I have my practice schedule nailed down, but I don't know what to practice!

I figured it may be worthwhile to ask this here. Although I’m not a teacher, it felt like the correct place to present my structured practice routine for feedback. The only question I have is whether or not to sub-divide the categories even further, or if I should focus on one thing for each block of time.

Being a little bit older, I don’t have the time to brute force my way to technique or theory knowledge, so I have to bite off a little at a time. I also have some ADD going on, so focus is hard to maintain.

  • Fretboard Visualization / Learn Notes: 10 Minutes Daily
  • Warm-up: 10 Minutes (5 Minutes Right Hand and 5 Minutes Left Hand)
  • Arpeggios: 15 Minutes (Learning an etude now)
  • Alternate Picking: 20 Minutes (Learning an etude now)
  • Legato: 15 Minutes (Usually just hammerons and pulloffs with a metronome)
  • Rhythm: 20 Minutes (Metronome based)
  • Theory/Guitar Lesson Recap: 40 Minutes

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

I think all the bullet points in your list can be addressed by learning and analysing actual songs / etudes / musical pieces.

So I think a better place to start is to ask yourself what music / songs you actually want to play. What would the “finished product” look… well… sound like if you could have it now?


Thank you. Very valuable advice!

I listen to and want to play so many different types of music that’s the challenge.

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@Roboplata an easy way to develop more confidence and get some early / quick victories is to identify songs or passages you like that are just slightly out of reach, and work on them for a few sessions (in which you hopefully get them quickly). Not only will this feel attainable, but ideally you start to identify the ways that you personally work best to figure out difficult sections.

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I can relate, but if I can share a platitude, it’s very difficult to make progress when your goals are too vague and too many :slight_smile:

I agree with @Pepepicks66 that choosing a handful of pieces that you like (and that feel approachable) is the way to go.

Edit: like someone else put it in another thread, trying to learn the song will raise some questions. E.g. “how do I best pick this?”, “what chords / inversions / scales are being used?”. “why can’t I play this passage cleanly?”, etc. etc.

Working on those questions you’ll probably end up practicing all (or most of) the items in your bullet points.

On the other hand, writing down a practice schedule without a precise musical objective is a bit like trying to answer all the possible musical questions at once (and there’s an infinite number of them). You can easily calculate how long that may take :slight_smile:

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Points all well taken!

I’m focusing on an etude for picking right now in terms of arpeggios and scales.

Ultimately I’d like to write a song and play some passages from songs I enjoy. I just don’t have the skill level or theory knowledge for what I want to do, so I was hoping that breaking my practice up into skill blocks like this would help me develop the ability to start working towards playing those more complicated pieces.