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Site Lesson Specific Questions => Practice Time (PC) => Topic started by: justinguitar on July 14, 2008, 04:09:28 pm

Title: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: justinguitar on July 14, 2008, 04:09:28 pm
Questions...

Lesson Link: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/PC-502-IntermediatePractice.php
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: popolnik on November 17, 2008, 01:14:27 pm
Hi,
Just 2 questions, what practise is the best and what lessons should I do next if I went through the Beginners DVD and I'm comfortable with playing all the blues stuff and the pentatonic. Thx. J.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: moptopguitar on December 17, 2008, 08:44:15 am
In this one hour workout, where would i be able to place exercises and techniques such as "Hendrix rhythms" and "blues lead guitar" into the routine? Stretch the hour?  ;)

thanks
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: Mitch on December 17, 2008, 09:35:53 am
Hey
I would say blues lead guitar goes into improvising...and hendrix rythms maybe as well into improvising...or in songs if you play under the bridge or something like that
hope i could help
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: JohnnyRoxx on January 04, 2009, 12:23:28 pm
How does the slim down intermediet practice rutine look like?
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: borth1967 on January 28, 2009, 05:29:17 am
Hi
   Going through intermediate routine at the moment, learnt mostly on acoustic( fender dg-4) for the past year, and now electric ( epihone sg) I have made good progress even though i`m pretty critical of myself, and some days just have to walk away for thought trashin my stuff. I understand the foundation of guitar learning has to be learnt: scales/ penatonic/rugs/ etc, and im dailly going through the 1 hour workout, but some days i just put all that aside and learn new songs which to be honest is the enjoyment and gives me a buzz. I do feel my practive is s bit stale at the moment and i need to do somthing to get that drive back.

Anyone goin through the same??

ps: been learning F BARRE chord for over 4 months now at speed......still havent craked it but ssssssssllllllloooooooowwwwwwwlllllllyyyyyyyyyy   gettin there.

regards  jon
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: Sheppard on February 04, 2009, 10:09:04 am
Hi everybody. I have one question :
In the intermediate routine, it is said we have to pratice some songs and transcribing. What I don't understand is that it's better to learn songs by transcribing but there are two different parts in the routine !
So, should I use tabs from the internet in the song part (and learn more technical songs than with just using my ears) ?

ps :sorry if my english is not perfect but I am french.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: cheesus on February 04, 2009, 10:16:47 am
I'm also struggling to write a routine. I've been playing for a while and have decent ability to be able to stretch across the fingerboard so I got rid of the Finger Gym. I also find it hard to learn new things, I feel like I've reached a level where I'm stuck in a right. I know most used chords but can't seem to get to creative with them.

I also struggle to find songs to play that sound good without vocals ( Don't sing ) or just by themselves, Being a fan of big 60's jangly songs and physcedelic music most of the songs are written with just rythm and lead and it sounds a bit boring just doing one or the other if you catch my drift. I would also like to build up my speed but can't seem to really come up with a solid speed building routine.

Sorry for the long read
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: borth1967 on February 04, 2009, 06:09:40 pm
Hi
     Justin hope you can find time to answer this, i seemed to have reached a brickwall with my intermediate practice from your site, i`m sticking to using a metronome and a timer, i also have a printed book which is my bible with all your pages. But i dont feel that i`m making any progress at the moment, before i use to breeze through your begginers section and with doing easy songs and i could actually feel myself getting better. I know that we have to learn the base foundations of the guitar : spider/picking/notes on neck/scales/transcribe etc, some days i just drop my arranged lesson and play easy songs which then feel guitly of not puttin in the hours.

need some direction and insperation form somewhere.

regards  jON
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: Dazzur on February 10, 2009, 12:13:10 pm
Okay Guys. You dont have too follow justins practice routine.
I do base my own off justins though.
Here is what i do and i think it may be helpful to some of you.
This is intended to be an hour, if you have MORE time thats just awesome.


5 Mins: Spider picking (this IS difficult at first, learn this BEFORE you start to practice it)

5 Mins: FingerGym (This is exellent)

5 Mins: Chord Changes ( Play Everychord you know once and clearly and quickly, Learn More if you dont know them all, and make sure you practice those barres)

Time spent 15 mins, Youve practiced 3 essential things in 15 mins.

5 Mins: Scales AND alt picking (play each posistion you know ONCE and cleanly, practice every scale you know and STRICTLY alt picking)
20 Mins: Guitartheory (i know its boring, you need to know it, go through this site and look or go on the forums or google something you dont understand, Learn theory about major chords or scales, its realy easy and makes you feel so much better when you understand what your playing)

10 Mins: Transcribing (Start with an easy song, Try, Original Prankster by Offspring, Im sure that uses the F# Major Scale, Cus' i was messing about with it and finally firgued out the intro, or some 'the killers' or powerchord songs. OR just open chord songs)

10 mins: Improvising from scales ( get out of the habit of playing scales all.. scaley haha, try to make up a little tune, It helps to hum the tune to your self and put it on the guitar, try and avoid playing scales. And use some Open chords are power chords too and mix them in with the scale i think is good, put make sure you remain in key)


I hope this helped.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: imike24 on March 03, 2009, 07:44:45 pm
Yeah it does thanks

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Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: justinguitar on March 22, 2009, 04:27:29 pm
@ Dazzur - you are right - you don't have to follow my routine... but I suggest that your one is a bit heavy on theory and lacking in transcribing... BUT I don't know you personally as a player, and everyone is a little different and needs to work on different things.

