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Sample Practice Schedule


There are two types of practicing in my opinion. One is where you play things you’re working on with no direction – more fun than practice, but you’re still stopping to fix mistakes and learn tunes better. The other is more specific and directed towards a specific goal – more mastering a technique and ideas through exercises. Both have their place, but I find many students struggle with the directed practice. This is a sample of a directed practice schedule.

Generally I find directed practice is easiest when used in conjunction with a specific song which allows you to use the skills you practice in a real world setup. In the example, I’ll base the ideas off Nine Pound Hammer in the key of G. This is a major key song, so the practice will focus on major ideas in G. I’m assuming there’s 30 minutes of practice time. You can easily scale this up or down depending on your time limits though. Also, make sure you use a metronome set to a bpm slow enough that you don’t make mistakes but fast enough to be challenging. Remember, just because you can play something fast doesn’t mean you actually can play it right. General rule, if you make a lot of mistakes, you’re playing too fast.

Warm up – 10 minutes

Major Scale / Arpeggio

Chords – 10 minutes

Melody and solo – 10 minutes

Once you’ve completed this, just play the tune a few times employing the techniques that you practiced. For example:
1. Straight ahead melody as the intro
2. 2 note chords for the verse
3. Full chords for the chorus
4. Embellished melody for the solo
5. Mixed position full chords for the 2nd verse

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