Practicing Routine

by JazzMaverick (Sep 10, 2008)

Practicing Routine

Note: This was mainly one of my essays explaining my practicing routine, and I think it’s important for you guys to know.

As musicians, practicing is essential. If you are truly dedicated to music, you require talent, direction, education, and ambition. Ambition is the most important, as you need the will, desire and stamina to practice. If any musician does not have this, talent means nothing.

The main idea for us musicians is to create a practicing routine AND KEEP TO IT!! What I hope you will all do is create some sort of timetable, saying which hours you plan to start practicing, hopefully for an hour, THEN take a break for at most; half an hour. Then go back to it.

What you should be doing during this practicing routine:

First: Scales and Warm-ups

Second: Transcribing songs ---> I feel this is extremely important as you need to transcribe songs to know and understand how to play the guitar. Transcribing will help you to know chords, progressions, licks, technique, and KNOWLEDGE.

I think the important thing to do, is gradually learn how to read notation. TAB sucks in my opinion, and most of the stuff you find online is almost always wrong. It would help all of you if you plan to take this as a future, to learn notation (read music). It's not necessary in some genres, but it'll help you so much.

What you should be doing to actually understand the guitar is while you’re transcribing songs, learning new scales, etc. you should be asking yourself things like: “Why does this work?”, “How can I use this for my improvisation?”. In time this will help you to be able to “see” where you’re improvising (soloing) bars before.

When I say “see” I mean mentally, most will already understand this, but if you don’t, it’s how you can “see” a power chord, or the pentatonic scale. It’s how you can mentally see your way around.


I think self discovery is really important and I feel you should, if you’re truly dedicated to music, start learning on your own. Of course I am not saying that you have to leave a teacher, because they’re always helpful and good to have. But what I am saying is to split away from other opinions, and find your own. Learn music your way. If you have questions which you can’t answer, go right ahead and ask your teacher, that’s what they’re there for. But try to answer them yourself.

Third: Accuracy

Once you feel you're finished with transcribing songs for the day, move onto speed. A Metronome is helpful here. What you should be doing is playing at a comfortable tempo (solos, scales, licks, chords, whatever) then when you make no mistakes, increase your tempo, play that until you have no mistakes, and increase it again. The point in this is to improve your accuracy, this could be during improvising or just general playing, doesn’t matter which, it’s important you play accurately at any point in a song.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein.


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