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Guitar Players…Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet March 14, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Technique.

This is a great article I saw online today. I wanted to share it with you:

Guitar Players…Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet By Craig Bassett

Do you have a wide variety of things that you practice. Or do you like to binge? (You
know…the type of player who practices sweep picking for a kazillion hours a
day but only know three chords)!Having a balanced practice routine is essential
if you want to become a versatile guitarist. If you just practice one or two
things, sure you’ll get great at those things…but you’ll be weak in other key

In this lesson you’ll learn how to create a practice routine that
is well-balanced and will help you work towards your ultimate vision of how you
would like to play.

I generally categorise what I practice into one of
seven areas:
-Repertoire (Covers).
-Ear Training.
-Music Reading.

Everything that you practice will fit into one or more of the above
areas. For example, if you are learning a very challenging cover tune by
transcribing it off the CD you are essentially working on your technique,
repertoire and ear training at the same time. If you also write down the song in
standard notation, you will also be developing your music reading skills.Now…do
you have to practice things in all seven areas? I believe that you don’t have to
if your vision doesn’t require it. For example, if someone wants to become an
awesome classical guitarist and has no desire to improvise, then I believe that
they don’t need to practice things relating to improvisation. We all have
limited time available for practice, so it’s a waste of time working on things
that don’t specifically help you reach your goals.

Let’s go through a
few exercises…

Exercise One:
Think about the vision
that you have for your playing for a few minutes.How would you like to play in
ten years time. Make it exact!
Once you’ve done that, brainstorm as many
things that you need to practice in order to play like your vision. What
specific things do you need to learn, develop and practice? Write them down now.

Exercise Two:
Next to each of the things written
down for Exercise One, write down a category next to it. For example, if you
wrote “I need to be able to play faster” then write technique next to it. If you
feel that something you wrote belongs to more than one category, then write down
all the categories it could belong to.

Exercise Three:
Look at your answers for the previous two exercises. Once you’ve done that
prioritise the categories shown below. For example, if you feel that technique
is the most important thing you need to work on to reach your vision then put a
1 next to it.

Practice Area Priority Level (1-7)[Note: 1 is the
highest priority].

TechniqueRepertoire (covers)
Ear Training
Music Reading

here’s the important point. You should spend the most time practising your
number one priority. I know it’s pretty obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many
people don’t do this! I know a few guitar players who would like to be able to
play incredibly fast, yet they don’t do a lot of technical practice. Talk about
setting yourself up to fail!

Exercise Four:
Decide how much time every day you will spend on each category. Write it down below.

Practice Area Time Invested Daily
Ear Training

All done? Great!
So what’s the next step?

The next step is to decide on a specific activity for each practice area.Make sure to
write them down.

Here are a couple of examples of what someone might put

Technique: I will invest 10 minutes a day on alternate picking
exercise one. I will start with the metronome at 80 beats per minute (bpm) and
increase it by 4 bpm daily (as long as I can play it perfectly).

Ear Training: I will invest 10 minutes daily a day on A minor pentatonic ear
training exercise one.

Got the idea? You would have one specific activity for every practice area. If you have a lot of time to practice you
could set more than one activity per practice area.

Give this method a try. I’ll think you’ll be more than happy with the results!

(Craig Bassett (The Guitar Solutions Expert) is a professional guitarist, guitar tutor
and author who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. To get a free high-quality lesson
e-mailed to you once a month, please go to:
Article Source:

I hope you enjoyed it!



1. Jones - March 14, 2007

hey i’m teaching my buddy raynok to play, we were gonna set up a webcam thing but that is too much work. I’ll just send him this link.

Great stuff

This is raynok’s blog(real weirdo)
mine is


2. Ross Gordon - March 14, 2007

Thanks! I hope you come back soon. You can always go over the lessons i post with your friend. Thanks for the feedback. Take care!

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