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MATT WARNOCK GUITAR

30 Minute Guitar Practice Schedule Daily and Weekly Exercises

A guitar practice routineis the most effective way to grow on the instrument.

No matter what style of music you play, or your experience level, organized practice time helps you grow
as a player.

But.

Finding time to sit down and work out a routine, and then spend time each day practicing, seem like a
daunting task.

You have other responsibilities in your life. Families, jobs, hobbies, paying the bills, etc. are all vying for
your time.

Before you know it, the cars washed, the bills are paid, and your guitar is gathering dust in the corner of
your room.

But even for the busiest of the busy, this doesnt have to be the case. You can learn how to play guitar in
as little as 30 minutes a day, if you organize your practice schedule correctly.

In this article, youll learn how to:

Maximize every minute with your guitar.

How to grow as a player when time is short.

How to make music fun even when life is stressful.


With an effective and efcient guitar practice routine, you get time with the family, kick butt at your job, pay
the bills, and become the best guitaristyou can.

Guitar Practice Schedules Click to Jump Down

1. Before You Start

2. Guitar Practice Concepts

3. Weekly Practice Schedule

4. 15 Minute Guitar Workout

5. Daily Practice Schedule

6. Guitar Practice Routine 1

7. Guitar Practice Routine 2

8. Guitar Practice Routine 3

9. Rest Days

Before You Start


Before You Start

Before you learn how to build an effective routine, its important to set up a few learning tools in your
guitar practice schedule.

By setting specic goals, journaling, and recording each session, youreeffective and efcient in the
practice room, squeezing the most out of every minute you devote to learning guitar.

Set Specific Practice Goals

The most important element of any practice routine, setting goals gives you targets to aim for in your
playing and shows you progress in your studies.

As you develop your practice schedule, set specic goals for each daily and weekly section of your guitar
practice routine.

An example of this would be:

Scales Daily Goal Reach 120 bpm with metronome on A major scale.

Scales Weekly Goal Increase daily bpm by 25% with A major scale.

Scale Monthly Goal Hit 25% bpm increase with A, D, G, and C major scales.

By setting specic goals, you give yourself specic targets to reach and measure your success over time.

If you nd that you arent reaching your goals, daily, weekly, or monthly, dont think of it as a failure.

Instead, gure out why you arent meeting your goals and use that to set goals in other areas of your
studies.

For example, if youre not reaching your bpm goal for the week, it could be a picking issue.

You would then focus on alternate picking, before coming back to the scale exercises with your increased
technical skills.

Goals are essential when learning any skill, and working towards them will maximize your guitar practice
routine.

Dear Diary

Another essential tool for an effective practice routine is keeping a practice journal.
When youre working in short sections, such as 30-minute routines, its hard to see results day to day.

By keeping a practice journal, you see tangible results as you record your daily exercises and
achievements.

If you dont think youre growing, look at your journal for the past few months to see where you were and
where you are now.

Youll be surprised that youve learned a lot of new material, increased your bpm with technique exercises,
and spent less time each day to learn new concepts on the fretboard.

On the other side of the coin, if youre struggling to reach a specic goal, journaling helps you gure out
whats working for other areas of your routine.

You then apply similar techniques to the concept youre struggling with to overcomethose roadblocks in
your practicing.

Though it may seem strange at rst, a practice journal is one of the most effective ways to see progress
and grow in the short and long term.

Recording Practice Sessions

Alongside journaling, another highly effective practice tool is recording your practice sessions.

You can listen back to those practice sessions the next day, week, or month, to hear how youveimproved
over time.

Youre also able to listen to problem areas, allowing you to address those areas when youre not focused
on playing them in the moment during an exercise.

Recording is also effective when working on less measurable concepts, such as soloing or legato playing.

Listening back, taking notes on whats working and whats not, helps you quickly address those issues,
and enhances your strengths, during these sections of your routine.

Guitar Practice Concepts

Though every guitarist is different, there are 7 musical concepts that should be a part of any guitar
practice routine.

These concepts cover every skill needed to develop a well-rounded approach to chords, soloing, fretboard
knowledge, and music theory.
In the 30-minute routines below, you cover each of these 7 concepts in your weekly practice sessions.

By spreading out these concepts, you cover all 7 in your studies, and see progress on the guitar each
week at the same time.

The 7 elements of an effective guitar practice routine are:

Harmony

Melody

Technique

Soloing

Ear Training

Repertoire

Music Theory

As you can see, there are a lot of musical concepts to cover in your guitar practice routine.

It might seem like you need a lot of time each day to even touch upon these concepts.

Dont worry about cramming these skills into each practice session.

Instead, focus on touching each of these essential skills over the course of a series of practice sessions
that you repeat each week.

Having a well-rounded practice routine each week allows you to grow as a guitarist by working short,
consistent practice sessions.

Weekly Guitar Practice Schedule

Before digging into the daily practice routines, its effective to plan out your weekly practice schedule to
get the most out of these short, 30-minute sessions.

In a similar way to how youwork out at the gym, using a weekly schedule covers essential concepts, even
when time is short.

Heres how you organize your weekly schedule to maximize time in the practice room, and cover essential
skills over a 7-day period.