My routine is a GUIDE for MOST people it will be a good spread of skills IMHO.

@ borth1967 - think about your goals and make sure your routine is going to help you get there. You might find that you are making good progrtess and just don't realise because we all improve a little at a time and sometimes it can be hard to see it... but think back 6 months and you will probably notice that you have improved a lot!!

And it is GOOD to take time off a routine and play for fun as often as you want to!!!

@ moptopguitar - Blues lead is transcribing... or I ofetn have a "Blues lick and use" section in the knowledge section... too

@ popolnik - what you like playing??? maybe the blues lead guitar, maybe learning the major scales and improvising... maybe legato metal stuff... what ever direction you want to go in!!

J
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: ConnellGuitar on October 15, 2009, 06:26:56 am
Hey J,

My situation is bit unique but if anyone can help me it's you.  I'm a 19 year old student and I've been playing guitar for a few months.  I know all the chords on your site, can strum rhythm pretty well, can alternate pick the minor pentatonic, can play a few songs from your song page, and have just started to try my hand at transcribing.  I just decided I wanted to get serious and make guitar my life because I love it so much and I can't believe it took me 19 years to find my true passion.  My student and work schedules aren't too busy and I truly want to make guitar my profession, so for at least the next year or two I am going to play guitar for 10 hours every day.

So my question to you is this: What should my intermediate 10-hour workout look like? I'm ready to go Steve Vai on this xx--xx, no joke. If you could give me a general outline of how I should maximize my time it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Connell
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: caseyrh43 on January 15, 2010, 12:29:54 am
Hey J,

My situation is bit unique but if anyone can help me it's you.  I'm a 19 year old student and I've been playing guitar for a few months.  I know all the chords on your site, can strum rhythm pretty well, can alternate pick the minor pentatonic, can play a few songs from your song page, and have just started to try my hand at transcribing.  I just decided I wanted to get serious and make guitar my life because I love it so much and I can't believe it took me 19 years to find my true passion.  My student and work schedules aren't too busy and I truly want to make guitar my profession, so for at least the next year or two I am going to play guitar for 10 hours every day.

So my question to you is this: What should my intermediate 10-hour workout look like? I'm ready to go Steve Vai on this xx--xx, no joke. If you could give me a general outline of how I should maximize my time it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Connell

10 hours of practice a day is great, but you don't want to burn yourself out on it. A slow burning fire lasts much longer. 2 to 3 hours of good practice(I mean good practice, no distractions) a day is great and then maybe jam out and have fun for like the other 7 hours, because all work and no play makes me want to go all Townsendy on my guitar. Just my opinion but to each goes their own. 
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: borth1967 on January 17, 2010, 11:33:54 am
Just wanted to ask about others going through the intermmediate programme: i follow it pretty much, sitting down and practicing while the wife watches the tv, i have notice a little improvment with my picking and that i dont need to look at my picking right had as much.

I still need to have fun and leave the routine alone somedays and lean a new song on my acoustic ( paul weller- thats entertainment at the moment), i do feel that im improving more on my acoustic than my electric because i do all my routines ion my electric. I`m practicing daily with my blues scale improvisation but i`m some way short of being an acomplished electric guitar player which is my goal.

Thats my moan for the day, i dont wany sympathy i know i need to just get on with it, you onlky get out what you put in. Just looking for possibly moral support .......i suppose! :-\
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: nitin88 on January 20, 2010, 07:14:38 am
Questions...

hello,
i am having problem with strumming along with singing.... how to practice that??
i can either play or can sing..... else get confused with the chords or strumming pattern
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: nitin88 on January 20, 2010, 07:19:20 am
i am having problem in songs when i sing it along with strumming.... i just know open chords nd can do strumming with these!
plz tell me how to practice strumming along with singing?
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: routerbooter on February 06, 2010, 11:50:51 am
I still need to have fun and leave the routine alone somedays and lean a new song on my acoustic ( paul weller- thats entertainment at the moment), i do feel that im improving more on my acoustic than my electric because i do all my routines ion my electric. I`m practicing daily with my blues scale improvisation but i`m some way short of being an acomplished electric guitar player which is my goal.

Thats my moan for the day, i dont wany sympathy i know i need to just get on with it, you onlky get out what you put in. Just looking for possibly moral support .......i suppose! :-\
Hi Borth
You don't say how long you've been playing for, but I don't see anything wrong with what you're doing at the moment.

Since I completed the beginners course I now divide my practice into two sections.  The first is the "core" practice, designed to strengthen and stretch my left fingers/hand/forearm and improve my co-ordination.  This is a combination of barre chord practice/finger gym/spider/strumming and some scales. 

The second section is more about learning and practicing songs, riffs and licks. This section is never the same each day, as I've learnt so much stuff that I'm yet to master, and there's so much other stuff I want to learn that there wouldn't be time in the day to cover everything, so I alternate. 

