Developing Your Guitar Practice Plan...

Have you ever tried creating a well thought out practice plan? Do you have a list of subjects that you want to study? If not, what are you waiting for... This is extremely important, because once you learn how to how to organize a daily /weekly practice plan, you'll be able to properly focus on improving individual areas of weakness in your guitar playing. 

This is an important topic because without a proper guitar practice plan, you’ll drift day by day through study topics. And, in the long term you'll never properly address your short and long term study goals...


The biggest factor involved with developing your guitar playing skill is to have a large amount of playing topics that you practice within one well-scheduled daily routine. The routine needs to constantly vary in order to cover everything throughout the week.

I did a video about varying scales titled, “Stop Doing Hours of Scales.” That discussion touches on the importance of changing up your scale routine. But, every routine should cover multiple days and should constantly change.

The other area is disciple with your topics, because you don’t want to study anything that you can already play. If you practice things that you can already perform, you won’t be progressing. So, instead it is critical that you create a list of subjects and ideas that you can’t do, and keep forcing yourself to further your education and skills across those non-integrated topics and across new ones.

Understand your knowledge for a topic? 
There needs to be a determination made about what skill level you have for a topic. Let’s say for example that you wanted to learn 7th quality chords. To do this most effectively, you’d want to begin by making a list of the popular seventh chords. These would include, “Maj7, Min7, Dom7, ½ Dim., and, fully diminished.”

Then, (once you’d have your list made), expand the topic further by finding out which strings (if any) you already know these chords off of. Focus on which chord patterns that you can play now, on the 6th, 5th and 4th strings. And, if you need to, draw chord pictures (of any chord patterns that you’re not very good at) onto a piece of chord diagram paper using a pencil.

Then, start practicing any chords that you’re weak at in a drill of some kind, to get your fingering technique much smoother and more precise. If this specific topic of chords is new to you, spend some time studying my two-part lesson on, “Harmonized Moveable Chord Shapes.” 

Create a musical subject list: 
One thing that will often really surprise a musician is when they’ll attend music college, or a music university program. There's a unique intensity of working through a group of “music subjects” across a week.

The nice thing is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money for a Professional music diploma or a college degree to do this yourself – at home. Anyone can do this. Just divide up what it is that you’ll include in your practice routine so that it follows some type of musical subject list.

This means you’ll want to produce a list that contains music subject topics, like; “Music Theory,” “Rhythm,” “Ear Training,” “Guitar Technique,” “Music Reading,” “Transcription,” “Composing and arranging,” (I think you get the idea).

If you approach creating an at home practice schedule that follows musical subjects (just like you’d study if you were at a music school), it’s amazing what starts to happen.

All too often the at home guitarist spends most of their time learning songs. However, a college or university music student barely does that. Because the focus is on becoming a musician who plays guitar, and not on simply learning a few popular songs on guitar for fun. 

Working in Short Time Frames:
In wrapping up, I wanted to share with you, one of the most important things (one of the most valuable study techniques), that I have learned and implemented. It's a study approach taught to me from some of my favorite guitar teachers of the years. And, this “one thing” is the value that comes from working within short time frames, done using a timer.

When you have a timer, (the Wrenwane Digital Kitchen Timer works great), and when you work within time frames you create a very different type of learning environment. And, you also get a lot more done in a lot less time.

Once you establish a short time period for the study of individual topics, I’m talking about perhaps just only 3 or 4 min. (for one topic, for a single area of study), you can move into other areas faster – taking much better control of the time that you schedule for guitar study during the day.

When you work within time frames, you can continue to study much longer, because what you’ll experience is better focus. The bottom line is that you won’t suffer from the common feelings of burnout of working for too long on one practice idea.

So, if you take away anything from this discussion, get into the valuable habit of using a timer to track your minuets, and to help you move through more topics as you study music and guitar skills daily.

I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section, (either here or on YouTube)... if you enjoyed this video on YouTube, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more.

Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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