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Structured practicing

Technique
tjust  
26 May 2009 13:46 | Quote
Joined: 26 May 2009
United States
Karma
Ok so I run through warm-ups then proceed to go through scales, and then practice my theory. But, I'm curious,...how do you guys practice, What do you go through? How do you structure your practice sessions? I'm curious to see what everyone else does.
BodomBeachTerror  
26 May 2009 14:28 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
i just play whatever i want really, run through some riffs, do some improvising, work on some songs im writing. really the only thing i "practice" is new things that my teacher gives me, or if i want to learn a song. i dont run through the scales anymore.. probably should though
Heather  
26 May 2009 14:39 | Quote
Joined: 21 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
Licks: 2
Karma: 19
When I had more time for practice I liked to get two or maybe three songs I liked and focus on learning them for a few weeks. For me that made sure I stayed focused and learnt something and kept myself from trying to learn too much and mess my head up, but also made sure I didn't get bored of the same song. I liked to learn any songs that would involve anything like a song involving a lot of licks, chicken picking or strumming, etc. Then I thought I was more familier with the neck aswell as the songs to make it easier for me to write my own song by improvising.

Pretty much just pick anything you want to do but makes you feel like you're improving every time you practice.
tjust  
26 May 2009 15:25 | Quote
Joined: 26 May 2009
United States
Karma
That's cool. I was hoping someone would have ideas for some practice material I should cover.
Heather  
26 May 2009 15:40 | Quote
Joined: 21 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
Licks: 2
Karma: 19
I remember the very first songs I started with were one called 'Skip to my Lou', another called 'Love me tender' by Elvis Presley and the classic 'Ode to Joy.' They really helped me build up my speed and become more familier with the neck as I gradually paced along. The song 'Wish you were here' by Pink Floyd that's posted on this site helped me quite a bit too. Try them to start with if you want. Those songs can help with either strumming or as you're reading the music get in touch with yuor timeing and get better at reading music. Those are simple but important things you should cover, I don't know if you're better then this yet but I thought for me Ode to Joy was the most effective.
Phip  
26 May 2009 16:05 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 45
Moderator
@ Tjust,
I usually stretch out my fingers first. I use a pair of chime balls (golf balls will do) between my index-middle and middle-ring fingers for a few minutes while i sip a cup of coffee. (left hand) Then I do a little excercise a friend showed me, starting on the higher frets and work my way back to the nut. This takes just a few minutes but helps alot with dexterity. After that I am just learning scales so I work with that for a while and when I'm ready to smash furniture I stop. After that I work on songs I'd like to play and record (all covers, I'm not ready to write solos yet). During all this I ususally take small breaks to read the forum posts. The bulk of my time is spent learning new songs and also playing songs I have already learned but keeping them fresh in my mind by playing portions or all of the songs. That's it really. Then I have milk and cookies and it's time for a nap! LOL
Phip
tjust  
26 May 2009 16:12 | Quote
Joined: 26 May 2009
United States
Karma
I've been playing for about 3years already. So My timing isn't bad I was just looking for something new to add to my routine. I use a metronome sometimes...makes me feel more musicainly...If thats a word. TO phil... thanks I definitely keep furniture smashing to a minimum though...lol.
Empirism  
26 May 2009 16:49 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
well, I have very bad habit to not practise at all. I practise with playing, I play for sequencer some riffs for some scales mixolydian, major or whatever I choose to and then start to improvising for it.

I know that Jazz and Afro rip rest of their hairs off when they read this but... well im sorry I just found practising some excersices boring... xD (this is not recommended.)
telecrater  
26 May 2009 19:14 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
So...I was good about practicing a set hour+ a day, then i got out of the habit but i'm tryign to get back in.

Recently I've been using a little kitchen timer to limit how long i practice and log every thing with a tempo. I guess it's kinda a hybrid of what justin over at justinguitar.com has for his practice and mixing up tempo

Beginners Practice from justinguitar.com
< a href="http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TB-021-IntermediatePractice.php">Intermediate Practice form Justinguitar.com

I don't spend more that 5 or 10 miniute on each section but try and cover a vairity of items. I'll stick with one key for a couple of weeks trying to make sure i have a good understanding of it.

Here is an example from a day from last week....I got a little lazy with the tracking tempo but i think every thing was around 160.

