The last time I tried keeping a practice log, I eventually burned out. This time, I’m not sure what I’ll do different, but at the least, I’m not going to be so stringent about the writing part, or at least not so detailed. I’m not so concerned about what time I started each thing and how long I played. I think the important thing is that I have a goal for each practice session and I reflect on what progress was made in that time.
I bought a guitar book called The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick, and it’s a book I recommend buying if you’re planning on being a stringed musician. I may write a sort of review on the book after I’ve had it for a while, but it’s a little early to do so now. I’ve only looked at the first chapter, and I’ve already got weeks’ worth—at least—of practice material, provided I plan properly.
Goodrick believes that one of the most neglected areas of practice on the guitar is on a single string. He leaves the details of how to practice the material up to you, sufficing only to tell you what’s important.
Today’s practice looked like this:
- play over the modal vamps from the book (I recorded them on my cell phone the other day)
- don’t play any accidentals
- bend only half steps
- only play on the B string
It took about half an hour to get through seven major modes, about 2 and a half minutes each. After that, I practiced playing a pattern up and down the string and found that my technique has suffered since I move to China—I hardly play anymore, but I decided to change that. Music is too good to ignore.