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> Creating A 'workout' Plan
AIB234
post Jun 4 2007, 05:29 PM
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Something I have struggled with since starting here at GMC is creating a 'workout' or practice routine for myself.

Currently I do the beginner exercises for hammer ons, pull offs, etc etc. I practice the pentatonic scale shapes and spend some time trying to improvise in them going from box to box seamlessly and also practice some riffs that I have enjoyed from the lessons.

Though it doesn't seem like I am making much progress.

Sure I can play my favourite riffs quite quickly now, but I still don't feel like I am making much progress.

I do realize that progress is very slow, especially with speed. Is there something else I can be doing to be moving along?

I read about the serious players here at GMC and they seem to have incredibly challenging and rigorous practice routines for themselves.

Could anyone give me some input as to what more I could be doing to progress faster? I do not feel like my practice time is being utilized effectively which probably means that it isn't.

Also, could we maybe start and sticky a thread where people could post there practice routines to give others some aid in such areas?

I just feel stagnant and bleh in my speed playing lately.


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steve25
post Jun 4 2007, 05:46 PM
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Firstly are you practicing with a metronome? If not then i recommend that you start now (look in the beginners section of the lessons for this one). If you are then keep practicing the metronome. I mean like keep practicing the triplet/sixteenth notes etc until you get faster and you feel you are happy with how fast you can play them. If you find yourself getting sick of doing the same thing it is a good idea to learn something new. Could be a new technique like tapping for an example or a new song or new scales anything. Try and use what you've learned to make your own stuff it doesn't matter if it's not that good at first when you start using it more you'll get more used to it and will be able to make better music. Everyone here will tell you to practice alternate picking as well so perhaps do that but take things slowly and don't rush yourself practice hard and you will notice over time that you will improve. Here was just a couple of ideas but workout what your weak points are and focus on them
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JVM
post Jun 4 2007, 05:50 PM
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Do things that are very hard for you. For example, when I got here pavel's hand control lesson was my first goal. I'm still working on it but I'm at around part 4 now and I can play them fluidly up to speed. So whatever is hard for you, hard like making you think "oh, I can't do this yet", practice that. Obviously do it as slowly as necessary at first. The idea is just to continually challenge yourself. Practicing what you know is good and will help, but if you already know how to do it, you're not going to be improving as fast as you could be.


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AIB234
post Jun 4 2007, 05:52 PM
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Thanks steve.

The thing is that I am not new to music.

I've played alto sax since grade 6 which is close to 10 years ago so I am no stranger to rhythm.

I do practice with a metronome when I do exercises, I usually just get bored doing them and go play music that I already know.

I would like to get consistently fast at alternate picking and be able to play some of my favourite classic solos before I start working into the world of sweeping or tapping (though I have flirted with both). I just seem to be at the in between mark where exercises do help, but I still can't play the solos (for example, Enter Sandman was the first song I ever learned how to drum so I swore it was the first real solo I'd ever learn but I am not even close smile.gif).

I just don't know what else to do so I can get to the level where I am able to play the music I want to be able to. You know?

EDIT: Thanks to you too, JVM. I was posting this apparently when you posted yours and didn't want to double post.

I will continue to do this. I have also been working on Pavel's Hand Control Lesson myself.

I suppose a question I could ask is how do you get to the level of playing solos in music you like? Do you have to treat it like an exercise here at GMC where you've got to maybe play it for days before you get it down, not to mention up to speed?

This post has been edited by AIB234: Jun 4 2007, 05:54 PM


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JVM
post Jun 4 2007, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (AIB234 @ Jun 4 2007, 10:52 AM) *
EDIT: Thanks to you too, JVM. I was posting this apparently when you posted yours and didn't want to double post.

I will continue to do this. I have also been working on Pavel's Hand Control Lesson myself.

I suppose a question I could ask is how do you get to the level of playing solos in music you like? Do you have to treat it like an exercise here at GMC where you've got to maybe play it for days before you get it down, not to mention up to speed?


