Making up your own exercises - does anyone do it?

In the past few weeks, some of my doodlings in between “real” practice items seem to have turned into small practice items themselves. For example, in between scale practices I started to play around with this figure:


It can start on any note, this is just an example. I found it can be used to practice keeping time and also the coordination of the fretting and picking hands. Like scale practice but with “my own” melody. Although after a time I get a feeling similar to when I repeat the same word so many times it loses its meaning and becomes just a sequence of sounds.

Also, depending on the tempo and the phrasing, it can be turned into a sort of loop, and the order of the notes can be changed, too.

Do you also come up with routines of yours when practicing? I may have only invented the wheel again, but it’s an interesting finding nonetheless.


Noodling around on your guitar is a good way to explore on your own. Sometimes you learn more by noodling than in a lesson. Listen to what your playing then figure out what key your playing in and see if you can play it over different backing tracks at different tempos.

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I use something like this for exercises at various frets, up and down the strings:

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Yes I come up with my own practice items all the time. Although usually based around excerpts of songs I want to play where my skills aren’t there yet