, maybe more, maybe less. I don't practice enough at all! I really need to change my habits, and just do it. I love playing, it's just that I get back pain a lot nowadays. I don't really know why, but it makes me severely uncomfortable. I suppose I could lay in bed and play

Don't lie in bed. Go the the gym. Seriously. Don't go to get huge just to work out and for regular exercise. Lift some weights even just small weights at high reps. Your back pain will dissappear in no time. And the chicks will dig it!

I had the same problem. Working in a chair in an office all day, then playin guitar for hours on end - by back was aching. Changed my routine and started to go to the gym and work out an hour a day. Now my body loves me. My back never gets sore now. But I have had to grow a mustache to keep the girls away.
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#10
Quote by 20Tigers
Don't lie in bed. Go the the gym. Seriously. Don't go to get huge just to work out and for regular exercise. Lift some weights even just small weights at high reps. Your back pain will dissappear in no time. And the chicks will dig it!

I had the same problem. Working in a chair in an office all day, then playin guitar for hours on end - by back was aching. Changed my routine and started to go to the gym and work out an hour a day. Now my body loves me. My back never gets sore now. But I have had to grow a mustache to keep the girls away.


This is completely ridiculous advice. You're not a doctor, and you haven't examined him. He could have a back injury, and putting stress on it could very well worsen it.

Of course, going to the gym is great... But not if you're taking a chance on your health.
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#11
no, its not the only way to get better.

Its most likely the most effective though... for technique, but it won't teach you phrasing and stuff. That comes from listening to guitar players, jamming out, trying new ideas.

I find it worthless (to me) to force myself to practice when im not feeling it. Sure, some may find the diciplined practice routine all neatly divided into various aspects of technique theory etc... to be appealing and effective. But me, i play guitar because its fun. and I find no point in playing if theres no fun to it. And sitting down with a metronome playing the same lick for an hour to me is not fun anymore. (it may be to you).
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#12
I don't know about "structured" practice, but I will say this:

If your practice skills don't keep up with your playing skills, you'll eventually reach
a point where your progress will likely get very slow or stop altogether.

Your first few years is kind of grace period. Getting better just happens on its own
up until the point you've saturated your natural playing and practice skills. At that
point you may have do a pretty big makeover if you want to get further.