How to Build A Guitar Practice Routine That Gets Results

How to Build A Guitar Practice Routine

If you’re struggling to see results, you probably need a new guitar practice routine. Such a simple change can help you restart your learning and give you a boost of motivation!


Let’s explore how we should be using our practice time. As well as what we should focus on.




Firstly have a plan.


Having a plan means you’ll waste less time deciding what to practice. It’s easy to maximize your practice time by removing the guesswork, regardless of how long or short you have to practice.


Before you can plan, you need some goals. While this is up to you, here are some ideas. Learn 10 songs for a gig in two months. By the summer, learn the solo to Highway To Hell. Transcribe Paul Jackson Jr’s latest album over the next year.


All of these are epic goals.


They all are SMART goals. If you’re not aware of what that means, it’s quite simple.


S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = achievable

R = Relevant

T = Time based


Think about these 5 things, when you’re deciding on your goals. There’s no point in having goals that aren’t useful for where you’re going (relevant) or that you can’t complete in the time (time-based).


So you have some goals? Great! Next, break each down into smaller goals. For example, if the goal is to learn a solo, you could break this down by licks. So, each lick becomes its own goal.


When you’ve broken each goal into smaller goals, you have the start of a plan. As with any plan, it’s only good if you follow it and measure your results.



guitar practice time



Practice Time

Next on to time. How do you have available guitar practice? An hour a day, 4 hours daily?


If you only have half an hour, you might only be able to cover one smaller goal every month. That’s perfectly fine. It’s not worth the time or effort to learn a few things badly.


Remember, you will see great improvement in your whole guitar playing by focusing on one element. Just imagine being able to flow through songs without mistakes or stops, because you have the basics together and have confidence in your abilities!


Alternatively, if you have 6 hours, it’s best to break your time up into chunks and work on a few things. Of course, if you have 6 hours to practice, your goals will be different.



Master One Thing

Please don’t focus on scales for 10 minutes, 10 minutes on chords, etc. By having a tick box list, you’ll do damage to your progress. You’ll rush through the list to get to watching TV.


Instead, take the entire practice time on a scale. Play it over a groove and make it sound like you have been playing it for years.


You could spend your time figuring out new chord voicings all over the guitar’s neck. After you’ve found a few interesting ones, try to use a new chord in your favorite song. When you have mastered it, move on.


As you either advance or allocate more time, consider using the session to revisit a song you learned a few months ago or the new chord from last week. You could also split the time in two. Use the first block to revisit, relearn and go over stuff. Next, work on something new for the second half.


Please do record what you’ve worked on in a diary. Also, if you can record audio, do so. A simple Mp3 recorder, like the Sony Voice Recorder ICD-PX, will be fine. You can revisit ideas later.


My hero Carl Verheyen fills 8 or so notebooks each year with new licks, chords, and melodies.


The more you plan what you will work on and focus on it until it’s complete, the faster your improvement will be.



pros guitar practice routine



For The Pros

If your guitar practice routine is 6 hours daily, your goals and expectations career-wise will be different.


With 6 hours, you can mold that time to work on key skills like part writing, sight reading (the horror!), finding new sounds, recording techniques, and so on.


You could move to styles and their different attributes studying the key musicians who are considered experts in that field.



Building Your Guitar Practice Routine

It’s all relative. Focus on you and your guitar Practice routine. Don’t compare how other players might be doing. Remember, take time to enjoy the results!

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