How Should I Manage My Guitar Practice Time on the Guitar? A Case Study

Typical Questions I Hear From My Students About Guitar Practice

One of the most frequent comments that I hear about guitar practice from new students. “How should I arrange my guitar practice time? What should I be doing? Do I work on my scales or should I practice playing songs?”

The issue here for me as a teacher is the fact that there are numerous correct answers to this question. So, I will look at some typical case studies. More than likely, you will find yourself falling into one of these categories. From there you will be in a position to see what you might do to improve your guitar Playing.

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Just Starting Out To Learn The Guitar

First up is the beginner that has started to work through some online videos on YouTube.

Secondly, the intermediate player who knows his scales and quite a few songs and is confident with his style of playing but realizes that there is still a lot more he could learn.

Thirdly, the experienced player, who possibly already plays in a band but wants to improve his playing and his theory.

Finally, the slightly more mature players that had lessons when they were younger and possibly played in a band, but due to work or marriage had to stop. Now the kids are grown up and work is more secure and they want to start playing again.

The Lone Wolf

I know there are other groups out there but I have focused on what I call the lone wolf. These are students that are trying to learn by themselves. They have stopped taking lessons through choice, work or social commitments.

OK, let’s look at each case in turn.

The Beginner

First of all I would review the material they have been watching or learning to ensure that not only is the material suitable but it is also correct. The internet is a wonderful resource for free information but, of course, there is no way to regulate the source. Anyone can be a teacher online, they don’t need to have graduated from college or hold a recognized board certificate. That doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are playing and why, but the videos or material might not be provided with a learning process in mind considering guitar practice.

When I mentioned suitable I didn’t mean possible adult content, I was referring to the material being at the correct level for there current capabilities. We all love a challenge and it is good to push ourselves but if we push too hard we could end up frustrated and possibly discouraged. “Stairway to Heaven” in the first few weeks might be too much for a beginner.

Methodical Consistent Guitar Practice


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Once I had checked the material I would recommend a schedule of a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes practice per day 5 days a week. Commencing with some simple warm up drills that are also musical, working some chords over a 3 or 4 bar progression. Then have them work on songs from either a recognized curriculum course, or songs they like and enjoy playing at their current level. Preferably I would have them working with a backing track. If not, then a metronome to ensure correct timing. Finally some scale work but not just running up and down a scale. I give the exercises that sound melodic but combine the use of scale.

Consistent Goal Setting 

I will set the goals to aim for each week and larger targets per month to keep them focused and have direction to work to. Particularly when it comes to guitar practice.


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The Semi Skilled Students

Number two on the list can be the hardest ones to work with. They can play quite confidently and know, or should know, their major and minor scales. Conflict wanting to learn new techniques and theory but feeling musically restricted having to focus most of their practice time on the songs their band had chosen to perform. The way I approach this student is to try and combine what he wants to learn with his band’s style of music. No point teaching Jazz to a guy in a metal band and vice versa. If the student is in a covers band I try and find songs that challenge the student technically but can also be used as part of the band’s repertoire. I get the student to understand the difference between practice time and rehearsal time.

Developing Guitar Students

Number three can be the most rewarding student for a teacher but demanding at the same time. I have to understand their goals, look at their weaknesses and strengths then develop a strategy based on these factors. For me their practice time is about discovering an answer to a question or a task that I set. This is to handle a particular style of music.

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Contemporary Jazz Students

Finally, number four. I have always found this group more open to theory and expressing a desire to understand what they are playing. So, they will have a combination of challenging songs to play with a in depth look at the theory behind these songs. Quite a few of these students started out learning blues and rock with me and ended up playing jazz.

The one thing that each group requires though is direction. YouTube is great but it’s hard to ask a person behind the video a question. And if you do ask it might take some time before you get an answer. Many years ago I fell into category number two.

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The Jazz Messengers


I felt good as a player and everyone who saw me play commented on my technique and ability. But in my mind I knew that there was much more to learn. I decided to seek help and found a wonderful teacher who opened my eyes and ears but most important my mind. He focused and disciplined my playing and all the guitar practice he gave me to do finally payed off.

