What's Your Practice Regimen?

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,755
I was lucky that when I first started playing at 13 that my dad got me into a group of older players that played all the time. I was able to rehearse twice a week and always had songs to learn. It was a great way to learn how to play. As I've gotten older though, I'm finding myself wanting to dive a little deeper as a player. What are you guys doing for your daily practicing?

In the last month, I've started doing roughly 60-90 minutes a day. I might miss a day here and there if family stuff is going on but I've been pretty consistent so far. I've been doing scales to a metronome for about 20 minutes and then I'll work on a new technique (Travis picking for example) for 20-30 minutes, then hit some slide guitar or another areas that I already play decently but want to get better. Anything you guys can think of that I should be doing or not doing? Obviously, just sitting down everyday to play in general is a good thing but I'm really wanting to make the bet use of my time to get the most out of it.

Any materials or online lessons that are worthwhile? I've joined Tim Pierce's website and that has been pretty good. I'm mainly a rock/country player that is just looking to not only get better in that area but would like to expand my playing in general; building speed is a major part of what I'm looking to do.
 

Flying_V1968

Member
Messages
622
Sounds like you have a good routine already.

I like to start with scales, tempo training and technical exercises to get warmed up. Focusing on things I found were difficult - getting it down slow and clean then pushing myself to get up to speed.
Then work on new songs and increasing my musical competence.

For free online lessons I really like the fret jam series on youtube. Great graphical presentation and lots of fantastic info.
I also have received great gains from ear training - everything is just easier when you can hear what's going on.
Guitar Pro 6 and Transcribe! software have been invaluable to me as well.
 

spamassassain

Member
Messages
1,808
Like the OP, I also start with scales and a metronome. I do the scales in different keys each day - usually in the key of whatever song or piece I plan to spend the most time with that day. I do three kinds of scales with the metronome - 3 octave "24 note" scales @ 60 bpm so I can start really slowly (two beats per note) then notch it up - 1 beat per note, 2 beats per note, 3, then 4, then 6, then 8, then 12, then 16 if I'm feeling good.

After the scales I usually do some sort of exercise to concentrate on a particular technical challenge. Use dotted rhythms to help sync left and right hands, for instance.

Then I'll get into the songs/pieces. There, I either practice very slowly with a metronome, concentrating on tone and clarity/articulation, while working to minimize the effort of shifting. Then I might spend some time playing longer phrases to give them direction. Then, finally, whole passages for "performance" training.

It's difficult to get all this done in an hour - usually I work for about 45 minutes, take a break, then spend another 45.

Don't forget to always have a plan before you start practicing.

Then, if I'm feeling burned out or can't concentrate enough for the real woodshedding, I might just improvise for a bit, or play a song I know well just to "make music".
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
48,337
1. I wish I had started when I was 10 or 12, but because of an older brother that played (sibling rivalry) I waited until 20 (in the mean time, learned piano and drums).
2. I wish I'd surrounded myself with older more experienced players, but always seemed to get into bands with crappy players who didn't challenge me :waiting
3. I was too cheap to spend very much money on lessons and figured I could teach my self as well :messedup
4. I had so many other hobbies that guitar manytimes took a back seat for months and even years at a time.
5. My original plan was to practice 30 minutes a day. It worked for about 5 years early on and then the idea scattered. I still play but not really practice hard stuff like I should.
6. With all that, I play fairly well and am glad I put in the effort I did. One thing I always wanted was a killer vibrato and I got it down very well. :knitting
 

StaggerLee85

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
135
I noodle occasionally. If I get too good I'll lose the spontaneity. I'll take feeling and attitude over technical wizardry any day.
 

StaggerLee85

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
135
Great players can't play with feeling and attitude?

Never said they couldn't. But my favorite players aren't necessarily gonna blow minds by playing 10 notes per millisecond in some exotic scale.

It's just a preference thing. I'll take Neil Young over Steve Vai 10 times out of 10. I like big crunchy riffs and bendy soaring solos.

But as far as feeling and attitude and technical wizardry combined are concerned, Gary Moore is the first guy to spring to mind. Absolutely love his playing. 'Parisienne Walkways' from Montreaux. Dude plays the holy hell out of the Greenie LP.
 

Creighton

Member
Messages
2,152
I noodle occasionally. If I get too good I'll lose the spontaneity. I'll take feeling and attitude over technical wizardry any day.

This is a concern many guitar players have and I used to think that myself but it is a myth that impedes progress. To each their own, but the truth is if one practices and learns new things it will improve every aspect of their playing, including feeling and spontaneity. Phrasing especially becomes more creative and more spontaneous.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,077
I have two hours of calisthenic-type metronome exercises that I do each day regardless, which can be modified to include concepts related to gigging material as need be. Everything after that is dependent on upcoming gigs--memorizing new material, working through arrangement ideas, reviewing anything that was problematic at rehearsal or the last gig, etc.
 

Cal Webway

Member
Messages
9,560
Noodle warm up short or longer, then go into songs I'm working on, or reapproach with a different take on sections for songs I already know.

It's not a race or competition: breaks and the approach of an open mind to learning.
Oh, and technique stuff. And 'challenging' stuff from most other genres some days. Sometimes redo songs in different keys to work my mind and ears.

All, in a non-rigid approach.

.

.
 

Creighton

Member
Messages
2,152
I wonder how many guitarists on TGP know the notes on the fretboard, above say the 5th fret. If I had to take a guess I'd say very few do, myself included (some parts of the fretboard). Guitar is unique apart from almost every other instrument in that many people play it without ever learning what it is that they are playing.
 




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