Guitar Player Tip - Practice Routine Thoughts and Ideas

You can find all kinds of ways to set up a practice routine for playing guitar. All you have to do is google "guitar practice routines" and you can literally look at them until the cows come home. But I've found most guitarist seem to have the same basic idea when it comes to practice routines. Mines probably not much more different than yours. Some of the things that I currently do are certainly no great revelation but I have picked up some things that, at least, for me have helped and thought I would pass them onto you.

My routine pretty much rolls like this:

1. Warm up with scales
2. Finger exercises
3. Chord runs or progressions
4. Learn something new, like chords or different ways to use scales
5. Theory - ugh!
6. Work on parts of a song I want to learn

I was recently thinking about some advise I got from Kiko Loureiro which is playing guitar does not make you a better guitar player. Practicing guitar is what makes you a better guitar player. So I am learning to give some separation in what I consider practice and playing. So far I think it's been paying off.

With that in mind when I am in "practice" mode I've found that it's a good time to practice what you are having trouble with. Crazy? Well think about it. Most people get stuck in the rut of practicing what they know because they are comfortable with it and it sounds good to them. Try improving what you are weak at. It'll help you become a better player.

Other things I have found to be of benifit lately are:

When practice time is over it's time to play for fun. You know, put on some backing tracks and play some solos over them or or turn on the metromome and play some rhythms over the top of it with different timings and paterns and then play some songs that I know.

I think it's key to have a good collection of backing tracks, their easy to find and download to a folder on your computer. The thing to remember here is not to just use them to play scales backwards and forwards, that's boring, it's where you can separate practice from playing. When practice is over and the backing tracks go on it's time to mix things up, try and be creative and play with some sort of emotion.

A good practice routine is important but don’t forget to have fun that’s why you started playing in the first place.

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