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> How To Develop A Good Practice Routine?, what works best?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 24 2011, 12:15 PM
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It seems that most people in the beginning have problems on where to start, what to practice, how to develop a routine. It may seem a bit daunting at first glance, but it can be very cool experience. Here's why:

When you develop a routine, you are covering unknown. It's in nature of people to look at unknown as something exciting. This is the way to go, you are discovering new ground here, and all by the power of your will, and no one elses. Furthermore, YOU are the one that shapes yourself as a guitar player, under the influences of others. In the end it's YOUR choice what to practice.

When you find yourself asking "what to practice next?", it's usually time to review some of the things you have been working on, and how that affected your playing and your will to study more. After intensive bending workouts, you probably don't want to practice those anymore (not to mention that fingers hurt!). After whole lotta 3nps workouts, all you can see in your head when you go to sleep are the patterns, so no more of that too! What happens after you learn the patterns, you go through them so much, and in the end - all you do is go through the patterns up&down, combining it with some previously learned licks.. still not good enough. What to practice?? Anything really, as far as you keep some practical guidelines in mind, and keep studying theory in parallel! smile.gif

Motivation: If you want to keep yourself motivated to practice, you need to set short term, achievable goals. There is no point in chasing 200bpm if you are on 80bpm. It won't happen in one year perhaps. Playing one thing for long periods of time is a risky path to stop playing at all. By having short term goals like: learning pentatonic boxes, or: learning a manageable solo from a song, or: learning the note positions on the treble strings etc.. Once you achieve your goal, the motivation for achieving next one kicks in, you say: I can do this!, and you rock on.

Health care:
Warming up. Often neglected, as we don't feel pain as soon as we start playing. Muscles and nerves in our fingers are all small and sensitive and react with fatigue once we get them going. Making 10 minute breaks once every 45 minutes of practice is beneficial for our health. Prevention is what counts, later can be too late.

Systematization:
Making a system of exercises, where you know what you are going to practice during a week is highly recommended. It is a first step towards creating a routine. Try to enrich your system of exercises, by practicing several areas per day. Practicing pentatonics one day, then chords other day, then arpeggios other day is not recommended. Practicing all three areas every day, and breaking apart exercises into 30 minute sessions is highly recommended. Time will fly faster, and you will remember more things tomorrow.

Consistency:
Practicing guitar is like an addition. The more you do it, the more you want to do it (if you have interesting routine, and attainable goals). Don't miss out day or two of taking the guitar for practice. Even if you cannot practice on one day, just take the guitar, and practice for 10 minutes. breaking out routine is a safe way to stop practicing for long periods of time.


These are some of my advices on the topic. We would love to hear more opinions on the topic of practice, since we are all practicing! Let's hear some good thoughts and experiences! smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jul 24 2011, 12:16 PM


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Michael AC
post Jul 25 2011, 12:56 AM
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Great tips Ivan! They have already helped me break some rutts I tend to get in. I practiced pentatonic boxes so much I got stuck in the box!


I now usually warm up slow with the C major scale up and down the neck, work on free playing, then go through which lesson I am focusing on here which is currently your arp series.

One other thing that helps my motivation is to always play with someone better than myself and also someone I can teach so it makes me think back to the basics.

Plus be on GMC every day to get encouragement from others!
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noztnac
post Jul 25 2011, 03:22 AM
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I had problems organizing my practice time so I started creating little mini practice files using Guitar Pro and a screen capture program called Snap Z pro. I can then play these files in iTunes and create specific practice routines as playlists.

I also use another program called iSquint to put the files in a form that I can download onto my iPhone or iPod. This is cool for using when I'm not near my computer.

If you want me to send you some practice files pm me.

It would be cool if we could get a little group here to create and exchange these files.
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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 25 2011, 11:32 AM
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In my opinion, a very difficult step over which I had and sometimes still have troubles with, would be trying not to let myself practice without thinking of what I am doing and why. When you pick up the guitar, if you don't have a specific goal ahead, you'll tend to noodle around and suddenly your time passes and...it's time to do something else.

I think that it's very important to take a step back and always be conscious of what and why you're doing something, and as Ivan said, results WILL COME!!


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JaxN4
post Jul 25 2011, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jul 25 2011, 10:32 AM) *
In my opinion, a very difficult step over which I had and sometimes still have troubles with, would be trying not to let myself practice without thinking of what I am doing and why. When you pick up the guitar, if you don't have a specific goal ahead, you'll tend to noodle around and suddenly your time passes and...it's time to do something else.

I think that it's very important to take a step back and always be conscious of what and why you're doing something, and as Ivan said, results WILL COME!!



This is true, i have expieranced this. Always good to be mindfull of what your doing and your next goal.

Great Post Ivan, enjoyed reading it. Cheers tongue.gif


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