Initial Practice Routine Attempt

I said I need to start up a practice routine, so here is my attempt.  I’m planning for an hour a day…sometimes I’ll get more sometimes less, but I’m thinking it’s a good baseline.

Warm-up – 15 minutes:

  • 5 minutes – main CAGED pattern scale in C up and down the fretboard (my pick up the guitar “riff”).  Might add in pentatonics in all patterns as well.  Just want it to be a muscle memory thing.
  • 5 minutes – simple stuff like chromatics or something from Petrucci’s Rock Discipline warmups.
  • 5 minutes – go through a song I’m working on playing…nothing too hard, just to do something more musical

Theory – 15 minutes:

  • 5 minutes – Pick a key (maybe spend a week on one) and go through the CAGED pattern naming all the notes and modes as I go.
  • 5 minutes – in the key above go through the chords naming and number. This is definitely the weakest part of my game, it’s time to know this.
  • 5 minutes – in the key above go through some common chord progressions so I can hear what they sound like.  Then try random progressions, maybe I’ll write down chord numbers to go through.

Technique – 15 minutes

I’m thinking I’ll focus on a technique each day and do 3 exercises pertaining to that technique.  For the moment I think I’ll rotate between the following: alternate picking, arpreggios (not sure if this is really a technique, but oh well), legato picking, sweep picking, and all techniques combined.  I think it might make sense to do the exercises in the same key, but we’ll see how that goes.

  • 5 minutes – exercise 1
  • 5 minutes – exercise 2
  • 5 minutes – exercise 3

Transcribing – 15 minutes

  • 15 minutes – work on the current song/riff transcribing in Guitar Pro.  I’ll be starting with John Denver’s “Take me home country road” so I can work it into a recording.

If I end up having more time, I’ll look to focus on either my own material or more play alongs.  That way I will hopefully be totally focused for the hour and then be able to start to incorporate those things learned into my playing.

So lastly, a practice log…I’ll start logging what I did above and any speeds.  Realistically, that will probably be mostly in the technique section though the progression wouldn’t hurt either.

I’ve compiled this from some great resources on the net, though I’m sure I’m not doing them justice, so check them out yourself: mainly Tom Hess, Dave Weiner (ROTW), and lately Justin Sandercoe.


One thought on “Initial Practice Routine Attempt

  1. Michael,

    I’m looking for some people to jam with. I play a Stat, 30 years experience, but haven’t played much with others. Floyd, Zep, Santana, Rock, Blues, whatever feels good. Heard your recording on Bandmix – I’m in Mill Creek, so not too far.

    Give me a shout at

    Dave McReynolds

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