January 2013–30 Minutes to Become a GuitaristFriday, January 11th, 2013
How long does it take to become a guitarist? This article is about becoming the genuine article… 30 minutes at a time. If you’re like most people, practicing is something you don’t have unlimited time for. So you want to make the most of every minute. But, there’s so much to learn that many people don’t know where to start or effectively practice to improve. A simple plan is what you need.
There are four important pieces to an effective practice time – Warm-up, Technique Practice, Song Practice, and Creative Free Play. Here are my best guidelines for an effective 30-minute practice routine.
Suggested 30-Minute Practice Routine
1) 5 Minutes – Warm Up (Getting the Muscles Ready to Work)
• Getting the fingers and muscles stretched and moving.
• Hand & Finger Stretches
• Finger Exercises (as seen in Session 1 of L&MG)
2) 10 Minutes – Technique Practice (Building Skill)
• Work on guitar technique issues.
• Scale Exercises, Chord Exercises, Single Notes, Etc.
3) 10 Minutes – Song Practice (Apply Technique to a Song)
• Working on songs applying the techniques learned.
4) 5 Minutes – Creative Free Play (Exploring on the Guitar)
• Put the books away and explore creatively.
• Make up melodies and try to play them.
• Explore variations of a chord or musical idea on different parts of the guitar.
• Let your ear and your imagination guide you.
These are the main components that should be in your practice time. Vary them as you need to fit your needs and schedule. Just make sure that your practice time has all four of these components represented in some way.