I'm not at the level where I can play anything I want just yet, but think of it like this. After mastering Pavel's hand control lesson, you'll be able to do something similar much faster. Maybe it would take you a month to master pavel's specific lesson, but the next time you try something similar it'll take you a week. Next time, maybe an hour. So I guess, if you want to just compose something, you'd do it somewhat like a lesson here, figuring out the notes, but then again you can also always just improvise something.


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stratman33
post Jun 4 2007, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Jun 4 2007, 12:50 PM) *
Do things that are very hard for you. For example, when I got here pavel's hand control lesson was my first goal. I'm still working on it but I'm at around part 4 now and I can play them fluidly up to speed. So whatever is hard for you, hard like making you think "oh, I can't do this yet", practice that. Obviously do it as slowly as necessary at first. The idea is just to continually challenge yourself. Practicing what you know is good and will help, but if you already know how to do it, you're not going to be improving as fast as you could be.


Ya, i agree with you. If you play things that are hard for you, and when you get them down, you'll get a huge boost in confidence. For me sweep picking seems impossible, and i still suck at it after a long time, but even after i do the easiest thing i feel good. And it's still good to practice what you're good at, but you should spend much more time on what you struggle with. Hope that helped! biggrin.gif


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Hardtail
post Jun 5 2007, 12:45 AM
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My mind works in a very structured manner so I tend to practice on a schedule.

Part 1 - Exercise - I practice whatever simply repeated thing I need to work on. In my case it's up-down picking and finger speed exercises.

Part 2 - Routine - Here I play riffs, licks, solos, hell... even songs... So long as it reinforces what I have recently learned / perfected.

Part 3 - Challenge - This is where I work on things that are just out of my play level so that I am constantly learning new things.


I've been using this method for about a month now and progress has been fairly smooth and I always have fun!

I usually split all parts evenly so I spend about 30 minutes on each unless I have more time each night. Just the way I do it. Hope it helps!

One thing I would LOVE to see on the site is a difficulty rating on each lesson. It would make choosing my next lesson to work on easier but it's not a huge problem really.

- Hardtail


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The Uncreator
post Jun 7 2007, 04:55 AM
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Well here is my usuall routine if this helps.

1. Exercises: Scales, Chord Progressions, Simple Little Licks with a metronome to get me warmed up (60 minutes)

2. Songs: Play along to my favorite songs, Lately its been Trivium, Nightwish, Maiden, Iced Earth and Evergrey, just to have some fun. and it helps me develop a better sense of timing. (90-120 minutes)

3. Technique/Challenges: I focus on a certain technique, right now its mixing Sweeping and tapping fluently, and 8 finger tapping. then i try to practice stuff i find Challenging, Right now im practicing the Necrophagist Solo to Fermented Offal Discharge, and This as well. (90-120 minutes)

After this (and the time varies) i go back to playing my favorite songs for a few hours smile.gif

This post has been edited by The Uncreator: Jun 7 2007, 04:55 AM
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JVM
post Jun 7 2007, 05:05 AM
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My mind is completely unstructured. I will focus on a single challenge that is bugging me, which for the past few days has been alternate picking. I have so far refused to do the downward only picking that I have been doing for years and after a couple days I'm starting to surpass it in speed and accuracy. At the same time I work on a variety of exercises dealing with legato and string skipping etc, and I just basically do this for hours a day. And when I'm not doing it, if I can get a few minutes in to pick up a guitar I'll do some then as well tongue.gif

If I ever get bored with pure practice, I do some songs. If at any time I get a melody or something stuck in my head I will stop what I am doing and work on it until I can figure out how to play it, which could take 10 seconds or several days (if it takes that long I'll work on it in between regular practicing).

Also what I tend to do when reading up on theory is just practice any single thing over and over again repeatedly so it becomes a background and not distracting to what I'm reading, but I'm putting it in muscle memory and keeping my fingers moving.

I'm a very unorganized person.


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