Guitar Tip #4 – 3 AXIS OF DAILY PRACTICE ROUTINE (Part I, Technique)

“I know I’m very technical, but I use it as a tool for expressing without limits my musicality”

Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth, Angra)

3 AXIS OF DAILY PRACTICE ROUTINE

In order to get better and get higher results as a guitar player, you should walk through a long distant journey which is well known as practice. Practice is a dynamic mental and body procedure which requires a lot of time to spend, dedication, patience and a very well organized schedule. In most cases and especially in self-taught guitarists (as I used to be for a long time) this procedure seems a chaotic challenge which causes frustration. On the other hand it is very helpful to consider how practice is based on 3 very important axis:

  • Technique
  • Theory
  • Improvisation

How can these 3 axis help your practice be more productive and less frustrating? Let me explain. Each one of these axis is a huge chapter itself and includes smaller units. Also, a different amount of time requires to spend depending on the importance of each one of these 3 axis. Thus, considering these thoughts we can understand that organizing your daily or weekly practice schedule becomes easier because you know the priorities. Technique needs more time to spend so it’s on the top of the list – as a high priority practice chapter – then comes theory and improvisation as a small priority practice chapter at last. In this article, we are going to discuss shortly technique and it’s benefits. In the next 2 articles we are going to talk about the other 2 axis separately.

Technique: It is our mean to express ourselves with no limits, a challenge to fulfill which feeds our self-esteem and a hard and long distant road. As you get better with your technique you can express almost everything that you hear with your inner-ear. This explains why the 1 axis is more important than the other 2 axis and why it needs more time and energy to spend on it. In your daily/weekly practice schedule you should always embody a small unit of technique. Maybe someone’s objection would be “But how? I have so many obligations…” and stuff.. Well, let me give you an example of what I would do. I woke up today with an essential desire for practice but I had to study hard for my exams tomorrow at the university. I think how much time do I have for practicing today and I find out that there are only 20 minutes. Listen what I am going to do. I am going to grab a legato lick (intermediate difficulty*) and play it in an extremely slow speed for 15 minutes. Then I come back to my study for university. Practicing something really slow gives you the feeling as you’ve been practicing for hours! Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean! I ensure you that you will be impressed!

In conclusion: Never neglect embody technique in your practice. Only if you really got tired and frustrated by doing it every day for a long time. In any other case always do your fingers’ training. In this way, you keep your fingers fit and ready to perform while you continue your long way to gain high guitar skills. One of my favorite high skilled guitarists and great influence is Kiko Loureiro. His next quote shows clearly the importance of technique:

“I know I’m very technical, but I use it as a tool for expressing without limits my musicality”

Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth, Angra)

*Prefer intermediate level licks in order to upgrade a bit the difficulty of your practice in these 15 minutes.