The Guitar Practice Routine:
Some thoughts on practice routines. All players and students of all ages have their inherent strengths and weaknesses. Guitar players, in particular come in very different shapes and sizes. Some guitarists have fantastic ears, and learned everything they know without ever learning any theory, some players are the total opposite, monster sight-readers, but not very skilled at improvisation and transcription.
Because the skills, goals, and ability level of students are so varied, there is no PERFECT approach to a practice routine. There are people out there on the internet that have pulled down little bits and pieces of this and that, cobbled it together in hopes that this will be their perfect routine, but in fact, they could be further confusing themselves by misinformation, or too much information, or they are focusing on the WRONG things.
Practice routines with beginner children are a different subject, and I could write more on that in the future. This is more concerning the beginner, 2 years into study, student. Although it could apply to anyone who has played long enough to envision their own goals and has a desire to achieve them.
The first thing I do with a student like this is try to find out what they want to get out lessons. This is the most important thing to get at right away. The routine should reflect that as well. Yes, there will probably be some things the student might not want to do, but they have to do in order to progress. Note memorization on the fretboard usually being a big one.
As the student progresses, their needs change, their interests change. And so The routine changes. You cannot get this kind of flexibility out of a book. And often times, you can’t get this out of a method teacher either. But, teachers with lots of experience and knowhow are always searching for ways to hone The Routine. How to make it more fun, how to change it and make it more effective.