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How much do you practice?

#1 User is offline   Aaron 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:46 AM

Hey guys. Since I'm a fairly new player, I'm wondering how much you more experienced players practiced when you were starting out, and what you focused on. My immediate goals are to become a competent enough rhthym guitarist such that I could find a band or other work as a guitar player. Beyond that I'd like to become a competent lead player as well. I don't want to just noodle in my music room forever, I actually want to acquire skills that I can put to work.

I have teacher who is very good. Right now I am working on basics; rhythm playing, reading music, getting a decent sound. My lessons usually focus on something pretty specific, which I then go practice for a week until my next lesson. I try to practice for at least 1/2 hour everyday, but usually I practice more than once per day for a total of up to 2hrs. Sometime I feel like I am not progressing very well, and it gets frustrating. I play the same songs over and over again, and they start to come together, but very slowly. I've only really been focused on guitar for about four months, so I guess I can't expect too much.

Anyway, what this long winded post is asking is How long did it take you to get "good"? And by good I mean having the skill and confidence to say "Yeah, I'm a guitar player, lets jam" and then be able to put your skills to good use in a band environment.

#2 User is offline   Cheeks 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

I try to get in 2 hours daily, being retired and 65 i have the time
to do as i wish.

Yes, it takes time for this stuff to sink into a old crusty brain,
but it does happen.
Today i learned some new stuff... and it's down and dirty nice blues
stuff toboot.

Keep peckin away at it.

Some days are reruns, others are first runs... and boy does it sound
nice then !


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If any glues lets loose, i'll reglue with Made in USA
Elmer's Glue. I promise.

"At my age, i gotta hurry-up and learn this stuff,
"...I drive a Chevy and an Epiphone..."


#3 User is offline   Aaron 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:31 PM

yeah, I think I am going to aim for 2hrs a day, broken up into 2 sessions, and longer on the weekends. I'd play all day if it weren't for that job thing that happens right in the middle.

#4 User is offline   Diego the guy 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:28 PM

i play 3 hours a day or more. guitars my passion [thumbup]
It sure is hand outside today

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#5 User is offline   Sinner 13 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:13 PM

not nearly as often as I should. [thumbdn]

#6 User is offline   Rock642 

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 09:49 AM

I've been working to get a min 30min a day, but some days I get none or some I get an hr. A lot has to do with my 9 to 5 job. :(

#7 User is offline   MrSaint 

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:39 AM

Hi! (I'm new here btw)

I try to play as often as possible. On Friday's I play between 12.00 - 17.00 and then go out and meet up with friends.
On saturday's, I practice (tabs) and sometimes I lose track of time.. can play for hours.
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#8 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:12 AM

When I'm preparing for a concert, as I am now, I will practice at least two hours a day. I try to do a regular schedule, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., and extra after dinner if I'm spazzing out over anything (as I'm am now). The evening practice sessions usually include my wife pecking away at the piano AND adult beverages, quality family time if you will. I have two concerts next week with the 20-piece jazz big band, so it's crunch time for me.

If I'm not preparing for a show I seldom "practice", although I do still "noodle" around on guitar quite a bit. To me there's a big difference between "noodling" and "practicing", but even just noodling around is good time spent with your guitar.

As for how long it takes to get good enough to gig, this has as much (or more) to do with "aptitude", than simply practice. Some people will never get good enough to keep from embarrassing themselves on stage, and all the practice in the world will not change that. Some people were just born to play (I'm somewhere in between, medium aptitude, lots of playing time). I got my first electric guitar in late 1970 or early 1971, I played my first public performance (a shopping mall) '73 or '74. My skill level and competency for that performance was certainly in question (in other words I sucked), but I jumped into the deep end, and have managed to stay afloat ever since.

My early years of guitar playing were the late 60's early 70's. Every kid in the neighborhood wanted to be John Lennon, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, etc. There were many of us plunking around on guitars. Finally a little band (kind of) formed, two guitars and a harmonica. One of the other guitar players saw he was the odd man out and decided to get a bass. Then the harmonica player met a drummer at school, and we had a real live full rock & roll band. We spent every available hour jamming in preparation of becoming rockstars.

All this is to say that playing with other musicians will GREATLY accelerate your learning curve. Find out from your teacher if any of his other students live near you. It doesn't really matter if the other student is better or worse than you, the interaction of two (or more) musicians playing together will make you learn things like timing, tempo, rhythm, chord voicings, and a million other things that you don't think about while playing by yourself. Also playing along to recordings also helps greatly in this area, AND learning to play lead.

I have specifically, and purposely, avoided and declined to teach guitar for the last 35 years. Although I have been thinking lately about maybe offering lessons in very specific areas of guitar playing. Being only interested in teaching jazz guitar would certainly limit my student base, but from what I've seen from my association with a few colleges and universities around here that have jazz programs, the art of jazz guitar is being lost or neglected. Maybe young players are just not interested.

#9 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:30 AM

At the age of 55 I don;t call it practicing anymore it;s just playing.
It has become partof my daily routine and I play at least 4 hours a day.

What I like to do to keep me on my toes is pout on the BLUES STATION on XM RADIO and play the lead to whatever song comes on.
It keeps ya up with picking out keys, new styles and timings and always a surprise as one song may be a PIEDMONT STYLE BLUES SONG and the next may be a BUDDY GUY BLUES/ROCK STYLE.

