Thoughts on Practice (Guitar Lesson)


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Chris Liepe

Thoughts on Practice

With so much material out there, what should you focus on? How much time do you spend on a certain topic? How do you progress? How do you measure progress? Chris covers all of these topics in this lesson.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Rock Guitar with Chris Liepe seriesLength: 17:16Difficulty: 1.0 of 5

Start by:
Define your long -term goals
Define short-term goals that help you work towards your long-term goal
Decide how much time you have
Set intentional time aside
People go through different phases of life which can define the type and intensity of practice that is possible: Being younger and dependent on family for income or a time of unemployment etc... Will allow you to structure your practice differently than if you are working 3 jobs and are a single parent of 3 kids.

Be realistic!
The phases of guitar development generally look like this:
1. Beginner phase: tinkering, mis-guided practice, fragments of ideas
2. Intermediate phase: developing some goals, tons of time spent practicing, maybe some teaching, still a lot of time wasted while practicing
3. Focus phase: honing in on an area of playing that really interests you. could be a technique, genre etc...
4. Application phase: practice time tapers off, you learn how to make money at what you do. Spend more time "working" with your guitar than you do practicing.
It is possible to be in more than one phase at a time.
It is possible to go back and forth between phases.

The goal is to stay consistently in the focus and or application phase for continual development and divide your time equally between 4 different areas of practicing:
Technique (speed and accuracy)
Theory (musical application)
Chords sounds like it could be under technique or theory, but it needs separate attention because we're so busy learning scales, arpeggios, flying gymnastics etc...
Composition and Creation (writing licks, songs, backing tracks, melodies... whatever, just make sure YOU are coming up with it -- also includes playing with others.
One other note: Make sure practice time is actual practice time. It's easy to get in to the mode of playing with bands, songwriting, recording etc... and not actually spending time focusing on just practice. All of these things really do help you improve as gain experience as a guitar player, but there is no substitute for being regular in alone time practicing with your instrument.

If you have limited time, or you need another effective way of practicing, check out my article on the 30 minute guitar workout concept.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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dmarrdmarr replied on May 15th, 2014

Hey Chris, I've worked through several of your lessons and just wanted to say thanks. Your practice suggestions are very helpful, I'm going to apply your ideas.

Doc RodDoc Rod replied on February 10th, 2014

Hi, Chris. I`m really frustrated about my speed..... I consider myself as an intermediate player, just trying to move to the focus phase, but my speed block me to do most of the licks..... as a paradox, getting speed is really a slow process? :) Tks.

gilbert714gilbert714 replied on February 7th, 2013

I want to learn 50's and 60 lead and improvising country music and would the practice of technique be different for practicing this type music??

kiro1982kiro1982 replied on May 23rd, 2012

Cheers Chris, there is some great stuff here that I need to spend time working on. As you mentioned im one of those players that has stepped back into the scary intermiedate spot light after years many years spent in the focused and application stage with the goal of expanding my overall playing.

airportstoamsterdamairportstoamsterdam replied on May 20th, 2012

What would you say to someone who excelled in certain categories but needed more work in others? For instance, I have a pretty thorough knowledge of chords, theory, and I've written lots of songs, but my musicianship is in major need of development. I'm tempted to think my "hour" would be best spent purely on technique, since it's my main weakness.

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on January 15th, 2012

hey chris just want to let you know ure a really good teacher.

leomleom replied on November 25th, 2011

Thanks Chris!!

samuncle004samuncle004 replied on September 1st, 2011

Insightful!! My problem is that I get stuck on a particular aspect of guitar and give it too much time to master it..But now I think it keeps my playing stagnant..I never achieve my goal perfectly and it makes me frustrated...Need your help..thanks for helping!!

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on September 6th, 2011

check out my article called "30 minute guitar workout concept" here on the site. It'll help a great deal with that stagnation your talking about. Thanks for following the lessons!

