The 1 Hour Guitar Practice Routine
The 1 Hour Guitar Practice Routine
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 state you can either do rehearse daily for half an hour, others an hour whereas others say more time is appropriate.
Therefore, it is for you to decide on what feels okay since every individual has different ability levels, different goals as well as different interests, so it is for you to decide which routine best suits your goals. In this article, however, we are going to take you through a 1-hour practice routine which we feel is the ideal amount of time you need to spend playing your instrument each day.
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.
When you are in your guitar practice routine it is advisable to keep all your materials such as paper, magazine, method book and pencil within reach. Furthermore, your equipment such as an amp, tuner, guitar, recorder, and metronome should as well be within reach.
You should keep in mind that, having all your essential belonging within reach will help you save on time and concentrate more on your lessons.
The location where you carry out your 1-hour guitar practice routine is as important as your practice 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.
During practice, knowing the amount of time you have spent and the amount of time left is critical. Having a timer will help you keep track of time.
Creating a practice schedule
One of the hardest parts of a guitar practice routine is knowing what to practice. In connection to that, you will be able to make a decision and come up with a routine you will follow to suit your schedule.
During your guitar practice routine, there are five areas you should focus on regardless of the music style you play. These areas include;
- The single-string technique such as arpeggios and scales.
- Chords and Rhythm
- Ear training
When doing the 1-hour guitar practice routine, it is ideal to start with a five-minute warm-up after which you do a 20-minute single-string workout. Furthermore, you should practice a 10-minute improvisation session.
Additionally, when it comes to chord voicing you should always practice it in time along with metronomes for five minutes. You will then read through the lead sheets or chord charts for around 10 minutes. As you finish up you can use the remaining minutes in picking out licks by ears from your preferred tunes.
Scales, Arpeggios, and Intervals
All tunes are designed from some form or combination of arpeggios, scales, and intervals. Therefore, you can categorize your single-string technique with arpeggios, scales, and intervals.
Idyllically, you might want to practice various scales such as pentatonic, minor, major, modal and blues among others. Furthermore, you should consider practicing various arpeggios as well including triads, diminished, 7th and major 7th among others. When it comes to intervals you might consider diatonic leaps within a scale including 4th and 6th.
One of the most effective ways of combining scales, Arpeggios, and Intervals into one exercise is by playing a two-octave scale in one position. As you practice that, you ascend and descend on the , in time with a drum machine or a metronome.
Chords and rhythm
Two of the most valuable assets as a guitar player is having great knowledge of chords and rhythm. In guitar playing, chords and rhythm go hand in hand making it ideal to practice it together. For you to have a steady tempo while practicing chord, it is recommended to have a drum or metronome track playing.
Improvisation is an art that requires creativity, confidence and an almost instinctive grasp for a melodious flow. For you to develop these indefinable qualities, you will need to get yourself ready for various musical situations.
The endless numeral 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 at any given time.
When you master the art of improvisation including all the three tonalities you will be able to solo in any circumstances.
When it comes to improvisation, it's important that you invest your time in some guitar ear training exercises. Simply because those exercises will give you the ability to play what you hear in your head.
Every time you are listing to music you are training your ears. Often, the music you listen to help in inspiring and teaching you on your current development. 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;
- While warming up trying and sing along with the guitar notes you are playing. Furthermore, you should try and play any pitch on the guitar that comes to your head.
- During your single-string session, you can take your time and play a one-octave scale and arpeggio slowly as you hum or sing along.
- Sing a tonic note as you randomly play any root-position chord.
- 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 and . This method can be a bit challenging since various songs modulate to different keys.
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 muscians 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 my why music theory is important.
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 since you will be able to master new musical ideas.
Moreover, 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.
Ten steps that will help in perfecting your guitar practice routine
Whether you are a newbie or an expert guitarist, you know that the key to progress is practice. Having a consistent guitar practice routine will help you become successful. Here are the top ten steps that you can use to perfect your guitar practice routine;
Sticking to a routine
Sticking to a routine is the most powerful step that will make you 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.
When starting the 1-hour guitar practice routine, it is advisable to smart small since starting big can be put off easily. 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.
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.
Planning your practice
Planning your practice helps in increasing the chances of your training. Often, playing the guitar during your guitar practice routine is much better compared to playing it during classes.
Always set a goal during your practice, for instance, you might choose to practice the C scale in the first position at 70 beats per minute. This practice will help in sharpening and improving your guitar skills.
Keeping track of your minutes
Tracking your minutes during practice will help in igniting your natural desire for improving your score. You should always be like kids who spend hours and their pocket money trying beating their video game high score.
As humans, we love to try and outdo ourselves which helps to push us in practicing harder as we track our practice. Furthermore, having practicing logs will is great for improving your progress.
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.
Just imagine people are looking at you in disbelief. Continue painting images that work for you. With that image in mind, now reverse engineer and picture yourself practicing daily. When you picture yourself in this way, you will be motivated since seeing a bright and optimistic future will push you to work hard.
If you fail to have a positive image in your mind you will be far more likely to quit or fail to try the practice.
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 saame thing in common and that's an unstoppable dedication.
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. This is often because we humans are inherently social beings.
Normally, the people you surround yourself with will influence your life without even realizing it. In connection to that, having friends who play guitar will motivate you to keep up. With such friends, you can practice together and perhaps maybe work on a song together.
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.
