Ever wondered what a good practice routine should look like? Well, let me give you a bit of an idea.
I have a lot of people come to me and tell me they have no idea how to practice effectively.
They tell me they generally just fumble through the same 4 songs while watching TV with their guitar unplugged, or doodle aimlessly over a backing track every now and again.
First of all, how your practice routine looks is going to be determined by the playing goals you want to achieve.
Your practice routine MUST reflect the playing goals you have in mind.
Let’s say that, like most of my students, you’re Interested in lead guitar.
Let’s say your favourite guitarists are Jimmy Page, Angus Young, David Gilmore, Jimi Hendrix, Kirk Hammett, Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan and you want to be able to play their songs and solos and improvise solos in a similar style to them.
Now let’s design a hypothetical practice routine.
A good practice routine will have 3 elements; a technical element, a theoretical element and a creative element.
These 3 elements often times will overlap, but it’s just a good thing to think of them all as important parts of practice.
The technical section of your routine might be practicing fretting and picking technique, practicing scales and scale patterns, or even practicing soloing techniques like bending or legato or a hard part from a solo.
The theoretical section of your routine might be memorising scales or scale degrees, practicing intervals, practicing arpeggios, memorising diatonic chords or even practicing chord tone soloing.
The creative part of your practice might be improvising and developing licks and phrases in a new scale position, coming up with a couple of different short solos over a progression using the same 4 or 5 licks, or even practicing a solo you like.
The amount of time your practice goes for will be different for everyone. This should be determined by how much time you can set aside for practice and how much practice you can actually handle.
It should also be determined by how good you want to get and how quickly you want to get there.
As far as practice quantity goes – I recommend you practice at least 5 days a week.