Length of Practice time

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by squi guy, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. squi guy

    squi guy Squier-Meister

    Jan 5, 2019
    North Canton,Ohio
    Just curious about this. This question is mainly for players who are not in a band, but how long and often do you practice playing guitar or bass, daily, every other day, and hour or two at a time..?
    And for players that use a tube amp, do you play longer, allowing for descent tube warm up?
    I'm a "bedroom" player and trying to play more, but things in daily life prevent a dedicated time for my hobby and just wondered how much time the rest of you play.
    BlueSquirrel and strat_strummer like this.
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    I do a couple hours/day, with most sessions being 1/2 to 1 hour. If I'm doing something like waiting for a cup of tea to steep I'll get a few minutes in. All the amps I use for practice are all-tube. I let them warm up long enough for sound to come out the speaker and turn them off when the session is over, whether it's five minutes or an hour.
    so1om, squi guy and JurnyWannaBe like this.
  3. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-holic

    Apr 25, 2019
    Another bedroom player here. I try to play every day, even if some days I can only squeeze 20-30 mins before or after work. For normal sessions, I would say between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.

    I don't have a tube amp, so I can't comment on that.
    so1om and squi guy like this.
  4. IronSchef

    IronSchef Dr. Squier

    Jun 18, 2012
    Flew here on my Dragonfly
    I'm a bedroom player as well - my rule is "10 minutes at least" every day, and I make sure to adhere to that (most days at least) -- sometimes it is only 10 minutes, but most of the time it ends up being way more.

    I do usually use a tube amp - and I turn it on 10 minutes or so before I'm ready to go (no idea if that helps or not, lol) :)
    squi guy, so1om and drewcp like this.
  5. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Nov 24, 2018
    RC addiction....
    I am retired and don't play in a band. I only play for the wife and the dog, so I cant really call it practice because I'm not practicing for anything. Basically it all depends on my mood, somedays I'll play for several hours a day or may not even pick up my guitars for a few days. Summer time pretty much keeps me outdoors so I practice with a fishing pole instead...:D
    vlxerdon and squi guy like this.
  6. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I only play for myself any more. A couple times a week at most, 10-30 minutes normally. I need to start making time for it.
    squi guy likes this.
  7. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    Band, once a week. Now that may be Let's write something, next time let's jam and see what happens, other times, let's run through the set. But let's set that aside because I play bass in the band and rarely do I noodle and do things on bass at home alone.

    At home, up until Dec 31 2018, every couple days, once a week. Either plugging in or not, goofing around with a pedal, another guitar, maybe noodling and thinking a string height is too high and mess with that.

    Set that all aside as well.

    What started as a joke... January 1 I played guitar for good amount. Then everything was set up, so I did the next day. And then I had realized I had played something everyday for a couple weeks.

    Now to keep my streak going, I make it a point to even strum a few chords for 10 minutes a day because "it counts as playing guitar! keep the streak going!!"

    Now this ain't the crazy rich kid Tom Morello of working on scales 1 hour, then theory the next, etc for 8 hours a day. But what I have noticed:

    the basic strumming, a few favorite runs, tuning, that engages and takes care of the boredom of the same old thing and being stuck in a rut.

    My fingers and abilities have improved without really making an effort. Even after playing 40 years, there's an improvement and I still don't know scales but I know what sounds right for what I want.

    I'm more in tune with my guitars and tones and sounds and I don't seem to be relearning things.

    I still have time for plugging in or not, goofing around with a pedal, another guitar, maybe noodling and thinking a string height is too high and mess with that -because that counts to keeping the streak alive!

    So really, even if you are a bedroom player, keep the guitar our and on hand for even daily minute here and there. Even a ukulele, maybe you can afford a $30 bullet and you leave the more expensive gear put away for the most part.

    Just keep playing, playing, playing...
    squi guy and Dr Improbable like this.
  8. Ace38

    Ace38 Squier-holic

    Jul 19, 2016
    Tulsa, OK.
    This...100%. I get up in the morning and pull out a guitar. Most of the time it spends around an hour in my hands w/o even realizing or forcing myself to have it.
    wonkenstein and squi guy like this.
  9. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    Another good time is during TV commercials. Spending time with the family, watching a moving, hanging out. Just plinking away -it counts!

    You heating up the grill to cook dinner? Sitting outside for a few minutes? It counts!
  10. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    When I was young I "practiced." Scales and exercises. Rehearsal of songs. By myself daily at first by the cl0ck (that for discipline for the unfun parts -- typically a half h0ur of that stuff) then for sheer pleasure for anther whatever.

    Gigs were at night. Band practice on weekend days.

    Much later, when I returned to classical guitar, clock controlled practice again entered the picture. The discipline of learning to sight read music again required it. Maybe 20 minutes of Carcassi exercises, then onto the sheet music which was actually fun and needed no clock.

    Now I just play and very occasionally decide to learn a new song. But my repertoire is small and my endurance even smaller.

    I can sit and play surf for an hour or so. But what I enjoy even more is standing in my music room with the Black Box Band at just under club levels and letting it rip -- leads and vocals. My originals. Some of my own arrangements of classic Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon songs. And that exhausts me quickly, loss of coordination follows, and (thus) danger to the instruments and my person.

    Getting older is an unspayed bit ch. But it is part of life for all that.

