Thoughts On Practice Routine
A single note beautifully played can be the gateway to true self-expression, and with intention and presence can express truth and uniqueness.
The “Ultimate Guitar Practice Routine” – Does it even exist?
What is a good practice?
Perhaps the most Important question a musician eager to improve could ask, right?
I would like to take you back to when I first started playing guitar.
When I started playing guitar I didn’t have a ‘practice routine’. At that time it was not a problem because I was so motivated to learn and transcribe my favorite musicians.
I could not wait to get up and go deeper into the styles and sounds that inspired me at the time. This constant flow of inspiration led me to a continuity that I strived for – day in day out!
The obsession was real and I didn’t even think about motivation or routines, I just went for it like a kid in a candy store.
I feel it Is important to mention that I really felt and still feel great appreciation and gratitude for every moment I have spent on the guitar! It is this gratitude I carry with me through my journey as a guitar player.
These days, I have decided to once again dive deeper into the Bebop language by transcribing some ‘bird’ (a.k.a. Charlie Parker) and then just chillin’ it out with some beautiful Bach pieces, while always striving to articulate every note to sound just right.
Although I have been aware of the depth of articulation as an entire study point I can’t recall focusing on it in such a vigorous manner as I have currently.
On a more pragmatic note:
when reflecting on practice overall I like to think of segments: at least one hour for my main topic, then smaller 15-30 minute segments for other goals I wish to deepen and grow.
Remember this: We all have unique approaches to how we learn and express ourselves
yet we all share the same destination: Music
Scales in Bach’s hands became sonata’s while Arpeggios in Charlie Parker’s hands became beautiful rhythmic, bop melodies.
Here Is a brief list of qualities a great practice contains (for me personally):
The Bigger purpose, the bigger picture.
Realistic challenges are broken down into mini-goals.
Clarity, Focus, and Intention.
The fact I’m writing this article down right now makes me want to pick up my guitar!
You see, I know the sensation of not practicing. It always makes me feel like an unwatered plant. If I haven’t practiced for a few days I will feel like something Is not right.
Stay hungry, Stay patient.
So no matter what I play, I always do my best to make each note of each phrase, scale, arpeggio, a single note, etc. sing as fully as I can.
A single note beautifully played can be the gateway to true self-expression, and with intention and presence can express truth and uniqueness. To listen to a note, to hear all the sonic qualities that the guitar has to offer around it. Simply put: to deepen the appreciation of the music at hand.
A zen master once said:
If you’re in a hurry and practice 2 hours a day it may take you 2 years to learn something.
If you’re in a hurry and practice 5 hours a day it may take you 5 years to learn something.
If you’re in a hurry and practice 10 hours a day you may never learn anything.
Being in a hurry means your mind is in the future, regardless of how much you practice you’ll never retain enough to learn something If your mind is not where the learning takes place.
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