Miscellaneous Rumbles

Hey Uncle Grumpy - Did you PRACTICE today?


In accordance with our mutual New Years resolution, I got in a 50 minute session on Jan 2 (I won't count New Years Day). Yesterday I was in Winnipeg all day and never got to practice but I'm putting in at least an hour this afternoon to make up for it (30 minutes so far).

Anyway I thought I might start this little thread as a way of keeping score. I'll post my own efforts from time to time to egg you (and myself) on! ;-)

P.S. For those just joining the show, the baseline simple: Practice at least 5 days (1/2 hr session or more) a week. Anything above that is gravy. Post if you'd like to join the contest. First one to fail must buy the rest a Popeill Pocket Fisherman.

BTW everyone is on the honor system...so no cheating! :)


I was just thinking about this. Jan. 1st I got 40 minutes, Jan 2nd, 0 minutes, Jan 3rd, about 10 minutes, today I did 35 minutes after work.:D I gotta tell you it feels good. A bit boring, but good. Those times do not include noodling. I'll see how the weekend goes. I tend to play more then. Practice is probably my weakest point.


So, what/how do you guys practice? Scales, chords...?


Is this the GDP version of the old Seinfeld "Master of Your Domain" contest?


I have been practicing songs that I want to learn but never did. Right now I'm working on getting up to speed on Hot Rod Lincoln. Geoff Vane has sent me a couple lessons on classical guitar which I shall tackle this weekend.

I have never seen Seinfeld.


I jammed with a buddy for over 3 hours this aftrnoon, does that count? ;-) We haven't gotten to play much for the last 3 months, so we went over a bunch of the songs that we do.


So, what/how do you guys practice? Scales, chords...?

-- RandyS

I mainly practice improvising lines and chord solos around jazz standards. Usually I'll take a small section of a give tune (verse, chorus or an unusual chord progression) and apply certain techniques to it - Octaves, double stops, blues type lines, Wes type voicings - until it becomes part of my vocabulary. I also have a couple of books I'm currently studying and scanning for new/improved techniques. This keeps things from becoming stale and I feel like I'm accomplishing two things at once - Physical conditioning and repertoire.8-)

Farmerbrown, you're in.:D

-- Unclegrumpy

Yep, as Grumps say, as long as it's beyond noodling (or watching TV while holding the guitar) it counts!8-)


I've had a heck of a time getting into practicing this week, delayed holiday depression I guess. But, I did order Jazz Guitar The Complete Edition by Jody Fisher which my instructor reccomended. I'm slowly being turned into a Jazzer.


I think this is a good idea. Just being a member here makes me want to practice more.


Yesterday I was in Winnipeg all day and never got to practice but I'm putting in at least an hour this afternoon to make up for it (30 minutes so far).

-- General_Lee

I spend every day in Winnipeg. Maybe that's why I don't get to practice.

I do PLAY every day, I just don't take the time to learn anything.

You sorta look familiar: are we in the same ukulele group? Second Tuesday of every month?


Stuck in Cleveland this week, but brought my Goldie 3967.

Been playing the heck out of it unplugged. I sound like crap, but it's MY CRAP!:D


Hey General and Unc.

Could you guys define your practice a bit more? For instance Grumpy you'r practicing Hot Rod Lincoln. How do you mean? Are you actually learning/reading the music notation or tab? Or do you listen to the song and try to work it out? Or a combination?

General, it sounds like you're light-years ahead of my skill set. But you got there through practice (and talent likely)

I spent the three weeks before Christmas finishing up (well for the most part) a bunch of remodeling projects around the ol' casa (don't spend your vacation right before Christmas remodeling...trust me on this one!) and as a result I now have a nice practice area with all my guitars hanging nicely on the wall just begging to be played. I find lately that when I do take one down I seem to end up mostly just plunking out the same stuff...parts of songs, weak attempts at riffs etc. I guess by definition just noodling. I'd like to do more but I seem to be sort of stuck at a plateau and I'm not sure how to get past. I know a whole lot of parts of songs, but not very many complete ones. Probably the best luck I've had is by watching lessons on them internets.

I'd be interested in hearing what all you folks do for practice. :)


You sorta look familiar: are we in the same ukulele group? Second Tuesday of every month?