The Importance Of A Good Teacher

I can’t stress how important I feel it is for a musician to find a Yoda who can instruct and also discuss the art of guitar. All athletes have a coach, in a gym we have personal trainers. Golfers have pros. Your instructor is actually more important than the guitar you play or the rig you use. Then there is the guitar practice with NO shortcuts!

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This article wasn’t written to give a definitive answer about guitar practice but to help a student recognize where they are in the learning cycle. Please, feel free to comment, that’s how I learn from your feedback.

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Improve Your Guitar Skills With Five Constituents Of Excellent Guitar Practice Schedules That Really Help

The better guitar practice plans are made of five aspects that help your guitar playing and guitar skills 😛 TAGEND

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Guitar Practice Element# 1: Guitar Skills Progression

Your guitar practice programmes need to facilitate the development of your melodic knowledge to improve your guitar skills. These types of knowledge include the following 😛 TAGEND

* Completely understanding the guitar playing techniques for the genre you want to play in.

* Discovering about how to apply music ideology into actual music. Music theory is key for helping you play guitar with emotion.

* Developing aural knowledge. By doing this, you will be able to hear what the hell are you want to play in and alter it to your instrument.

* Becoming tight with your lilt guitar playing. This skill concerns being able to play cleanly, accurately, and consistent in excellent time. This needs to be practised just like any other guitar skill.

* Developing excellent fretboard visualization when it comes to scales and arpeggios. This is how you ascertain to play in all areas of the fretboard while soloing.

* Improving your guitar phrase knowledge. This makes HOW you play greenbacks during a guitar solo.

* Learning to how to evidence yourself playing guitar so you can improve your skills.

* Learning how to play guitar in front of other parties without inducing mistakes.

* Improvising guitar solos.

* Songwriting.

( All of these knowledge are just the tip of the iceberg and are made up of countless smaller knowledge)

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Guitar Practice Element# 2: Cook Problem Areas

In the process of achieving your melodic aims you will come across many problems. These difficulties are specific to you and your melodic aims. That told, the guitar rehearse programmes you use must help you solve these problems, such as 😛 TAGEND

* Two handwriting synchronization difficulties – you can’t play rapidly with huge accuracy until your hands are lined up in excellent sync.

* Not being artistic enough – being artistic is a skill you can rehearse and improve upon. There are specific routines using rehearse policies that will realize you a more creative musician.

* Poor going – both your lilt and lead guitar knowledge improve when you play in time.

* Inconsistent guitar playing – “consistency” means being able to consistently play without inducing mistakes.

* Sloppy guitar playing due to unsolicited string noise.

* Poor handwriting fortitude. This makes it difficult to play guitar for a while without becoming tired.

* Regaining your guitar knowledge after taking a long break from playing. You need to practice in a different nature in order to regain your knowledge after taking a break as opposed to how you ordinarily practice.

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Guitar Practice Element# 3: Build A Repertoire Of Songs

It’s not a requirement that you ascertain lyrics in order to become a great guitarist. However, you might is currently working on lyrics if the following is true 😛 TAGEND

* You are working on lyrics that you will be accomplishing live.

* Stop squandering lyrics as a means to study melodic creativity.

* Some like hearing lyrics for the enjoyment of it.

You need to be 100% sure of the same reasons why you want to work on lyrics. This direction, you will know how much period is needed to practice in this area.

Guitar Practice Element# 4: Lotion & Integration Of Your Musical Skills

Musical knowledge need to be applied and integrated , not only worked on in isolation. You must apply what you know into countless melodic situations. You too need to combine all of your knowledge together through rehearse. This is essential for surmounting anything on guitar.

The following video shows how its implementation and desegregation “must have been” practised 😛 TAGEND

Guitar Practice Element# 5: Review

Make sure you take the time to review your guitar skills and materials that you’ve already learned. This is done to ensure that your guitar playing stays balanced.

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Why It’s Necessary To Have Several Practice Routines To Accomplish Your Guitar Playing Goals

You will not become a great guitarist using exclusively one practice plan. A single guitar plan chore is only the beginning to achieving your melodic aims. Formerly you begin reaching your shorter-term aims, you are able to settle your planneds to persist progressing more and more. Your guitar rehearse plans have to change to meet the demands of brand-new guitar playing aims and challenges to really improve you guitar skills.

Guitar practice is fun when you center your time on the right things. Whenever you rehearse, you’ll dismissal yourself becoming better and better.