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I know there's a difference in the two, but as I keep track, they are combined in my book. Everyone's practice techniques are their own, what works for you, might not for me, but after all that, how much time do you give your guitar? I guess I'm also asking the non-proffessional musician's. I am playing / practicing 1.3 to 2 hours a day.

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non pro; 2 hrs a day, practice & play. Been timing it for about 2 years, & have made better progress in my playing since I started doing this. I hear of people playing 8 hours per day, but my fingers & my brain ( & my family ) just cant manage much more than 2.
I play some every day during the week but not nearly as much as I should. I practise for a few hours every weekend though. I play with my band every tuseday for two or three hours and thats when I get most seriuos playing time.
I played quite casually for maybe 10 years just strumming chords and basically paying no attention to what my right hand was doing. In July I came across some alternate picking information that made sense to me. Since then I have been going at it pretty hard since my days are wide open.

I spend at least 5 hours a day on the guitar. I usually get in at least 1 hour of just straight right hand practice with a metronome. Then I play through my growing list of tunes i enjoy picking. At first progress was good on the tunes. I started with simple versions of Lonesome Fiddle Blues , Temperance Reel , Gold Rush , Old Joe Clark, Big Sandy River. Now as I have gotten a better grasp of the mechanics down I have moved on to some more difficult stuff. And progress is slowing way down , but the progress I do see is way more satisfying.

It was fun in the beginning to learn a new tune in a day or so. But its not comparable to sitting down with something and being totally lost on day 1 of working with the tune , spend an hour banging my head against the wall. Then day 2 or day 3 some of the licks actually come out right. A week later still better yet.
Currently I am working on Jerusalem Ridge , Lonesome Moonlight Waltz , Big Scioty , Lonesome Rueben.

I like the Idea of keeping a log Dave , I think that might be interesting.

I have kinda planned out my practice sessions as it is , but generally I get off course somewhere after I finish my right hand techniques. I think maybe keeping a log will work better than trying to plan out a weeks practice sessions.

Actual time I spend practice/play prolly looks like this.

45min-1Hour of straight right hand practice , broken into 15 minute sessions or 10 when the ADD kicks in.

2 Hours of practice on tunes that I consider to be in progress.

2 Hours of playing tunes that I have under my belt. With these tunes I am focusing on upping the speed and cleanliness of my playing , so even though its not officially practice , it is still practice :)

Something else I have found entertaining if not useful is for me to do is a weekly progress session.
I labeled like 12 tracks on cakewalk and save it as kind of a practice format. I then play through the songs taking no more than like 2 or 3 attempts for each one. each song on its own track then the next week I review the prior weeks practice session to see what I think neeeds more work , be it timing , clarity or speed.
Non-pro and I practice about 2-3hrs a week depending on what's coming up. If I know in advance of a jam I'll practice about 45 minutes a day until the jam.
As a professional player, my touring season has been over for a few months, yet I play everyday. Not so much because of practice, but I just actually like playing. This may be going through whole tunes, or it may be chord positions and variations, or it may be working with a metronome on timing or the like.

Plus I like listening and felling my guitars do their thing. Playing them everyday keeps them from 'sleeping', common to a guitar when it isn't played for awhile.


I think if you love guitar, you will play to some extent in any given day.
Bob,

I'll second that! I play everyday because I LIKE to! With that, advancement has come along with it. Yes, I dedicate time to exersices and lessons that are non-related to my bluegrass picking and then time for learning new tunes. But through it all, man I just turn off the world, I'm in my new studio (4rth converted bedroom after the last son left) playing my new Martin and before I know it, I've been in there for over an hour. Love it. If I don't get to play at least an hour a day, I get grumpy... it's like a "fix".

Dave
I consider myself very fortunate to be in a music school where my daily schedule affords me a lot of time to practice. An "off" day is an hour or two, but most days I have my guitar in my lap for 6 hours or more. I try to never, ever miss a day. I practice a lot of stuff that is required, and at times, tedious. Chord voicings and inversions, the modes of the melodic minor scale, substitute dominants, WHAT!? It's all going somewhere and if nothing else it just opens up the geography of the fretboard and keeps my hands trained. After all the tedious stuff is done, I just blow out some tunes and relax.
Non-pro, here.

I try to get in an hour a day. I warm up with 5 to 15 minutes of something I already know, then spend 15 or 20 minutes each on a couple or three different pieces from my current lessons (which I started taking this year, after ~30 years of playing by ear), and then, time permitting, I just fool around with anything I feel like playing.

I don't always get in a full hour, but then other days I might get in two or three hours. My schedule is pretty full, and I don't want the guitar to EVER feel like a chore I have to do, so rather than try to stick with a rigid practice schedule I concern myself more with being absolutely focused during whatever time I do have to spend on it.
I practice about one hour a day. I establish a routine for each week and keep a log.

Quite frankly, although I am getting "better" month-to-month the bitter truth is that, at the age of 45, I know that I will never be as good as I would like. But the measurable progress is just enough to keep me totally addicted and, besides, it is so damned much fun!
Pro. I play mostly and work on various stuff. Like David Grier says, he just plays a lot and I find that better for me. I will "woodshed" on specific things to improve my playing, but generally I do "noodling with a purpose". I work on tone and relaxing ...then I experiment with phrasings and timing. I work more on rhythm then lead. I work on my breaks for vocal tunes more than fiddle tunes when I do lead work. I also teach 15-18 students a week and I make them work on rhythm and working out melodies. Fiddle tunes are great to learn, but I find most flatpickers rely to heavily in the list of songs. Try studying Norman Blake or Doc Watson to learn how to back up your vocals or another person's vocals. It offers a better challenge to coming up with more creative phasings. Learning tab only gives you someone else's idea. I encourage everyone to find their own identity. Keep picking and good hunting..........for notes. Steve
I am a happy amateur. I practice between 1-2 hours a day. It is sometimes hard to find time with 3 kids, but
they are getting older so it gets easier. I have practiced a lot of singing lately, which I would like to get better at.
Thorsten
I practice whenever the mood strikes. Some days I can't get enough, while others I can't seem to hold the pick right.

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