It obviously depends how much time you have though. Some days I only have time enough to get through the core practice, and that's fine because I know things like strength, flexibility and co-ordination will take less time to develop if I make sure they are done every day.  I make sure the second section is very flexible though, both in time and content, and sometimes I'll just put on a 12 bar backing track and improvise for half and hour and call it a day. As long as you're seeing a continuing improvement I don't think you have any cause to question your practice methods.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: justinguitar on April 02, 2010, 09:24:34 am
Questions...

hello,
i am having problem with strumming along with singing.... how to practice that??
i can either play or can sing..... else get confused with the chords or strumming pattern

This question is too common... I really need to get a lesson done on this. It's now on the list.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: borth1967 on April 07, 2010, 09:16:24 pm
What i found so helpful was the stage by stage at the beginners section and that you couldnt go wrong, and you knew exactly where to go next and if you needed to practice that stage a bit more. Now doing the intermediate i find it difficult to progress, not really know what stage i was at. ok ..i did  just picking up muy guitar and got on with it....but that was the beauty of the beginners section...step by step.

regards

jon
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: TheKillerFabivs on August 09, 2010, 10:42:46 pm
Hey guys , I know it's stupid but i really can't understand how to use the "1 hour workout page" , help me!
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: Danne_p93 on November 07, 2010, 11:51:36 am
Hello :) Does anywon know how Mark Knopfler and the other guitar "gods" practice guitar? How many hours a day and what do they practice? Have they a routine? :)
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: close2u on November 07, 2010, 12:02:27 pm
well I know that Bryan Adams ... when he got his first real six string ... played it until his fingers bled

 ;)
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: sophiehiker on November 07, 2010, 01:55:29 pm

I heard Justin say the other day that Jeff Beck practices two hours a day.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: routerbooter on January 16, 2011, 12:46:42 am
well I know that Bryan Adams ... when he got his first real six string ... played it until his fingers bled

 ;)
But you'd expect your fingers to bleed of you bought the guitar from a five and dime store.
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: JimLad on January 16, 2011, 12:57:45 am
Hello :) Does anywon know how Mark Knopfler and the other guitar "gods" practice guitar? How many hours a day and what do they practice? Have they a routine? :)

im not sure about any others but ive heard mark knopfler say in several interviews that he doesnt practice.  he just sits and noodles but feels he would benefit from having a teacher.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jim333 on September 03, 2011, 11:40:32 am
hi all
Recently i've been adding new excercises to my practice routine and now i have about 20 different excercises which i find pretty useful ("transcribing" and "repertoire" included). It takes me about 2 hours to complete the session, which i find ok. But i have some doubts about the amount of daily excercises - isn't that a bit too much diversity? I mean, shouldn't i be doing like 10 excercises on monday (but double the time), and the other 10 on tuesday? Is there any difference at all? I don't have that much time to practice, so i want to make the most of it...
Title: Re: TB-021 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mouser9169 on September 03, 2011, 11:54:59 pm
Hello :) Does anywon know how Mark Knopfler and the other guitar "gods" practice guitar? How many hours a day and what do they practice? Have they a routine? :)

Well, if you want to go totally crazy, do a search for Steve Vai ten hour (or thirty hour) practice routine.

There comes a point though, and this is true for much more than guitar, where doing is just as, or even more important than, practicing.

Personally, I try to practice three times a day (I'm retired, so I've got as much or as little time as I want to spend). I have three guitars, so it works out well that way too.  I absolutely hate "mechanical" exercises, so I always do an hour of those first. I've got a kitchen timer that I set for 5 minutes for each thing, whether it's a scale, or switching chords, or a picking exercise.

My second practice would be rhythm work (I'm much more of a rhythm guitarist than a "lead", just don't try to tell me lead is harder to learn  >:( ). I'll do chord progressions, my jazz work, strumming patterns.

I may miss my second practice but I always end the day by playing songs - both ones I know and ones I'm learning. This is why I put all the practice in, to be able to actually play stuff. And this is where I can see the progress I'm actually making. Being able to play a song that just baffled me for the longest time, or finally getting the chord changes just right with the strumming in another.

If you're going to be at a "professional" level at anything: playing guitar, chess, software development, pastry chef, you need to put in professional level time. That means you treat it like a job and put in that kind of time (forty+ hours a week to start with). That level is not for everyone (It sure isn't for me). And you don't need to take it to that level to have fun and be able to play loads of stuff. It will take you longer to build up a repertoire, and you'll have to accept that some things you just may never be able to do. For me that's ok. I just focus on what I can do with the time I have and enjoy the progress I make and things I can do today that I couldn't do a year (or even a month) ago.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 23, 2011, 06:15:54 pm
This post is more about practice in general but this seemed the appropriate place to put it. I am blessed to have two days a week which I can devote entirely to guitar playing and practice. What I was wondering was what is the best way to approach this time? Is it advisable to just go through my practice routine over and over with breaks every hour or so or should I mix in more general music things?
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 23, 2011, 06:38:44 pm
Well, it would help to know what your practice routine is acutally like and what kind of music you like play (now and in the future). But generally speaking: if you have 8 hours or more to devote to guitar it might be a good idea to diversify. For most people, practicing the same thing 5 times as long on a single day does not necessarily mean they learn it five times faster. It's just not how the brain works, imho.

