How to make more progress with less practice time











By Chris Glyde
    Practice doesn’t always make perfect. Bad practiced habits will give you bad results. It’s not about the amount of time you put into what you’re doing but the value and focus you have while engaging in said task. Learning to play guitar is no different.

    Before diving into this article, realize you will need to have an understanding of rhythmic notation, what it is and why you need to learn it. If you don’t have this understanding, I suggest you head over to google and type in Chris Glyde + Rhythmic notation. I will be glad to explain it to you. Lets get back to the article.

    There are activities you can do on the guitar during your practice sessions that would be considered higher value than others. These are exercises that work on multiple music skills at once. They’re multi skill exercises so to speak. In this article, we’re going to take a look one of these exercises, but don’t worry I will touch on more of these exercises in further articles. Here is the first exercise









    This is one of my favorite ways to spend my time practicing it hits on so many important skills. When doing this activity you’ll focus on rhythm and fretboard visualization in a fun and creative way. Let’s talk about the steps you must take to set this exercise up correctly.

Step 1: Prepare a backing track. If you already have some backing tracks preset or you want to use backing tracks from YouTube feel free to do so. I personally don’t like the tracks on YouTube and would much rather opt to build mine own. This exercise will also work on your chord application and theory knowledge. Even more skill development.

Step 2: You will need to choose a rhyme phrase to work on. This could be something simple like 1 +a, 2e+ or even 1 + if you’re new to rhythmic notation. The important part is that you chose a rhythmic phrase before you begin.

Step 3: When you turn on the backing track your objective is to improvise phrases and smoothly insert the Rhythmic notation idea of your choice into the phrases you make up on the spot. This is challenging your rhythmic skill as well as your fretboard visualization skill. 

    As you move around in real time, this exercise may prove to be very challenging to your technique. Can you maintain the same technical standards when you improvise as when you spend time developing a specific skill? You can repeat motions that were difficult by playing slower while the backing track remains in real time. This is a great way to develop stronger technique.

Step 4: When things get to easy you can add on layers and layers of restrictions. Here are some suggestions.

1) Pick 2 or more beats of rhythmic concepts. 
2) Switch between adjacent scales while in the middle of your rhythmic concept 
3) Switch between non adjacent scales while playing rhythmic concepts.
4) String your rhythmic phrase in between 3 scales patterns.
5) Use bends and slides on your rhythmic phrases to spice it up.
6) Work on more difficult scales ( Pentatonic, Diatonic, Harmonic Minor)
7) Change the tempo, do the activity on faster speeds, 80 bpm, 100, 120, 140.

About The Author:
Chris Glyde is a guitar teacher who loves searching for creative and interesting ways to get more out of his students. If you’re looking for fun ways to learn guitar consider taking guitar lessons in Rochester with Chris

Article pic From chris.png
Rythym notation.png

Rhythmic Focused Jams