The 1 Hour Guitar Practice Routine

The 1 Hour Guitar Practice Routine

No matter what goals you are chasing on guitar, learn how to build a 1 hour practice guitar routine

Introduction

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about the appropriate duration in which you should practice your guitar routine. 


Some of these conflicting guitar practice tips will tell you to focus on one thing and another article will tell you to focus on another this can is understandably frustrating. 


Every guitarist is at a different level and so they will work on ideas that are relevant to their skill level. For example, a beginner guitarist isn’t going to focus on how to shred like a mad man but instead learn the basics. 


In this article, however, we are going to take you through a 1-hour practice routine which we feel will maximize your time and get most out of it. 

PREPARATION

During practice sessions, there are three key factors that are usually accountable for breaking or making your guitar practice sessions. These factors are materials, location, and time allotment.

Getting Ready

Starting off your day playing guitar make sure to have your guitar in tune before you start playing anything. Besides the obvious reason that you will sound out of tune but the more important reason is that you will teach your ear to hear the wrong thing. 


When you are tuning your guitar, you are creating the connection between your different senses. Not only this but when if your guitar is out of tune and one day you don’t have a tuner you might need to rely on your ear to get it in tune. 


It’s better that you get into this habit fast because you will realize down the road the mistake you made and will be very difficult to correct it.A metronome is also a handy tool that you can keep close to you. If you find that you are sloppy at playing certain sections you can slow it down and measure your progress. 

Location

The location where you carry out your practice is as important as practicing itself. When looking for a place to practice, you should consider choosing a room with fewer distractions. 


Moreover, it is highly recommended to leave your phone in a separate room to help in reducing distractions from calls or texts.One temptation that every guitarist has and is hard to avoid is to stay disciplined during practice. 


For example, while doing scale runs you might put on some song and start jamming away like mad but avoid this temptation! 

Time Boxing 

To not go over time simply set yourself a 1-hour timer, you can do this by going to Google and typing “1 hour timer” and it will alert you when it’s finished. 


Having a time-box is great because it puts a bit of pressure on you to get the job done.

CREATING A PRACTICE SCHEDULE 

One of the hardest parts of a guitar practice routine is knowing what to practice. In relation to that, you’ll be able to make a decision and come up with a routine that will accommodate your needs. 


During your guitar practice routine, there are five areas you might want to consider focusing on, regardless of the music style you play. These areas include; 


• Scales

• Sight-reading 

• Improvisation 

• Chords and Rhythm 

• Ear training 


When doing the 1-hour guitar practice routine, it’s a great idea to start some warm up sort of exercise. 5 minutes of playing runs up and down the neck should do the trick. Even playing pentatonic scales up and down the neck as fast as you can will do. 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCALES

All songs are designed from some form or combination of arpeggios, scales, and intervals. 


You might be wondering, “what scales should I learn?” the answer is that it doesn’t matter. 


The best thing you can do is to find a scale that you like the sound of but be careful because scales are just a group of notes it’s what you do with them that will determine how you sound.


Everyone knows of the pentatonic scale and the major scale. It’s one of the best scales that everyone learns. Most players get bored and frustrated quickly because they notice that all their playing sounds the same. 


There are many reasons as to why this happens but the reason this happens is because a lack of creativity. 


Experiment with scales as much as possible and another tip is to not just play notes that are in the scale but play some “wrong” notes as people would call them and you will be surprised what you can do with these scales! 


Check out the Hirajoshi scale if you want to learn something out side the box. It is a Japanese guitar scale and if you can find a way to add it to your playing, your playing will drastically change,

CHORDS AND RHYTHM

Two of the most valuable assets as a guitar player is having great knowledge of chords and rhythm.


Having a large arsenal of chords will expose you to new sounds and might even expand your ability to creating new music. 


To have a steady tempo while practicing chord, it is recommended to have a metronome playing in the background.

IMPROVISATION

Improvisation is an art that requires creativity, confidence and an almost instinctive grasp for a melodious flow. 


For you to develop these qualities, you will need to get yourself ready for various musical situations.The endless number of chord progressions and shifting key-center possibilities are mind-boggling.


