Guitar Practice Schedule + PDF
Are you looking for the perfect guitar practice schedule? Well, you've found it. This guitar practice schedule will show you the essential things that you MUST add to your guitar playing schedule to become a better musician. If you are a guitar player who is more interesting in noodling around instead of having a proper schedule and working towards goals, you might regret it.
Imagine seven years from, you look and realize all you know how to do is play a few basic songs. If you are continually improving, you will be proud of the progress that you have made over the years. There is nothing more regrettable than lost time. You will also learn how to practice in the most effective way.
Anyways, Let's get started!
Ear Training On Guitar
This is so critical as a guitar player, for several reasons. Want to become a good improviser? Want to learn guitar songs accurately? Then ear training is the only way. The great news is, it doesn't have to be boring! The best thing to do is to start learning your favorite songs as part of your ear training.
Learn entire songs, all rhythms, and solos. Don't make the mistake that I did and learn random solo's only to forget it later and not play them. By learning songs on guitar that you like, not only will you make the journey more enjoyable but you have a much more extensive song library.
How to learn songs by ear? It's simple. Here is a small step-by-step guide that you can follow.
Step 1) Pick a song (any song, but start with an easy song)
Step 2) Listen to the song and play it a few times if you have to remember it
Step 3) This is where trial and error comes in. Try and find the first note, and once you are confident that it is the right note, then try and find the next note. Keep in mind if it is too fast for you then slow it down by 50% and try again.
Don't get discouraged if you get the notes wrong! The more you practice, the better that you will get, you can always fix it later.
This is it, just three steps. Ear training is a must for your guitar practice schedule, and it will make you a better musician in so many ways.
Can't remember the guitar notes that are being played even after repeating it a few times? Sing the notes of the solo, making a humming sound with your mouth and then try and translate it onto the fretboard. This will also take a bit of trial and error, but it isn't too tricky.
You need to raise your voice to that of the note that is being played. If for example, the note of the song you are playing is 'A' then you have to make your voice match the sound of the 'A' note.
This method is hard on faster solo's, especially on higher frets.
Another thing that will MASSIVELY improve your accuracy when learning solos is to watch other people play it. Get the tabs of another guitarist who has learnt the solo and learn it yourself and then play it over the original song. This way, you will hear the notes that you didn't hear before. Keep in mind though that notes from the tab could also be wrong, so be careful.
Another MUST-do task to add to your guitar practice schedule is finding notes. Finding the notes on your guitar is crucial because you need to know what your playing.
If for example, you want to become a good improviser on guitar and the chords are changing over a backing track, then you need to know where the notes of the next chord are. If you don't know where the notes of the upcoming chord are, then you will sound like you have no idea what you're doing.
You also won't be able to find where the appropriate arpeggios are. Note finding is simple, and I made a post that shows you an EASY way to memorize the notes on the fretboard. You can read about it HERE
That is the best guide that you will find on memorizing the notes on your guitar fretboard. It is a step-by-step guide and provides an algorithm for remembering the guitar notes on any string. Start today by learning your fretboard notes, and you will thank yourself months and years from now.
Even five minutes of practice, a day will make a massive difference. Don't have time to practice on guitar? You can download a fretboard mobile app and practice finding the location of your fretboard notes anywhere.
This is probably one of the most important ideas on the list. If you do this every day as part of your guitar practice schedule, you will be so thankful that you did. The ability to be able to improvise a fantastic solo over a backing track, there is nothing like that. Guitar improvisation is quite tricky, and most people won't tell you what you need to learn.
There are so many components that you need to master, but if you focus on ONE at a time, overtime you will get it. These componenets of improvisation include:
* Good phrasing
* Following the chord changes
* Hitting the right notes
* Avoiding wrong notes
* Building licks from certain positions
* Arpegiate over chord changes
* Change key while soloing
* Play what you hear in your head (this one is tough as nails)
As you can see, there is a lot of things to learn, but don't be discouraged. Focus on ONE concept at a time and don't move onto the next idea until you have mastered that one.
One question that you might be thinking is, "how do I start and in what order do I learn these things?" One thing that is recommended is to stick to one backing track to make things simple.
If you stick to one backing tracking track and you can implement all of the following above, then it will make it easier for when playing in other keys.
Follow this easy step by step guide to getting yourself started:
Step 1) Choose a backing track that you like in any key, for example, 'E' Major backing track and STICK to it.
Step 2) Get comfortable with the key that you have chosen. What does this mean? Experiment with it, start playing on this backing track over the next couple of weeks so you can get to know where the right notes are (right notes meaning the notes that are in the scale) and where the wrong notes are.
This will be PURELY trial and error. For now, don't worry what the notes you are on are, or what the next chord is. FORGET all of that. You are only focusing on finding the notes that sound good. If you know where your 'E' Major guitar scale is, that is a good starting point.
A bonus to this is that you will break out of playing in one position (a common problem for guitar players)
Step 3) After you are comfortable with where the right notes are, and you can move around the fretboard comfortably, now it's time to improve your guitar phrasing (also a tricky step).
To improve your guitar phrasing, there are several ways that you can go about this. These methods include watching other guitar players and copying their licks, experimenting on your own to create licks (which will make you sound more unique), sing solo's and then play them on the fretboard.
A good recommendation is to start listening to your favorite guitar players and steal their licks. Keep in mind that the licks that you learn might not be applicable to the backing track that you are practicing on. One trick around this is to play that guitar lick in the style of the backing track.
If you have a fast guitar lick and you are playing on a slow backing track, then slow down that lick and blend it to the song. So in summary for step 3, learn other guitar players licks and use them on the backing track that you are practicing on.
In addition to everything mentioned, you can create motiffs. Motiffs is just a fancy term, and it means to change it up. If you learn a guitar lick, change it up and add notes or remove notes, it's that simple. Create a sound that you like.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of these methods, just stick to one and practice that.
This is it for now. It would take more than one article to write down everything that you need to know but start with the steps that I have given and take off from there.
Singing What You Play
This is part of improvisation practice but is CRUCIAL to being able to improvise. It might sound silly, but if you sing the notes that you play on guitar, you will connect your ear with your fingers. Ever wanted to play what you hear in your head? This is the solution, and luckily, it is easy.
Check out this video that shows how simple it is to develop this, but be prepared to invest A LOT of time into this practice.
This is fun and easy. You can pick your favorite songs that you've learned and sing along to them. Singing your guitar scales is also a great way to create that connection between your mind and your fingers.
That's it! Add all of these ideas as part of your guitar practice schedule and spend as much time as you can on them. You will be thankful years from now when you realize how much progress you have made.
HERE is this guide in a PDF file.