Xou could e.g. spent some time learning songs, particularly songs that require the techniques you're practicing. That way you're working on your repertoire while at the same time practicing technique and also getting better at applying those techniques to actual music. It's one of the strategies I use and it served me well.

Maybe you're doing that already, but I'd also devote some time to learning music theory, starting with the basics (scales, chords, ...) and later moving on to all the things relevant to the direction you're heading in.

Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 23, 2011, 06:56:56 pm
I do have a practice routine grid in a word file but not sure how best to show you. The sections in it are chords, scales, rhythm, theory, technique, ear-training, improvisation and style (which includes learning songs). Perhaps I could use one or two of the bigger sections e.g. style or theory and spend say 3 hours on each rather than an hour as I would when doing my normal routine? The kind of music I play is quite diverse but mostly I would describe my style as being quite close to that of Johnny Marr but perhaps a more modern alternative/indie rock kind of style. I want to work towards being in a successful band as an awful lot of people do, but I do want to be a good musician as well as being in a successful band.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 23, 2011, 07:18:04 pm
Well, sounds like your practice routine could easily fill an entire day :)

It might be a good idea to do it the way you say and simply keep an eye on balance in terms of skill: making sure that nothing of importance falls behind, and adjusting the practice routine accordingly. Normally I'd also mention to focus your practice routine according to your goals, but something tells me you're already doing that ;)
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 23, 2011, 08:34:42 pm
Yeah, this sounds a good way of doing it :) the only difficulty I tend to come across with my practice routine is at times a lack of resources. Justins' site is probably by biggest source of info for fleshing out my practice routine with, but when it comes to finding information for player/advanced stuff information can be a little sparse, I guess this is where the greats started figuring stuff out themselves!
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 23, 2011, 08:54:33 pm
And the really not great (like me) as well.

I have the same problem, but every now and then a little gem comes up on YT or elsewhere. I spend a lot of time searching for the lessons I want and I'm also rather excessive with subscriptions, search agents, blogs, RSS feeds and all sorts of stuff like that, always hoping I won't miss the good stuff (and still I do from time to time). I bought a few DVDs as well, but the Non-Justin ones were more or less disappointing thus far.

Well, Justin is busy bringing us new stuff all the time, so there's hope :) The new blues rhythm guitar course is really going to help me out a lot, it's obvious even after only three parts.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 23, 2011, 09:49:30 pm
Chords   15   
•   Review – Major, Minor, Major 7, Minor 7, Dominant 7, Major 9th, Minor 9th, Dominant 9th, Dominant 11ths, Dominant 13ths
•   Triad Shapes (strings 1/2/3 and 2/3/4, major and minor)
•   Augmented/diminished chords – 6th and 5th string roots
•   Arpeggios for every chord I learn
•   Add 9s – 6th string root
•   Altered Chords – 6th and 5th string roots
•   Chord extensions – 11ths and 13ths
•   Chords built in 4ths
•   Explore new chord positions and voicings
Scales   15   
•   Major – 1 octave – 5 positions, 2 octave – 5 positions, 3 octave – 1 position
•   Blues – 1 octave – 5 positions, 2 octave – 5 positions, 3 octave – 1 position
•   Natural Minor – 1 octave – 5 positions, 2 octave – 5 positions, 3 octave – 1 position
•   Harmonic Minor – 2 octave – 5 positions
•   Chromatic Scales – 2 octave – 1 position, 3 octave – 1 position
•   Whole Tone – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Melodic Minor – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Modes – Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Locrian – 2 octaves – 2 positions, 1 octave – 5 positions
•   Harmonised Scales – Major scale – 3rds, 5ths and 8ths – pentatonic minor – 5ths and 8ths
•   Phrygian major scale – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Jazz melodic minor – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Lydian b7 – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Altered scale – 2 octave – 1 position
•   Whole/half diminished scale – 2 octave – 1 position
Rhythm   30   
•   Play 16th note pattern using accents on the chord E
•   Play 16th note pattern using syncopation on the chord E
•   Build repertoire of different strumming patterns using 8th note and 16th note strumming in 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 12/8, 5/4 and 7/8 timings
Theory   60   
•   Metre & Time Signature – identifying time signatures by listening to tracks and working out their time
•   Pitches & Intervals – chromatic intervals – 1 octave - ascending
•   Scales & Modes – Theories behind all scales and modes learnt in the Scales section
•   Key signatures – all of them
•   Reading notation – basics – treble and bass clef – play basic melodies/scales/chords using notation
•   Chords & Harmony – look at the theories behind chords learnt in the Chord section
•   Rhythm & Rests – based on material in class, look at transcribing rhythms
•   Transposition & Clefs – look at moving melodic patterns from the treble clef to the bass clef.
•   Ornaments – trills/mordents/turns/vibrato/slides
Technique   30   
•   String Bending – bending in tune – play the note I’m bending to and then bend to it as an exercise
•   Rolling – look at maneuvering fingers onto adjacent strings – as an exercise play a note and then roll in both directions
•   Alternate Picking Exercises – the spider – play a picking pattern and use alternate picking to develop this
•   Control String Noise – string muting techniques – work on ability to hit all strings and only have one note ring out
•   Pick control leading – look at relaxing the hand whilst maintaining pressure for tremolo picking
Ear Training   30   
•   Distinguish harmony of chords – major, minor, dominant 7th, major 7th and minor 7th to begin with, record a variety of chords using cubase and use it on my ipod to test it – also use the internet for exercises
•   Work out simple songs by ear – every guitar part
Improvising    15
•   Improvise a solo in various keys using all possible combinations of scale – use backing tracks on the internet
Styles (See iTunes playlist for examples, learning songs to explore each style)    60   
Genres:
•   Britpop
•   Punk
•   Pop
•   Folk
•   Country
•   Experimental
•   Indie
•   Alternative
•   Rock
•   New Wave
•   Jazz
•   Blues
•   Funk
Players:
•   Johnny Marr
•   Graham Coxon
•   Johnny Greenwood
•   Jeff Beck
•   Paul Weller
Billy Bragg
David Byrne

