Have you ever noticed that your guitar practice can sometimes be a complete mess? If you are like me, perhaps on Day 1 you find yourself perfecting an intro to a song, on Day 2 you revisit a solo to a song you started 2 months ago, and on Day 3 you decide to work on a scale. Sound familiar?
I've been there and done that as well which is why I created something I like to call the 4T System to help streamline my focus and maximize my time playing and practicing the guitar. It's a blueprint of sorts to really squeeze all the value you can create from your guitar practice sessions. The "4" simply stands for four quadrants which means your practice time should be broken down into four main areas. For instance, if you are practicing for an hour or 60 minutes, you should spend 15 minutes in each quadrant. If you are practicing for 40 minutes then it should be 10 minutes in each area and so forth. The "T" implies that the name of each quadrant starts with the letter T. It's really simple and super straightforward.
So, here are the 4 quadrants:
In this bucket, theory is really all about theory related technique - chord progressions, scales, memorizing the guitar fretboard, etc. The end goal is really understand the dynamics of the guitar on a more intimate level.
Now, that you have a foundation of theory at your disposal, this is the time to perfect what you have learned. Perhaps, you are learning the Am Pentatonic scale in Theory. You will use this Technique time to now focus on speed, accuracy, and efficiency of that scale.
This bucket is all about emulating your heroes. If you love Jimi Hendrix, this is the area where you will want to practice triads since he utilized them a ton. Or maybe you want to work on you Whammy technique because you love Tom Morello. This section is taking the above foundation and applying some specifics to help keep you inspired and engaged.
Ideally, you want to take everything you have learned and play with others. If not possible, pull up a backing track and apply what you have been practicing in the earlier buckets. As the quadrant implies, this is where you get to test what you have learned.
The 4T System - Theory, Technique, Tactics, and Testing. That's how you can maximize your guitar practice time moving forward.