Practice schedules

05 Mar

Hi there,

Previous blogs have been much of a technical nature so now I can share thoughts on how you should practice.

Say if you have a 30 minute/ hour lesson every week, you should be spending about 3/4 hours on top of that to really get on top of all the content as there is so much to do if you want to become good.

Now at Js music school I actually stress quite clearly that if you don’t practice enough of the right things every week there is no point in coming to the lessons as I will have to go over the same stuff every time.

This makes lessons rather boring for all parties concerned and a waste of time/ money and energy.

Plus the school gets a big kick out of people progressing and becoming good players.

Your practice schedule should balance between the following 5 cornerstones:

  1. Performance
  2. Improvisation
  3. Theory
  4. Technical
  5. Aural Perception

The idea is that all the aspects help each other out in some way and will make you progress faster.


Practice writing out the G major scale (Theory)

Practice the G major scale using the 7 3 note per string patterns (Technical)

Learn how to recognize by ear the intervals that make up the major scale (Aural Perception)

Play the scales using various slurs and exercises over backing tracks to develop riffs (Improvisation)

Get your rhythm guitarist in your band some chords from the key of G major e.g. G major, E minor , D major and C major, and create some riffs / solos over the top (Performance)

So as you can see everything links together and learning one thing reinforces others.

So a weeks schedule may look like:

Monday: warm up exercises (i.e. A chromatic scale), Pentatonic scales in 2 keys ascending in groups of 3, quaver strumming patterns and play over backing tracks in those 2 keys

Tuesday: On the train to work write out a few major scales and harmonize them to produce chord progressions, and listen to some intervals / chord progressions on the train to train your ears.

Practice strumming patterns in the evening

Wednesday: Practice with mates, come up with a few riffs using major, minor scales, pentatonics – swap between rhythm and lead playing, practice arpeggios

Thursday: CAGED chord system, sixteenth note strumming patterns, practice improvisation using major scales and the blues scale

Friday: Learn some songs that utilize all of the above techniques, ask your teacher for suggestions

Again in between this learn some fun riffs and songs to break up your schedule

Many thanks for reading


James Schofield

You can find me on twitter @jsmusicschool

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Music Theory


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