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Donal
09-21-2005, 02:09 PM
I have been playing guitar for about 7 years now and I think im at the point where I really need to sit down and start practicing properly or else i'll get stuck in a rut. What do you think is the best practicing schedule? I have alot of free time in the evenings. So I have a few hours to spare. How should I best use this time to improve my guitar playing? Should I learn new songs? Scales? Theory? etc? What is the best thing to do???

Please explain your practice schedules aswell to give me an idea of how I should construct mine.

Pablo Gilberto
09-21-2005, 08:14 PM
I actually used a shedule for about half a year but it didn't really worked for me. Now I just practice whatever comes in my mind

btw: check out EV's workouts!!

Good luck

NickGT
09-21-2005, 11:47 PM
Yeah, check out Eric Vandenberg's articles on "The workout" That should give you an idea.

Los Boleros
09-22-2005, 12:21 AM
I have been playing guitar for about 7 years now and I think im at the point where I really need to sit down and start practicing properly or else i'll get stuck in a rut. What do you think is the best practicing schedule? I have alot of free time in the evenings. So I have a few hours to spare. How should I best use this time to improve my guitar playing? Should I learn new songs? Scales? Theory? etc? What is the best thing to do???

Please explain your practice schedules aswell to give me an idea of how I should construct mine.Of course this is subjective to what you weant from music, but my advise is, and this is from a guy that worships theory, to learn songs from books. Not only learn them but figure out what key they are in and write down the roman numeral above each chord that represents the chord within that key. After you have done that, try learning the song in a different key by just looking at the roman numerals. Memorize your songs by the numbers as well instead of just Am, E, G# etc. You should know that "Brown eyed girl" is a I-IV-I-V. things like this will improve your musicianship tremendously and also make you a very valuable band member. This is the stuff that you can actually use right away and will bring much joy. All the other stuff will get easier to comprehend in time.

silent-storm
09-22-2005, 07:40 AM
When I think of the best players I personally know there are a few things that always come up. Everyone of them knows a rediculas amount of tunes. They all have done a lot of transcription. They all have a personal way of looking at everything they do and are able to look at things in 10 different ways...music is an inherantly messy subject and no one method will work for anything let alone everything. And all of them only practice things that can be easily put into the context of a song or some form of music making situation.

and remember...it's amazing what you can accomplish without your instrument. Spend a lot of time simply thinking about practicing and due to law of averages eventually you'll come up with something worth trying once you pick up your instrument...and if you get good enough at it that idea will go through 2 or 3 revisions before you get to your guitar which only adds to efficiency.

Madaxeman
09-22-2005, 10:28 AM
I was playing a long time, got in a rut, then quit playing for several years. I tried to sell all my gear and everything. Lucky for me no one bought my stuff. So now I am 100% addicted, playing all the time, studying when I can't play. I guess it is just timing, or something that finally clicked in me to get in gear.
I am really focusing on theory, hitting the books, making notes. I have master fretboard diagrams I copy, and lay out all the modes and scales, as well as chord diagrams and staff paper of all kinds. I try to transcribe songs as much as I can.

Like Silent-Storm says, if your brain is thinking music, lots of things come together when you actually play. It is much the same as thinking hard about something, then having it make sense later in the day when you are daydreaming. The brain is always going on some level.

I really don't have a schedule per-say. I just spend my free time studying (when I can't play, like now at work late at night on IBM.com!) and try to pick up my guitar as often as possible.

The strictly threads here are really neat. A great way to see different interpretations on Modes and Scales, plus for me, it gave me a great project to sit down and work at. Not to be better than anyone, but to be the best I can. And the feedback on your tracks is great too.

Bizarro
09-22-2005, 02:13 PM
There are 2 distinct things about playing guitar, IMO.
1. Technique
2. Theory

Technique involves actual playing. Duh! :) Theory is about being a musician. It *doesn't* mean you have to know lots of music theory from a book, but you do need to develop your ears, and know what to play in the particular musical situations in which you want to play.

Usually people focus on technique too much and they're crappy musicians. LOL! ;) Figure out where you're at, and get the right balance between the two to get optimum results.

Donal
09-22-2005, 05:51 PM
Thanks very much for all the replies. I am going to just spend every bit of spare time that I have playing guitar and learning music.

forgottenking2
09-28-2005, 04:43 AM
As it is I am surrounded by music almost 24/7 (except for the 3 hours a day I spend on the Highway... although I listen to records while I drive) I am studying towards a Bachelor's in Music (jazz performance) and I work in a music school in the afternoons. And I think just by having to teach music, without discriminating and having to find something good about each piece I have to teach has helped me grow inmensely as a musician. The problem though is that while I transcribe and learn a TON of tunes I seem to forget them quite rapidly (specially the easy ones). But the skills are still there.

As far as a formal practice schedulle... I put in about 3-4 hours a day (not straight in but broken down throughout the day) I probably play around more (like practicing with the ensemble and stuff). What I cover is basically:

Technique:

*Scales (Major/Modes, Harmonic Minor/Modes, Melodic Minor/Modes, Whole
Tone, Diminished, Augmented)
*Arpegios (Triads, 7th Chords, 9th Chords, 11th Chords)
*Chords (A gazillion jazz chords as of today)

Repertoire:

*Chord Melodies on Standards
*Bebop Heads

Improvisation:

*Play Alongs
*Licks (from a huge evergrowing binder)
*Improvisation without any backing track

Sight Reading:

*Ensemble Pieces (It's homework but it still counts right?)
*Violin, Clarinet, Piano, etc pieces.

Note that this schedulle reflects my current needs and it leans more towards the jazzy side.

I still practice my rock stuff every once in a while, but with a tight schedulle and considering that I am constantly teaching rock songs, my practice time focuses more on the things I don't get a chance to practice.

I hope this gives you some insight. There are other schedulles based on rock (including one of my own from a couple of years ago <damn... has it been that long??> somewhere).

I hope this helps.

Regards,