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> What's Your Perfect Practice Routine?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 15 2011, 05:47 PM
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What is your perfect practice routine everybody? After warmups, it comes time for practice.. smile.gif

What do you usually work on?

And also, if you would have the chance to create a practice routine for somebody who never played the guitar, how would you approach this?


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JamesT
post Nov 15 2011, 06:48 PM
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I guess the perfect practice routine is one where I will make gains in speed and precision while simultaneously learning to apply new techniques and theory. cool.gif

I don't know if a "perfect" routine exists though. I think for me the best thing to do is work on songs that are a little bit over my head. It's kind of like a sport in this way. In sports, if you compete with people who are better than you, you will get better more quickly than if you limit yourself to playing only with people who you can beat. Guitar isn't a competition, but it's the same in that way with regard to improvement.

I like the idea of learning songs, because to me it's much more rewarding than focusing strictly on one element of technique. When I practice however, I spend the majority of my time focusing on picking, cause that's where I am weakest. (go figure tongue.gif ) Not sure if that's necessarily the best thing either. Steve Vai says he never focuses on his weaknesses ... only on his strengths. (in a Youtube video that I watched a few months back).


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 15 2011, 07:08 PM
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This is a great question smile.gif I hope more instructors share as well.

My routine is probably way different that would benefit someone who's not been playing more than a couple/few years, but I've found that in order to be able to play certain things at a certain level requires some pretty intense maintenance. Specifically, in terms of high speed alternate picking and being able to stretch from say the third fret to the ninth fret and still have it sound like you are properly articulating each note. Also, being able to play with one hand when needed, at speed, for phrases, and maybe entire solos. What my students call the "Extreme" techniques.

But again, this is many years in once I've spent countless hours on everything else. As I spend a lot of time playing near the edge of my ability, keeping the skills sharp takes work. Even still. Maybe if I had more talent it wouldn't but I don't and never have so it's practice practice practice. smile.gif

So
5-10 Min Warmup/Stretch
20-30 Min Extreme Techniques/Speed
20-30 Writing Riffs, Solos, Experimenting

That's the daily drill. On weekends, the writing/riffing part gets longer.

FOR STARTERS: For first year players, after the warmup, I'd plan for an hour of practice each day. Maybe

30 Min (Lessons/Scales/Metronome work/chords)
30 Mind (playing whatever you like, covers, originals, solos etc.)

just to balance learning with actual playing.



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MonkeyDAthos
post Nov 15 2011, 10:54 PM
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my routine: Warm up with Petrucci stretches exercises and some massages, then i work on solos that are way above my lvl to train technq ( training aight now Tornado of Solos(Megadeth) and Overload (Bumblefoot).

then i open guitar pro and start to write songs smile.gif (only start writtin' 2 days ago, found it very addictive)


This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Nov 15 2011, 10:58 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 16 2011, 04:03 PM
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I've been influenced lately by people around me and inspiring things I've read, to get my butt in gear with a more consistent practice routine. So I'm working on a combination of: Licks to improve alternate picking and sweeping ability.. and difficult licks from my own songs.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 16 2011, 05:45 PM
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Yes, it seems that a balance between technical and musical ability is always needed.

How would you split those two sections into different practice routine categories?

- Technical exercises (e.g. 3nps AP patterns..)
- Musical exercises (e.g. chords theory..)


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JamesT
post Nov 16 2011, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Nov 16 2011, 08:45 AM) *
Yes, it seems that a balance between technical and musical ability is always needed.

How would you split those two sections into different practice routine categories?

- Technical exercises (e.g. 3nps AP patterns..)
- Musical exercises (e.g. chords theory..)



For technical excercises, I am revisiting the thread I started a few weeks ago where instructors and students gave a lot of great advice on how to work on picking speed and accuracy. I plan to rework my practice routine along the guidelines presented there, and of course combining other lessons on picking.

For theory, my latest thing is to practice superimposing various scales and arpeggios to switch between them while improvising. My teacher from way back used to say "mix it up". I'm applying that idea to combine pentatonics with the 3nps "modal" patterns so that I can readily choose between them when soloing. From there, my next step will be to combine arpeggios into the mix. One idea that I have is to find the 1,4, 5 chords that corresponds to each modal pattern, learning at least to readily "arpeggiate" through the 1,3,5, and 7 of each chord. To find out how they superimpose with the pentatonic and diatonic scales of each position so that I can eventually fly through them during a solo as well.

For technique, i also want to get into tapping. It would add another degree of freedom to my soloing if I can get a handle on maybe just a few tapping patterns and then mix them up with all the other stuff mentioned above.



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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 17 2011, 08:55 AM
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For me, the routine shifts in respect to what my projects require:

- Mozart Rocks - > rehearsing the pieces starting from 50% speed up to 100% while trying not to look at the guitar (I usually have to be very attentive to the orchestra leader, so this is a must)

- Voodoo -> rehearsing the songs and the difficult parts in them. In the same time, I trying to figure out the best moves for the stage and exercising the songs while performing those moves. It's a real challenge to move around a lot and play things tight.