However, you can categorize music into one of the three tonalities which include minor, dominant and major. 


When it comes to improvisation, it's important that you invest your time in some guitar ear training exercises. 


Want to learn how to play what’s in your head? Then it’s a must, this is the holy grail for guitarists. 

EAR TRAINING

Every time you are listing to music you are training your ears. Often, the music you listen to will help to inspire you to create new musical ideas. 


It is well established in guitar playing that working on your ear is one of the most important exercises that you can focus on to improve your skills. 


In a practical sense, you would like to the ability to transport music you hear in your head to the guitar. Here are some of the ear-training exercises you should practice; 


• When playing any song or exercise try to sing along with the guitar notes you are playing. Doing this will create the connection between your ears and your fingers, slowly unlocking your ability to play what’s in your head. 


• Try and play a famous melody such as Christmas carol in the key of C without guessing for the notes. 


• Play any MP3 for a few seconds and then pause it, take your guitar and try playing any part of the MP3 track you just heard. Replay your recording and compare it to the track to check on your accuracy. 


• Sit back to back with a fellow guitarist, then choose a key and let him or her play a short lick. Contemplate the tune for a moment then play it back, when you make any mistake repeat the whole process until you get it right. 


Always take advantage of ear-training methods that are available online and CDs. Additionally, when listing to music, always try and establish a tonal center. This method can be a bit challenging since various songs modulate to different keys. 

MUSIC THEORY

As was the case with ear-training, music theory is very helpful in your training session, however, many guitarists avoid it. 


Learning music theory should not be boring, rather, try and create fun exercises for you to enjoy during your training session. 


By working on your practical theory, such as reciting Scale’s note names or analyzing songs will help you to focus more on your music theory.


Having this organized approach is one of the things you require to be a better guitarist.Too many musicians skip music theory as they have the excuse of "I will learn to play by ear". 


This is very rare that you will be able to play entirely by ear and it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have at least a basic understanding on music theory. Check out this read on why music theory is important. 

SIGHT-READING

Information that is translated from a written page and played on a guitar is known as sight-reading.


Having a great ability to notate and reading rhythm and pitch is a great asset for any guitarist because it will allow you to read any composition for pitch and rhythm that will help you during auditions and performances. 


Possessing this ability will help you to communicate musical ideas to other musicians. The speed at which you do sight-reading, in the beginning, is a bit important. 


However, having a basic understanding of sight-reading is of more importance than being the world’s best sight-reader. 

10 STEPS THAT WILL HELP IN IMPROVING YOUR GUITAR PRACTICE ROUTINE

Sticking to a routine is the one of the greatest steps to take in order to become a great guitarist. Routine often works since we humans are creatures of habit. 


Often, establishing a guitar routine can be challenging, however, once it’s established it becomes relatively easy to maintain. 


It is recommended to set a time in which you will begin your practice every day and stick to it. When starting your routine on the first day, do not worry about the duration, however, start practicing and watch where it goes. 

1. Sticking to a routine

Sticking to a routine is the one of the greatest steps to take in order to become a great guitarist. Routine often works since we humans are creatures of habit. 


Often, establishing a guitar routine can be challenging, however, once it’s established it becomes relatively easy to maintain. 


It is recommended to set a time in which you will begin your practice every day and stick to it. When starting your routine on the first day, do not worry about the duration, however, start practicing and watch where it goes. 

2. Start small

When you have to commit to 1 hour of guitar practice, it is advisable to smart small since starting big can put you off easy. 


Starting within 10 minutes a day is much easier to commit to than starting with an hour a day.Often there are very few people with empty schedules.


Squeezing out the less significant items on your busy schedule will help create an empty schedule for practicing. 


Starting is always considered the hardest part, however, you will find out that having a 10-minute session will help you improve. 

3. Rewarding yourself

Attaching a reward during practice will help in conditioning your brain. Normally, our brains are hardwired to seeking out rewards. 


For instance, you can think of sugar. Most people are in love with sugar regardless of the fact that we are consuming too much. 


This is because sugar provides our body with energy in short supply throughout our evolution. 


After consuming sugar our brain is boosted, therefore, when you reward yourself after practice your brain will become bound to want to practice. 


