your practice time schedule/ what lengths do some ppl go to?

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 6:20 pm

hey guys..

i put a lot of effort into how i practice these days after neglected the past 8 years of my playing 'life' haha.. these days i try to do about 6 hrs (4.5minimum) before i can sleep easy at night.

Some days i have to get up early to play , other times i have to neglect my social life or studies just to keep the dream in my eyes.

I want to know (if it has been done to death on this forum a thousand other times) how you all practice, what you practice, whether you saw results and what lengths you go to to fit the hours in considering the various priorities we might have (ie: family, kids..etc)

Posts: 867
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:47 am

I practice probably 2-3 hours a day but that doesn't include thinking about new things to possible write...I'm in the process of making an album of my own compositions and have recorded one so far. The only downside is that you never know when inspiration is going to hit Practicing 6-7 hours a day is good and it will sure improve your technique, but try playing with other musicians as well. I was jamming with a friend of mine who was playing the blues on piano and came up with some really weird stuff...
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 6:24 pm

My teachers and older friends from music stores have told me to log my what bpm you're trying to practice something, and for how long and so forth...I haven't actually gotten to opening a notebook and making my first entry, but I can imagine it would be a more organized way of getting what you need down. I'd try it out...I plan to soon.
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:58 am

i practice for 2 or 2.5 hours. petrucci say to alternate practice & study. in that way you will improve sound & music.
playing for 6 hours is not productive to me, because i get bored & everything sounds bad.
i can do a series of 30 min 1 h & then stop. and later reprise to sound 1 or 2 hours with other ideas.
if i found i riff, i record it & follow to the infinite until becomes very bad. when it sound too bad, i know the things that i don't have to do.

an important parts is the development of the sound. i spend too much time to searchin' & testin' different sounds. if you have a riff, or solo, it would be certainly sounds different with effects, or different sounds.

of course i don't lose my head & time because too much time on it, worst it get.

what do you think about satriani obsessive method? 16 hours of playing (in an MTV interview)
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 6:20 pm

ahh hey guys

well most of you seem pretty against the 6 hour method..a lot of people frown on the 'long session' practices because they sound drawn out and all technique, redundant practicing....recycling old material.

I try and avoid all these when i practice. I break my practice up into 2 hour blocks

2 hours of technique
2 hours of chord practice (jazz standards, maps of arpeggios..etc)
2 hours of improvisation against various keys

usually on weekends ill play another hour or two after all that of just whatever i want , improvising, learning a song..etc

i don't really see how that's detrimental to playing... though every 1.5 - 2 hrs i stop and have a break for half an hour, eat etc..
Henrique Henriques
Posts: 797
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 9:14 pm

I used to practice and study (both done at the same time) for 14 hours a day. It helped me a lot, but it doesn’t only matter how long you practice, but also what and how you practice.
It’s better to practice things that you have to be constantly aware and thinking about then to just practice scales and patterns mindlessly!


P.S. This can also be discussed in this thread: :wink:

The Man With 1 Eye
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:10 am

In my opinion, organization can compensate for time. While I practice for about 4-5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays, I only get a couple hours in on weekdays. When I only have a couple hours I am very strict and plan out everything.

I work on improvisation and technique at the same time for 50 minutes using the ideas from the Howard Roberts book, Superchops. Focus on good technique and note selection at the same time by isolating certain rhythms and techniques and practice them over changes at progressively faster tempos over the course of a week. So on Monday maybe you're starting at only 60 bpm but work it up to 200 bpm or so by Saturday.

I progress just as much using this method as when I had 5 or 6 hours to practice every day.

I then work on chords and voice leading while learning a new tune. I learn a lot by seeing how many places I can work out a chord passage with interesting voicings and inversions. This works for standards or pop/rock tunes. I try to work on just one tune until I can play it in twelve keys. I do this for 40 minutes.

For the other half hour, I work on either reading via classical pieces or ear training. For ear training I use either the David Burge Relative Pitch course or the Aebersold Jazz Ear Training CD set. I used the Burge Perfect Pitch course for a couple years and was able to develop pitch recall to the point where I can sing or name specific notes without reference, but I have found that I still rely more on relative pitch when transcribing or arranging than I do on perfect pitch.

Lately I have replaced my reading practice with practicing flamenco falsetas because I have just recently become interested in this style.

Anyway, that got pretty long-winded, but my point was that you can accomplish a lot on a limited amount of time if you approach each practice session with organization and discipline.

1 Eye
Ryan Layton
Posts: 1206
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 3:28 pm

i dont get much time on weekdays. i usually just get 3 hours. 1 hour to jam to CDs, 1 hour for technique, and the last hour is for learning songs.

durring the weekends i get in about 7. One more hour for recording and the other 2 are for jamming with my bands.
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:01 pm

It seem like we all get about 2-3hours on week days.guess that normal.for me, some days the guitar is so interesting,i neglet homework and play from the time i get home to when i sleep.but on other days,i stop praticing but i still play while watching tv(i have the guitar in my lap right now 8) )

What i try to do is get a cd every week or 2 of a different guy to keep things fresh.this week its al di meola :D
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:22 am

right now i just have time to practise like 1 hour a day :(
normaly i practise 8-10 hours a day
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:59 pm

i don't practice scales/modes etc. anymore.. i just usually play :wink:
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:26 pm

First of all I not that concern for technique so here we go; my philosophic(is it well written?)

30 minutes of warm-up, Can't be too careful...damn tendonitis.
2 hours of technique:
20 minutes legato
20 minutes tapping
20 minutes sweep-arpegios(sight reading)
20 minutes pick speed
20 minutes scales(time to get cheesy 8) ), here what I do is pick a scale;
right now I have started from zero, I'm learning to make a good use of them, mainly to improvise. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT AFTER 2 YEARS OF PLAYING I HAVE JUST STARTED TO IMPROVISE
But I feel the notes, the whole scale, I try to feel it and I sing along the scale.
20 minutes of chords(as God...sorry, Vai commands), I have started again on this one I'm the basic major triads.
1 hour of whatever my teacher commands.
30 minutes of sight reading, imposed by the chairman assistant of my class.
1 hour of improvisation
1 hour of composition

As you can see I'm not that concerned for chops but rather to develop my own sound.
Buyt here´s enter a Terry Syrek quote:Play the most focused you can, feel the pick, what your playing and hear, is it sloppy, etc.

But here's a better advice If you don't feel like playing a certain day,
don't, because you're not enjoying the 100% of guitar playing.
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:01 am

I don't like sticking to a strict practice schedule, i just don't think i'm that type of person, if i had i'd do say, Chords for an hour then scales for an hour, one day i might not want to be bothered with chords at all and if i force myself to do that hour then it would just be boring and guitar isn't supposed to be! lol, At the moment i can only get about 2 hours practice because i'm studying for my GCSEs but usually on an evening i get 4 =D Roll on the summer holidays too!
The Extremist
Posts: 532
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:24 am

Hey Guys, Im New to the Vai Forums.

But Back to the Topic.

I dont really practice too much anymore, i just play what i feel like, just warm up playing what i feel like, dont really use warm up exercises as such. I just play for the love of guitar and wouldnt really care about becoming Vai the Second.

But cool enough if you do, but i think we all cant achieve guitar perfection like steve.
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:51 am

you'll all find this funny
15 minutes of scales
45 mins of fun
15 mins of tapping/sweeps
45 mins of fun
15 mins of whammy/noise
45 mins of fun

i do this ever SECOND day so i can still work/play/and relax alone ;P
Post Reply