Why Your Practice Regimen is Holding You Back

Practicing Bad Technique
If your technique is not sound you can waste precious time and make very little progress.  Everyone wants to shred, but in order to progress you have to practice good technique.  Start slow and build up to speed, use a metronome, and make sure your are using good technique.

Wasting Too Much Time
Do you start off practicing an exercise, but after a few minutes lose interest and drift off into playing riffs or parts of songs that you al have played a million times before.  If you aren’t challenging yourself you aren’t getting better.

Isolate Your Problem Areas
When you are  practicing a song and are getting stuck in a certain area, focus on the first few bars that you are getting stuck on.  Slow them down and practice them over and over until you can play them smoothly.  If you go back to the beginning and start again every time, you will waste valuable practice time. Repetition is the key to success.

Take the Balanced Approach
During your practice time, focus on more than one area at a time.  If, for example, you only focus on building alternate picking speed, even if you succeed, you will most likely have major holes in other areas.  I recommend setting a timer and practicing each exercise for a set amount of time, that way you won’t use up all your practice time on one exercise.

Not Using Your Ears
It is easy to just play notes and not really even really listen to what you are playing.  Your ears are your biggest asset.  Learn to recognize intervals and chords it will greatly improve your musicianship.

Not Focusing on Your Goals
While its good to be a balanced musician, there are many techniques and styles of playing, and life too short to master them all.  It is better to be proficient in one style, than to be average or below in many styles.  For example, if your goal is to play shred metal it may not make sense for you spend time learning  classical guitar.  So in short, focus on the skills that will get you closer to you ultimate goals.