A reprint from last year
I always follow the same lesson plan when I practice. It goes like this:
Anything, doesn’t matter what. Just tune the guitar and play. A few song parts, some scales, a lead line over an imaginary rhythm section, a low string drone, finger-picking pattern design and repetition, old folk song, instrumental sections, a new chord pattern/melody idea, a few arpeggios to match the new pattern, work on correcting poor third finger picking position, some fast strumming, a jazz standard structure, try to work in melody, pay attention strictly to tone for a few minutes, lead soloing to open bass string patterns, slow finger-pick, double time, try to get a handle on those rippling finger-picked arpeggios, a bit of raspy blues ending up an hour or two later with a few attempts at a clean run through of your newest song followed by an effort to quickly touch on and reinforce your memory of any new ideas or techniques you’d like to remember, and now it’s break time.
Do it again only different, emphasizing parts, pieces, drills, song ideas that arise from your earlier run through.
It’s during these free form practice sessions that I regularly discover and rediscover why I play the guitar and make music.
Let It Be Strange To It’s Maker – an essay on creativity