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Share about how you get the best out of your practice time you have avaliable

ZeyerGTR

Member
Messages
4,045
Most importantly - set both short and long term goals. That way you can keep yourself "on track" because you want to use your practice time to achieve those goals. If you don't have goals you'll just wander from "thing" to "thing." That can certainly work for some people and to some extent, particularly if you have a lot of time. If you have very limited practice time, use goals to get the most out of it.
 

levous

Member
Messages
793
Most importantly - set both short and long term goals. That way you can keep yourself "on track" because you want to use your practice time to achieve those goals. If you don't have goals you'll just wander from "thing" to "thing." That can certainly work for some people and to some extent, particularly if you have a lot of time. If you have very limited practice time, use goals to get the most out of it.
Right on with goal setting! I think that is more important than anything else by a large margin. I respect what the OP is trying to do with the plan he laid out. Be willing to diverge from your plan but, if you find yourself distracted, return to that. There's a technique and a Mac program called "Pomodoro" (tomato) that allows you to set a time box for something. I'd break some of what you're doing into 20s and 5s rather than all 10s. Pomodoro is helpful because yo ustart your timer and then it rings at the end and immediately kicks off your shorter "break" timer.

You'll find 998 of 1000 TGPers dissing your "methodical plan" and technical exercises but remember that you want to filter the noise and listen to people that have accomplished what you intend to do, not those who know everything but have never bothered to do it. I'm like you in that I'm still pursuing so you are free to ignore me too. I can tell you that two decades of noodling will not work. Time to try something else :)
 

dingusmingus

Member
Messages
142
I set specific goals, plan out what to practice for each day of the week, and use a timer to stick to that. E.g.,
10 min - melodic minor scales
10 min - arpeggios
10 min - arpeggios over chord changes for a tune I'm working on
20 minutes - comping
30 minutes - transcribe solo
20 minutes - play over tune.

People play and practice for different reasons. I progress much faster, which I find most satisfying, by having a fairly rigorous practice schedule.
 

artboy

Member
Messages
23
As a totally crappy newbie, I really thrashed around without a direction to go in for a long time (arguably, given my total noob-ness, that's still going on). I think, at the beginning, one of the hardest things is the I at least don't even know what I don't know (if that makes sense).

But... after a while where I obviously did not progress beyond a certain basic point, I realized I had to change things up. So I started putting together a specific set of goals, and (most importantly) just doing it consistently. That's probably been even more valuable than the goal breakdown itself. What I tend to do now with my extremely limited time (I'm 39, work and have an 18-month-old at home, so get at the most an hour a day, but usually only 30 minutes):
- 5-10 minutes "warming up" with scales (chromatic, blues, etc.)
- 10-20 minutes working on "string skipping" exercises (I spend more time here proportionally because I'm not yet comfortable enough doing that)
- 5-10 minutes working on rhythm and keeping time (this is pretty hard for me..."counting" the time while strumming, tough...i should up this amount)
- 10-20 minutes working on a song I want to learn (the whole reason I picked this up again at my age in the first place). I save the song for the end of my session as a kind of "reward" for slogging through the admittedly boring but important technique stuff

Jury's out so far on how much better I've gotten; I just started approaching guitar practice this way recently.
 

Seraphine

Member
Messages
3,600
Let me see what my setlist is for the computer.. music I'm currently listening to while online...

Jessi Colter - I'm Not Lisa
Wille Nelson and Ray Charles - Seven Spanish Angels
The Band - The Shape I'm In
The Band - Don't Do It
The Band - This Wheel's On Fire
Phish - Bouncing Around The Room ( Live )
John Anderson - Seminole Wind

The rest of the list is my music.. But the idea is play along with each... learn each... KNOW each.... whatever you're listening to.
 

ZeyerGTR

Member
Messages
4,045
Another general thing - focus and concentrate. It's surprisingly difficult, but you get a lot more out of your practice time if your whole mind is focused on what you're trying to learn. If you're practicing while watching TV, or thinking about what you need to do afterwards, etc, you're just not going to get as much out of it. That doesn't mean it's not valuable, but the more you focus on what you're doing, the more you get out of it.

When I was learning to read music I actually timed myself a few times. At first, I made it a whopping 90 seconds before I started just noodling something unrelated to the page I was working on. Just a little lick I fell into, but it took my focus away. It was somewhat of a revelation.
 

Guinness Lad

Senior Member
Messages
15,853
Don't practice theory practice reality.

Want something tough to do, do this -

1. Take any jazz standard.
2. Sing the arpeggio of the chord indicated before playing the guitar.
3. Now play the arpeggio, and compare where you were right and/or wrong.
4. Goal should be to sing through the entire song w/o a guitar.

I knew a horn player who could do this, I unfortunately can't yet, this type of stuff accomplishes almost everything you need.
 

Fretsalot

Member
Messages
1,654
Depending on your practice time, have 1-3 goals in mind and try come up with more than just one method of practicing each goal. It takes some discipline at first, because it's easier to escape into mindless noodling, self-gratifying chord chugging, etc. I found that if I had a specific goal and worked on it, I could see improvements in as few as a couple practice sessions. Having difficulty learning a technique? Cut your learning/practice tempo in half until it comes more naturally - usually only takes a few minutes of that for me.

Good luck,

Fretsalot/Scott
 

djdrdave

Member
Messages
3,062
Resurrecting for a good discussion. Lately i have been going through truefire courses. I do find that if i work an extremely long day, the chances i skip playing guitar become pretty high. Also if i miss one day the odds of missing the next day are fairly high too. Same thing with a gym schedule.
 

Pitar

Member
Messages
1,858
Couldn't tell you. I think thinking about it as a thinking exercise thinks the fun right out of it. When someone tells me he's working on scales I cringe and go play some music to shake off the thought. I suppose if you have that type of personality that demands the details and theory to give the whole of it credibility, you're happy with yourself for pursuing it. Good for you and your psyche. I look at it like I do painting by numbers. I prefer to load the palette with colors expressing my mood of the day and have a go at that blank canvass. There's a image on it I'll get out with my brush. I see the guitar in the same light. It's a place for my fingers to express my heart and shut out the logic in my head.
 




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