Is There An Optimum Number Of Practice Hours A Day?

I thinks Sails of Charon is great and I can see the connection, but it’s an exaggeration to say that it has Yngwie’s entire bag of tricks for my money. It definitely points to what he would do but substantially different in phrasing, technique and context. That’s just me though…

yeah, Blackmore was like a Neanderthal compared to Yngwie (and I love Rainbow and D.P. btw)

I just cringe when I see “bag of tricks” applied to Yngwie. uggh. Dude was a master musician. unfortunate choice of words I guess

Thank u. My thoughts exactly.

Oh dude definitely. I absolutely love Yngwie, think he’s one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He’s one of my guitar gods for sure. I’m sure we would be in agreement on most everything about him. Not to mention it’s a little difficult to have this conversation writing back and forth, the medium is limited. I’m sure if we sat down and had an actual face-to-face talk about this we could go on for hours and find ourselves mostly in agreement.

That said I don’t necessarily find the term bag of tricks to be demeaning. Every guitar player has their vocabulary, their licks, their tricks, their abilities. That’s all I meant. But I could see how you might feel it suggests some sort of charlatan, but that was not my intention.

And yes when I said that there was a bit of hyperbole in there for sure.

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yeah i remember when i first actually heard the early Scorpions stuff. i was like “wtf?”…all those fast clean scales back when people were considering Clapton to be a god lol

Well Uli was way ahead of his time for sure. Its odd how many people say Yngwie ripped off Ritchie lol. Uli was so far ahead of Ritchie its not even funny.

I have seen Ritchies comments on Yngwie, it would be interesting to see what Uli has had to say about Yngwie

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Absolutely! And now that we’re having this discussion, I’m listening to the first Alcatrazz album. That is hands-down some of my favorite playing from him. So fast, clean, incredible tone, incredible vibrato, just ridiculous! That live video from Japan in 84? I wore out my old VHS tape on that one. What an utterly outstanding performance from him. Despite whatever influences he had, a true innovator and groundbreaker.

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I think stuff said here can be directly applied to music. Check it out.

If I had ONE piece of advice for beginners it would be “learn SOMETHING.” Dont just endlessly noodle and half ass play stuff. Take one good solid lick and just mega super OVERlearn it to where you have it 100% mastered.

At that point you have a solid base to build from and you can expand from there. Success leads to more success.

Endlessly noodling and halfway playing stuff leads to more halfway playing stuff. I should know.

There are these endless debates about “should I work out the lick slowly or just go for it really fast?” Ill simply say I WISH I had worked out way more licks slowly to at least get them under my fingers

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I assure everyone, it’s less time than it took me to read this entire thread.


Here’s a fun opinion I encountered today that’s relevant to this thread. It was posted by drummer Tommy Igoe, but I’m not sure if he’s quoting somebody else or not:

From image in the post:
“If you need to practice 14 hours a day, you are terrible at practicing. You’re wasting time, lacking focus, working in circles and almost assuredly reinforcing the bad habits you think you’re defeating.”

And from one of his replies to a comment on the post: “And also, if you’re uncomfortable with 14 just substitute anything over 6. Same thing.”

6 hours is still a huge amount lol. I would think the avg range people could argue about would be something like the difference between 1hr per day vs 3ish hrs per day

I agree though with what he says. FOCUS is huge because it is so easy to work in circles and reinforce bad habits

I go back to my comment from Dec '18. Learn SOMETHING. In other words u should be trying to make true progress that can be measured or felt and heard etc.

Self awareness is huge. I tend to end up not working on a specific thing but just basically “trying to play fast” and its really easy to just lapse into a lot of sloppy playing where u hit about half of what u try etc. Maybe SOME of that is ok as far as just generally getting faster but if u do it everyday u just get to be a sloppy player period


An ancillary point: I’ve found that my picking technique “invisibly” improves as I do things like learn standards from leadsheets, etc., which are way lower-intensity (something like Autumn Leaves is like an average of two notes per measure, ha). Not sure why or how, but it’s a very noticeable effect.

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well especially if u are one to really practice intensely at times…at any point when u finally do back off you allow the brain and nervous system to “catch up” and actually process some of that work.

Pretty solid advice here. Lining up with Claus Levin. Focus on something and learn it etc

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I feel you on this stuff, and it’s one reason why I sometimes feel like working on my weaknesses is only worth it to get things to some decently passable stage that I can use when I write solos for my band.
My right hand was always my weakest link (maybe being left handed playing standard had something to do with it struggling to find a natural approach). So I spent much of my youth focusing on tapping licks and these days, if I’m regularly keeping in shape I can hang with any Greg Howe or Michael romeo style lick you can throw at me, but just never got my alternate picking to that high level of proficiency.

CTC, particularly the volcano seminar was a game changer and finally I figured out a system for my right hand that works and I made a lot of strides, but I wonder sometimes if investing a ton of time into that stuff is even worthwhile, because it’s never going to be one of my strengths. I feel at the point I’m at maybe it’s better to take Steve Vai’s advice to “ignore your weaknesses and cultivate your strengths.”


yeah I think there is a balance. IMO if u ONLY work on weaknesses then your life will kind of suck

my dwps in general and specifically any dwps pent stuff is just super weak compared to the rest of my playing. If I super focused on it im sure it would get somewhat better but will it ever be as good as my natural strengths?? doubt it.

A lot of the all time greats arent that well rounded lol. Can Eddie do super convincing alt picking or sweep arps? Can Yngwie play authentic sounding blues? Can Jimmy Page play fusion?

thats the one main thing I disagree with in the Tom Quayle vid above. Where he says “work on things u CANT play”. yeah I get the point but there is so much stuff we can halfway play that still needs much work. I mean, technically if u CANT play it then u CANT play it lol. I cant play jazz…am I going to invest the next 5 years trying to learn some watered down jazzy stuff? nah


Well also, the players you named have very distinct styles. The only way you develop a sound or style that distinct is to kind of isolate what you’re working on long enough that you just master that particular skill set. Sort of like the Galápagos Islands of guitar haha.

I honestly think the internet has kinda destroyed that in music. Everyone has access to basically the rest of the world at all times. You’ll never get pockets of music scenes like the Bay Area thrash scene or the Seattle Grunge sound again, you need some kind of isolation to develop that.


only read 20% of this thread so far but just wanted to interject to say that these are very wise words. :smiley:+1:

thank you for typing this. saved me a lot of time! I agree completely. :slight_smile:

I think the “magic” number for most people is 3 hours of focused practice. In those 3 hours I’m not including any “playing”, I mean 3 hours of pure technical or theoritical/harmonic training.

If you can spend 3 hours everyday on your technique and your theory then you should improve relatively fast.

I did that for a while and I got a lot better in the 6 months I was able to maintain it. I was practicing 3 hours every day and played around 30-45 min over backing tracks or songs I like. You can spend more time playing around if you can, it certainly doesn’t hurt.