You will also get that bonus reward once you are able to play the section that you have been practicing for a long time, in fact you might have trouble taking the smile off your face. 

4. Setting Goals

Always set a goal during your practice. It’s very simple to do. 


All you need to do is decide what you want to practice. If you have a big goal of becoming a guitar shredder, that’s cool. 


But break it down and think about what type of shredding techniques you want to learn and then start learning. 

5. Imagine about your future

Close your eyes and imagine where you will be in the next 5 or 10 years. Imagine your guitar playing skills being extremely amazing. 


You should feel how it feels having your fingers all over the fretboard with at most ease.Visualizing your future-self on a daily basis will keep you motivated and help you to lead a happier life. 


Being positive is the key and you have nothing to lose, only to gain.Doing this has many other benefits and one been you will reach your goals harder. 


You might have heard of athletes in basketball who constantly visualize shooting the ball in the hoop and as a result their results increase as a result.Sounds crazy but it’s true. 

6. Reading about successful people

Imagining about your future becomes easier when you read about successful people. 


Normally, when you read their biographies you will understand where they came from and the amount of effort they took to be successful. 


Before becoming successful there is plenty of work and commitment you will need to take. 


Furthermore, knowing that some of the greatest guitarists underwent the same issue will help in boosting your spirit. 


You can read on lots of successful guitarists and how they accomplished their goals. You will notice that they all had the same thing in common and that's an unstoppable dedication. 


Finding a story that you can relate to will give you hope in times of turmoil. 

7. Find a friend

Having a friend to learn with will increase the chances of you practicing more often. 


Furthermore, having such friends surrounding your life will motivate you naturally.Not only this but you will be able to inspire one another and you will find that your creativity will improve as a result.


Normally, the people you surround yourself with will influence your life without even realizing it. As Jim Rohn once said, “You are the sum average of the 5 people that you hang out with”.  

8. Reading about successful people

Imagining about your future becomes easier when you read about successful people. 


Normally, when you read their biographies you will understand where they came from and the amount of effort they took to be successful. 


Before becoming successful there is plenty of work and commitment you will need to take. 


Furthermore, knowing that some of the greatest guitarists underwent the same issue will help in boosting your spirit. 


You can read on lots of successful guitarists and how they accomplished their goals. You will notice that they all had the same thing in common and that's an unstoppable dedication. 


Finding a story that you can relate to will give you hope in times of turmoil. 

8. Going to concerts

Nothing beats a good concert where you go to charge your batteries. A good concert does not necessarily have to do with big stars. 


You can seek out for some talented local guitarists and bands that motivate you and always attend their concerts at least once a month. 


Going to concerts helps keep you connected with music and giving you another avenue of motivation and inspiration. 


And if you’re lucky enough they might even let you play on stage! 

Bonus ideas to improve your practice routine

KEEPING A JOURNAL

Practice journals are a less known idea in guitar playing and people who do know of it don’t bother using it. 


All you need is an ordinary journal to start writing stuff. So why to use a journal? Here’s why: 


• Write down tabs of songs – Maybe you have come up with the most amazing riff according to you and you think to yourself in the current moment, “ah I’ll remember it” only to regret it down the road. 


• Write goals – Research has shown that those who write down their goals on a piece of paper are much more likely to achieve them then those who just have them in their head. 


The success rate is higher when you write it down because you can visually see what you want to accomplish and it affects how you acts. There is a science behind it. In fact, you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down. 


• Keep track of progress – With a journal, after every practice session you can keep notes to write down your feels in the current moment and express how you felt about the practice session and if you were happy with it or not and why. 


 You can do this for a good while then reflect on it and make improvements where you see fit. 

RECORDING YOUR PRACTICE 

Alongside your diary, you should record your practice sessions. 


The benefit of this is that you might have a really good day where everything sounds great and you can later on replicate it. 


 Additionally, if you are struggling somewhere; listening to your previous sessions will help to you pinpoint where your problem lies. 


Furthermore, recording is effective when it comes to working on less measurable concepts such as legato playing. 

IMPROVING TECHNIQUE WITH SLOW TEMPOS

Playing speedy guitar runs without having to keep in mind the implementation of proper technique is bad.


