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Unread 09-25-2011, 11:34 PM   #1
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Whats the best way to practice daily?

I'm trying to get better and better at the guitar. I love the instrument so much, yet I haven't truly practiced in forever. I just pick up the guitar whenever I'm bored and play the boring simple stuff I learned when I first started. I've been playing the same stuff over and over because its alll I know how to do. But I lack any motivation to try and learn more!

Learning scales, and all those 16th note, 8th note, stuff is impossible for me, for example. Every time I try practicing to a metronome, I end up nearly falling asleep, literally.

I can't play by ear because its much too difficult, and learning by tab is annoying, because I tend to just learn one small part, and end up adding that to the list of crap I can play, but not too well, obviously.

I know no music theory either, but will be going to college soon, and will be studying music there. But how the heck do I practice?!

I could go on for days about how badly I suck at this instrument, but no one wants that.

Can anyone tell me how to get better and stick to a routine?
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Unread 09-25-2011, 11:54 PM   #2
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Can anyone tell me how to get better and stick to a routine?
stick to a routine to get better

One thing I've noticed for myself is that a couple 45min-1hr sessions per/day helps more than a single 2hr session IMO
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Unread 09-25-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #4
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Honestly, your post was so full of can't/won't/suck/lack of motivation/too hard/etc... that you probably just need to do the exact opposite of everything you're doing now, as well as approach it with the exact opposite attitude.

I can't imagine that music courses in college are going to be too fun if you're going into them with no real desire to get better.

It should be fun... and nothing about it seems to be fun for you.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #5
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Honestly, your post was so full of can't/won't/suck/lack of motivation/too hard/etc... that you probably just need to do the exact opposite of everything you're doing now, as well as approach it with the exact opposite attitude.

I can't imagine that music courses in college are going to be too fun if you're going into them with no real desire to get better.

It should be fun... and nothing about it seems to be fun for you.
I know, but can I make it fun?
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Poetic Maggot View Post
I know, but can I make it fun?
I think that's a question only you know. I only skimmed through your post but going to school for music seems odd if you don't have a drive to learn whatever you can on your own, I could be wrong though i don't know too much about what goes on in a musical college


EDIT: sorry for the semi-rehash of MJS's post
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:13 AM   #7
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Its ok. But this sucks. ._.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:22 AM   #8
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Really I'd say scrap the licks you already know and start devising your own interesting drill riffs.
For example, to improve speed/fast alternate picking, start with something simple yet musical sounding like frets 4-6-7-5-4-6-7-5 (picn each note 8x). This of coarse requires no hand/position shifting.
After you get the hang of speedpicking fluidly, then do the same thing while incorperating a slight hand shift. Example frets 4-7-8-5 or 4-5-7-8

These are crude examples, but you get the idea, which is to take a technique you wish to improve upon and write a riff that works it and sounds like a song, not just a drill.

The more techniques you can become fluid at and begin blending them together, the more musical and interesting it will sound.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:37 AM   #9
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Thanks! That actually does seem to help a bit. Arms starting to burn up. But for some reason, it seems like my pick is being really flimsy and it gets stuck on the string when I up-pick... Wow, I can't even hold a pick right *facepalm*
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Poetic Maggot View Post
I know, but can I make it fun?
Fun isn't really something you learn... it's just what something is if you enjoy doing it, but you don't seem to enjoy anything about playing/learning guitar. Honestly, I can't figure out why you'd even want to. I'd be doing something I actually like doing with that time instead.

I'd probably at least be more focused on trying to figure out if maybe guitar isn't for you and if you'd enjoy another instrument more, or if music isn't for you.

If you enjoy just picking it up and making noise, there's nothing at all wrong with that. People watch TV for fun and that takes less skill & effort than sucking on guitar does.

I think diving into a music course with your current ability/attitude is going to make you hate it a lot worse than you do right now.

Not to mention, any practice routine anyone here could give you is going to require doing all of the things you said you don't want to do in your first post... so there really isn't anyway around that.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 12:44 AM   #11
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Fun isn't really something you learn... it's just what something is if you enjoy doing it, but you don't seem to enjoy anything about playing/learning guitar. Honestly, I can't figure out why you'd even want to. I'd be doing something I actually like doing with that time instead.

I'd probably at least be more focused on trying to figure out if maybe guitar isn't for you and if you'd enjoy another instrument more, or if music isn't for you.

If you enjoy just picking it up and making noise, there's nothing at all wrong with that. People watch TV for fun and that takes less skill & effort than sucking on guitar does.

I think diving into a music course with your current ability/attitude is going to make you hate it a lot worse than you do right now.

