This may be a real basic question but I am looking for suggestions for a 30 Day practice schedule. I intend to hit the frets hard for 30 days to develop some decent fundamentals. I was hoping to find or create a clear daily schedule to help keep me focused and guide my learning. I believe this will also maintain my motivation and assist in tracking progress.
I do have some prior knowledge of a handful of chords (from watching Justin over 10 years ago) but never really progressed to good chord changes and expanded knowledge. I have purchased a Telecaster and intend to use that in my practice.
I would just work through Justin’s course from the start. Do the exercises he suggests and a little bit of song practice each day. Have some fun and don’t have too high an expectation on what you can achieve in 30 days.
Start at the first lesson in Grade 1, practice 30 mins max every day, and move to the next modules when you reach the “ready to move on” targets. Stop practice early if you fingers are sore. Don’t let the strings cut them.
Once your fingers don’t hurt - once you’ve built your calluses - you can up your practice to an hour or more. That can take weeks.
I would recommend taking it easy for the first month and just do the suggested 30 min practice.
Specially if your fingers are not used to the strings.
I’m on my fourth week of practice and because I went a toutch overboard on the 1st week, the skin of my fingers was pelling on the second week and I had to tone it down a bit with how long I was playing.
Everyone is different and some will be fine after a few weeks and other will take them a bit longer for those finger tips to harden.
I been following Justin’s practice routines for each module, and that’s been working fine for me. 10 min chord pratice + a couple of songs afterwards. Pick a few a songs to learn, that is what motivates me the most, because I can see the progress from the way I play each day.
I also trough a bit of Rocksmith in the mix when I get the time, it’s quite fun and it changes things up a bit.
The best advice I believe you’ll get this early in your journey is, ironically to not play too much! At your stage It’s more important to play every day than to play a lot in one day. If you play too much you run the risk of hurting yourself which will prevent you from playing consistently.
IMO your best bet is to follow justin’s plan exactly. He suggests starting with practicing only 20min a day while you are in grade 1, I believe. This way you’ll won’t harm yourself, but you get to play every day. Plus, you won’t burn yourself out.
If you planned to cram as much into a 30 day schedule as possible, you will not be practicing diligently. You’ll be inclined to tick boxes and move onto the next thing. This will lead to a shed load of bad habits, which will come back to haunt you later, that’s assuming you stay the course and not crash and burn. That’s the fate of many guitar sprinters.
I have not said this for a very long time and only occasionally in the new Community, learning the guitar is like a marathon, you need to take your time and pace your self. There are no short cuts. There are no quick wins. But there are many dodgy YT teachers who promise the earth and take your hard earned cash.
Follow Justin’s path and take each lesson/module/grade one step at a time and be honest with yourself. If what you are doing on a certain lesson sucks, stay there get it right and then move on. It will make you a better player at the end of the day.
I think the group are giving sound advice. Just follow Justin’s lessons and practice schedule, it works. I use the on line lesson plan and practice schedule. I also use the App as a practice assistant and to play some of the songs I love.
In terms of 30 days, I also think progress could be limited, your body and mind take time to adjust, the fingers will talk to you in levels of pain, don’t push too hard.
Have a fantastic time with the new guitar. Enjoy the ride.
Since you are not providing much details, I will just list few things from my own way of thinking and experience:
Press the strings with as little pressure as possible to get clean sound. Train the fingers to be close to the frets. (The less sore your fingers are, the more you can practice).
Practice short sessions many times during the whole day, rather than taking one big lump. Stop before it becomes really painful. (Doing 30 minutes in one stretch, mean your fingers get more damaged, hurt more and will also take longer to recover). 6 x 10 minutes per day is better than 1 x 30 minutes.
Have a short practice/study session just before going to bed. The mind often is occupied during sleep with the last thing you did before going to bed.
Have fun every moment. If it becomes a grind or boring, it is doomed to fail. Music is art. Art is not a grind. Art is not boring.
Watch Justin videos ahead and watch them again when you train it. That way you are mentally prepared for what is coming and picking up crucial points becomes more easy. Watch them 10 times if needed and be sure to get the details. Justin spills many pearls in his videos.
Be honest to yourself and skip a day if fingers are too sore. Pushing it when the fingers are too sore, will slow you down.
Get to know what you have to learn, in order to reach your short and long time goals.
Be sure to have fun and enjoy every moment. That way you also learn faster. Nothing is boring. It is just practice. It is just a part of the journey.
How much you want to freestyle depends on you and your mind. But freestyling and exploring can actually add motivation. (Be careful though, one hour goes fast and sore fingers are not uncommon and you first feel it after you have put the guitar down ).
While not playing the guitar, look Justin videos. Make a list of songs you want to play. Look through them and see what chords are used. What techniques is required. Fill the mind with teachings and music.
I could add some few other things to the list, but again and again and again, most important is to have fun and enjoy every moment.
Record yourself and watch yourself. It is more easy to hear and spot where you need to improve. Remember to notice if you start press the strings way more than needed. Watch out for extreme wrist bend. Sit well and straight. Be comfortable at all times. Learn to be captain of your own ship and take those advices you can use and leave the rest.
It took me little time to figure things out for my own journey. I am a week short of 3 month into my journey and are now practicing 4 - 6 hours per day. Progress is fast now, though different from first month, where I often could feel and see progress from day to day.
Did I mention to have fun and enjoy every moment??? Most important IMHO!
Wish you a wonderful and most enjoyable journey.
On top of all the very very sound advice above…physically you’re going to find it difficult to play more than 15-30 mins a day as your fingers will just get too sore. Maybe after a couple of weeks it’ll be better.
Set yourself a more realistic timeframe…say 3 months or 6 months. If you stick to Justins course over that timeframe you’ll be able to play plenty of songs reasonably well. As Toby says it’s marathon not a sprint.