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Todd Simpson
You don't have to play 8 hours a day, you just need to try to play some almost every day if possible. If you can break it up, (morning/night) so much the better. What you will probably end up having to do is cutting time for something else. There are only 24 hours in a day and you will need to work, sleep, maintain your relationships, etc. So, try to

1.)Get up a little earlier than normal and spend a bit of time playing in the morning. You will feel a bit stiff and maybe not feel like playing. Warm up and push through it. You'll be glad you did. Put in whatever you can, 15 minutes to an hour.

2.)Put in an evening session as well. Somewhere around an hour.

3.)On the weekend try to put in a morning and evening sat and sun as well.

This is 14 sessions per week. Try to hit most of them even if they are short sessions. IMHO two 15 minute sessions spaced apart are better than one 30 session. Putting some time in between allows the brain time to process what you are doing. Your brain will keep playing after you put the guitar down. If you play right before bed, you may actually dream about practicing which is a good thing smile.gif It means your brain is still processing your practice.

Thanks for this useful input, Todd!
I never thought about it that way. I really wanna hear some more tips about practicing. Especially how to structure the practice time.
So of course you would start with a few warm-up runs. And then? Would you concentrate on one technique per session? e.g. would you practice AP on monday, legato on tuesday and sweeping on wednesday and then start over again? Would you practice a technique after warming up and then (after 30 minutes or so) practice a real song? Basically, how should a practice agenda look like and how should one hour of practice be structured?
Lots of questions here...wink.gif
Todd Simpson
Thats a great question. There isn't really one answer though. So much of it depends on the player. But in general terms, here is a rough guideline that might help.

One Hour Practice Session (or 10 minutes is that's all you can spare)

10% Warm up - (Scales, stretches, wrist rolls, etc.)
40 % Focused Practice on New Material (New Scales, New licks, things you want to incorprate in to your playing)
40 % Focused Practice on Older Material (Scales you know well but want to play faster, cleaner, higher on the neck, songs you know but need work on, soloing over familiair backing etc.)
10% Cool Down - (Rythm guitar, more stretches, wrist rolles, slow and focused, bends, chords etc.)

Of course this is just a general guideline intended only to provide some structure and framework. It is totally flexible depending on what you want to do, learn, etc. It's a traditional structure that balances new learning and cementing older learn while providing warm up and cool down to keep you from getting Carpal Tuennel. It's only one approach and only the thought of one guy, but it's a place to start smile.gif

Cool, thanks a lot Todd!
Nice stuff Todd. I have heard many tell you have a specific routine but for me the time I devote as such will be very less so most of the time, I am playing like 15-30 mins on/off every hour, some days more, some days less but all I practice is one difficult lick to get rid of some problems I encounter such as picking style or left hand fingering. And I do it all the time probably 1-3 months. biggrin.gif Yet to go through the theory stuff and all that. Just focusing on techniques to make sure I can play what I have in my head in future. I was stuck at this last 15+ years where I have something but my fingers just won't move.
Todd Simpson
Thanks for the replies guys smile.gif

MAHARZAN: Sounds like you have a plan that is working for you so stick to it! Some players do better with more structure and more planning while others do better with a much looser approach. In the end it all comes down to you as a player. It can take a while to figure out how you best learn. Teachers/Instructors will often teach in the manner that they best learn in, which makes sense when you think about it. Players that learn in a looser fashion, tend to instruct in a bit of a looser way and feel their way through it. Players that learn better with a structured approach tend to teach that way as well. At least this has been what I've seen over the years. Of course, as instructors gain experience they learn to adopt other teaching styles to accomodate the student population.


As you may have noticed during my Saturday Video Chat's, I've prepped a lesson ahead of time and have a lesson plan for what I'd like to cover as well as tablature, etc. We then learn the lesson/lessons and work them up in speed with a metronome. Quite a bit of structure over all. Where as other Video Chat instructors may keep things much looser and work without a hard lesson plan or tablature and let the lesson just develop in an organic way. Both approaches are valid and useful. And both typically make use of elements of the other. That said, I do tend to learn and teach in a more structured way. I tend to break a lick/chop/scale down to it's base elements or maybe in half or in to four parts and play them individually and then combine them. Working with a metronome to build up speed until I have it down.


I've always believed that "True Skill is Effortless". If you really know a scale/lick etc., you should be able to play it up, down, back forth, slow fast, whatever, without it seeming difficult. Making that a goal will set you up for success. It does require focus, patience and above all persistence. Getting over that hump that separates you from being the player you want to be is perhaps the greatest challenge of all. But it's quite doable.


When you need some motivation, visualize yourself playing something that you can't yet play, something amazing. And see yourself playing it without looking at your hands, without even breaking a sweat, just effortlessly playing and feeling the music instead of worrying about hitting the notes. That image of the player you can be is within your grasp and every time you practice you close the gap between the player you are now and the player you want to be.


Todd Simpson

*Harmonic Minor (Adding some quasi Middle Eastern Vibe to your shredding!)

Also, I'm using a Custom Built GUITAR PRO patch in this video and will be sharing that for download Sat as well. It's a handy patch for Heavy tone.
Todd Simpson

Todd Simpson
Here is a new Backing Track to help you work on your SOLOs! It's in the key of A so Aminor, A Pentatonic, are great chocies. The chord change is A to F. It's about 120 Beats a minutes.

Click to view attachment

It's what we used in LESSON 56 this past Video Chat, in case you missed!

Here is a lick that works well with it! It's an "Inversion" of A Minor.
Click to view attachment
Todd Simpson
NEW BACKING: Lesson 90 backing track (Key of A)

Here is the backing track for this SATURDAY'S VIDEO CHAT LESSON (our Saturday Metal Meltdown)

It's got a bit more groove than usual, Enjoy!

Here is a soundcloud preview. You can download directly from soundcloud embeds. Just click the little down arrow. handy eh?
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