Daily Guitar routine

Hey guys,

I would like to set up something like a guitar routine… i’ve Just never done this before and dont know where to start.

Im looking for something which takes around 60 minutes, splitted into parts like:

15 Min. Warm Up
30 Min. Training / Exercise 1
15 Min. Training / Exercise 2

I thought about 3 of those packages, each specialized on a different technique. So i could play every day and be able to track my results more or less.

Would love to hear your ideas or if you have something like this or where you get your exercises from.
Or if you have any tips what i can google for, let me know… :slight_smile:

Many thanks,
Michael

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Long post. check end for summary version lol

How to practice? That is THE question. The main thing you will learn with the Cracking the Code stuff is the mechanical motions involved in string crossing etc. This is HUGE info. BUT, you still have to figure out how to work it into your actual skill set. Thats where practice methods come into play

I can tell you my experience. I have played for 31 years. During that time I never had a “routine” but I always wanted one. I was always too lazy or undisciplined to set one up or stick to it

So I came to this forum in Dec 18 and one of my first questions was this same question. Its a very common question

I think its sort of common sense in an adult to want to set up a very logical, adult style routine. In other words something sensible that touches on several areas just a little bit. I think in the end we find this is the WORST way to go about it.

Its the worse way because you would sort of get “good” at a lot of different areas but never reach GREATNESS in any one of these areas.

So then I ran across Claus Levins videos where he talks about focusing on ONE thing and getting really great at it. So I have been using that idea for about the last 6 weeks or so and the results have been great.

IMO the HUGE challenge of all challenges is fast and clean picking while changing strings. So in the end your whole approach should be set up to master that one thing. Then you can add to it later

So it depends on your current level etc, but a great place to start is on one string. if you cant pick fast and clean on one string, how can you expect to pick a fast scale or lick on several strings?

for instance do you know the ‘Yngwie 6 note lick’? This is a great lick to spend at least a couple weeks or maybe a month on. I’ll put up an example in the key of A minor

Yngwie triplets or sextuplets:

E----8–5--7–8--7–5 repeat
B-----------------------

Joe Stump version
E----7–5--7–8--7–5 repeat
B-----------------------

either of those is great to start with. if you start on a downstroke then it helps the hands stay coordinated as long as you hit that downstroke every 6th note etc

Then when you start to feel strong on that lick you can start to move it around. for example an easy way to start would be to repeat the lick twice then just move it up diatonically

E----8–5--7–8--7–5 (2x)–10–7--9–10–9--7 (2x) etc
B--------------------------------

after a while you can start to move it up and down one string fast and with confidence etc

Then you are ready to start moving it to other strings

E----8–5--7–8--7–5--(2x)
B--------------------------------8–5--6–8--6–5 (2x) then start again on E string etc

That way you are getting plenty of fast notes in with only a couple string changes and you have plenty of time between the string changes

Thats sort of a systematic way to really master alternate picking. I WISH someone had put a gun to my head in 1988 and made me start this way.

In any case you can start from there and start to focus more on more intense string crossing stuff. of course the famous example is the “Paul Gilbert lick” (triplets)

E-------------5---------
B—5–6--8----8–6--etc

This is what Paul starts his Intense Rock instructional video with BUT ITS WAY TOO HARD!!! This is actually a huge challenge to play fast and clean. This should be more of a goal to work toward more than a starting point. Paul himself later stated that it was sort of a mistake to start with that lick. Claus Levin has also started that he himself worked on that exact lick for months but he sort of got nowhere because it was simply too hard.

A better starting point would be some easier version that changes strings way less often. for example this is a version that Claus Levin said he finally had great success with:

E-------------5–7--8------------5–7--8 etc
B—5–6--8------------5–6--8-------------

or this one is sort of “6 up and 6 down” so its still lots of notes for only a few string changes

E-------------5–7--8–10–9--7
B—5–6--8-----------------------10–8--7 start over etc

all of the above are triplet or sextuplet licks. here are a few 16th note versions. this is off the Paul Gilbert video:

E-------------5–8--5–7--8
B—5–6--8------------------ repeat etc If you look at this lick you see the importance of mastering the one string stuff first. That whole line on the e string is almost identical to the Yngwie 6 note pattern etc

and then one that I came up with which I really like because it gives you just that little bit of extra time for the string change:

