Do I practice right?


beginner
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Joined: 07/27/03
Posts: 280
Till now I thought that i had a good plan how to practice. But now I´m a bit concerned if I don´t forget any essential part of getting a good (lead)guitarist.

When I play 4 hours I do: At first an hour technique(alternate and sweep and a bit legato) Then I train my ear for a half hour or even more( I do this with Ear Master Pro program), then I go in the basement jamming, try inventing some melodies,licks, riffs(but mainly with power chords and changes of them), for 1 and a half hours, and the rest hour I do again technique exercises.

Have I forgotten something important or should I continue practicing this way?

# 1
kronborg
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Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 61
Don't forget to play with others (in a band).

It's very important to be able to play WITH others, not overdoub them.
It's important to know when to SHUT UP if you know what i mean ;)
I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every panda that didn't want to screw to save it's species..
# 2
beginner
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But unfortunately I´m not in a band. It have just rarely possibilities to play with other people.

# 3
noticingthemistake
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If you don't have someone to jam with, it's not a bad idea to download and record some drum loops and practice with them. It's not exactly like the real thing, but it will get you used to playing against something. As for your practice routine, it seems fine. To check it yourself, think of what your goals are and combine your routine with exercises that will help you reach your goals. Then once you reach those, make new goals and new routines.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 4
Tele Master
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Joined: 08/02/02
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http://www.bluesblast.com

download some jam tracks.
Electric Guitars are the inspiration for cries of "Turn that damn thing down"-Gibson website
# 5
beginner
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I jam already with some of http://www.bluesblast.com ´s Jam Tracks. I just seem to have some problems in Jam Sessions if there´s only a drum beat and I have to make a good riff over it immediately.
# 6
Axl_Rose
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Joined: 04/08/01
Posts: 1,258
Isnt a practice schedule a bit boring? Ive been playing for 3 years and am at level where Id be happy to stay at for the rest of my life.. Ive never practised as such.
# 7
moody_fa_loonie
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Joined: 01/06/04
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Exactly Axl.....I've been playing a number of years...routinely exercises were in the beginning stages then it just came naturally to do my own thing.
# 8
noticingthemistake
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It's good to continue practicing. Adding new routines to acquire more advanced techniques is a good way to stick with it. I think the biggest problem with practice routines is one they become overly repetitive, and people spend too much time doing the basic stuff. 4 hours a day is too much. I personally only spend maybe a half an hour a day going through exercises and what not. Sometimes not even that but I always try to at least play for alittle every day. I eventually quit because I once had a similar grueling schedule and I used to force myself to stick with it until the fun was lost. Now I just try to have fun, dip into some exercises. I actually learned alot faster that way. Boredom and fustration is what hinders you from progressing, actually it can make you go in reverse.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 9
beginner
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Joined: 07/27/03
Posts: 280
Originally posted by Axl_Rose
Isnt a practice schedule a bit boring? Ive been playing for 3 years and am at level where Id be happy to stay at for the rest of my life.. Ive never practised as such.

To me it doesn´t get boring at all. It just helps that I´m not just playing anything and have less progress. It´s not that way that I say 5 minutes alternate then sweep for 7 minutes. I just look how much time I´ve got and say ok now about 2 hours technique, in which I try to make a good average of these 3 techniques. That it doesn´t get boring I create my own exercises with my own licks I have to practise. And then I do some other stuff(ear training song writing) It´s not a strict plan, but I have in mind what to practice.

How do you practise if you just do 30 minutes a day wht I prefer to do?
# 10
noticingthemistake
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I do pretty much the samething you do, but I only do it until I feel like moving on, usually in the range of 30 minutes. Maybe it's the fact that I have already gotten most of the techniques done pat, and all I need to do is go through a refresher.

(everyday) The first thing I do when I practice is go through finger warm-up exercises to get the blood flowing. Once I feel my fingers are warmed up, I go onto scales.

Always do all my scales with the same root, and change the root daily. I think of the root, play it to make sure I'm on. Then mentally think of the scale in my head, ascending and descending. Then I play it to make sure I was right. If I found I was alittle off on intonation, I spend alittle more time practicing singing the scale. I've been doing it for so long I usually don't mess up, but it happens sometimes. I don't do every scale this way, just the common ones like maj, min, HM, MM, blues, sym.. I will also go through singing chords, which is done by singing them broken. Once I have sung all the chords broken. Using the same root as the scale practice, I play through the chords of that harmonic minor scale (because it contains all the triads) and major scale. Then I pull out the metronome and work on my speed and timing with each scale. Which doesn't take long because I work with a comfortable speed daily. Once a speed becomes too comfortable, I move the tempo up to where I can play it but it alittle faster.

