5 Minute Practice Routines

I'm going to give an example of a short but very effective daily practice routine that will help scale playing, speed development and right hand independence for fingerstyle players.

Choose a scale shape (eg: 2 Octave Major scale)
Play the scale only once but use each of the following right hand finger combinations in turn - im, mi, ia, ai, ma, am, ami, pami, pm, pa
Play to a metronome, increasing the speed by only 1bpm a day.

That's it. You'll be playing the scale 10 times (or less at first) with 10 different right hand methods. As you get faster, you'll be able to move onto other scale shapes.

I recommend more advanced players eventually try to play each of the 5 CAGED scale shapes using these 10 finger patterns. That means 50 scale repeats in just 5 minutes!

If you do this short method daily you'll soon see huge improvements in this area of practice, which can really boost motivation.

Have fun whilst working hard!

Enjoy the Journey

It's easy to get caught up in thinking of the future (and the past) and not being in the present moment. This is also true with the musical mindset. If only we could play that more difficult piece or solo, then we would finally be happy with our playing. But even with hard practice and reaching a particular goal, this way of thinking will continue and gradually erode the enjoyment from your practice as frustration sets in. I recommend to students that they focus on what they can play, how far they've come, and to allow themselves to feel proud of every small 'win' in a practice session. We work hard yes, but with this mindset we don't obsesse about the outcome and we enjoy the journey...