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hellas31
post Nov 17 2010, 08:56 PM
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Hey guys,
maybe you all know this problem... you have a good job, a loving-time-consuming girfriend and you love your guitar...
But how do you manageto fit everything together? I still want to become a better guitarist, but honestly, most of the week I just get 45 min/day of practice.
Does anyone have a good suggestion for a working practice plan for this limited time? ( Well, on my days off and for shows I play for more than 4 hours ), but still want to increase my techniqe!!!
Thanx for answers!!!
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Bogdan Radovic
post Nov 17 2010, 09:01 PM
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Hmmm if you can pull of 45-1h a day that is great! You just need to sit down and write your near future goals. Things you want to improve. Write down techniques you want to work on and then search for lessons on GMC covering those techniques. You should try to keep up the log of exercises you did, tempo etc in a notebook. During that 45 min session try to concentrate and do not "play" around rather practice task at hand. Of course you can dedicate few days just for improvisation practice etc etc...


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MonkeyDAthos
post Nov 17 2010, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Nov 17 2010, 08:01 PM) *
Hmmm if you can pull of 45-1h a day that is great! You just need to sit down and write your near future goals. Things you want to improve. Write down techniques you want to work on and then search for lessons on GMC covering those techniques. You should try to keep up the log of exercises you did, tempo etc in a notebook. During that 45 min session try to concentrate and do not "play" around rather practice task at hand. Of course you can dedicate few days just for improvisation practice etc etc...


+1 , couldn't give a better answer


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hellas31
post Nov 17 2010, 09:06 PM
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Thanx for that!!!!
I'll keep this in mind and try!!!!
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SirJamsalot
post Nov 17 2010, 09:40 PM
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Join the club. I'm a father of 3. My routine consists of the following.

1. Get up in the mornin to the alarm clock's warnin, take the 8:15 into the city ...
2. Work all day
3. Home by 7:00 p.m.
4. Help wife with her work (she's a photographer and I help her process photos and put them online for clients).
5. Help with school work
6. Get kids in bed, wife is in bed by 10:00 - 10:30 like clock work
7. 10:45 - 2:00 A.M. I open up cubase, youtube, pick up my guitar and practice while everyone's sleepin.

schedule is roughly this - discipline sometimes break down and I emphasise or ignore some items depending on my mood.
1. warmup 20 mins - scales, pentatonics
2. 20 mins - fretboard learning drills - what note is this? ear training
3. 30 mins to an hour learning a cover song.
3. fire up a youtube song for inspiration

4. I either work a new song based on the inspiration from 3 above, or I lay down a drum beat in cubase or fire up a pre-existing one (I have several home-made backing tracks that I alter based on mood) and play along trying to insert any licks I've learned from the previous night's lesson, to tempo. (see item 5)

5.try to learn a new lick for next night's practice

6. fire up Netflix, start a movie with a metrinome in the background and work on the new lick (brainless activity that requires only motor skills, so I consider this safe practice.). I also listen to the soundtrack melody and try to play along - it's kind of a mild ear-training exercise where you try to play the melody wherever you can find it on the neck. The goal, as few mistakes as possible.

7. rinse and repeat daily, except Tuesdays when I play in a "practice band" (we don't gig, just do covers - see item 3 above) from 8:00 - 10:00.

End result - no social life what-so-ever, and not as much sleep as I'd like, but I've traded these items to ensure that I don't neglect my family because they come first, and I pursue a hobby I love with all that is left over.



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Mudbone
post Nov 17 2010, 09:47 PM
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So how many hours a day do you work? I assume you work the standard eight hours a day. If so, deduct that from 24 hours, then also deduct eight hours for sleep, and another two hours for getting ready for work and traveling. You are left with six hours of discretionary time. I'm sure you can utilize two of those hours for guitar playing and the other four for girlfriend time and other things. If not you can always deduct an hour or two from sleep tongue.gif You'll be alright with six hours of sleep.