Youll learn about each of these three routines, and the rest day, in detail below.

Saturday Practice Routine 1

Sunday Practice Routine 2

Monday Rest Day

Tuesday Practice Routine 1

Wednesday Practice Routine 2

Thursday Practice Routine 3

Friday Rest Day

As you can see in this weekly guitar practice schedule, you arent working long sessions each day. But,
each week youll cover a lot of ground on the fretboard.

By spreading your practice routine over a week, you use consistency to build skills over time.

These steady, short, practice sessions produce big results over time, especially compared to not
practicing for several days and then cramming a few times per week.

The 15 Minute Guitar Practice Routine

If time is really short, you can adjust the 30-minute routine to work with 15-minute segments each day.

When doing so, you alter the two daily practice sections to t the following time schedule.

Section 1 10 Minutes

Section 2 5 Minutes

Though 15 minutes might not seem like a lot of time each day to practice, over time this consistent
practicing adds up.

With steady practice, you keep your hands and ears in shape, and maintain your creativity on the
fretboard.

It might not be ideal to only practice 15 minutes each day.

But, its much better to work in short, consistent sessions than not to practice for days on end and then do
a big chunk on the weekends.

Now that you know the 7 skills, how to schedule your weekly routine, and how to work an effective 15-
minute session, youre ready to work the 30-minute daily practice routines.

Daily Guitar Practice Breakdown

With specic practice goals set, and your practice schedule planned for the week, its time to look at your
30-minute daily practice routines in more detail.

Each of these 30-minute sessions is broken up into two chunks, one that takes 20 minutes and another
that takes 10 minutes.

Its important that you stick to this timing when working on each section in your daily practicing.

Set a timer if you have to.

Just dont go over time on one item and take time away from the other concept.

Its tempting to keep going on an exercise once youve started.

But.

Doing so takes time away from other important areas, and prevents you from covering all 7 essential
concepts each week in the practice room.

Lastly, always use a metronome to get the most out of any technical element in your daily practice routine.

Guitar Practice Routine 1

The rst routine that youll work on, which falls on a Saturday and Tuesday in the weekly schedule,
focuses on harmony and melody.

Because guitarists spend most of their time playing chords and chord progressions, as compared to
soloing, this takes up the majority of todays routine.

If you nd that you become unbalanced in these two areas, you can switch them up to spend 20 minutes
on scales and 10 minutes on chords.

And dont forget to set specic practice goals for each section to monitor your progress and achieve those
goals over time.

Chords and Chord Progressions 20 Minutes


As mentioned above, as a guitarist in a band or jam setting, you spend most of your time playing rhythm
guitar.

Because of this, spending 20 minutes in todays session prepares you to function in a band, as well as
take your rhythm guitar chops to the next level.

Here are four examples of chord exercises that you could use in todays session.

Develop specic chord shapes, such as barre chords or drop 3 chords.

Learn inversions for any chord type, i.e. m7.

Practice a chord progression in multiple keys, i.e. I-vi-IV-V.

Work on playing the chords, in a few positions, for a song youre learning.

Scales and Arpeggios 10 Minutes

Though many guitarists love to learn scales and arpeggios, sometimes this side of your practicing is the
source of an unbalanced routine.

To keep these items in your routine, but not overdo it as some guitarists do, you work on scales and
arpeggios for 10 minutes in todays routine.

Remember, set specic practice goals for this section.

And dont be worried about working both scales and arpeggios in this section of your practice routine.

Its perfectly cool to work on a scale exercise for a few weeks or months, then switch to arpeggios, and
work both back and forth over time.

Here are four examples of scale and arpeggio exercises that you could use in todays session.

Learn a new scale in 12 keys.

Play a mode and its related arpeggios in all keys.

Run a practice pattern through a new scale.

Play one, two, and three-octave arpeggios shapes for a chord type, i.e. maj7,

Guitar Practice Routine 2


Guitar Practice Routine 2

Moving on to day two, which falls on Sunday and Wednesday, you practice technique and soloing.

Working these two concepts builds your strength, dexterity, and creativity in todays practice routine.

As was the case with scales, guitarists often overdo it with technique.

To prevent this imbalance, set a timer and stop your technique exercise after 20 minutes.

This keeps you moving forward with technical and soloing goals in your daily and weekly routines, and
prevents your time from becoming unbalanced in the practice room.

Technique 20 Minutes

Building technique on guitar makes anything you play smoother and easier on the fretboard.

But.

Technique doesnt just mean playing fast.

Having strong guitar technique means building dexterity, exibility, strength, and speed in both your
picking and fretting hands.

Because of this, work a variety of technical exercises in this section of your practice routine to develop
strong fundamentals.

Here are four examples of technique exercises that you could use in todays guitar practice session.

Speed drills with a metronome, steadily increasing the speed.

Legato exercises through scales or nger patterns.

Alternate picking, ngerpicking, or hybrid picking exercises.

Stretching exercises to work on fretting-hand dexterity.

Soloing 10 Minutes

In your soloing practice, let your hair downand be creative as you learn about musical concepts and the
fretboard.