I think the day you think you know it all you might as well STOP playing......Guitar to me are like breathing I NEED IT !!

Being disabled I have a lot of time and to stay positive I play,.,,,it is like therapy for play the BLUES allows one to let out there BLUES through playing.

I took some jazz lessons about 2 years ago after a STROKE just to help wake up my brain.....

I am now buying a RESONATOR......48 NATIONAL as I want to try to play the PIEDMONT STYLE OF BLUES when the player and his wing tips were the band.
I can play slide rather well and after 40+ years I should be where I am but I want to try something I wish I had done before moving on.

Perfecting my finger picking and learning how to play as the FATHERS of the BLUES did should help me to understand how hard they worked to get there sound.

I picked up a PORCHBOARD a new instrument made by these people I know from down south made of wood with a transducer in it with 3 settings, ya plug it into the extra channel and when ya tap your foot on certain areas of this instrument you get that HARD TAPPING on the floor you once heard in the JUKE JOINTS down south.

The PORCHBOARD makes it easier on your feet too all ya gotta do is tap it and it sound like you;re banging on the floor.

I'll be buried holding a guitar I am sure !!!! ( I KNOW THAT CAUSE I PUT IT IN MY WILL !!!!)






#10 User is offline   Thawk Dean 

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:49 AM

I'm 61 and retired. I've been at this about 1 1/2 years. Being retired, I plunk any time I have time. I keep my git on a stand in my music room. this amounts to at least an hour per day. The problem I have is practicing the RIGHT things. I get "squirled" and wind up reverting to playing things I know and enjoy. I need to reel myself in to practicing things I Don't know and enjoy. But, I'm having a riot with this git thing. I have NO aspirations to play outside my own home for myself. Just KEEP IT FUN, Dean

#11 User is offline   Vienna1981 

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:12 AM

I'm only playing for 16 months now, but I play a few hours each day @ home.
Now I've got the basics, I'm focussing on playing lead guitar...
On thursday night I rehearse with a band (this was my goal when I started playing),
on friday I play @ a local bar where I also get my lessons and on sunday
I play @ the same bar to help my instructor teaching kids (including my own son)...
I really love guitar playing, it's my passion! 2 bad I didn't start earlier [tongue]
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#12 User is offline   pauloon 

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:26 AM

All i can add to the sound advice given.............IS......
practice as much as you can,but be careful,i have had lots of muscle/finger problems from 'drilling' certain 'stretching' exercises for far too long..........
as soon as you feel any pain/ache etc STOP....get up wriggle/shake hands out....then get straight back in!

I've tried to figure this out for a long long is long enough for fast work?....

An olympic standard 100metre runner would not run 'flat out' for 4 hours plus everyday.....yet stupid me has tried to do this.....hence problems with hands/fingers/muscles/

practice as much as possible......with regular breaks to avoid strain......

this routine seems to be working for me now ...

good luck.

#13 User is offline   liquidfusion 

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:04 AM

And have fun!!!!!!


#14 User is offline   MojoRedFoot 

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:04 AM

Depends on the day....sometimes 1 hr. On days were I have the house to myself, I'll go 3-4 hrs at a time. Try to learn something new or perfect something else each time.

I love Explorers.
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#15 User is offline   animalfarm 

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:31 AM

View PostMojoRedFoot, on 15 December 2010 - 11:04 AM, said:

Depends on the day....sometimes 1 hr. On days were I have the house to myself, I'll go 3-4 hrs at a time. Try to learn something new or perfect something else each time.

Agreed. If I'm working on learning a NEW lead run, I just add a little more of it each day,
gives me time to get the previous stuff set in my brain BEFORE proceeding. I've tried the
"learn as much as you can at once bit, works, but has limited success.

As a JOKE, I started playing a guitar while doing the "Mommy and Daddy Dance" with my
Girlfriend. Don't go there, Folks! at least I thought it was funny... [biggrin]

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#16 User is offline   playalot86 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:26 PM

View PostAaron, on 23 August 2010 - 03:31 PM, said:

yeah, I think I am going to aim for 2hrs a day, broken up into 2 sessions, and longer on the weekends. I'd play all day if it weren't for that job thing that happens right in the middle.

I practice 2 to 3 hours a day with 15 minute breaks in between. 3 hours a day though. To be honest it is better to focus on getting things done in your time of course. What I also like to do when I practice my Classical Guitar, is to take little water breaks after I get a passage down. Same thing with my Electric. Water is a very good brain refresher.

#17 User is offline   Mastodude 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 02:00 PM

I practice in a trio for 3-4 hours M-F, and I try to do as much as I can when not with them on my own. At least an hour by myself.

#18 User is offline   Jim71 

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 05:50 AM

I practice about a hour a day, but more on the weekends.
I saw a nice (bit humorous) article about what it takes to learn guitar here.

#19 User is offline   DB Cooper 

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:32 AM

I play/mess around every day - usually for more than an hour or two. I never miss a day. But I have no aspirations of greatness - I just love to have my fingers on the strings! [thumbup]
DB Cooper

#20 User is offline   bliss :) 

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

kindly differentiate Practicing from Playing :)

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