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> Critique My Routine!
dark dude
post Oct 18 2010, 05:26 PM
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Hi, I'm starting a new routine tomorrow as I'd like to increase my rate of progress - I have a lot of free time at the moment!

Here it is:

Warm up: 15 min
1 hour scale learning (Starting with minor pentatonic, then major, then minor harmonic)
15 min break
1 hour alt picking exercises (Paul Gilbert exercises and Troy Stetina's Speed mechanics)
15 min break
1 hr legato exercises (Speed mechanics)
15 min break
1 hr learning and practicing songs (Unsure on first song, probably perfecting lead parts in Pull harder.. and Gunshot.. by Trivium)

My aim is to play Black Label Society-type hard rock and metal stuff such as All that remains, Necrophagist.

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I'm not sure how long I should spend on each exercise in the hour segments though. I was thinking 4 exercises per hour? So I'd end up with 4 AP, 4 legato. (15 min each)

As what I want to play is demanding on technique, should I perhaps spend longer on AP and legato?

Any overall criticisms are welcome! biggrin.gif

\m/


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Marek Rojewski
post Oct 18 2010, 05:36 PM
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I think that less exercises at one time is better. Because I would start very slow on the metronome, and gradually increase speed. With many exercises You can't reach high speed, or don't start slow enough:P


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Lian Gerbino
post Oct 18 2010, 05:38 PM
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well, that's a big routine. more than 4hs playing.

well, first of all, make sure to stretch fingers, arms and spent some time massaging your hands.
now, if this is your first time with a routine as big as this one, you will find yourself tired very soon.
so, I suggest you to mix up all techniques into an hour of routine and slowly increase tempos.

per ex:
MODULE 1
20' Alternate Picking
20' legato
20' others techniques as bends, string skipping, etc.

MODULE 2
Songs, scales, theory.

so, if you do, let's say: module 1, mod 2, mod 1, mod, 2, then your hands and your MIND would be more available to incorporate all these new stuff.
remember, it's not about how many hours you spend but how many things you learn in that time.

hope it helps.


This post has been edited by Lian Gerbino: Oct 18 2010, 05:39 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 18 2010, 08:09 PM
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I think it's a great plan, it's great that you have decided to dedicate that much time to practicing way to go! smile.gif This sounds like a plan for now, and routine is something that will come when you start applying that plan. Remember that your routine may not look like this at all, once you start practicing and see how you like to practice.

One thing I notice here is the lack of bending and vibrato exercises. You may be very well familiar with these techniques, so they don't have a place here, but practicing bending and vibrato for 15-20 mins during a session will improve not only bending/vibrato, but tone control and feel for the strings. You will also strenghten your fingers.

Also, Marek has a good point here. I would be interested in hearing what other members feel about the lenght of time needed for one particular technique practice. When I'm practicing, I don't spend more than 20 mins on one exercise. In fact, I switch exercises during the whole session to make things interesting.

A simple example, as a thought from me, based on your plan would be:

1 hour scale learning (Starting with minor pentatonic, then major, then minor harmonic)
15 min break
1 hour alt picking exercises (Paul Gilbert exercises and Troy Stetina's Speed mechanics)
15 min break
1 hr legato exercises (Speed mechanics)
15 min break

I would break it down like this:

15 mins pentatonic box 1
15 mins AP
5 min break
15 mins legato
15 song
5 min break

and over and over again...

But be aware that this is just an example. You will ultimately be the one that will find out how it works best for you. What I like to do is go from slow tempo exercise, to slow tempo another exercise, then return to the first one, speed up, then go to the next one, speed up. All this prevents me from getting too physically fatigued when rehearsing one simple exercise for half an hour. This enables you to create less pauses as well. 5 minutes is just about enough, if I weren't to play 15 mins my hands would need to warm up a bit again. But if I alternate between several exercises, fingers are moving in different ways, and you are not creating fatigue to that extent, so you can rehearse faster and more effectively.

I hope this helps a bit, good luck with practice, and let us know how it turned out. I would be interested to know other's peoples practice systems too. smile.gif



This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Oct 18 2010, 08:11 PM


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dark dude
post Oct 18 2010, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for the input all.

*I like the idea of repeating chunks of practice over and over, will put that into practice.
*Yeah, bends and vibrato have to be included, noted.
*Also agree about 15 min probably being too much rest.

