Share one good and one bad habit from your musical routine

… so that we can collectively become more efficient in our musical journeys :slight_smile:

OK I’ll start:

One good habit: I record myself a lot. 

This helps me to objectively assess if I am playing the parts correctly and identifying problems to fix. It is also a good way to check whether the parts I am writing really work for the song (because I don’t know about you, but when I’m playing I am not 100% listening to what I am doing).

I can’t count how many times I thought “yeah that was a great take!” — then I listen back and my timing is all f$^&*£.

Bad habit: losing focus and noodling the same licks over and over again

This happens a lot when I try to write music and run out of ideas. Instead, I should probably realise immediately that this is happening and stop myself. I could take a break, listen to other musicians for inspiration, do some deliberate creative exercises, etc. But bad habits are hard to break :slight_smile:


Great idea for a topic! Let me have a think about this before sharing. I have a fair few bad habits right now haha


Good habit: I don’t hesitate to set very high goals, and I acknowledge that progress towards them will probably be measured in months / years, so I’m okay with it taking time.

Bad habit: I don’t have a good practice routine. Don’t play very frequently, and when I do I just play whatever is fun as opposed to a planned routine.



I consistently dedicate a decent amount of time to technique practice.


I tend to go through periods where I either play the same thing(s) over and over OR play totally random things with no clear goal.

Bonus Good:

Regardless, I always enjoy the instrument and I almost never feel frustrated.


I suppose the bad is that I don’t really have any routine to speak of, and that I don’t really practice anymore in any conventional sense.

As for the good, I pick up my guitar pretty much anytime it’s within arms reach. Also, I think I’m good at problem solving and exploring the possibilities that the solutions create.


Got rid of my bad habit of obsessing over a certain lick/phrase I can’t play to the point that I did hours of doing it wrong and still couldn’t let it go.
Solution and my good habit in one: Make a (long) list of licks, scales even songs etc and do each of them 1-3 times.
That keeps me from getting stuck in the same place.

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My bad habit is the same as most. I tend to screw around too much, and sometimes lack focus of practice. I tend to go through cycles of interest.

Good habit: I haven’t given up yet.


The bad - Catastrophizing.

I get very anxious when I can’t solve problems and get stuck in a loop of doing the same thing over and over for hours and get nowhere.

The good - I have become far more aware of these traits and when I get stuck in a loop.
Being aware of it means I can stop it, analyse what I’m doing and solve problems.


Seems we all have similar bad habits.

A Good habit of mine is always having the guitar in reach, I can grab it any time and often do, I’ve Add, and this drives me to jump to different tasks over and over. I’ve tried to make this a positive in my playing by buying a Steinberger Spirit, and keeping it in arms reach of my regular relaxing space. The place I spend most my free time. I can grab it, play for a minute or whatever and put it down. Thats really helped with my technique. (theory and ear training is another beast lol) Keeping the guitar, and especially a non clumsy guitar has let me have an easy stressfree way to fiddle with it anytime over the years.

The Bad habit is playing the lines that I know already over and over and don’t have to stress myself thinking about. I think this is a very natural thing though as even in speech we often revert to the same things we’ve said a million times over. It’s our main struggle in life, to be fresh and driven dispite feeling drained from life lol, That why even Yngwie is still shredding almost non stop, Despite being able to slow down. It’s natural for him. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Though thats what you have to do to keep evolving. Break from the norm.


Good Habit: Keeping a journal, help to keep short/long term goals, look back at progress made.

Bad Habit: Not focusing enough on other aspects of playing such as phrasing and harmony/melody. I end up with lot of shred…but realize I need to do more than this to satisfy myself.


Bad: Like alot have mentioned not having a dedicated routine, I tend to play on the weekends first thing in the morning, and then I just pick it up and noodle even though it sounds pretty good, I dont focus on any one particular thing, Ill tell myself that I want to revisit the Highway Star solo by Blackmore, but I never seem to sit down and do it.

Good: I do seem to have alot of knowledge and have played in bands and know alot , my playing does sometimes sound good, but when I’m uninspired it sounds bad, I suppose the fact that I can just pick the guitar up and play is good, I have alot committed to muscle memory.


not really a bad thing as long as you are altering them rhythmical or musically. you can create so many different phrases from just an ascended minor arpeggio musically by adding or removing notes or switch up the rhythm to change the flow, or both. it can actually blow your mind how fresh it can sound if you play around with your licks.

good habit

my music books prop up my laptop in case i spill fluid, the books get ruined to save the laptop

bad habit

horrible posture and sitting positions, sometimes i just lay on my back. :stuck_out_tongue:


Good habit, I obsess over my technique and playing things correctly until they become second nature.

Bad habit, I obsess over my technique and playing things correctly until they become second nature.



Great topic, Tommo.

Bad habit first: changing my pick grip all the time! I developed this habit unwittingly. (I suppose most bad habits start that way.) For years I struggled to find what works for me. I tried everything I could think of. I’m on the right path now—thanks to this website and Troy and Tommo—but part of my brain still just wants to “try something different” every other day. It’s a terrible habit to have.
The most important good habit to develop is to play every day. Not only is it good for one’s playing—duh!—it also helps shake off bad or dull days. When you do it every day, one dull day is no big deal.
After that, I keep a list of things I’m working on and track my progress. So I know what I’m trying to accomplish.
That said, I allow some time for messing around. A lot of songs come to me that way. It’s good to be open to the unexpected.

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Great thread idea @tommo
Would make for a bullet point chart.

I pay no attention to practical theory.

I seem to have a method to my madness, I’ll let you know when I figure it out :wink:

A lot of oscillating interest whole of last year and some.

I think we’re all victim to this, comfort zone, ego massage etc. :smiley:

I used to go to sleep in my chair while playing :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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My bad habit: I go through cycles of interest, as @Fossegrim mentioned.

My good habit: The same damn thing! the cycles mean that I often take long breaks and then come back to the guitar completely fresh. I’ve noticed I tend to start from a much better place each time, even after 6 months.

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I like the phrase “cycles of interest.”
I’m like that too. I think it’s a good thing.
After working on technique relentlessly for a while, it’s refreshing to improvise, or work on funk rhythms, or write songs, or play old songs I haven’t played in years and think, “Gee, that was fun.”
As long as I have something to work on, I’m good. And that it changes periodically keeps me from burning out altogether.

Good habit: Challenge myself with something new every day - currently working on putting aside learning new songs and really focusing on building vocabulary by paying attention to the structure and key/underlying chord progression etc. of various licks and sequences, including coming up with my own and really trying to get a wider array of patterns under my fingers for extended arpeggio/scale sequences, and playing with lots of variations on them.

Bad habit: Rush into playing something faster than I can just because I recognize that I can play part of it really fast, then end up creating bad habits on the details of the run/lick/song where my playing isn’t as fluid or there’s a problem I need to solve