E-------------5–7--5------
B—5–6--8-----------8–6 repeat in 4th or 16th notes. Even adding that one extra note makes it way more manageable than the ‘Paul Gilbert lick’

so for me, even though I have played forever now. I took Claus Levins advice and went back and spent a few weeks on single string stuff. He recommends you spend 80% of your practice time on some very simple lick. MASTER it even if it takes months etc

I spent a few weeks on lots of single string stuff. I focused on it but also of course added in string crossing and licks etc. I did that for 3 weeks then took a more relaxed week and played less. Just that one month has done WONDERS for my playing

So now this month I will do the same but I am now focusing on outside string changes, which has always been my weak point. So I am doing some of the licks I showed above. The challenge of course is to find a few licks to laser focus on.

Believe it or not I am actually doing a HARDER version of the Paul Gilbert lick. all of the single string stuff and just many hours of practice has gotten my accuracy and confidence up quite a bit. Here is one lick I am spending some time on. as you see it repeats the hard part of the Paul G lick: (triplets)

E-------------5-----5–7--8–7--5-------
B—5–6--8----8--------------------8–6 repeat

Btw this is also similar to what Troy shows in the Cracking the Code stuff. for example in the Volcano (Yngwie style) seminar he starts you off on one string licks then it expands from there and starts to get into string crossing with infrequent string changes first and then more intense quicker occurring changes

====================================================

summary. How long to spend on each step depends on where you currently are etc. Step 1 might take months or only weeks

  1. pick a couple single string licks. spend 80% of your time on them. Take your time and MASTER these licks or at least see huge improvements in them and your overall picking motion. spend the other 20% on whatever you like

  2. start working on string crossing licks. Whats your weakness…inside or outside? start focusing on it with some manageable licks. gradually work your way into harder licks. MASTER these string crosses. same 80/20 rule

if you back up and look at the larger picture. forget arpeggios and other ides for now. if it took you one or two years to become an alternate picking monster. so what? The year or two will pass anyway. if you dabble in 50 different things you simply will NOT master any of them lol

As I said, I wish someone had put a gun to my head with this info 30 years ago!

This is a cool little vid summarizing the ideas. The key line that jumps out at the end is something like this “you have to change for focus from becoming good at PLAYING guitar to becoming good at PRACTICING guitar”

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Hey, good question! Not sure re: google searching, but I do know we have lots of relevant discussions here on the forum. Definitely something that comes up often and is of great interest to all of us here! I’ll post below a few of the best ones I found from search.

One thing to keep in mind is if you can define some specific goals and priorities as far as what you’re trying to work on. “Learning” can refer to many things, from figuring out novel physical movements, to things involving memorization and building vocabulary, to developing your (metaphorical) creative muscles.

For example if you’re primarily focusing on technique / motor learning, the first topic + video linked below (trial and error practice) could be a great place to start. Whereas if you want to mostly work on say songwriting or improvisation, that might suggest a different time allocation / set of practice strategies.

Here’s a similar question, re: building a methodical practice routine:

This video (mentioned above) is linked in that discussion but I’ll highlight here as it’s a nice quick summary of some useful strategies for motor learning:

Here’s one cool example of a specific routine someone shared. Seems to align pretty well with the ideas of “random practice” we’ve talked about e.g. with Noa Kageyama. Basically, switching between a variety of things within a practice session can often give better results than drilling a single thing for an extended period:

Further discussion including on whether a super specific routine is even necessary at all:

And some additional thoughts re: building a personal practice routine:

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Honestly, the only daily routine I have is to play. Cycling isn’t exactly analagous to playing, but if there’s anytthing I’ve learned as a cyclist it’s that consistency matters more than anything else and riding at least a little bit every day does you more good than the occasional long ride. I don’t know if that’s the same as it is with guitar but it seems as good a way as any to go about this.

It’s also kind of psychological - I make a point of playing my guitar for at least a few moments every morning before leaving for work. Even if I’m rushed, I’ll still poke my head in my “studio” room and at least pluck a low E as I walk out the door. It helps me feel more grounded.

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Hey guys,

first… thank for so much high quality info! I really appreciate it and didnt expect that!

I´ve read all your answers and i have to say after i was thinking about a few minutes thats exactly what i needed… i was thinking completely wrong when i opened up this thread… cant wait to get on it tomorrow!

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

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