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JTaylor
post Dec 9 2011, 12:53 PM
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Hey everybody!
I have a question about practicing. I work full-time, attend school part-time, am involved in my church, and my wife and I have a little boy. Therefore, practicing hours every day is out of the question. I am 43 and even though I have messed around with the guitar for 20 years, I never stuck with lessons so I never got beyond simple things. As I stated in my previous post, I decided to start all over with Andrew Cockburn's series and I am actually finding a lot of things I missed from Andrew and Bear Rose.
Due to everything I have going on, the chances for me to practice for hours is almost always out of the question. Sometimes I can only get a half hour. I know it will take a lot longer and I am okay with that as I am not trying to become a professional musician. I would just like to play proficiently. Has anyone out there ever been in this situation? It is discouraging thinking the amount of practicing I am able to do may not amount to a hill of beans. I am not trying to just think about myself, but I am actually trying to stay off the forums unless I need to ask something. The forums are interesting but I spent way too much time I could have used going over lessons yesterday. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, Jon


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cmonster85
post Dec 9 2011, 03:30 PM
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Hi Jon,

I can relate very much to your post. I have been in a similar situation, with a 12hr day job, study, wife and kid. Things are slowing down now which is why I joined this site. If you cant have the quantity of practice you will have to up the quality.
I ended up just doing finger exercises for half an hr to an hr everyday to keep my hands going for a long time. This way when the time came that I actually had the time, my hands were not as slow and stiff and could still pull off a few good techniques.
I chose running over three note per string scales in 2beat timing then 3 beat timing, one pattern per day or 2. A couple of arpeggios and some fingerpicking. I think it really paid off.
There are some great exercise lessons on here, some only one minute long. Ones like Lian Gerbno's tightness etude will help alot.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Tightness_Etude/

I also think there must be a lot of people who want to join this site but feel they don't have the time, they totally should!
Even half hr a day of finger exercises adds up to 182.5 hrs a year!

Hope that helps. laugh.gif

Chris


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 9 2011, 07:17 PM
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Hi man! I understand what you feel and I must say that it's great that you find time to play at least half an hour. You will improve your playing if you use those minutes in an effective way and 100%concentrated on what you are playing.


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Daniel Realpe
post Dec 9 2011, 08:15 PM
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that's good workout by Lian.

I would divide the time into practicing the different techniques you are interested in. For ex. 5 mins alternate, 5 mins legato, 5 mins sweeps, or whatever you are interested in to play the music you like


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JTaylor
post Dec 10 2011, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement guys! Done with school for this semester so I'll definitely have some time. Thanks again! biggrin.gif


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Alex Feather
post Dec 10 2011, 09:50 PM
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Hello!!! It's a very common problem to find time to practice! You are not the only one, sometimes work and life routine takes all the time and it's hard to find time for anything! I think that most important thing is to concentrate when you practicing because even 10 minutes of smart practicing worth hours of just noodling! Try to make a plan for a week and just go with it! Say you do 10 minutes on the week days and 20 on the weekend in the end of the week, you got hour and a half of smart practicing!
I hope it helps!


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dark dude
post Dec 11 2011, 12:33 PM
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If possible, get somebody to check that your overall technique is good (post a video here if you're unsure!). Would be nothing worse than practicing with that little time, trying to make progress, only to find that your technique isn't that great.

Make sure that your picking hand is very relaxed when playing, that there's barely any excess movement after hitting the string, and that your fingers are only barely leaving the strings, aaaand that your fingers only press down hard enough to get a clear note, no harder. All this is in the persuit of efficient playing - it'll definately help you with building solid technique.

Use a metronome, grab some technical exercises (see Todd's lessons!) and be honest with yourself!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 11 2011, 09:54 PM
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Just take your time men, don't rush it and have time to enjoy your music too! smile.gif Learn chords and songs, and always be capable playing something "for your hearth" you know? Have fun, and practice short sessions but often, and it will be great! smile.gif


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