Creating An Effective Practice Schedule: Part 2

I'm assuming you've done the homework from the last lesson. If you haven't, please do it now. Yeah, right now...I'm watching you. :-)

All done? Great!

At this stage you should have 3 practice items written down for each of the main areas of focus. Remember that the six areas of focus were...

  1. Technique.
  2. Fretboard Knowledge.
  3. Musicianship.
  4. Repertoire/Vocabulary.
  5. Review.
  6. Success Mindset.

Now it's time to organize what you wrote down into an organized practice schedule. So let's go through the process that I personally use. Keep in mind that you DON'T have to do it the way that I do it. Feel free to adapt  my approach in a way that will suits you better.

OK. Let's get started...

Step 1: Decide On Your Practice Item Priorities.

In each area of focus you should have three practice items written down. In this step you will prioritize the items. This is important because unless you have a LOT of time to practice, you probably won't be able to practice all 18 things. (And it can also get overwhelming thinking that you have to practice all 18 things!).

So grab a pen now. And for each area of focus I'd like you to rate the 3 practice items you wrote down from 1 to 3. (1 being the most important to you, and 3 being the least important to you).

 

Step 2: Decide On Your Primary Area Of Focus.

At any given point in time I usually have a primary area of focus. This is the area of focus that is most important to me. There are a couple of advantages about deciding on a primary area of focus...

  • I can emphasize the area of focus in my practice schedule. Basically this means that I will allocate more time to my primary area of focus than any other area. And this means that I don't neglect what is most important to me.
  • I can still progress even if I have a "week from hell". Let's face it. We all have bad weeks from time-to-time. And this can mean that doing a lot of practice that week is impossible.

But by being clear on your primary area of focus you can still get some valuable work done. Rather than feeling that you have to practice everything, you can practice a small amount each day, and still feel a sense of satisfaction. After all, you are still improving your primary area of focus! :-)

Right, so go get your pen again. And this time I'd like you to prioritize your areas of focus from 1 to 6. (1 being the most important to you, and 6 being the least important to you).

 

Step 3: Print Out Your Guitar Practice Schedule.

To save you time, I've created a schedule for you to fill out. This is the one that I currently use, and I find it really useful. I hope you do as well. :-)

Please download and print out the following handout now...

Guitar Practice Schedule Form

 

Step 4: Fill Out Your Practice Schedule.

I'm deliberately not going to tell you how to do this now. I'll be talking about this in the next lesson.

For now, I recommend filling out the schedule first with absolutely no guidance from me.

Why am I being so mean? Simply because you'll learn more. (Not to mention, you might think of a better way of doing it that suits your personality more!).

As you fill out the handout, I recommend thinking about your priorities. Are you filling out the schedule in a way that truly reflects your priorities? If not, what can you change?

Have fun with this, and I'll see you soon!


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