Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Practice Strategies

I have been playing guitar for about six months now. Recently, I have been feeling like I’m not getting anywhere because of the way I practice. When I practice guitar, I usually just practice whatever. I might play through a few pieces and then work on flatpicking for a song. I play several instruments and I don’t usually have any problems with practicing. My main instrument is piano so I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the most effective way that I can practice. My practice time for piano is usually pretty structured. I have a practice notebook where I write down the pieces I’m learning and specific ways in which I’m going to practice them. This works well for piano but I find that I can’t practice the guitar the same way that I practice the piano. For people who play multiple instruments, do you use the same practice strategy with all of them? If you don’t, how do you come up with different practice strategies that are effective?


If I had to practice guitar the same way I had to practice piano, I woulda tossed the thing in a dumpster.

Ben’s posted a couple of times about his recommended practice strategy for guitar. I’ve taken to using his advice… that’s what I’m paying him for.

Best of luck with it. I’m sure you’re about to get an earful from the forum!
Billy D.

PS I happen to enjoy your guitar playing!


Yes, and I found this interesting post as well.

So do I, and she has a nice singing voice too… :wink:


Hello Grace

I have not placed this in open forum but if you feel it is of any benefit will do so. Many years ago I played back up Rhythm guitar at Celtic/ British Folk Clubs and Celidhs. Not much room for lead work there. Got to do some introductions and outros. Enjoyed the fun though.

Still actually enjoy the Rhythm element more. After watching Ben’s lessons I was determined as well that it is not about cloning or duplication. So I undertook what is described as guided discovery. I started by writing down every strumming pattern I had ever played. My list settled at 33 variations for 4/4 time.

I took each of them and converted them into a Bass Strum pattern of some description. Some worked some were / are dreadful . What was interesting was that some of the blander strum patterns gained a different quality.

Now what is really important is :

Do I think for one minute I have created something new. No that would be both foolish or arrogant . But I did get there on my own. Importantly I also learnt that no practice is wasted if it has an aim. I learnt as much from those patterns that don’t work as those that do.

Hence the name Guided discovery it had aim so was structured but did not aim for perfection. Also I could have scratched away at websites or books for an eternity looking for patterns.

If it helps great. Its still in my toolbox and am using that for linking chords now. Do I write down what doesn’t work oh yeh !


Whoops first mistake oh well!


I read the thread that @D_HRRFan7303 posted. Lots of good info and ideas there. I do a lot of that as well. I usually take a song I am learning and start with the first few measures, and repeat them until I am comfortable I can play them mistake free, (most of the time) at a slower pace. then I add a couple of measures to that, so on and so forth. When I come to a difficult part, I may just concentrate on those few measures until i can get them down, then start from the beginning, including those measures. I do take breaks, but usually my breaks consist of playing other tunes I can play. More of a relaxation break to have fun, but I keep playing the instrument, just not in such concentration mode. I find that helps me get started faster than if I put the instrument away for a time and come back to it.
All of this is about an hour to an hour and a half. I’ll practice 20 mins or so, have fun for 5 or 10, practice 20, have fun for 5 or 10.

I am by no measure, an expert, maybe that’s why, lol. IDK.


Pretty much the exact same as @Grinnin said! Keeps frustration away!