In part one we looked the 1st level to mastery, and talked about how much practice it should take to reach this stage. I also posted some numbers and ideas about how it relates to time spent “woodshedding”.
In a nutshell, most people think to reach the 1st level (lick is in your hands) it takes anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, or anywhere from 800 reps to 1400 reps. Pretty good rule of thumb. Also, very easy thing to track. All students are individuals, and how long it takes them will be different to others, but unique to you.
Let’s look at #2 on the road to mastery. How many times do you have to practice something until you can do it in every key, without hesitation, all over the fretboard? For this, I think the “amount of reps” analogy I used before can be used again. What we’ll do is take the lowest number, the highest number, and triple both. In my experience, it takes roughly TRIPLE the time to memorize something everywhere on the neck with confidence. Let’s break down the numbers.
- Lowest: 800 reps = triple for lvl 2 mastery = 2400 reps
- Highest: 1400 reps triple for lvl 2 mastery = 4200 reps
Using the same example as before (in part one) 8 notes, quarter notes, it takes 7 1/2 seconds to play a rep.
- Low estimate: 300 minutes (5 hours)
- High estimate: 525 minutes (8 3/4 hours)
Now, if we add up BOTH times we’ve discussed, the amount it took to reach level 1, and the amount we spent to reach level 2, here’s how much time that has been invested so far:
- Low estimate: 100 + 300 = 400 (6 1/2 hours)
- High estimate: 175 + 525 = 700 (11 1/2 hours)
I think these numbers will really give you something to think about when you sit down to practice. Make the time meaningful! Are there ways to ‘cut back’ this number? Absolutely.