This could come out as a pretty huge post so for this I apologise, the numbers correspond to the number of minutes I'm spending on each, so I was wondering what sort of things you think I should add? If there's anywhere you think is limited, especially the number of guitar players, that's because I'm always growing it!
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 23, 2011, 10:00:27 pm
Okay, first of all forget everything I said abput diversifying :)

Now, is this your active practice routine or did you simply collect all the things you want to learn now and in the future?
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 23, 2011, 11:06:14 pm
Haha! I have spent a lot of time putting this together. It's a shame you can't see the highlights I have in the word document because most of it is active but some of it is the stuff I have collected and want to learn in the future. What I do when I sit down and practice is start at the first section of the module and then work my way down until my timer goes. On chords I'll tend to get as far altered chords and on scales I'll tend to get to harmonised scales and I get a little bit further everytime I practice, then every once in a while I'll update the timing to reflect the volume of knowledge. It's slightly different for a section such as theory. What I'd tend to do for a module like that is just pick something and spend the allotted time looking at it (Sibelius actually turns out to be an incredibly useful tool when learning theory).
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 24, 2011, 01:16:01 pm
In a word: wow! I'll certainly turn to that list of yours whenever I need things to find new things to learn :)

But it also got me thinking. And in case you'd like a thought or two on this, here's what came to mind when I read through it. But please keep in mind that I'm no expert. I might know a thing or two about learning, but the first thing this knowledge tells me, is that there is scarcely anything right or wrong - different things work for different people and I'm sure you know that!

The first thing that came to mind was, that while your practice routine is very comprehensive, it also seemed to me to be rather basic in some parts and extremely advanced in others. I can't say for certain because this all depends on where you want to go, but one thing I noticed was the rhythm section. 16th note strumming and syncopation are certainly necessary building blocks, but they are rather basic. From there you go to things like 12/8 or 7/8 time, which I'd consider quite unusual (unless you're playing Bruce Springsteen songs). There's a whole lot in between, e.g. triplet rhythm, shuffle rhythm and generally learning to improvise rhythm without having to rely on specific strum patterns.

Which brings me to another impression I got: how much time do you spend actually applying all the techniques you learn? Justin once or twice described his experience with lots of learners, who e.g. knew five positions in every conceivable scale, but, as he put it, couldn't make music in any one of them. I'm not saying that applies to you, but I think it's very important to keep your eye on the ball, especially when it comes to learning theory and technique properly. At the end of the day we want to make the best and most enjoyable music we can, and that might take more practice than the actual techniques. At least that's what it seems to me.

It's just a thought (you're right, this is difficult without the additional information from your actual document), but my feeling is you might want to split the list into two: your actual practice routine according to your current skill level and where you want to go next, and a kind of shopping-list for the future, things to put in your practice routine once you have mastered the current tasks (which go to repetion/refresh from time to time), and ordered by priority. This way it might be a lot easier to keep your eye on your immediate goal. And whenever you reached the next step, list no 2 tells you what to add. I used to keep these "all in one" lists myself, but they turned out to be counterproductive, because I wandered around too much. Also they can make you feel frustrated, because they keep showing you all the things you haven't learned.

Generally speaking there are a lot of things on your list which would make me immediately ask "why?" - at least for now. Don't get me wrong: everything I read sounds useful or even mandatory for being a "true musician", it's the mixture that seems slightly odd to me. If 16th note strumming is something you still need to practice (your list still limits it to one chord as well), I'm not sure I'd even be thinking about learning arpeggios for every chord you learn or even learning the Jazz medolic minor scale. I know, I know, it's for the future, still. I never put anything in my practice routine that I can't name a very good reason to learn it.

Obviously I'm talking about "resource allocation" here. It might be netter to concentrate on a limited number of things directly related to the next level you want to achieve, and keep the rest somewhere else. Of course this is just my thought and I'm a player who'd have serious trouble with countless things on your list :)

An example: I read the threads about modes in this forum with some interest, but I didn't really learn any of it. The thing is, detailed knowledge about modes wouldn't help me one Iota in what I want to do now or next month. Whereas things like alternative chord voicings, chord melodies, the finer points of rhythm or percussive techniques are extremely important to my playing style right now and I work on those nearly every day. I can afford to stray quite a bit (lots of spare time), but my practice is very much focussed on my immediate goals.