Not to mention, any practice routine anyone here could give you is going to require doing all of the things you said you don't want to do in your first post... so there really isn't anyway around that.
I truly do love to play the guitar, despite how much it seems I hate it and want to throw it out my 2nd story window. I'm just the kind of person that gives up too easily on everything. I do enjoy playing it, but started to feel like I wasn't doing anything right anymore. Thats all. I don't want to give up on it. Or switch to another instrument *shudder*
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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:01 AM   #12
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If you want to have fun with guitar you first have to learn how it works. I, personally, really like playing jazz/jazz fusion with other musicians but if I want to really have fun with the band and make music I have to be able to handle myself and know all my musical preferences in a Bb7-D7-F7 chord progression. So for me I need to have a grasp on various scales and applying them, not to mention I have to keep up with the chord changes so I'm not using D Phrygian Dominant 2 bars through the F7. I also have to be able to hold my own with technique. There's no easy way to get good at guitar without practice and understanding.
Also you want to go to a music school, yeah? I can tell you from experience, it's going to be very troubling for you if you don't feel motivated to put in the work hours for ear training, theory, and instrument practice.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 02:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic Maggot View Post
I truly do love to play the guitar, despite how much it seems I hate it and want to throw it out my 2nd story window. I'm just the kind of person that gives up too easily on everything. I do enjoy playing it, but started to feel like I wasn't doing anything right anymore. Thats all. I don't want to give up on it. Or switch to another instrument *shudder*
Then I'd just play it for fun... and not care too much about what it sounds like or bother learning anything that isn't fun. Despite all of the trash talking you see on forums & youtube comments, being good on guitar isn't actually a requirement in life.

But people that truly want to learn are always going to have the advantage and will progress at rates that will make you even more frustrated with your own playing--if you let yourself get hung up on that stuff.

You just have to realize that the way you're describing yourself, it would be like someone asking "How do I get good at baseball?" then following it up with "But I hate running, I can't swing a bat and I think throwing and catching a ball is boring."
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Unread 09-26-2011, 05:41 PM   #14
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okay :\
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Unread 09-26-2011, 06:20 PM   #15
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I think you need to step back and re-evaluate your priorities.

You have the idea it might be cool to be good at guitar, but don't want to practice. You want to go to school for music theory, which is infinitely less fun than actually playing (albeit useful and can be fun with the right mindset), but you don't even have the drive to practice what most regard as the fun part. How does this all fit together?

You THINK it would be cool to play, but can't even motivate yourself to practice, tells me you don't really want to play at all (paired with doing it while 'bored'). Bored is a mindset, you create boredom. It matches with your over attitude however to concede to being bored though, you need to change that.

You don't get good at anything by not doing it or not applying yourself. Music isn't for everyone, from what I gather of your post, it isn't for you, at least not as more than a hobby for when you are 'bored'. Which makes your decision to go to school for it completely baffling as you will line yourself up for the dullest life you can imagine. Try not to romanticize the idea of being a player (not even musician, just player for now, they are different) and look at it properly.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 06:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic Maggot View Post
I'm trying to get better and better at the guitar. I love the instrument so much, yet I haven't truly practiced in forever. I just pick up the guitar whenever I'm bored and play the boring simple stuff I learned when I first started. I've been playing the same stuff over and over because its alll I know how to do. But I lack any motivation to try and learn more!

Learning scales, and all those 16th note, 8th note, stuff is impossible for me, for example. Every time I try practicing to a metronome, I end up nearly falling asleep, literally.

I can't play by ear because its much too difficult, and learning by tab is annoying, because I tend to just learn one small part, and end up adding that to the list of crap I can play, but not too well, obviously.

I know no music theory either, but will be going to college soon, and will be studying music there. But how the heck do I practice?!

I could go on for days about how badly I suck at this instrument, but no one wants that.

Can anyone tell me how to get better and stick to a routine?
Are you sure this is a hobby you want to pursue? I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you don't love picking up the guitar and learning new things, I'm just not sure if its really speaking to you, y'know? That being said, you don't sound kinda similar to myself when I started:

I never had a set practice routine, but I'd still play for 3 or 4 hours everyday the first year. I would just put music on and try and play along. I learned some basics of music theory and how to build chords and that pretty much was all I needed. I still haven't learned the actual scale structures and chords beyond the basic major/minor stuff (at least not in the sense that I could tell you that I'm playing it) but I don't feel that's necessary. It helps to learn that stuff so you can better communicate with other musicians.

I also recommend jamming with people and learning anything they have to teach you, either by watching them or asking them questions about what they are playing.

The important thing is that you enjoy playing and seek to challenge yourself. If you have no desire to challenge yourself, then at least come up with a goal for something you want to learn, even if it is just a particular song.

For instance, my personal challenge is being able to play every song on Scenes from a Memory. Having a goal helps to focus your efforts.