I know this seems too methodical, but sometimes you have to be if you want juggle important things in your life. Besides, please mind the stereotype, but you're German, you guys are the masters of efficiency biggrin.gif I'm sure you can pull it off.

If you can't do a solid two hours a day you can always break it up - an hour before work, an hour after work. Or do 30 minutes before and after work and 30 minutes before bed, but then that'll only be an hour and a half smile.gif Theres so many ways you can break it up. But like Bogdan said, keep a log of your practice, its essential to keep track of everything.


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Sollesnes
post Nov 17 2010, 11:47 PM
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Im with Mudbone, really. Im sure its all about priorities smile.gif
If you have kids, there are fun ways to practice with kids around as well. Put on a song and try to play it by ear, one of the best excersises when you are alone without a band. You dont always have to plug into an amp or anything. I do most of my practice with the guitar unplugged. If there are people around you most of the time, songwriting is a less annoying way to practice for the others around you tongue.gif

I fully understand there are probably many things in your life taking time though, but for the major majority of us (99%), most of the time goes to waste hanging on the internet, like what I am doing now on GMC tongue.gif smile.gif

But yeah, lets say you have 45 mins a day practice, and all you want to do is practice technique. I would put 15 minutes of them to warming up, then focus on different things each day. Like specific techniques and movements like sweeping, skip picking etc. Working on specific shapes every day. One day you might want to spend working on staying in time, one day on improvising and so on..
A general rule that has always followed my practice routine is finding movements with my fingers or pick that I find difficult, isolate the movement into practice segments and repeat until easy. smile.gif

I do not believe you can get 100% gain by copying someone elses practice regime. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and you need to work on what you need, not what others had to practice and find difficult. Try to find what movements you find difficult, and it is that exact movement you need to practice, so all you have to do is do it again and again and again, slow, slow, faster, faster smile.gif

This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Nov 18 2010, 12:00 AM
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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 18 2010, 01:45 AM
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Set your goals clearly and spend the little time specifically on those goals,

and free up some time eventually smile.gif


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jstcrsn
post Nov 18 2010, 03:04 AM
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QUOTE (hellas31 @ Nov 17 2010, 08:56 PM) *
Hey guys,
maybe you all know this problem... you have a good job, a loving-time-consuming girfriend and you love your guitar...
But how do you manageto fit everything together? I still want to become a better guitarist, but honestly, most of the week I just get 45 min/day of practice.
Does anyone have a good suggestion for a working practice plan for this limited time? ( Well, on my days off and for shows I play for more than 4 hours ), but still want to increase my techniqe!!!
Thanx for answers!!!


I own two businesses , and one wife, in direct violation of guitarist rock God etiquette of owning two wifes and one business laugh.gif

and 7 kids
I just got to get up earlier then all of the above ( with a little help from coffee ) and then i can find the time
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Ben Higgins
post Nov 18 2010, 10:29 AM
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All of the advice above is great so I can't really add to it without repeating what the guys already said.. the only thing I would say is to never lose the enjoyment factor out of playing the guitar which, when you take the focus away from technique, improvement etc, is why we all play.

It's very easy to quickly get obsessed with a practice regime and then, before you know it, you're viewing the guitar practice as just something else to tick off the list of your day ! I only say this because it happens to me if I obsess over a practice regime and forget to just play from the heart. sad.gif

So, I would try to approach all your guitar time with balance.. enough healthy practice so you're progressing technically... but enough playing from the heart so you're progressing artistically. Too much of one and us guitarists get stuck in a rut !

Also, don't feel that 45 mins isn't enough. It can be. The old 80's myths of 'you have to play for 8 hours a day' are just not true. The only reason all the old school players say that is because that's what they did, and they don't like the idea of anyone else being able to get as good on the guitar without putting in their 'hours' if you know what I mean ?