I'm not saying that you're not do that. In fact, from what you wrote you strike me as a very focussed and disciplined person. It's just that your practice routine list seems to indicate a certain level of "too much at once" and also, at least to me, it doesn't seem to point in a spcific direction. But maybe that's just my lack of musical education ;) Then again, your style list contains nearly every modern style of playing (excep Metal :) ). Ask yourself: how long would it take you to become a good musician in Folk? And Blues? And Jazz? And that's 3 out of 13 now. Again: focussing is what will get you there (imho).

Sorry if this all is a tad disorganised. My mind just keeps wandering today... :) But I hope my little wanderings are at least slightly interesting for you. And remember: it's just one opinion.

Cheers

Jack
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 24, 2011, 07:31:28 pm
This is all great stuff and has certainly got me thinking. I think the reason for that discrepancy is that it depends entirely on the resource I have. Say I go through Justin's intermediate method and I'll pick out his basic 16th note strumming patterns, then I'll pick up my theory books and it'll talk about strumming patterns in weird and wonderful time signatures. The thing about learning triplet rhythm and shuffle rhythm is that I don't really know what they are and if you don't know what it is then you can't really practice it. Unfortunately I had to stop taking lessons recently, global economic meltdown and all, but I that used to be a big source for me. If I had to evaluate my playing I'd say I'm quite good at the beginner stuff and advanced stuff, but it's the bits in between that I missed out on as perhaps I motored ahead a bit too fast, though luckily at the tender age of 17 time is on my side! When I go through my schedule I do get through a lot but you're right that there are some areas which never get touched on at all because I don't have the time or because I just don't know enough about it, say I saw a concept in a book which I borrowed, wrote it down and then had to give that book back. I also think with the schedule a lot of it is very basic and that's because I've been cautious to take stuff out, I sometimes get the feeling like sure I know and can do it perfectly well but if I take it out then I'll stop practicing it. I think the split list is an interesting concept and one I might try devising tonight (or on Sunday, I have to submit a practice schedule and a write-up on how it's gone for my college course). I will certainly think about getting more direction into my schedule as well, though it can be hard to know what you have to do to go from being a bedroom player to a professional musician. Sorry if my mind wandered here too! This conversation is definitely hugely beneficial.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 24, 2011, 11:32:43 pm
I really understand the whole "available resources" problem - I never had a teacher and when I started out my practice and learning was a total mess. Later on I found it easier to find the things I needed (though it was and still is very time-consuming and occasionally also rather frustrating) and I still had trouble to decide on what to learn next. The thing that guides me is goals. I have a pretty clear idea of where I want to be in say six to 12 months, and I keep "collecting" the things I need to get there, or simply the things I consider as useful to help me on my way. That's not always easy since my goals is a little hard to define and doesn't really fit in a YouTube search field, but I'm getting closer bit by bit.

I get the point about repetition, and I'm going to go on a massive tangent here. Maybe you know all this, but - weirdness behold - I'll tell you how I used to learn English (a long, long time ago), particularly vocabulary (though the system is quite generic). It's a bit of a stretch, but it's an easy example of efficient learning, so bear with me for a moment, okay? ;)

I had a card-index box with lots of little cards, and on every card there was an english word written on one side and the translation written on the other. The box had four compartments, which marked the frequency of repetition, or simply put, how often I touched the card:
1) repeat every day
2) repeat once a week
3) repeat once a month
4) repeat every 2 or 3 months
Every time I got a word wrong in any compartment, it would go back to 1. Every time I knew a word, it would move one compartment forward. Whenever I knew a word in compartment 4, I'd throw away the card (actually I'd destroy it quite deliberately - positive reinforcement). This meant that all those words I learned and just knew could only bother me three more times and then never again. The rest automatically adjusted itself according to my progress - on a word by word basis. Nice little side-effect: with that box I could make use of the most miniscule time segments. 90 seconds before I leave the house? Let's learn some vocabulary!

Okay, that explanation turned out a little longer than I had anticipated (this is definitely the thread for endless posts, isn't it?), but you can see where I'm heading with this. Whatever you're learning, there are always things that need frequent repetition and there are things you just get and keep. And repeating things you really, really know, is equivalent with wasting time and energy, and is also not very motivating.

When it comes to learning guitar, there's the added factor that you practice some things automatically in all sorts of situations, while others are more elusive. There's a reason why there's no 8th note strumming or open Em chord practice in your practice schedule - why would it be, you couldn't play a bit of campfire strumming without practicing those. A lot of the theory stuff is far more difficult. You could set up a system that takes this into account, as well as the aspect of "necessity" or (current level of) "usefulness" and organise things by how often you need to revisit them. Come to think of it, that whole card system could actually work for theory as well, though I never tried that. Might be a little unpractical.

Of course there's still the aspect of selection: what to learn and when. And as I said, my guide is my goal. Think about what kind of music really gets to you, what kind of music puts you into the "have to play guitar right now" zone. That might be a good point to start. Being successful has a lot to do with things like willpower, discipline and stamina, but even more than that it has to do with passion. When you look at people who achieved something extraordinary, you will usually see someone who feels (or at least used to feel) very passionate about his or her field. This passion is also enormously helpful in terms of learning. Things connected with strong emotions are far more readily accepted and memorized by the brain than things that you don't really care about one way or the other.

