How I set up my practice routine – and you SHOULD have one too!
So, we all know that we need to practice! However, practising can be hard! What do you practice? How often? Well, having a good practice routine is a lifesaver. I have recently created a practice routine for myself and have noticed results in as little as a week! (Not even exaggerating). So in this article, we are going to go over why you need a good practice routine, and also how you can go about making one of your own, and what to put in it.
Firstly, let’s talk about practice and why you need a practice routine! What are the benefits and how will it help you? Also worth noting is that we will talk about guitar practice in this article, however, you can take what you learn and read here and apply it to any instrument, or any skill set really!
Guitar practice Routine: Why
So the first question we must answer is why? Why practice? When you are new and just beginning you understand practice, but as you advance and become a better player practice might seem like something you don’t need to do. You know scales and chord shapes, so why bother to practice?
Well, you practice to improve! When you begin everything is new so you are developing in all areas of guitar playing! However, as you become an advanced player you learn all the skills but have to then go on to master them! This is when your practice becomes a bit more pinpoint! More specific areas and goals to reach! No matter who you are or how good you are you can still improve and become a better player! learn new skills, become more fluid or more confident, and even learn and practice another area, like playing live for example.
So that is why you practice to continue your upward progression on the chart of skill! Always improving and becoming a better player than you were! That is the goal! So that is the “Why” of practice, now we have to go over the how! How do you go about practice? How to set up a practice routine that Will give you guaranteed results!
Guitar practice Routine: How
When setting up a practice routine, you have to be a little harsh on yourself and figure out your weak points! No point practising what you enjoy or are good at! practice is to bring up weak points and to improve those points. So sit down and think about what you are weak at or areas that need improving, and plan those in. Remember, when it comes to improving and practising, consistency will triumph over everything! Doing something over and over again consistently will bring huge results! So stop trying to get your practice perfect get every routine detail right, and focus on consistency!
Something I think a lot of people suffer with is motivation. We all love playing guitar but practicing scales or theory isn’t the most fun or motivating thing. So what I like to do is start my practice routine with something fun. This is normally a skill I want to improve on (sweep picking, tremolo picking etc). This will make you want to practice because you know that for X amount of time, you will get to do something fun straight away. Then you can program in your fundamentals and theory.
If you don’t know how to actually practice (You have a routine but need help with material and what to practice) then using various tools online like courses and videos can help! I have teamed up with my amazing friend Leigh who has just launched his new guitar tuition course. if you sign up using my affiliated link then we get a small kickback. Helps support the channel. He has hundreds of videos with easy-to-follow videos to teach you techniques.
Guitar practice Routine: When
We have the Why you practice and we know how you practice, let’s talk about when you practice! The simple answer is as much as you can! If you want to improve, practice will do that! So the more you practice the better you will become. However, sadly we all have lives and have jobs, school, home life etc! So 24 hours a day is not an option! So I like to structure my practice and try to get a few different practice sessions in.
For me, I found that 4, dedicated 1 hour individual practice sessions a week is a good amount! Notice the words in there! “Dedicated!” So the session is for you, practising the things you want to improve on! Also, “individual!” You are on your own practising, this doesn’t include band rehearsal, recording sessions or gigs! I hear what you are now saying, “ I can’t do 1 hour”.
Most people fall over and will say “I am going to practice for 1 hour every day”. Then inevitably a day comes when they can’t fit an hour in, so what do they do? Bin of practice all together! For me, some practice is better than no practice! I like to have 3 separate routines which vary in length, so no matter how long I have, I can practice! We will go into this more in the example routine below, but I like a 1 hour, 30 minutes and a 10 minute! I like this way because If I can’t get a full hour on I don’t miss a practice because I can do one of the others!
Guitar practice Routine: Example
So we have covered most things! But I thought it would be super helpful if I gave you an example routine! What this will do is allow you to look at how to structure a practice routine, and then build your own from that. So first we gonna show you an example, practice routine, and then after will go through it, explain all the points and how you can change and fit your own goals and practice.
1 Hour practice Routine:
– 10 Minutes: Tremolo Picking
– 15 Minutes: Arpeggios
– 15 Minutes: Triads
– 15 Minutes: Band Songs
– 5 Minutes: Noodling
30 Minutes practice Routine:
– 10 Minutes: tremolo Picking
– 10 Minutes: Arpeggios
– 10 Minutes: Triads
10 Minutes practice Routine:
– Pick one of the Above for 10 Minutes
So that is an example routine (it’s actually very close to what I am doing so far). As you can see, I have three options. What I call the “full Routine”. This is a 1-hour practice routine going over everything I want to and need to improve on. Next, we have a 30-minute routine, this is for everything I need to practice! Mainly my fundamentals! Then after is a quick 10-minute practice. This can change depending on what I feel I need to practice more. Having the three options gives me flexibility depending on how much time I have to practice.
So in the 1-hour routine. I start with a Skill or technique I want to learn or improve! As we said above, something fun and motivating! The next two are my fundamentals, something everyone should practice and get better in! Then I rehearse songs for the band and finally, I just spend it “noodling”. This is just time to put a jam track on and piece together everything I have learnt. Bringing it all together. The other two routines are shorter versions of the above! Focusing on things I need to do! Not things I want to do!
Feel free to take this routine and modify it to your own liking. Spend 2-4 weeks using it and I would be very surprised if you didn’t make progress! I would say even after a week you should see improvements! Having a structured routine doesn’t take away from hard work, you still need to focus and put the time into practice!
I think the key thing to think about when learning guitar and setting up a practice routine, isn’t to try to be like a favourite player of yours or compare yourself to others, but to be a better version of yourself! You want to be a better you as a player! The most important thing is to enjoy it! playing an Instrument is an amazing thing and makes you part of this universal worldwide group, so enjoy it, meet people, play amazing music and most importantly, make mistakes!
We have plenty of other articles on the site all about practice, practice routines and performing, you can check them out here! If you want to support the site then please give us a follow on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube.
Check out our other Articles here