In the interests of balance, I'll just remind us all of 2 great guitarists who developed their amazing ability and guitar voices by just playing what they felt in their hearts and heard in their heads.. Ygnwie Malmsteen and Guthrie Govan. No metronomes or military guitar drills with those guys. It was all just passion and belief. So if you have a healthy dose of both approaches, then all the time you get with your guitar will never be wasted ! smile.gif


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emirb
post Nov 18 2010, 10:38 AM
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I agree with everyone here and can share some of my 'methods'. I choose to warm up almost always with stuff that I've learned recently, just playing it slowly to get some finger action going on and at the same time repeat stuff that is still fresh in my memory in order to NOT forget it. Doing this I cover two things with time frame for one. Also if I want to practice something fast or demanding in any way I always schedule that as a 'last thing' when I'm really relaxed after some time of playing. In the morning before I go to work I make some breakfast (a sandwich.. smile.gif ) and sit in front of the TV watching morning news just to wake up bit (this is around 30min). 5 min to eat my sandwich and 25 min is left to play. Here I repeat stuff that I learned last night or some other time but I find that this helps me to learn and process new stuff MUCH faster as many have pointed out, mind needs to settle on new things. I remember just half a year ago when I joined GMC I had rough time learning and remembering new stuff. Now it's a breeze. Of course you start learning harder stuff and that takes even more time but that's normal I guess.


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 20 2010, 06:20 AM
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These are all great responses. Well done guys! This thread should be pinned and framed! It really does come down to balance. The guys are right, you don't have to play 8 hours a day, you just need to try to play some almost every day if possible. If you can break it up, (morning/night) so much the better. What you will probably end up having to do is cutting time for something else. Try to

1.)Get up a little earlier than normal and spend a bit of time playing in the morning. You will feel a bit stiff and maybe not feel like playing. Warm up and push through it. You'll be glad you did. Put in whatever you can, 15 minutes to an hour.

2.)Put in an evening session as well. Somewhere around an hour.

3.)On the weekend try to put in a morning and evening sat and sun as well.

This is 14 sessions per week. Try to hit most of them even if they are short sessions. IMHO two 15 minute sessions spaced apart are better than one 30 session. Putting some time in between allows the brain time to process what you are doing. Your brain will keep playing after you put the guitar down. If you play right before bed, you may actually dream about practicing which is a good thing smile.gif It means your brain is still processing your practice.

Practice!
Todd


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 22 2010, 09:40 PM
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It's all about careful planning and organizing your working day. It's very much doable, you just need to find the schedule/plan that will work for you. Use organizer on your mobile phone, and use alarms. This is a good way to start a good working day routine, and later on you can do it without alarms.


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djohnneay
post Dec 5 2010, 09:43 PM
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Hey,

I was just checking this out : http://dustincurtis.com/sleep.html

It could be a solution to all of your problems!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 11 2010, 11:09 PM
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Those methods are very interesting djohnneay. Did you tried it? Is it possible?


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djohnneay
post Dec 13 2010, 03:17 PM
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No Ivan, I haven't gotten the chance yet to test these methods. But the number of blogs on the internet experimenting with these kinds of methods are big, but also are the number of sleep professors who are against it and say it's unnatural and that you destroy your sense of sleep rhythm.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 13 2010, 03:34 PM
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Guys smile.gif I found a lot of confort in the fact that I am not the only one working, besides my guitar playing.
All the advices here are most useful in a country as Romania, where you can't live a decent life out of only music - and i am not joking at all.
You really have to be a comando trained dude or gal to be able to make music at a certain level and sustain yourself in order to obtain a good equilibrium between the three main components: music - family - work. I myself work and sometimes I find it very frustrating that i can't linger in bed a little longer, because otherwise i would waste my guitar dedicated time (2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening, 5 days a week)

I think this thread is a VERY VERY USEFUL one smile.gif keep it up guitar army!!


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thefireball
post Dec 13 2010, 05:36 PM
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Those sleep methods are interesting! But I don't think I wanna mess with my mind that way though. I'll just sleep the way I was created. wink.gif


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