We all lead different lives and are at different stages of our lives. This means some have more time to play and practice guitar than others. Today we’re going to set out a 1 hour practice workout for those who have time to practice one 1 hour a day or every other day.
If you have only one hour to play over the entire week, it is better to practice every day for 5 to 10 minutes than get it all done in one hour on a Saturday morning.
This workout combines the most important elements of practice, but you are free to alter it to suit your specific needs, change the duration of each section or add some additional elements to different days of the week to make the workout more fun and playful.
The 1 hour workout is a guideline to keep you focused on a good practice routine that moves your playing forward without getting distracted.
Grab your phone and set a timer for each section to keep your eyes on the ball every step of the way. Attention, Concentration and Action is the key to steady progress.
Make sure you got your guitar and gear (amp, cables, picks, capos, music sheets, music stand, laptop, cappuccino or tea) all set up before you start practicing.
Let’s check out the essentials for a one hour workout:
10 min – SCALES
By starting your workout with practicing scales you’re opening two locks with one key. You’re working on the memorisation and dexterity of your scales and warming up at the same time. An effective time saver.
If you’re new to scales start out with practicing the pentatonic / blues scale and the major scale. If you’re an intermediate player learn all the pentatonic / blues scale shapes and how to use them to solo and improvise over the entire neck.
Learn the scales, and then learn to create melody with those scales.
30 min – PROJECT
Now your fingers are warmed up and loose, pick out one song, solo or arrangement to work on. You might even want to write your own song. Whatever it is, this going to be your main project. Something to enjoy and make yourself proud.
Find the tablature to the song or get your tools ready to figure out the necessary guitar parts.
5 min – CHORDS
Learn one or two new chords everyday to boost your creative imagination, add more colour to your songs and expand your visualisation and flexibility across the fretboard. The best way to memorise new chords is to apply them directly to songs and keep playing and using them in different songs. If you’re a beginner start with the The 8 most important guitar chords for beginners.
5 min – MUSIC THEORY
Study some guitar music theory every workout and use it in your practice. Read on chord structure, scale formulas, The circle of fifths and fourths, finding octaves, the caged system, building chords and progressions and more.
When you understand music theory the fretboard and what you are playing will start to make much more sense. It puts together the pieces of the puzzle. Everything will fall into place and it makes guitar playing easier and more fun. You will memorise faster, play more creatively, and will become a better overall guitar player.
10 min – EAR TRAINING
Training and developing your aural skills is the crown jewel of serious guitar practice. It will benefit your guitar playing in all areas. Being able to identify chords, progressions, notes, intervals and transcribe melodies by ear is the greatest skill a guitar player can develop. Learn to listen, analyse, listen again and put it into practice.
AFTER THE WORKOUT
Get a ruled notebook and keep a journal on your practice. What gets measured gets managed. What song, scales, chords did you work on today? What did you notice about your playing? What new things did you learn? (music theory and ear training). What do you need to improve on? (be specific). What skills are you lacking? How can you change that? What are you going to practice tomorrow? (write it down for each section). At what time are you going to practice tomorrow? 5 a.m., 10 a.m. or 8 p.m.? Perfect! ✓
Start your workout today and skyrocket your progress!
The 1 Hour Essential Guitar Practice Workout