-- wadeaminute

I'm the guy in the Don Ho t-shirt.8-)


Hey Blutonium! Are you looking for specific suggestions? If so, perhaps you could give me some idea of where you are and where you would like to go on your instrument and I could make a couple of suggestions. I've varied my routines a lot over the years depending on my level/interest and also have done a lot of private teaching so I've covered a lot of territory. Feel free to pick my brain...as well as Grumpy's (I understand his right-brain is very cultivated :) ).


I'm in as I have been doing 1/2 hr at least anyway....However, I'm a looper jammer guy...my noodling turns blues songs suitable for gigging. Anyway, Gen. Lee this thread is a good idea. :)


Blutonium, I learned the riff for Hot Rod Lincoln. Now it's just a matter of playing it over and over again until I can play it faster with no mistakes. I have a very short attention span so I play it through a few times then play something I know, like La Bamba, then play it a few more times and so on. It's slow going but I do notice an improvement every day. I work everything out by ear and I don't worry about playing it exactly the same as someone else. Just so it sounds good to me. Hot Rod Lincoln is a fast song so I figure that if I can play that it will make it easier for me to learn other songs. It's tough playing the same thing over and over again for 30 minutes.


Oh yeah, I just did some work on the house so I have a room with my guitars hanging on the wall. It kind of makes you want to play more with the guitars right there.


Has anybody tried Guitar Speed (http://www.guitarspeed.com)? It's $50, but you can download the trial version, which is limited to the first type of picking (downstrokes). However, reading the intro information was informative, especially as to how to practice for speed -- finding your speed profile, then working in a specific way to maximize it. I also discovered I'm pretty fast at downstrokes, but weak at upstrokes, which means I'm limited at alternate picking, too. So that's something I need to work on. The trial's good enough I probably will spring for the whole shebang at some point.



I'm not sure how to describe my playing level (adjectives fail me...well, I can think of one. It rhymes with "happy")

I've had a guitar since I was 7 (I'll be 50 next week). I got my first electric guitar (Gretsch!) in 2008.

I guess I could be considered a "fair to middling" rhythm player...I'm definately not a lead player. I can play most chords and I've been learning to use different fingerings (i.e. playing further up the neck etc.) I've a pretty good ear, but almost no ability to read notation and reading tabs doesn't really come naturally to me either. I mostly play by ear. I'll hear something I want to learn and plink around til I figure it out (or at least something that sounds close to my ear).

I enjoy "Twangy Guitar's" demo videos, Steve Trovato's, Damian Bacci' Mainsoda's and others like that. I've also downloaded lots of old songs from Youtube to my mp3 (shhhh don't tell Deed) that I'd like to try and learn.

I don't really have any desire to play for audiences. I admire all of you who do and can, but I just enjoy making music. I find it relaxing. (Yeah even cranked up and distorted)

I suffer from some minor numbness in my hands as a result of a little skirmish with cancer so I find that playing also helps me keep the ol' digits limber.

Like I said, I'd like to hear any tips on playing/practicing better.

I think I'll try to do 30 minutes a day too. I had a guitar in my office trailer all last summer and I did stay after work and practice, but the jobsite I'm on now isn't in the best neighborhood so I don't think I keep a guitar onsite there.


I'm in.

I've played the guitar for at least 45 minutes/night every night this year (tonight being the 5th one). Typically, I'll spend most of that time working on a specific song, then go back and play others from my "repertoire".

Last week I was working on David Bowie's Hang Onto Yourself (I love all the Mick Ronson riffs). This week I'm working on the Clash's I'm So Bored with the U.S.A. I have to confess that I've been playing these mostly on my Mustang and Schecter as they don't really work with the Gretsch. But, I've played the Gretsch a bit as well, noodling on Home of the Blues and That's Alright.

Now back to playing...


Blutonium, I too have a problem with my left hand. While in the Marines I had a skirmish that left me with about 70% use of my arm and hand. I can't read music and I am just now starting to figure tabs. There are some great lessons on the tube. I have some video of earlier practice sessions. I may make some new ones to show my progress. Being a member of the GDP makes me want to practice more. Some serious talent here.


I practiced for nearly two hours today. I was in the mood for P90s so my Ibby got a nice workout. Every time I play it, I am amazed at how good of a guitar it is.


I usually practice for 60-75 minutes 4-6 times per week. I know many melodies from beginner's songbooks and am slowly learning the rhythm guitar. I will be taking group lessons through my city beginning the 17th which will focus on rock rhythm guitar.

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