No one will enjoy listening to it which will consequently make your audience notice your sloppiness. 


However, improving your technique involves a simple process. When learning new guitar parts, it is ideal not to start with a high tempo. 


Always learn those parts slowly and start at 40 to 50 beats per minute as you gradually increase the speed. 


However, you shouldn’t give up and instead should start a passage at slow tempo and gradually work your way up. Eventually, you will be able to play both clean and fast. 

FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC AREA AT A TIME

The act of playing a guitar involves various techniques, in which some of these techniques are used simultaneously. 


Have you been stuck on learning a solo for weeks or even months? There are a few reasons why this may occur the main ones are that it’s too advanced for your skill level but you are also not practicing sections individually. 


If you have a solo that stretches over the time-span of a minute, then practicing the entire solo even on a slow speed will make it harder to achieve mastery.


You are better of breaking everything up into chunks, starting it slow, work your way up until you perfect that area then repeat for the rest of the broken-up areas. 


To make things even easier if you are struggling on a section and can’t seem to move past it, then chances are that there might be one or two notes that are causing you grief. 


Focus all your energy on getting past that one note and you will find that the rest will fall into place. 


For example, if you are learning a complex arpeggio, you might be able to play the arpeggio down but when it comes time to sweep upwards that’s when the trouble begins. 


Focus on that note where the arpeggio starts to ascend and only on that note and you’ll find it much easier.

PRACTICING GUITAR IN THE MORNING

Practicing guitar is both mental and physical exercise. Getting your brain thinking like a musician early in the morning is essential for any guitarist.


There are two benefits that come with practicing guitar in the morning; 


• Practicing guitar in the morning helps you to think about the guitar sooner rather than later. 


As you know playing music is a mental process, therefore, playing the guitar before starting your day will help in boosting up your morale. 


• You will have more time with the guitar. Having your practice routine in the morning will bring you closer to the guitar. 


Consequently, you will be able to increase your chances of playing the guitar more often during the day. 


Noise coming from your amp might be a concern for playing in the morning so what you can do is invest into a headphone amp so you only hear noise through your headphones. This way you can keep your family happy. 

PRACTICING GUITAR WHILE STANDING

This is another topic that is not discussed too much in the guitar world but is important to mention. 


If you ever come into a band situation or a live situation where it requires you to stand up, don’t think you can just throw a strap on and start playing.


You will learn quite quickly that playing while sitting down is much different to playing while standing. Your fretboard access will be different and you might even have trouble reaching certain notes.


There are also health benefits associated to playing while standing. 


When sitting down guitarists have the tenancy to hunch their back and while you won’t notice anything in the short run, in the long run you start to develop back pain. 

HAVE A REASONABLE EXPECTATION DURING YOUR PRACTICE SESSIONS

As they say, Rome was not built in a day. Therefore, even the best guitarists never knew that it would require discipline and consistency to achieve their goals and would take multiple practice sessions before they got anywhere. 


You should always keep in mind that you are practicing to improve your playing and not validating your instant indisputable awesomeness.


Do not feel depressed when your guitar playing ability is not going as you expected. Even if you feel like you are crashing, do not give up. 


If you feel like you need to take a break then do so. You will find if you step completely away from your guitar that when you come back you will be refreshed and able to play somewhat better.


Eventually, as the day ends the only thing keeping you away from your guitar goals is the amount of time you dedicate to refining your craft. 

Conclusion

Hopefully this 1-hour guitar practice routine has given you some ideas on how to maximize your time to improve your skills.If you are having troubles allocating time to practice try and be creative. 


For example, if you need to learn your fretboard notes and don’t have your guitar with you, then download a mobile app and learn that way instead.You might need to make some sacrifices as well to get where you want to be. 


The biggest issue for most people isn’t that they don’t have enough time but they don’t want to make the time.If you spend hours playing video games then replace it with guitar practice and you will be surprised as to how much time you really have. 


If this 1 hour guitar practice routine wasn't what you were looking for; we have made an even simpler guide for a guitar practice schedule which simply breaks down the most important activities that you should focus on. 

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