In order to have an effective practice routine, you need to know (1) what to practice and (2) how to practice it, and (3) the sequential order of concepts to learn.
Dale Titus's site has helped me tremendously in that regard. (See sidebar for link.)
My new Rickenbacker bass has provided the motivation. I didn't realize it when I was playing my little Fender Mustang bass, that the instrument you play is very important. The Mustang is a fine little bass, but seems like a toy compared to my serious Rickenbacker. In any case, getting the Rickenbacker was a shot in the arm. For the past four days I have had a thorough, effective and gratifying practice, learning the modes, learning new and interesting ways to play scales, expanding my knowledge of music theory. In the process, my fingering skill and my ear have both improved, and my knowledge of the neck, though good, has also improved.
Here are my practice goals for the next month or so:
1. To play any scale, triad, arpeggio, mode or run without looking at the neck, and to play them with expert fingering, not muffing or rattling a string on a fret.
2. To know every note in all 12 keys, both major and minor, by heart.
3. To know every note in all 12 major and minor triads, by heart.
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