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on January 15th, 2012

where that at?

mitkomitko replied on August 3rd, 2012

http://members.jamplay.com/articles/read/165-the-30-minute-guitar-workout-concept

samuncle004samuncle004 replied on September 7th, 2011

Thanks chris !!

victorialeevictorialee replied on August 12th, 2011

Great lesson! What about some time spent playing and singing songs you like and memorizing them? That seems to keep me motivated, but I'm not sure how much I improve during the considerable time it takes me to commit some songs to memory.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on August 13th, 2011

Learning songs is great, but I always thought of them as 'extra' or not included in real practice. I'll take aspects of things that I picked up from learning songs and make those things the objects of my practicing, say a challenging lick or something. but stuff like learning other poeple's songs, jamming with friends, etc... I've never really considered that to be practice, though it may still help you improve.

stratmusicstratmusic replied on August 10th, 2011

This is so helpful. I have been so busy lately my practice time has become scarce so I am really excited to use your suggestions to help me really focus my practice time. Thanks!

Rock Guitar with Chris Liepe

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Instrumental Rock carries with it many creative aspects both in writing and playing. By the end of this series, Chris will have covered almost everything you will need to know to create and play your very own melodic instrumental rock piece, with emotion!



Lesson 1

Rock Essentials Introduction

Chris Liepe introduces his Phase 2 Rock Essentials lesson series. By highlighting specific instrumental rock styles and techniques, Chris will help you become a more melodically creative player.

Length: 3:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

3 on a String Scales

Chris Liepe starts off his Rock Essentials series with a lesson on 3 on a string scales. Utilizing 3, 4, and 6 note sequencing, Chris begins to dive into instrumental rock style phrasing and provides several...

Length: 37:00 Difficulty: 3.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Pentatonic Scales, Sequencing, and Lick Ideas

Chris introduces the pentatonic scales as well as some of their basic applications.

Length: 19:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Chord Numbering

Chris Liepe takes some time to explain chord numbering. Understanding how chords are built will only help in your overall knowledge of the guitar.

Length: 16:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

The CAGED System

Chris breaks down the CAGED system and its chord chemistry. He covers both major and minor chord forms.

Length: 35:06 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Sweep Picking

Chris digs into the sweep picking technique. He uses the C, A, and E forms introduced in the previous lesson to help with finger synchronization.

Length: 27:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Introduction to Modes

Chris moves on to the subject of modes. He explains where modes come from, how they sound, and how they are used.

Length: 30:04 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Modal Pentatonic Scales

This lesson demonstrates how to modify the old trusty 5th fret A minor pentatonic position to make it sound modal.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Modal Chord Progressions

How do you know which mode to use? There are giveaways with every chord progression, and Chris covers them in this lesson.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Complete Major / Minor Scale Using Penatonic Scales

Chris demonstrates how to complete the major and minor scale by using pentatonic positions based on the roots of the I, IV, and V chords.

Length: 14:52 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Melodic Development

Chris Liepe utilizes everything he has taught in the series so far to demonstrate how to create catchy lead lines over a backing track.

Length: 15:30 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Implied Tonalities

Chris Liepe delves into the world of implied tonalities. This lesson details how a single arpeggio can be implied over various chordal sounds.

Length: 25:40 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Series Introduction Solo Lesson (Composed Soloing)

Chris teaches the solo that was used in the introduction lesson for this series. He uses the solo as an example of how to effectively compose your own solos.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

2 Hand Tapping

It's time to give the right hand hand some work with two hand tapping on the guitar neck.

Length: 31:26 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Thoughts on Practice

With so much material out there, what should you focus on? How much time do you spend on a certain topic? How do you progress? How do you measure progress? Chris covers all of these topics in this lesson.

Length: 17:16 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Get to Know Chris Liepe

Chris Liepe offers up some insight into his past. Hopefully this lesson will help you further your own goals as a guitarist.

Length: 11:42 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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