Will start tomorrow and see how it goes!
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stratman79
post Oct 18 2010, 10:13 PM
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I think you should do 45 min practice then 15 min break, it has been proven that after 45min the effectiveness of your studies decreases by a substantial amount.

That would prob give you a extra session which would be good spent on ear training or sight reading.
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maharzan
post Oct 19 2010, 01:34 AM
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I don't have specific routine but most of the time I am just practicing the same stuff over and over again until I kind of 'master' it at tempo. So, it can be from 1-4 hour per day from 2 weeks to 3 months. smile.gif I feel like, if I do a hard lesson/lick, I can master the scale used, understand phrasing, grab the picking and hand sync as well as get the time correct. all in one!! but thats just me. smile.gif


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Frederik
post Oct 19 2010, 09:29 AM
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QUOTE (maharzan @ Oct 19 2010, 02:34 AM) *
I don't have specific routine but most of the time I am just practicing the same stuff over and over again until I kind of 'master' it at tempo. So, it can be from 1-4 hour per day from 2 weeks to 3 months. smile.gif I feel like, if I do a hard lesson/lick, I can master the scale used, understand phrasing, grab the picking and hand sync as well as get the time correct. all in one!! but thats just me. smile.gif


I do the same, i hate structure. ANARKI!
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dark dude
post Oct 19 2010, 04:39 PM
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Alright, day 1 is over. This is how the routine looked like in the end:

15 min warm up.
20 min scales (G, A, E minor pentatonic)
5 min break
20 min AP exercises (4 different exercises, 5 min each)
5 min break
20 min legato exercises (4 different exercises, 5 min each)
5 min break
20 min vibrato and bending
5 min break
20 min learning and practicing songs
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Comments:

*The toughest part is not getting frustrated. Playing for this long can leave you open to that, and if it sets in, progress is slowed down greatly.

*It would make sense to choose exercises that would help with your playing i.e. patterns that are used in songs you play, motivating you a bit more. I'll have to change some of those exercises for tomorrow.

*Wasn't sure how to practice bending and vibrato for 20 min, I just ended up doing random full and 1.5 step bends all over the neck, adding vibrato, then vibrato with no bend. Need to structure this.

*A break between cycles (1 cycle means doing the above once) is needed. My concentration wasn't there anymore and frustration was setting in. I'm thinking of doing 2 cycles a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. A 'summary' section at the end of each cycle seems good too, playing each exercise about 10 times more, refreshing your memory of everything before you end the cycle.

*May look into using a drum machine to keep time with as the metronome is driving me crazy.

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Thoughts on doing 4 exercises, 5 mins each? Also, should I include 20 min sections for sweep picking, string skipping and tapping? They're not common in my playing at the moment, but they are starting to pop up in some areas now.

This post has been edited by dark dude: Oct 19 2010, 04:40 PM


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dark dude
post Oct 22 2010, 09:52 PM
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Well, I've been doing the routine daily and I've come to some conclusions!

The best route seems to be just to focus on songs I'm playing and form the exercises around them. It's a waste of time practicing lines that I won't use. I've taken problem points in the song technical difficulties and turned each small section into 5 min exercises. I've found the best combination to be 4 x 5 min exercises, 5 min break and 4 x 5 min exercises (a total of 8 DIFFERENT exercises).

I have however, kept the 20 min of bending and vibrato, as it's great for strength and confidence on those 2 step bends. I've also kept the 20 min scale learning section, for obvious reasons.

Now my routine looks like this:

15 min warm up

5 min lick 1
5 min lick 2
5 min lick 3
5 min lick 4

5 min rest

5 min lick 5
5 min lick 6
5 min lick 7
5 min lick 8

Stop.

(20 min bends + vibrato, 5 min break, 20 min scales included in a separate 45 min section, with a 15 min warm up)

My concentration stays pretty high for 45 min so I can really work at each exercise for that time. Afterwards, a break of at least 15-30 min is needed, but a full warm up is required after that. The next 'cycle' would repeat the same 8 exercises. Repeat depending on how much time I have smile.gif

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Any way I could optimise this routine further? Cheers.


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Mate Nagy
post Nov 1 2010, 04:24 PM
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I think it's a cool plan, but make sure you 'practice' improvisation too.
It develops you hearing, composational skills, and it's one of the most enjoyable moments in music . .. smile.gif
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