- Aria -> at this point, I am focusing on learning how to play different song parts with my guitar while singing.

- GMC - chops/ lesson concepts/ improvisation which also includes ear training.

I am currently trying to squeeze all these in 4-5 hrs a day dedicated to music, besides the actual rehearsals with the two bands.


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Tangomouse
post Nov 21 2011, 06:40 PM
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I Really need a practice routine, I tend to start off going up and down the Am Pentatonic scale "only scale i know" then continue learning the song im currently on.

I had private lessons for 5 years but the teacher never learnt us any theory, Notes or scales, just songs, so i decided few weeks back its time to learn scales and the notes on the guitar. probably the reason why i seem to forget songs ive learnt in the past because i seem to focus only on the one im currently learning.

If somebody would like to give me ideas on a routine or work out a routine for me, i would be so grateful.

My teachers approach was learn a song, and the way to play the song and the Technic would then learn you cords and so on without you knowing it, I did learn a lot but i wish he would have thrown in basic theory, which is probably why i don't know how to improvise too!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 21 2011, 07:35 PM
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After learning the pentatonic scale, it's time to go through diatonic scale pattern too. This is the scale pattern that has 2 more notes added to the pentatonic scale, and represents the foundation for your future playing. Check out this lesson:

http://www.google.rs/url?sa=t&rct=j&am...PnQ&cad=rja


This is the first next logical step after pentatonic scale. In parallel with this one, you should spend some time learning about major scale, intervals and chords in music theory.


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Nihilist1
post Nov 21 2011, 08:33 PM
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I... Have a very long practice routine.

I actually planned on making a video series, but all I have is my Laptop Webcam and mic.

I start by warming up for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Warm - Up:

i. 15 minutes of hand stretching(in order to not be effected by tendonitis, etc.(will eventually post videos of this).
ii. After this, I work on a legato warm-up that Dimebag Darrell taught in a Guitar World Magazine ages ago. It is single-handedly the most important step of warming up for me.
iii. A finger Co-ordination exercise from John Petrucci's Rock Discipline Video.

The rest of the warm - up time is spent practicing techniques from the "Musicians Institute Ultimate Guitar Technique" book.

1. Misc(this includes Polyrhythms, fretboard hand stretching, and movement minimization
2. Alternative Picking(this includes Inside and Outside Picking, Hand Synchronisation, String Skipping, and something I call "The Spider")
3. String Skipping
4. Legato(This includes Tapping, Opposite handed tapping, and string skipping legato techniques)
5. Economy Picking
6. Sweep Picking(This includes a bit of tapping and sliding with the picking hand as well)
7. Hybrid Picking
8. Gypsy Picking
9. Tremolo Picking

After this. I work on Steve Vai's 30 Hour Workout. I usually do 5 hours of it a day so that instead of doing 30 hours in three days, I do it in six. I work on songs for an hour a day rather than the "Jamming" section of Steve's Workout.

Day 1:
1. Exercises
2. Scales
3. Chords
4. Ear training
5. Jamming

Day 2:
1. Ear training
2. Sight-reading
3. Composing/Songwriting
4. Music theories(This is so that I may further study the Chords and Scales of the Previous day)
5. Jamming

After all this, I play Mandolin for about an hour.


There you have it. These are may daily routines. biggrin.gif

EDIT: I accidentally put ear training twice on day 2

This post has been edited by Nihilist1: Nov 21 2011, 08:35 PM


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thefireball
post Nov 21 2011, 09:16 PM
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I don't really have a "practice" routine. I start out by playing around on a song or two. Then I will start composing, setting up a song for church or youtube, or practicing a lesson from GMC. Any of these is possible with me when I sit down to play my guitar.


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Tangomouse
post Nov 21 2011, 09:24 PM
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@Nihilist1 Do you own an iPhone 4? you can use the phones hd camera on a pc or laptop to record high quality video. i like your routine.

@Ivan Thanks, ill check it out now

@TheFireball, I love your canon rock lessons on youtube, and just love your accent!!
In fact its you i need to thank for finding this website, without your lesson on youtube i would have never known of this great site!! Cheers! smile.gif

EDIT:

Thanks again Ivan that lesson is bang on, bookmarked!!

This post has been edited by Tangomouse: Nov 21 2011, 09:41 PM
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Nihilist1
post Nov 21 2011, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Tangomouse @ Nov 21 2011, 08:24 PM) *
@Nihilist1 Do you own an iPhone 4? you can use the phones hd camera on a pc or laptop to record high quality video. i like your routine.

@Ivan Thanks, ill check it out now

@TheFireball, I love your canon rock lessons on youtube, and just love your accent!!
In fact its you i need to thank for finding this website, without your lesson on youtube i would have never known of this great site!! Cheers! smile.gif

EDIT:

Thanks again Ivan that lesson is bang on, bookmarked!!


I have a 3GS, but no, I do not own an iPhone 4. Thanks for the advice, though. My contract is up in February and I get a free upgrade. Maybe I will get the iPhone 4, then.