1/2 string scales 5 min 160 Tempo
scales 10 min 160 Tempo
Arpeggios 5 min
Chords 10 Min
Ear Training 10 Min
Music Theory 20 Min
Playing for Fun 20 Min

I've included playing for fun or what Justin calls BB songs with my practice because i find practicing chords and scales boring but playing for fun and learning songs I like more fun and treat it like dessert.

I've spent a lot of time like empirism just playing and not practicing and i think i've gotten worse



league  
26 May 2009 19:32 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 10
Same here I've been practicing so many other forms of music I've gotten worse at playing Heavy Metal.

I recommend scales unless you don't know a lot of chords like Maj9 or dim/aug chords etc.

Practice for at least 30 min a day. I find when I practice at least 30 min before band practice I hardly mess up.

Warming up with a favorite song is a good idea.

I also listen to many different types of music and see what I can learn from it. I guess this means training your ear.

Remember to practice with different time signatures.
guitarmastergod  
26 May 2009 19:45 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
im kinda pathetic at praticeing. cause all i do is practice technique and not theory. im amazing when it comes to stuff like4 finger pentatonics(2 fingers each hand), hardcore wide intervalic licks but im horrible at theory. i know some basic theory and thats its. for practicing i spend a couple hours of nonestop legato,tapping, sweeping, and playing around with weird scales like whole-tone and hungarian minor, i also practice my fingerpicking.
league  
26 May 2009 19:56 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 10
I practice theory by listening to it and understanding it.

Richard Lloyd does great applied theory techniques in guitar world.

Many times I figure I already knew something I just didn't know it was theory.

Like modes, I already knew how to improvise over certain chords and progressions. I think I learned simply from hearing music.

That's why I realized it's important to listen to many types of music. Make sure its worthy of studying though.
case211  
27 May 2009 14:11 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
My 'practice' is almost an all day everyday thing. Here's how it looks I guess:

8 am-3 pm thinking and reading about theory, riffs, chord progs. in class
4-? play time

i generally try to just play and incorporate what i learn and think about during the day. I don't have a real strict practice like 20 min. ear training or something like that. Entirely self taught. its just me but I don't like to treat my music and guitar playing like homework where I have to play for a set time on something.
JazzMaverick  
29 May 2009 19:58 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
Lessons: 24
Licks: 37
Karma: 47
Moderator
Practicing Routine :)

Practice with a metronome, and with your voice! That way you can tune your ear to the real notes and when/if you make music in your head, you can transcribe it easily.
les_paul  
1 Jun 2009 21:59 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 3
Licks: 2
Karma: 11
Some days I practice scale picking and other exercises on and off all day. Then some days I just play on different songs.

I really do need a set practice routine.. My guitar said if I don't get better it's going to pack it's case and leave :P
telecrater  
1 Jun 2009 23:15 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
lol, man les_pual, sounds like the making of a great blues tune!
kellenman  
2 Jun 2009 21:37 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
United States
Karma: 3
(this is how i practice, its not really a schedule... Its most definately not the most effective. Its not in cronological order.)

1) get high
2) improvise to the radio
3) look at the major scale (since i havent memorized it entirely) and come up with some fun riffs, then practice those riffs untill i can play them kind of fast
4) learn a new song or practice a song i havent perfected yet
5) get high
6) watch tv and imitate noises
guitarmastergod  
7 Jun 2009 16:39 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
^
with a practice routine like that, u might end up being the worlds greatest guitarist...
Ozzfan486  
7 Jun 2009 17:18 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
United States
Licks: 1
Karma: 18
Kellenman: Ahh, thank you for advising us all on how to "Go Green" even when practicing guitar! lol.

I usually just sit down, listen to something I like, try to imitate it, find my tone [my personal "Brown Sound" (otherwise the best tone you can possibly get with what you have, everyone can do that)] and then I improvise a little bit, then practice what my teacher gives me, get it down to where I can play it moderatley fast then improv with it. Occasionally I'll learn a song. I'm learning bits and pieces of "Eruption" that I like. Not really all of it to show off with, but the parts I like the best so I can use them in my own playing. And to my own disbelief, I'm actually getting the Eruption stuff down quite easily. YAY! lol.

Ozz
les_paul  
7 Jun 2009 17:29 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 3
Licks: 2
Karma: 11
I have been working on a routine the past 4 or 5 days. 15 minutes of scale picking, 15 minutes on chords, 15 minutes of Jazz's hybrid picking, then I spend an hour or so working on songs.

I still want to work a finger picking exercise and a technique exercise in somewhere.


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