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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:06 PM   #17
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Are you sure this is a hobby you want to pursue? I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you don't love picking up the guitar and learning new things, I'm just not sure if its really speaking to you, y'know? That being said, you don't sound kinda similar to myself when I started:

I never had a set practice routine, but I'd still play for 3 or 4 hours everyday the first year. I would just put music on and try and play along. I learned some basics of music theory and how to build chords and that pretty much was all I needed. I still haven't learned the actual scale structures and chords beyond the basic major/minor stuff (at least not in the sense that I could tell you that I'm playing it) but I don't feel that's necessary. It helps to learn that stuff so you can better communicate with other musicians.

I also recommend jamming with people and learning anything they have to teach you, either by watching them or asking them questions about what they are playing.

The important thing is that you enjoy playing and seek to challenge yourself. If you have no desire to challenge yourself, then at least come up with a goal for something you want to learn, even if it is just a particular song.

For instance, my personal challenge is being able to play every song on Scenes from a Memory. Having a goal helps to focus your efforts.
How is that goal going?
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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:17 PM   #18
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How is that goal going?
Actually pretty good, all things considered. I went from having no pick skill two years ago to being marginally competent in alternate picking after having only played with my fingers for 12+ years (fingerstyle). So in so far as my goal is concerned I had to completely relearn the basics before I could even begin learning songs properly. I actually starting learning the tunes a couple of months ago and I can play the six string ones at not quite full-speed.

Having only an hour or two to play every other day or so, I'd say that's not bad. Maybe another couple years and I'll have achieved it

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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:21 PM   #19
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does it even matter how long it takes to practice something before you finally master it?
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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #20
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No, it takes as long as it takes. Without consistancy though, you will never get there. Having goals without reach helps most people though.

Mordacain, good luck with Dance

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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #21
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does it even matter how long it takes to practice something before you finally master it?
There's no time limit. Play because you want to and learn what you want to learn. There is nothing wrong with taking things slow. That being said...

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No, it takes as long as it takes. Without consistancy though, you will never get there.
This is good advice. Consistency will allow you to learn much faster and give you more positive feedback. Get a metronome if you haven't and I'd recommend taking a look at Petrucci's Wild Stringdom and Rock Discipline. He has good advice for someone like me, who is new to the very idea of having a disciplined practice regimen (and sounds like OP has well). Of course, interviews with other players can help give you some ideas about different training routines.

Personally I like going through the instructional sections in Guitar Player and Guitar World as well...sometimes they'll publish a breadth of techniques that one might not have considered learning. It helps keep things fresh to learn techniques from music you might not listen to routinely (if at all).
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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:59 PM   #22
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No, it takes as long as it takes. Without consistancy though, you will never get there. Having goals without reach helps most people though.

Mordacain, good luck with Dance
Thanks. I have not had a functional seven string in awhile and I got distracted by trying to learn Acid Rain when I had one. Actually, I'll admit I've been saving it for last because I know its the biggest insane technical challenge on the album and it frightens me a little bit

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Unread 09-26-2011, 08:01 PM   #23
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I'll check it out. I think i just don't have motivation due in part to not having someone there to actually teach me and guide me through all this. Its overwhelming doing it on my own, which is why I want to go study music in college. I figure I'll learn everything I've failed to grasp so far, as well as have a teacher who can kick my butt a lot and get me to practice.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 02:57 AM   #24
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I'll check it out. I think i just don't have motivation due in part to not having someone there to actually teach me and guide me through all this. Its overwhelming doing it on my own, which is why I want to go study music in college. I figure I'll learn everything I've failed to grasp so far, as well as have a teacher who can kick my butt a lot and get me to practice.
I think it would depend on which college you go to. The one I'm in tested me on ear training, music theory, and how well I could play guitar. If I didn't meet certain requirements I couldn't be accepted.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 03:23 AM   #25
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I'll check it out. I think i just don't have motivation due in part to not having someone there to actually teach me and guide me through all this. Its overwhelming doing it on my own, which is why I want to go study music in college. I figure I'll learn everything I've failed to grasp so far, as well as have a teacher who can kick my butt a lot and get me to practice.
Having a teacher can definitely help, provided you find a good one. But there's one very important thing to keep in mind, that I wish more of my students understood: you determine your own level of success. A teacher can't MAKE you good at guitar, but can only help you become good, if you're willing to work at it. I'd advise some private instruction, which is a lesser investment of both time and money than going to school, to help get yourself sorted out in that respect. You have to really WANT to practice in order to get better, because when it comes down to it, if you're not getting better, you probably don't want it enough. If you need a teacher to "kick your butt and get you to practice", then you're already in the wrong position. If you're not kicking your own butt, then there may be nothing a teacher can do for you.
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