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Tangomouse
post Nov 21 2011, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Nov 21 2011, 09:11 PM) *
I have a 3GS, but no, I do not own an iPhone 4. Thanks for the advice, though. My contract is up in February and I get a free upgrade. Maybe I will get the iPhone 4, then.


You can use the 3gs camera too, but wouldn't be hi def , iWebcamera in app store, if you have jailbroken your device you can get it via installous Free!, They Should also be similar app's that do same thing, google it smile.gif
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Nihilist1
post Nov 22 2011, 01:21 AM
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QUOTE (Tangomouse @ Nov 21 2011, 09:24 PM) *
You can use the 3gs camera too, but wouldn't be hi def , iWebcamera in app store, if you have jailbroken your device you can get it via installous Free!, They Should also be similar app's that do same thing, google it smile.gif


Thanks! My webcam and computer mic aren't the worst, so they would most certainly suffice for anything I do vocally(they have better quality than the 3GS), but if I tried recording my guitar it would sound horrid.

I am actually creating a separate thread to go in depth on my daily routine if anyone cares. I will post the link in this thread afterward, if that is okay with you Ivan.


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 22 2011, 01:52 AM
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Yikes - I think being in a band with responsibilities really affects a person's practice routine. Before being in a band, I would concentrate mostly on scales, ap'ing, trying to envision mode patterns on the neck and try to jump between them - dexterity exercies - and do speed drills n stuff.

These days, I warm up for 1/2 hour by throwing in a slow bluesy backing track, then work on solos I have to learn for the songs we're playing, and practice singing and playing at the same time. Right now it's all about learning cover songs. I'll end the night by sitting down with a metronome and do speed drills to finish off my "hand" for the night - wear it to a frazzle if I can to build stamina - and concentrate on cleanly picked notes, with good finger damping and palm muting to prevent unwanted strings from ringing out.

I have no idea what I would recommend others do at this point. Depends on the person, but probably the most fundamental thing a person can do is learn the notes on the the guitar neck, and work on picking accuracy. I would also recommend always doing something with a backing track as part of your routine, since it's the backing track that really brings out the emotion in playing and helps push you to reach notes in time, and bend / vibrato to correct pitches with feel, which you just don't get when playing to a metronome. I know that when I play to a backing track, my hand and fingers get tired / sore, whereas just practicing to a metronome, they don't. So something about playing to a backing track really forces you to do more in terms of playing than just your typical sit down and practice routine.

edit: something else I just realized that I figure I'll add - I practice standing up for the most part. Before I would sit down and play in the classic style - but now that I'm on stage, I need to practice standing up because picking accuracy and ability to reach notes is dramatically affected by how you sling your guitar. Just thought I would throw that in for those who are going to play in a live setting - it's a world of difference going from the sitting to standing position in that regard.

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Nov 22 2011, 02:00 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 22 2011, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Nov 22 2011, 12:52 AM) *
Yikes - I think being in a band with responsibilities really affects a person's practice routine. Before being in a band, I would concentrate mostly on scales, ap'ing, trying to envision mode patterns on the neck and try to jump between them - dexterity exercies - and do speed drills n stuff.

These days, I warm up for 1/2 hour by throwing in a slow bluesy backing track, then work on solos I have to learn for the songs we're playing, and practice singing and playing at the same time. Right now it's all about learning cover songs. I'll end the night by sitting down with a metronome and do speed drills to finish off my "hand" for the night - wear it to a frazzle if I can to build stamina - and concentrate on cleanly picked notes, with good finger damping and palm muting to prevent unwanted strings from ringing out.

I have no idea what I would recommend others do at this point. Depends on the person, but probably the most fundamental thing a person can do is learn the notes on the the guitar neck, and work on picking accuracy. I would also recommend always doing something with a backing track as part of your routine, since it's the backing track that really brings out the emotion in playing and helps push you to reach notes in time, and bend / vibrato to correct pitches with feel, which you just don't get when playing to a metronome. I know that when I play to a backing track, my hand and fingers get tired / sore, whereas just practicing to a metronome, they don't. So something about playing to a backing track really forces you to do more in terms of playing than just your typical sit down and practice routine.

edit: something else I just realized that I figure I'll add - I practice standing up for the most part. Before I would sit down and play in the classic style - but now that I'm on stage, I need to practice standing up because picking accuracy and ability to reach notes is dramatically affected by how you sling your guitar. Just thought I would throw that in for those who are going to play in a live setting - it's a world of difference going from the sitting to standing position in that regard.


Well, in my opinion, real practice starts when you have a precise purpose for it wink.gif being in a band ALWAYS brings real tangible goals. Playing while moving and standing up, singing while playing, getting your solos to transmit THAT energy when on stage. Everything we learn and practice is spilled into, sometimes, just 4 minutes onstage smile.gif ain't it?


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 22 2011, 10:14 AM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Nov 21 2011, 08:33 PM) *
I... Have a very long practice routine.


Man, your practice routine makes me tired just by looking at it !!! biggrin.gif


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