The choice of style gives you the list of things to learn, at least in general terms. If your choice is e.g. Blues, things like scales or modes etc. become extremely relevant (particularly for playing lead). If the answer is Country music and the artist who simply gets to you is Johnny Cash, well, let's just say modes wouldn't be my first point on the list :)

Of course this doesn't mean that you have to limit yourself to that one field. You can (and imho should) still experiment, learn some things that just interest you and fool around with stuff from other styles. That is actually very beneficial. But the bulk of your practice routine should have a focus. And that focus or goal can be a starting point for the next step. Once you feel comfortable in Blues, moving on to Jazz shouldn't be much of a stretch, and neither should be Rock. In the end they're all connected anyway.

Speaking of goals: for me, the application of my skills is a major factor as well. I love the Blues, and I learn it, but since I'm a solo practitioner, other styles of music are far more attractive to me. And while I still learn a little Blues here and there, my focus lies elsewhere and has a lot to do with doing something with the things I learn. I mention this because you were talking about moving on from being a bedroom musician. You know the feeling: at some point you start wondering "why am I doing all this", our love and passion for music not withstanding.

So it might be nice to focus on something practical as well. For me that would be solo acoustic (my great passion even before I ever touched a guitar - my years aren't quite as tender as yours :) ), for you it might be that or something else. Maybe you'd like to sit on campus with you acoustic and busk, maybe you'd like to play rhythm or lead guitar in a rock band, or jam with the chaps at a local jazz bar (even if it's not right away). Whatever it is, I think it's worth a thought or two when designing you practice routine.

I hope I'm not boring the life out of you ("yeah, dude, I really kind of know all that"), I'm just letting my wondering mind control my typing right now :)

Let me know what you think!
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 25, 2011, 12:07:30 am
I studied German fairly briefly at high school (don't test my knowledge ;) ) and that method you talk about makes complete sense to me and it is something I could perhaps try with scales and chords. This could be really useful because I've known how to play say a dominant 13th for about 2 years now and I'm not sure it really needs to be in my schedule anymore, but I still feel the need to look at it because I wouldn't be practicing it if it wasn't in  there, so this method of spreading out the time could be very useful. That kind of situation learning is something I agree with completely, if I'm learning a song and it uses the major scale quite heavily, lo and behold I'm practicing my major scale. I definitely need to learn more songs to help do this.

I did find a good strong method for practicing theory. What I do is I pick out a music book from my (small) library, let's say the book that arrived in the post today, the sheet music for the Phil Spector christmas album, and I'll turn to my favourite song say 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' by Darlene Love and I'll think right, what's the interval between the first two notes of the melody? How would you write this chord progression down in numbers? What key is it in? and so on and that way I can quite comprehensively practice theory. I don't think with theory I'll necessarily drop any of it because it's not the same beast as scales or chords where once you know it that's it, you can always take theory that little bit further.

Where you talk about passion and people who have achieved what I want to, I have done this in my schedule. In the list of players there is Johnny Marr who is my absolute favourite guitar player of all time no question and what I've done it I've then branched off and started looking at his influences, his contemporaries and people who he inspired and that way I'm looking at the person I'm passionate about and then looking at everyone else around him. When choosing what to learn I always think to myself 'what would Johnny do' and this really does help me focus.
I feel the way that my routine works is that I learn all of the sections e.g. scales and chords and then these feed into the style section which is where I apply the different things I've learnt to each different style. So I may not call upon modes when playing say folk, but I will find them used to when I come to playing jazz.

You make an interesting point about the application of skills, I have searched desperately without luck for a band and this has certainly hindered me. I feel that I do need an outlet for everything I learn and I am thinking quite hard of a way I can do this without a group as I often find my solo playing to be somewhat dull (though I do sing as well). I have found that my playing lights up when I'm in a group, so when I have this outlet I feel I will improve all round. In fact thinking about I could do with just getting myself involved with every outlet possible whether that be solo, in a band, doing something a bit different and joining a jazz band or an orchestra, I really do hope I can make a career out of this!
 
This is most definitely not boring me, this is exactly what I need!
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jacksroadhouse on November 25, 2011, 08:45:27 am
In fact thinking about I could do with just getting myself involved with every outlet possible whether that be solo, in a band, doing something a bit different and joining a jazz band or an orchestra,
I think that's a good idea. The key is to meet people, to build experience, and to learn. And this goes double since you want to make a career out of this. Maybe it doesn't feel like it now, but the further you go down that road (in any profession), the more your knowledge and skills are simply taken for granted. The distinguishing factor is experience. I'm not a pro musician (not even in the same galaxy), but I'd bet serious money this is especially important in the music business.

But there's one more thing that I'd consider vitally important for all this: HAVE FUN!! I don't think it matters that much, where you're playing and how many are listening, as long as you enjoy yourself. And if you can entertain a few people along the way, all the better! The best, most fun gig I attented this year was at local Irish pub with a solo performer playing for 12 people. We had a hell of a time, and so did the guitarist (he played 3 sets instead of 2, then the landlord had to kick us out).

If it's not lead guitar in a rock band just now, maybe it's your mate's birthday party and you playing and singing solo (at least at first :) ).

