How to Plan Your Personal Guitar Practice that is Best

What is the best way for you to learn guitar

 

A good guitar practice routine should be personalized for what you want to achieve. To decide what exercises are best for you, write down some goals and what type of a player you would like to become.

Guitar styles to consider when building a guitar practice routine

 

1.Rock
2.blues
3.jazz
4.country

learn-to-play-guitar
Highway to Heaven

5. fingerstyle
6.slide
7.electric or acoustic
8.rythym/lead/ combination of both

 

 

Penatonic-guitar-scales
Pentatonic guitar scales  

 

Muscel stretches are as important to guitar players as athletes.
Stretching your fingers will help with agility and accuracy. You can stretch by using your other hand , a table, or wall.
Never overdo it. Massage the arms, hands, the muscles between the thumb and index finger, and finger-tips.

A sample guitar practice routine

 

1. Do finger exercises on your fretboard.

An example can be by starting on the root “A” on the 6th string at the 5th fret. Use your four fingers to play the next notes up the fret board and then back down to the root “A”. Continue this process on each string and go up to the 1st string and then back down again.
When you get a certain amount of dexterity you can skip the frets between the 1st and 2nd finger and the 3rd and 4th fingers. Don’t skip frets between the 2nd and 3rd frets as that is not a natural stretch.
If you have any pain stop right away and consider seeing your doctor.

2. Practice scales

Start slow and practice backward and forward. When you get to a certain proficiency add a metronome and gradually increase speed.
Pictured are the 5 blues boxes. Box 1 starts at the root of the key. The 3rd fret of the 6th string is the root note for the key of “G” and box 1 starts there. Each box starts where the last box ends. The blues boxes are the same as the pentatonic scale but with 2 “Blue notes”
added to each box. There are many other scales but the pentatonic scale is a good start. You can also move from 1 box to another.

3.Work on chords

guitar-chord-chart
Key of “G” chord chart

You can start with the basic chords and as I suggested before learn in groups of 3. A one four five grouping will work together. If you ad the two and the 6th they would be minor chords. Practice putting your fingers down at the same time and develop muscle memory.
Then spend time on barre chords and power chords. Triads and inversions will come later. When practicing for electric guitar partial chords and string muting become more into play. Check my learn guitar page for more on 1-4-5 progression.

A word about barre chords and finger pressure:

The muscle between the thumb and index finger can knot up when putting too much pressure especially when learning barre chords. When this happens stop practice and massage the knotting muscle.
Learn to apply as light a pressure as possible and still maintain a good sound. This saves energy and enables you to play longer. Regular breaks are important and will help you learn faster than the constant practicing which can lead to bad habits, carpel tunnel, and other physical problems.

4. Work on picking and strumming rhythms

I am exclusively a finger picker but flat pick is an important thing to
Learn. There are many things I can’t do as well because I don’t use a flat pick and the same holds true the other way around.

5. Work on things you don’t do every practice

Seven principles to add to your practices

………1.Technique 2.soloing 3.harmony 4.melody 5.ear training
……….( the ability to recognize a chord in a song just by hearing it)

Girl-playing-guitar
Practice is fun

……….6.repretoir 7.music theory

6.Work on specifics

Songs, riffs and technique taught by pros or teachers.
There are many ways to get jam tracks to play with.
My affiliate “Jam Play” offers jam tracks.

Learn from a recording, or learn a song you can sing with.

With time being a factor you must decide how much time you have for practice.
When you make a schedule budgete the time that you have alloted for
Your practices. You may only have time to practice two or three times a week. You must decide how often and how much time you put into your guitar learning experience. If you are short on time you may have to table some things for latter. At any rate a systematic approach is best.

I wish you many hours of happy picking and you should enjoy your practice as well as Jamming.

Marty

 

Marty

I am a retired trucker that is persuing my dream of being a musician/songwriter.I play guitar,fiddle,harmonica,sax,and also like jug band instruments. I enjoy acoustic to electronic music from jug band, blues,jazz,to church worship music. I am also building an online internet web home business and have found a fantastic company to learn with.Life is good and the Lord is blessing

2 thoughts on “How to Plan Your Personal Guitar Practice that is Best

  • October 25, 2016 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    Establishing a good practice routine is very important, I totally agree.

    Except, when you only have, say, 20 minutes each day to practice, you can’t possibly cover everything.

    How do you suggest structuring practice so that you practice different elements on different days and what proportion of time to allocate to each element?

    Reply
    • October 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Al,
      Thanks for your comment. I too have short practices and recommend keeping a guitar available for easy access. It would be good to write down your priorities as to what kind of guitarist you would like to become. I suggest learning the basics, such as chording and rhythms so that you have a good foundation. Having a metronome handy for easy access will also help so that you can play with others.
      I tend to concentrate on certain skills when I decide that is what I want to learn, such as new chord progressions or scales. When you right down your objectives you become more organized and realize what you need to do. Always balance the work with having fun because you want to enjoy the adventure.
      Agood way to structure would be so much time for new learning and so much time to enjoy what you already know.With a short practice time you will have to do different routines at different times. Stretches and warmups are also important.

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