I have been playing for about 6 months now, only issue is I mainly only played classical and my instructor has told me what to practice. Do you guys have any tips on making a practice schedule so you don’t procrastinate and waste time?
I always find creating goals in smaller milestones really helps to keep the motivation going with a little less stress. If you are just starting out it’s always beneficial to do work outs tediously slow – this approach can really help develop solid technique. Never over pack your lessons with variety, and short breaks are necessary.
Look at a basic concept or idea (however easy or hard it may be), and really break it down to its most fundamental structure. For example, take a basic triad (C major for example) and try to understand it’s qualities. You could go into so much depth with such a basic idea that sometimes people miss by accident. Work out what makes it a major tonality, the intervals, can these intervals be applied across the fret board, the inversions. Once these ideas have been thought of, begin to think how this triad can be approached in different genres of music, think about the different techniques each genre would need to apply to this chord and what scales could fit over the triad.
This is so many hours of practice for very little information given – C E G. But this can be applied to all ideas, and can either go in the direction of wanting to learn more theory or technique development.
Try not to do too much in one go, the information wont always lock in.
Hope this helps!
I usually learn New stuff by learning cover songs and usually i learn the whole song so you have the context of the solo or lick. Its also important to not force yourself to learning thet whole song in an hour. It is okay if a song Takes a week to learn( ive been trying the Cantina band from star wars for months now). Just try to not get frustrated when stuff does not workshop out immediately and set goals of want you want to learn That Day.
I always break my practice sessions in to 3 equal parts, technique/theory/improvising! So for example sake i’ll break it down into an hours practice session:
Part 1. 20 mins of new/old techniques i need to improve on the most at that time.
Part 2. 20 mins theory, usually scales and chord groups that i think will help me improve in the musical style i’m into at the time
Part 3. 20 mins of taking what i’ve worked on that session and applying it muaically
Obviously there are other ways to structure pratice but this is what works for me
Personally, when I began to play guitar, I wasn’t entitled to a particular schedule.
It was more like “Oh I really want to play that song” when you listen to it, and you’re kind of : “Well that going to be pretty hard”. But what worked for me was to take my guitar at those times and learn small parts of some songs I wanted to learn or liked. I was just learning slowly some basics while playing the “easy” parts of my favorite songs.
I tried to watch videos of people making tuto or covers of those songs while slowing them down to see how they put their fingers on the fretboard and that kind of stuff, trying not to take some bad habits.
So I was motivated by the fact that I learned some things I liked while learning all the stuff you need to learn in the first place with tabs and videos.
And with time I was going back on some songs and I could play more and more until I played the songs entirely.
I don’t really know if that’s something to recommend but that’s what worked for me and what keeped me away from frustration. Well it’s always frustrating but in a lesser extent when you actually enjoy what you’re doin I guess.
Hope this helps in a way!
I really am not qualified to answer this question, as I am currently stuck in the same situation. I’ve been learning classical for 6 months as well, went through scales and am now practicing chords. I’ve learned a couple of basic riffs (Enter Sandman, Smoke On the Water and some song by Santana). What drives me though, is wanting to write my own material. I have LOTS of song ideas, I just have to learn how to express myself on guitar.
But before I can write my own stuff, I’ll take those classical lessons and also practice stuff that’s on here, step by step. The key thing is not to rush anything. It doesn’t matter how “slow” you think you are progressing, just keep moving forward. That’s my best advice to a fellow rookie. This site will help you a lot with practicing, I’m sure.
Plenty of great suggestions here so I’ll chime in on the mental aspect: don’t get to the point where you are so obsessed with getting better that you don’t enjoy playing anymore. This happened to me and I barely played for years. When I let myself off the hook and just jammed what I liked (spoiler alert: it was new A7X) I naturally began to seek out new ideas and ways to get better.
Not saying at all to not have goals (that would be worse), but your comment about not wanting to waste time sounded a lot like the old me, and I want to keep others from the rut. No time spent playing is wasted. You’re going to develop some bad habits that you’ll have to unlearn. Those fuck ups are also going to be your greatest leaps and bounds as a guitarist.
The only way to get better is to practice what is hard for you to play. Obviously – if you play what you can already play, you won’t get better. It’s just like lifting weights. So divide your practice time into what you want to do better, e.g. 10 minutes of economy picking, 10 minutes of the 7 positions of the Melodic minor scale, 10 minutes of improvising over II V I in different keys. Sweat, curse and suck out loud.
HAVING SAID THAT!!!!
I have never understood weight lifting for the sake of weight lifting. Conversely, I totally understand a surfer who lifts weights so he can paddle faster, increase stamina & leg strength. So in this analogy – weight lifting is struggling with technique and scales. But surfing is guitar playing for pure joy. It should be fun and something to look forward to. Play songs, improvise over backing tracks with reckless abandon. Jam with friends. Play jazz with a wah wah pedal. Make the guitar make you happy.
It’s important to find time for both!
My best advice is to practice everything! Now this may be the best thing to do but some people don’t have a ton of time to do all that so what do we do then? My best advice to you is to do what I did and go on a “musical journey”. I learned a song from every genre I could think of and in turn did a lot for my playing. I started with the genre I love which is metal then I went to blues and so on. After doing all of this I picked up a lot of fun party tricks and a lot of cool techniques. In the first lesson in the beginner section it says to look at others posts on the forums the same applies for a guitarist. Watch how people play and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Once you find those techniques that really bug you find the corresponding lesson if you still can’t do it come on here and ask about it someone can give you some literature or a tab for an easy example to practice I am sure that is how I am learning to sweep.
When i first started i would have a list of songs i wanted to learn, then i would just try learning as much of the song as possible. Once i got to a point where i found that i couldn’t learn any more of the songs would move on to the next song on the list.
EX: Guns and roses sweet child O’ Mine. i learned that whole song except the fast parts in the solo. So i moved on to Panama by Van Halen.
( couldn’t play the solo here either) then moved to another etc….
eventually there was enough techniques learned in each song that i was able to do the sweet child o mine solo. Its what worked for me.
But be aware, i didn’t learn any theory this way. so now i am going back to Syn’s and papa gates lessons to try and learn everything i don’t know.
Hope this helps!!!!
I’m in the same boat as the OP. I’ve played for years, but never ‘practiced’ or took lessons. I just learned songs. Because of that, I have many areas that I need to improve. Guess it’s time to work on technique as well.
I’ve been playing for about 9 years and found myself in a similar rut. The best advice I can give to push past platues is to have a goal in mind. What do you want to accomplish? What technique intrigues you most? For me at one point it was being able to improv over backing tracks well.
So I started slow, learned one simple scale (minor pentatonic) and played the scale up and down over a backing track until I could slowly start breaking into random notes.
The principle is always the same through. Find a goal and start SLOW! Slow everything down until it becomes muscle memory and your progress will fly!