"How to practice"

First, know that these are my opinions. I formed them from using and applying them in a practical environment. You can use what I share with you as a starting point. Other musicians will have different opinions it doesnt make any of us right. Use what you learn to grow from and add what works for you. Just like a guitar riff some of the oldest guitar riffs you will find as a basis to most of what is used today.

The first thing you should know about practicing is how to practice. Use your time wisely. If you only practice a half of an hour a day then spend it on serious learning for 15 minutes and playing around for 15 minutes.

There is something I learned a long time ago that applies to everything as I continue to learn. Many years back while learning to cook there were so many orders coming back at once it was hard to keep up with them thus the term in restaurants "in the weeds". I noticed that at first I couldn't remember all of the orders at once because there were so many items and variables and things to remember but over time it got easier to remember and easier. I came to realize that memory is like a muscle. The more you learn to remember the more you can remember and do at one time.

And moreover, if you stop trying to remember, a lot of your memory skills diminish some more then others. The point I am making is that hang in there and learn because it keeps your mind sharp.

There is different types of memory. Mind or thought memory and muscle memory (motor memory). So you have to teach your mind and train your motors to. Repetitiveness is usually the best for motor skills. Doing it over and over and over again. You can remember the literature by discussing it and reading and applying it. It helps me to remember all this stuff just from going over it and typing it here! And when I get the opportunity to teach someone or a group I reinforce what I already know. So with motor skills its important to take it slow and learn the different techniques. Speed will come with accuracy. The more accurate you are the faster you will be able to go. So when learning the exercises like the ones on my video(s) 1 or 2 learn them slowly because you will be applying those techniques all over your fret board later.

Start out slowly by counting, tapping your foot or by using a metronome.

Metronome by "Wikipedia" definition is (I shortened it a little): A metronome is any device that produces regular, metrical ticks (beats, clicks) — settable in beats per minute. These ticks represent a fixed, regular aural pulse; some metronomes also include synchronized visual motion (e.g. pendulum-swing). The metronome dates from the early 9th century, Abbas ibn Firnas (810-887 AD), was patented by Johann Maelzel in 1815 as a tool for musicians, under the title "Instrument/Machine for the Improvement of all Musical Performance, called Metronome".[1] The metronome is used by musicians to help keep a steady tempo as they play, or to work on issues of irregular timing, or to help internalize a clear sense of timing and tempo. The metronome is also often used by composers as a standard tempo reference, to indicate the intended tempo for the piece.

Other useful tools

I also use sheet music that you can find at “Sheet Music Plus” there are links all over my site. Below is an example of sheet music they sell and I prefer to use. It is very inexpensive and can be downloaded and saved to your computer, phone or any other device and printed to share with band members.

Crazy Train

(by:Ozzy Osborne-Sheet Music Sample)

Another useful way for the developing guitarist to practice is to play over a "backing track".

A backing track is a great tool that you can find on "YouTube". You will notice a few videos that I am placing on my site that I am using this tool so that you can get an idea of how this would sound. Basically, if you have a smart phone or TV you can go to “You Tube” and search for specific “backing tracks” to play over. I found this tool very useful while learning or working on cover songs.

An example of a "Backing track as found on "You Tube"

Me playing "Stairway to Heaven" by: Led Zeppelin 2014