Cheers

Jack
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: mattr42 on November 26, 2011, 11:05:29 pm
Agreed! Now I just need to work out where to take my schedule next! Haha, thanks for all the help.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: martin_pmd on March 31, 2015, 03:22:18 pm
Hello good people, I'm having, I think, a bit of problem with making a good routine... I following Justins format to 80 %, but I still bump into problems. For example, I have alot of time to practice, say 4-5 hours a day. So when I look at my technique routine for example, I have 60-90 minutes for technique development. My first question is how many different technique drills can I cram into mine my 60-90 minutes technique routine. How many is too many and how many is to little? And for the Repertoire section, same question, how many songs is too many and how many songs is to little? =)

Usually my routine in short is:
60 min technique
90 min songs/solos 5 songs 2 solos
45 min transcribing/ear training
30 min theory
30 min Justins major scale "program"/improvisation

Any thoughts? =) Any help is much appreciated.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: close2u on April 02, 2015, 07:22:26 am
@ martin_pmd
looks good to me ... you lucky fella - make the most of having that much practice time to become as good as you desire.
How often you do move on to 5 new songs ... how quick do you learn the 5 songs?

:)
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: martin_pmd on April 03, 2015, 01:04:00 pm
@close2u
Hey man, Yeah I'm pretty lucky at the moment, having alot of time to practice. But i also make time and sacrifice alot for it.  :)
It's only for the last 4-5 weeks I began to practice this much after a realisation that I could actually get good at this and I just started to enjoy even the most boring practice drills, like scales..=) haha..

Right now my 5 songs is gonna stay 5 songs for quite a while, atleast 2-3 months more I think.. Because I choose some pretty difficult ones, and i've been working on them for quite a while and it's really hard for me to give up on them. I maybe should have picked some easier ones. After I learn these songs I think I will be able to learn lots of songs faster and easier since these contain a lot of difficult techniques (atleast for me). Then i'll try to group them more 1 really hard, 1 hard 1 .... etc.. Fingerstyle, rock, blues, solo etc..

Thanks for responding.. Hope you get lucky soon and can practice as much as you would like too..!
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: tobyjenner on September 21, 2015, 07:40:52 pm
Sorry to bump this old thread but there's a couple of things about this schedule I'd like to clarify.

First time I noticed it was when De_Conne drop the link in another thread last week. Having had a look at it I thought, ok looks like I need to rewrite my practice schedule, as I'm IM2 going on 3 at the moment.

However, having looked at this schedule, I then went back to the IM stages and thought hang on a minute, all the stages have their own goals and practice lesson, with a schedule for that stage ?

So my question is should I be morphing the existing stage schedules to match this one or is this more applicable to players who have finished the IM ie Intermediate Players?

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: shadowscott007 on September 21, 2015, 08:27:40 pm
While in the intermediate course I would use the schedules from the intermediate course.

Shadow
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: tobyjenner on September 21, 2015, 10:54:54 pm
Thanks Shadow that makes perfect sense but I guess this schedule is more for post IM for maintaining or learning new techniques. I notice that the Blues and Folk Courses don't have specific stages or schedules, so this would be a useful structure for working through those modules I guess..............which I plan to do next.

Toby
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jtbrown1 on January 25, 2018, 07:19:28 pm
No one has touched this thread in years, let's see if anyone is out there.

I'm building my own Intermediate Practice Routine. I've discovered that some things, although I learned them at the time, can easily become sloppy if not used often. Barre chords, for example.

So I'm including:
1. Barre chords and triads
2. Scales with metronome - major, major and minor Pentatonic, blues and hybrid.
3. String skipping, legato (hammer ons and flick offs), bending
4. Picked fingerstyle, 16th note rhythm patterns, rhythm with muting
5. Improv to backing tracks

Eventually I'm going to start the Blues Lead course, and some of these items will go away from daily practice in favor of focusing on the blues techniques. My assumption is I will always need to practice #1, #2, and #3 - if these aren't practiced then the ability to perform them will diminish quickly.

Thoughts?

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Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: DavidP on January 25, 2018, 07:22:44 pm
I'm out there reading  :)

But still busy with BC so lacking insight to make well informed comments.  Does sound sensible though ....
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: close2u on January 25, 2018, 08:57:41 pm

2. Scales with metronome - major, major and minor Pentatonic, blues and hybrid.


Looks good - although for No 2 I would focus on one at a time and not only metronome it but use it to make music.
It's all well and good being able to go up and down in time.
Can you make music with the scale?
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jtbrown1 on January 25, 2018, 09:03:25 pm
Looks good - although for No 2 I would focus on one at a time and not only metronome it but use it to make music.
It's all well and good being able to go up and down in time.
Can you make music with the scale?
You're right about scales vs music. I did include #5, which is about improv.

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Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: stitch101 on January 25, 2018, 11:11:09 pm
I don't see anything about learning songs. The easiest way to keep things sharp is to use them
to play music.
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: close2u on January 26, 2018, 12:48:36 am
You're right about scales vs music. I did include #5, which is about improv.
True ... I guess my point is an echo of Justin's 'when not to learn scales' video & lesson - have you seen it?

And songs of course

+1 to stitch
Title: Re: PC-502 • Intermediate Practice Routine
Post by: jtbrown1 on January 26, 2018, 02:01:32 am
True ... I guess my point is an echo of Justin's 'when not to learn scales' video & lesson - have you seen it?

And songs of course

+1 to stitch
I always have songs I'm learning! That's a given.

Blackbird, Daughters, and Drive, right now.

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