One thing to watch in this section, is that you dont just randomly solo over chords or chord progressions.

This wont help you grow as a soloist.


Instead, soloing with a specic goal produces better results in the practice room.

I call this type of soloing practice, constructive noodling.

This is where you solo over a progression, but you only use one scale ngering, one part of the neck, one
outside concept, etc.

By doing so, you build your creative chops, and increase your guitar skills at the same time.

Here are four examples of soloing exercises that you could use in todays guitar practice session.

Solo over a static chord with a specic scale or arpeggio.

Solo on one string at a time to work on fretboard uency.

Stick to a four-fret span when soloing over a song or progression.

Work on a specic outside concept, such as sidestepping or passing notes.

Guitar Practice Routine 3

The last guitar practice routine occurs only once per week, on Thursday.

This doesnt mean that these concepts are any less important than the others.

But, because time is short, and you want to maintain balance, you only cover these concepts once every
7 days in your guitar practice routine.

As is the case with any element of your routine, if you nd that youre struggling with ear training or
learning songs, you can switch this day with another to cover it twice a week.

That is the beauty of this type of practice routine.

You can move things around to bring focus to weaker elements, while maintaining daily and weekly
balance in your guitar practice routine.

Ear Training 20 Minutes

One of the most important elements of any practice routine, and the one that many guitarists avoid, isear
training.

Though ear training is tough, its the biggest reason why you see growth in your playing over time.
Now, ear training might not mean what you think it does.

For many of us, we have nightmares about singing intervals in music theory class.

Or struggling to write down melodies by ear in classical guitar lessons.

But, ear training can be fun, if you do it right.

In this section, focus on whats practical for you and your musical goals.

This could mean learning songs by ear, or working on transcribing a solo by your favorite guitarist.

As long as you work on learning music by ear, and expanding your ability to hear music in the moment,
youre being productive with ear training in your routine.

Here are four examples of ear training exercises that you could use in todays guitar practice session.

Pick out the chords to a song by ear.

Learn a riff from a recording.

Transcribe a solo by ear from your favorite player.

Sing intervals, scales, arpeggios, or other musical devices.

Learning Songs 10 Minutes

In the second section of todays routine, you expand your repertoire as you learn new songs.

One of the biggest roadblocks guitarists face, is that you have scales and chords under your ngers, but
cant play a song.

So, when you have friends over and someone sees your guitar and asks you to play something, you run
through a few scales and its a bit awkward.

Wouldnt it be cooler if you could grab your guitar and play a song for yourself, or your friends?

Spending time each week learning songs gets you to that level, and gives you a real, tangible, piece of
music that you can perform.

Here are four examples of song exercises that you could use in todays guitar practice session.

Learn the chords to a new song.

Learn the melody line to a tune, for instrumental guitarists.

Learn the riffs and/or solo from that same song.

Learn a song by ear to work ear training as well.

Rest Days

Just as you would when working out at the gym, you dont need to completely stop studying music on rest
days.

Instead, you focus on studying concepts away from the guitar in these practice sessions.

The two most popular elements that you can study away from the guitar are listening and music theory.

Both can be done anywhere, you dont need a guitar or amp to work them out in your routine.

And, they grow your ears and understanding of how music works, even on a rest day.

So, though youre not working your ngers, dont think that rest day workouts are less productive than
days when youre on your guitar.

They can be just as productive, it just takes planning in your guitar practice schedule each week.

Listening 30 Minutes

As you have two rest days each week, Monday and Friday, you can spread out theseconcepts in your
guitar practice routine.

This means spending 30 minutes of listening on Monday, and 30 minutes of music theory on Friday, for
example.

When working on listening, take time to do focused listening.

You probably listen to music for hours a day, but its often in the background, or youre not really paying
attention.

In this 30-minute routine, spend time listening intently as you grow your ears and expand your musical
understanding.

Here are four examples of listening exercises that you could use in todays rest day practice session.

Listen to a solo youre learning on repeat.

Listen to a song youre learning on repeat.

Listen to a new album.

Listen to a new artist you just discovered.

Music Theory 30 Minutes


Music Theory 30 Minutes

The nal element in this guitar practice routine is music theory.

Again, you can use an entire rest day, 30 minutes, to work on music theory, or you can break it up with
listening if you prefer.

As was the case with ear training, music theory is extremely helpful in your studies, but many players
avoid it.

Learning music theory doesnt have to be boring; create fun exercises and youll look forward to studying
theory each week.

By working on practical theory, such as analyzing songs, or reciting the note names for a scale, you tie
theory to your fretboard in your studies.

This makes music theory practical, and keeps a focus on other elements of your practice routine going at
the same time.

Here are four examples of music theory exercises that you could use in todays rest day practice session.

Read about a specic theory concept youre studying.

Write out theory exercises such as key signatures, scales, chord tones.

Analyze a song or chord progression youre learning to play.

Learn a new musical term such as Coda, refrain, passing tone, etc.

As you can see, you dont need a ton of time each day in the practice room to grow as a guitarist.

By working short, 30-minute sessions, and using a weekly schedule, you maximize your time in the
practice room.

This organized approach isjust what you need to become a better guitarist today.