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Old 01-17-2022, 10:18 PM
hatamoto hatamoto is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 419

As someone who is also unfocused I find that the best way is usually the simplest. I also overthink a lot and it sounds like you do too, (correct me if I'm wrong). I used to have so many different topics in my practice that I just end up noodling aimlessly. Five hours had gone by and I haven't accomplished anything.

I can only relate my experiences so this might not be the answer for you but I hope it helps.

My goal is to not only play popular songs and covers, but ultimately I want to sound like myself and be able to express what I'm hearing in my head and come up with my own originals.

These days I only dedicate two areas in my practice: playing songs and composing. I can gain two days of work from my old repertoire using my current one. Playing songs will help me build specific motor skills in a fun and musical way. Composing whether if it's original, arranging or interpreting a song helps me build my theory chops and expand my vocabulary.

I also get burnt out easily, so if I get to a point where I'm just forcing it, I stop. If I need to take a break for a change of pace, I will do that no matter how long and come back renewed, but when I come back, I'm 100% doing the extra mile. I guess that's why I'm like this.

I don't follow a schedule. There can be times when I'm just focusing on composing, or improvising ideas for a week or more. I just follow whatever is more interesting for me at that point in time, but my topics are very much related to each other so whatever I'm working on will have some carryover. Sometimes when I haven't picked up my guitar for a week and when I feel that I need to "practice", I just play songs and analyze what's going on. My point is that you have to determine what your goal is and find ways to work on it that are the most bang for your buck. Eliminate the useless ones that you don't need.

So far everything has been working really well.

Any other exercises will serve as extra work or they can be warmups. For example, I could do 2-5 minute warmup of scale runs and triad pairs, just so I can see their positions and link them all together for review but I don't spend hours and hours doing that because the point is to make music. There's no point for me to drill a specific 2-5-1 chordal movement in its inversions in Eb because it's so specific that I'll just play it for what it is and I'll just forget. Positions will slowly reveal themselves as I write music anyways and I'll remember them much better because I worked for it.

Lastly, take lots of videos of yourself playing or record yourself. You'll be able to see your progress to further motivate you.

Last edited by hatamoto; 01-17-2022 at 11:11 PM.
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