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(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 28
08/03/2006 7:12 am  

I'm sure this has been answered somewhere but neither the lessons nor the forum search turned anything! If no-one ever answered this question, this will definitely help a load of guitarists out there.

What I would like to know is: how do you design a practice schedule? and are there any existing schedules (for example: diets - you can invent one on your own if you know what you're doing or follow a proven plan... something along those lines).

I am self thought and have been playing for two years now. At the beginning I used to practice techniques in turn... but now that I've nailed a lot of techniques I would like to know: either all techniques and scale styles etc with which i can then design a schedule, OR, and idiot-proof methods in existence.

Thanks in advance,

m4nti

[Manti]http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2199
08/03/2006 12:54 pm  

One of the great benefits of a good teacher is that they can really help you do this so that you're spending your time addressing your weaknesses, while at the same time giving you ideas on how to vary the routine so it doesn't get boring.

Canned schedules try and include all the important bits -- working on scales, rhythm, right hand techniques, fingerings, songs ... but all of them ultimately are going to be worse than something tailored to address your personal individual needs and wants.

My personal schedule will work really well for no one else than me. You almost certainly don't have the same strengths and weaknesses. You almost certainly don't have the same goals and (unless you're another total anachronism like myself) I know you aren't learning the same types of songs ;)

I think this question is frankly the best argument for someone you can look to as a mentor, if you pay them or not.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@cmoewes)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 112
08/03/2006 1:37 pm  

I would have to agree about lessons/mentoring. I've been playing for a few years and have mostly taught myself. I got to a point where I spent a lot of time trying to devise practice schedules and learning plans and found that I was mostly just rying to avoid the fact that I was at a plateau. I took a few lessons and that really helped. Plus it important to play with people, even if you are paying them... hmm that sounds a little naughty ;) .


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 xg5a
(@xg5a)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 488
09/03/2006 12:01 am  

Yeah, definately, a mentor is great. Also, just play! Even if it isn't the most productive practice, it still helps. When I give guitar lessons, I always encourage independent study.


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(@undercat)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 963
09/03/2006 12:41 am  

The mentor thing is a "gimme", no one can fully assess their own weaknesses.

On a more helpful note, I would say that you attempt to view your own abilities as objectively as possible and see what really seems to be missing, even if the closest you can get is really vague, general type areas like "theory". That at least gives you an area to start rounding out.

Playing with other people at approximately your experience level will be good for you too, in terms of bringing all your abilities up to a more even plane.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4931
09/03/2006 1:52 am  

Here's what I do - and no matter what I've practiced over the years, it's always been four big parts:

1) Warm-up
2) Review older material
3) Work on new stuff
4) Plan the next day

As I practice, I make notes in a log. Stuff I'm not happy with, things that need more work. And at the end of a session, I figure out what I'm going to practice the next day.

Warm up is important. That always includes some scales and finger drills, and I have slightly different warm-up routines for acoustic, electric, and classical... acoustic is heavier on finger drills (I think I get more benefit from the heavier strings), electric is heaviest on scales, classical is a lot of right-hand (picking hand) drills.

Review is essential - that's where the real progress comes, believe it or not. I mark my pieces - if I try something and it's flawless first time, I junk it; I figure if it's great at first sight, it's not at the level I need to work on. If it's not flawless, it goes into daily practice. Once it's flawless, I put it aside for a week. If it's flawless again, I put it aside for a month. If it's flawless then, I junk it... but if it's not the way I want it after one week or month, back in the daily practice pile with other new stuff.

My practice routine constantly evolves, and yours will too. Years ago I did the really regimented 20 minutes of drills, 15 minutes of scales, etc. thing. That gets old, and doesn't really address your needs, just the general chops.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 28
09/03/2006 1:50 pm  

Thanks a lot for the replies guys

I know that would be great to have a mentor, but at my current state of funds, it is impossible...

Well, I'll try to check my weaknesses the best I can, search for new material, and employ the tips you've given me. thans a lot.

m4nti

[Manti]http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2199
09/03/2006 2:06 pm  

Noteboat's suggestion of a practice log is very very good and one I heartily agree with!

Logs, notebooks, whatever you want to call them . .. keeping track of what you're doing is very very important to improvement.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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