    Even when I stop playing the glow remains for hours.

    squi guy and wonkenstein like this.
  11. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    I play everyday... for 45 minutes to a hour. I do not have a tube amp.
    wonkenstein, squi guy and so1om like this.
  12. oneLOCOman

    oneLOCOman Squier-holic

    Oct 2, 2018
    First off please do not take this wrong I am not disparaging anyone. However, you always have time either a few minutes when you get up or a few minutes before you got to bed. I keep a guitar by my bed and one by the couch. If little else I just strum some chord progressions or run through some scales practicing slides, hammer ons, pull offs, vibrato, and bends. I just started practicing scales to backing tracks and I find this is quite fun. And I also find you need to have a goal and set objectives. Example lets say you want to learn the minor pentatonic scale in A. Set an objective to learn the first four notes of box 1, then play that every day, then add 2 more notes, and so on. Statr with quarter notes then triplests and so on. As with learning anything it takes commitment. You have to commit to practicing a certain amount every day. Heck I would put a guitar by the pot if I could, seems like lately I have been spending some time sitting on it. :D:D
    wonkenstein, squi guy, so1om and 2 others like this.
  13. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    I'm playing right now as I read this thread!

    Early A.M., I play every day 45 min to an hour. With an amp.

    Throughout the day: If I sit still for a moment, there's a guitar in my hand.
    wonkenstein, squi guy and so1om like this.
  14. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    Man - this can be so different for everybody! I haven't gigged for a living since '82 so I am no longer on a "working schedule". I squeeze in as much time as I can these days between day job, yard work, shop repairs and hanging out with my wife. If life is really hectic I might not play at all for a few days, only on the weekend gigs. I can honestly say that it is sometimes really great that I don't have to play - I enjoy it even more now!

    Practice is still important for me because I still have to keep learning. If I'm working on new songs/scales/fingerings/chord voicings (and the key word here is 'work') I'll have at it for 45 to 60 minutes. After that I need to put it down and let it all sink in.... that's when the mental practice happens. Visualizing patterns and fingerings, hearing the intervals in my head. I'll come back to that work in a day or so and it falls together because I gave myself time to get to know it. In these situations I'm going to be dead in the water by overthinking. So I roll with it knnwing it'll smooth out when it's played live.

    When I was a kid I learned a lot about just playing and not thinking by doing it mindlessly in front of the TV like several others here have mentioned ..... it's really invaluable experience when you stop to think about how much of your playing and your personal style is going to be a combination of muscle memory and what you hear within your own head. Any of the smoothness and fluidity you develop as a player is going to come from repetition - we all start there and it builds from the basics on up. Listen to all of the great players in any musical style you like, they all came up with the basics. I have to admit that mindless repetition is a huge part of why I can still learn and play now..... scales, runs, licks, chord shapes, finger picking...... in front of the TV sometimes still..... and sooner or later, bingo - you notice how much smoother and more articulate it is today than it was last week!

    Last but not least, allow enough time every so often to just drift away with your instrument without thinking about anything. Sometimes that guitar is your best friend in the world after a hard day at work. Sometimes you'll strum just one simple chord in the first position and damn if that just ain't the best chord in the world. The adventure begins all over. Sometimes I grab one of my acoustics with nothing in mind other than to hear that guitar. Three hours later I have no idea where I've been but I'm totally refreshed. Yup, after all these years I still love this stuff. Just play!
    squi guy and so1om like this.
  15. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I noodle around every day, but I can’t say it’s exactly dedicated and productive practice.
    wonkenstein, squi guy and so1om like this.
  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Squier-holic

    Jan 19, 2018
    GA USA
    On days when I have time and the weather is good at work, I'll play for about a half hour in the parking lot at work during lunch. This is usually slide practice with either my SX Tele or my recently built "Pigaphone" travel guitar with my Vox G3 Mini.

    At home, I'll play about an hour or so in the evening if I have time. This may be practicing stuff I want to work on or playing along with backing tracks. I usually use my Hotone Mojo Diamond and Mooer Radar along with various pedals. If my wife isn't home, I may crank up my Monoprice 5w.
    wonkenstein, squi guy and so1om like this.
  17. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-holic

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    I play \practice everyday .

    Here lately Ive been working more on expanding my fretboard knowledge than anything else. But do take a break to pick through a couple tunes I've been learning .

    Some of the time I'm watching YouTube videos about the fretboard ,or music theory . I also like to use jam tracks as a way to practice and exand my playing as I learn something new. I find jamming to the blues is quite relaxing ;)

    I put an hour plus into it everyday . Unless I worked like a dog an I'm pooped .
    wonkenstein, squi guy and so1om like this.
  18. duzie

    duzie Squier-Meister

    Jul 8, 2017
    Nw New Jersey
    I start out almost daily with the intent of practicing a skill that I suck at and then...

    Must stop noodling and focus dammit!
    Oh damn time for bed then repeat:p
    wonkenstein and squi guy like this.
  19. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    Looks like many of us are of the same mindset! Some days where I have no intention of practicing anything in particular I will just grab an instrument just because that's the one I want to hear 'right now'. Since I haven't finished learning and stumbling yet these are always periods of discovery. Funny how sometimes that stumbling leads me into another set of changes though!
  20. Smith357

    Smith357 Squier-Meister

    Apr 30, 2017
    I have not played out in years, I spend an hour or more practicing most days. If I have a day off work with no Honey Do list I can get lost in my music for 6-10 hours, and if my wife is out I will crank it to 11.

    For playing guitar I run through two dissimilar 5 watt tube amps. I have not noticed any difference in length of time running the amps, but then I do not push the tubes to distort, I will use a effects floorboard with either a tubescreamer setting or an Uberschall setting if I want to get dirty. If I want a fuller beefier tone I will swap out a tube amp and use the bass amp for that big bottom.