(as much as I can) Then I'll go through songs that I have written or know, and those cover most of the techniques. I try do go through as much as I can. Then pull out a drum track and jam around with it, write a song, or do whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes I don't touch the guitar again, or I play for a couple of hours more.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 11
Hammurabi
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Joined: 09/23/03
Posts: 1,679
^not quite. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.

I practice pretty randomly. During weekdays I practice about an hour a day and I would love to do more. Weekends I don't exist, but I usually get a little bit in monday early AM.

When I'm home from college for breaks I practice more like 6 hours a day. There isn't anything else to do.
"If one has realized a truth, that truth is valueless so long as there is lacking the indomitable will to turn this realization into action!"
-A.H.
# 12
iamthe_eggman
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Originally posted by Hammurabi
Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.


I've said this before, but that quote still makes absolutely no sense to me...
... and that's all I have to say about that.

[U]ALL[/U] generalizations are [U]WRONG[/U]

[/sarcasm]
# 13
Pantallica1
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Joined: 12/14/00
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Originally posted by iamthe_eggman
Originally posted by Hammurabi
Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.


I've said this before, but that quote still makes absolutely no sense to me...


It's like if you practice something wrong, like say your sweeping technique, you practice it without muting the strings, you could get real good at sweeping a blurred mess of notes, but that wasn't the desired effect.

If you perfectly practice sweeping, hitting every note, muting properly, then you will get better.

It's just a weird statement all together.
Sometimes I hit notes only dogs can hear.
# 14
Hammurabi
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Joined: 09/23/03
Posts: 1,679
It just means that what you do and practice doing you will probably continue to do. Bad habits, good habits, muscle memory doesn't really care.
"If one has realized a truth, that truth is valueless so long as there is lacking the indomitable will to turn this realization into action!"
-A.H.
# 15
chickenfried
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Joined: 01/27/04
Posts: 2
practcie with a metronome for speed. increase the bpm's every minute or so until you can't keep up anymore. start at a comfortable speed (ie a speed where you can play the pattern 10 or more times without choking). do that honestly for a few weeks and you will hear massive improvment.

study the tab and music of the guys you want to play like (ie build your repetoire of music...along with your technique).
study the photos of them playing to see how they hold there hands and etc.

the thing with technique is that the scales or tricks you practice should transfer over to other scales and techniques...soif you really knuckle down on atechnique that uses alot of alternate picking and string changing and get it down pretty good and clean...the other stuff won;t be so hard (in theory that is).

just rememeber that if all you practice is diatonic modes and etc your playing will sound like that. so its important to practice playing music as well as playing techinque.


# 16
Axl_Rose
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Joined: 04/08/01
Posts: 1,258
Hmm.. as soon as I hear the words metronome and bpm I feel like falling asleep :( Lifes too short and full of wonderful things to be playing guitar to the point of 6 hour training shedules!

But then again it depends what your into. A well known pool player, ex pro, gets really wound up when he sees me play. He says I have what it takes to make it, the right cueing action and temperment but I just hammer the balls about. Its cos pool aint important to me, its more fun playing show off shots than boring winning sensible ones. Thats what guitars like for me, I can have fun without the boring bits.

And yes I just wanted to tell you guys a famous pool player respects me :)
# 17
chickenfried
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Joined: 01/27/04
Posts: 2
it all depends on what your after.

you just have to have discipline and rememeber that it pays off if you keep at it.

you can improve your playing by practicing 30 minutes with a metronome exponentially better than you can without one.

if your going for the steve vai, satch, dimiola, satch, yngwie, impeliterri, morse,petrucci etc type of playing a drum machine or metronome, even a wris****ch, is essential. read interviews with these guys and they will say thesame thing.

just don't let that be the only thing you practice with a metronome...practice your songs and everything else with a beat of some type. its all about developing your rhythm not only your leads. 90% of your playing is rhythm.

but all that is about "practicing" not playing...which is when you turn off the metronome and just wail and rock out.


# 18
beginner
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Joined: 07/27/03
Posts: 280
thanks for all of your suggestions. I´ll continue practicing like I did before with one difference, which I learned in this discussion: When I begin to write a song and the intro with intro solo works very well(today was such a situation) I shouldn´t stop figuring out some new parts just because I think: Oh, I haven´t done any technique today. Now I just practice which works best at the moment and I feel the progress. I think that´s better.
# 19