However, when a famous guitarist comes to your town you can splurge keeping in mind your budget. You can as well watch some YouTube concerts which will motivate your spirit of practice.
Concerts are highly motivating; therefore, building it in your guitar practice routine will motivate your practice to go up.
Performing your guitar skills will help in making your practice meaningful. Normally, when you know you have a performance ahead of you, the pressure to practice elevates. This is something good; it helps in sharpening your guitar skills.
The level of your practice is in direct proportion to the number of audiences. When you look at some of the biggest acts today, their motivation is high. They always have millions of audiences; therefore, their practice schedules are extreme.
However, for you, it is recommended to start performing for your family members and friends. With this practice, you will be able to go to bigger concerts as you continue improving and attracting larger audiences.
One of the most essential tools for having an effective practice routine is keeping a practice diary. Whenever you are working on short sections such as the 1-hour guitar practice routine it can be hard to see results day to day.
Having a practice diary, you will be able to visualize tangible results as you continue recording your daily achievements. If at any point you feel like you are not growing, refer to your diary to see where you were and where you are at the moment.
With a practice dairy, you will be surprised to learn how far you have come. Each time you learn a new material it is recommended to add it in your journal.
Recording your practice session
Alongside your diary, another cost-effective tool is recording your practice session. You will be able to listen back to those sessions the following day, week, month or year. This will help you improve your guitar playing skills.
By listening to your previous sessions you will be able to tell where the problem is, allowing you to address the issue with ease. Furthermore, recording is effective when it comes to working on less measurable concepts such as legato playing.
When listening to your previous sessions, always write down what is working and what is not working. By doing that you will be able to tackle all your guitar playing issues as you continue enhancing your strength.
Concepts of guitar playing
Despite that, every guitarist is different; there are 7 musical concepts that should be part of a guitar practice routine. These 7 concepts cover every skill that is needed in developing a well-rounded approach to soloing, music theory, chords, and fretboard knowledge.
Within an hour of guitar practice routine you will be able to cover all the essential 7 concepts in your weekly practice session. By practicing all the 7 concepts you will see progress on the guitar weekly.
The 7 essential elements of an effective guitar practice include;
- Music theory
As you can see, there are various musical concepts to cover during your guitar practice. It seems like you might need plenty of time every day to touch upon these concepts. Do not worry about understanding all these in every practice session.
However, you should focus on practicing each of these skills over a series of practice sessions. As a guitarist, having a well-rounded practice session weekly will help you grow through short and consistent practice sessions.
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 thereby pleasing your audience.
Focusing on a specific technique at a time
The act of playing a guitar involves various techniques, in which some of these techniques are used simultaneously. Due to this, we shall focus on specific techniques that are essential.
The best way you can approach these guitar techniques during your 1-hour guitar practice routine is to focus on each technique at a time. Musically, this is no longer useful since nobody would like to hear 30 minutes of pull-offs and hammer-ons.
Some techniques such as string bending and barre-chord changes can result in hand fatigue after extended playthroughs. By breaking up techniques into short intervals you will be able to offset fatigue. Having 2 to 5 minutes per technique is often the best place, to begin with.
Focusing on a particular technique at a time works perfectly when you are learning or struggling with a certain guitar part. Identify the particular technique used, isolate it and practice it individually. Whenever you feel you are ready you can put all the techniques together and see what happens.
Nowadays there are various books, article, and videos that teach more on how to improve your guitar technique practice routine. With such references, you will be able to focus on single techniques every day of the week until you perfect it.
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. If it is within your ability, try and set your 1-hour guitar practice routine early in the morning. This is often the ultimate warm-up routine.
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.
If volume is the reason as to why you cannot have your 1-hour guitar practice routine early in the morning, you should consider having headphone amp. As a guitarist, hearing how your guitar playing skills sound like via an amp is critical.
Practicing guitar while standing
When you want to evaluate your guitar skills, practicing while standing is a big deal. Furthermore, playing guitar while standing creates more room for the fretboard.
Sitting down often makes playing on the lower end of the fretboard way easier which might not be the same case when it comes to standing.
Despite being heavy, you will not be able to play the guitar at your full potential while seating. Therefore, get yourself a nice set of strap-locks and start practicing your guitar skills while standing.
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 what they were up to when they picked up the instrument for the first time. Setting a reasonable expectation is the key to becoming a great guitarist.
You should always keep in mind that you are practicing to improve your playing and not validating your instant indisputable awesomeness. Having a reasonable expectation during your practice sessions is very essential for any guitarist out there.
Accepting your current shortcomings will help you in identifying the parts which require improvement. Therefore, you should always give yourself a chance to fight in becoming a better guitarist.
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 keep on practicing more and more. 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.
The 1-hour guitar practice routine is the most effective way to grow as a guitarist. No matter your experience level or the style of music you play, having an organized practice time will help you become a great guitarist.
However, allocating training session for yourself can be a bit difficult due to other responsibilities. Therefore, you will need to come up with ways in which you can tackle such an issue. Once you organize yourself you can learn how to play guitar in as little as an hour a day.
If this 1 hour guitar practice wasn't what you were looking for we; have made an even simplier guide for a guitar practice schedule which simply breaks down the most important activities that you should focus on.
Having gone through this article you now understand the importance of maximizing every minute with your guitar as well as growing as a player when time is short. By implementing these practice routines, you will gradually grow and become among the most recognized guitar players on the planet.