Step 1Get a notebook or use a word document (or Evernote or something similar)
Step 2Write the following headings at the top of three separate pages:
Songs (These are the songs you know how to play)
Riffs (These are the riffs you know how to play)
Technical (These are the things you need to work on)
Step 3Fill out the above with all the songs, riffs and technical areas you need to work in a list.
For the songs you know how to play, they should be complete songs where you know all the parts for the rhythm guitar at least.
The Riffs page can be any riff, melody or part of a song.
Technical is the things that are holding back your playing.
These are the nagging things that trip you up in playing or things you would love to add to your playing.
Eg. slow chord change on G to C, you keep forgetting a strum pattern, wanting to improve a Travis picking pattern, want to learn the minor pentatonic scale, etc.
- Start your practice routine with a song, then...
- Spend 2 minutes perfecting something from the Technical section, and then...
- Play one of the riffs (these are generally quite fun and help you practice in a different way to songs).
So, your routine will look like: Song - Technical - Riff - Song - Technical -Riff
Keep on repeating until you reach between 15 - 20 minutes (ideal length for best results)
That's it. So simple and so effective.
A little more focus and a touch more tough love on yourself will help you make massive strides with your guitar playing in a shorter space of time. Below is a sample of one of my students practice routine how it looks since he followed this plan.
Sample practice routine:
Song: Oasis - "Half the World Away"
Technical: chord change from FMaj to CMaj
Riff - Michael Jackson - "Beat It"
Song: Green Day - "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
Technical: keeping a steady tempo with a click
Riff: Black Sabbath - "Iron Man"
The above is just about 12 minutes of his practice routine.
Follow this and your practice routine will not only be FUN, but it will be varied and highly effective. If you are unsure what technical things to work on, look for what trips you up when you play a song and focus on those in the Technical part of the practice.
This is a great practice routine for beginners and is still highly effective for more experienced guitarists.
About the Author:
Dan Thorpe is a UK based guitar teacher, writer, and musician. He is the founder of Guitar Domination. If you want to learn how to play guitar and get two five star rated Amazon eBooks for free (for a limited time) check out his blog. Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to get in touch with any questions or comments in the boxes below.