Practice time/ Play time

With all the stress due to Covid 19 and not going out and playing live gig’s to just surreal. The normal stress of life seems to consume me. Sometimes I find it difficult to even want to play guitar some days. Sometimes this can go on for days in a row. Sadly I’m going through some life changing experiences to include deaths among friends and family.

One thing that’s been consistent is my guitar practice time. I admit I have only gone through two lessons days on my alternate and sweep picking exercises in about a time span of three plus months or so (Since I started Kikos workout strategy). It certainly showed me my weaknesses by going through the fundamentals.

I discovered that the alternate picking exercises is where I needed to focus the most on particularly with the pentatonics. The most difficult for me was just simply the two notes per string patterns. (I just learned these scales in all positions lol.) The sweep picking, strumming and the economy picking I have down quite well and felt quite natural to me as I used this type technique in my guitar playing alot.

I just finally started to add three more excersise routines to my daily practice and spent three hours on the alternate picking day three exercise alone (just the first 30 min). Although I already know the major scale, Natural and Harmonic minor in all the positions on the neck I found going into learning the modes to be the most beneficial for me as I learned all of the patterns and sounds. I have been playing them with different root notes and blasting them around all the positions on the neck… I spent so much time just improvising with these patterns, Awesome!!

I also spend alot of time joining in on the live lessons with Kiko’s Q&A and I have to say that these helped to inspire me to practice more consistently and I love the added support from these lessons and reading from the Guitar Hacks Website.

I found that taking notes and having a quick reference guide to help me with remembering which notes to flatten and augment when playing in modes and I am picking it up quite well.

As soon as I pick up and master the Alternate Picking day three, Legato day1 and the lesson I started from the moods and modes course I will finally then move to the next lesson. For me 30min a day everyday is better that 1.5 hrs every 3 days, and that’s not to say that I dont complete the whole one hour practice routine as I do on most days… And of course I will be also keeping my previous lessons that I got down in my exercises as well in my routine.

One thing I discovered yesterday on the alternate picking day 3 on the modes playing in a linear pattern against the A major scale is the when playing through all seven modes they seem to have a tonal center and when I completed each mode playing of the A major pattern in a linear fashion I noticed that for “instances” each mode wanted to end with a different root note or is that just a tonal center for each mode? Is each mode represented by a different root note or is that just a tonal center for the A major? I guess I will have to use my keyboard and sustain pedal to find out…

My question for the day to discover is after playing through the different modes is the tonal center for that mode in A major? These modes dont want to seem to end on A, playing from the A position, however a different root note all together playing off of the A note position on the 5th fret 6th string. I will write out what I’m trying to say below if anyone would like to shed some light in the subject.

Playing off of the A major scale in modes with a linear approach;

(Major modes…)
Ionian starts and ends on the A note (Root) So;
Ionian = A
Lydian = E Augmented 4th
Mixolydian = D flatten 7th
Dorian = G flatten 3rd and 7th

( Minor Modes…)
Aeolian starts and ends on A note (Root)
Aeolian = A flatten 3rd, 6th and 7th
Phrigian = D flatten 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th
Locrian = G flatten 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th

Anyways I just thought I’d share a thought and my experiences…

I did play guitar for over five hours working on my set list of songs aswell on top of the three hours of taking notes and studying guitar to also include 20 min vocal exercises… Playing guitar, singing and playing them tight Riff’s is what I love to do… I looks like lead guitar playing is something I’m goin to be adding to my skill set… If you want to play like the best, you have to learn from the best! Look, watch listen and try to undrstand with practice are the best qualities to use.

Very greatful to Kiko and the staff here for the tremendous amount of help… I hope to hear some feed back on this post

Best Regards everyone

Riff~ Life :purple_heart:


Wow, Frisco.
Great dedication and focus on the various lessons you’re working on.
You are expanding your horizons with all that understanding.
I have been studying the modes trying to get an ear for all the modes that work with minor chords, and the ones that work with major, and dominant chords. I supplement my study with The Guitar Grimoire - Voicings and Scales book to build up my repertoire of lead runs.
I discovered that coming back to the basics is always important, though. Don’t want to get too far ahead of myself until it all sinks in and I can get the feelings behind the modes, which is another of my goals.
I’m really stoked about the new modes course.
Best regards,


Not sure if I’m following you Frisco, but I’d say that what you experience with the different modes not wanting to resolve to A is the essence of the modes themselves. :slight_smile: Although using the same set of notes, you “anoint” a new home base and that is where things will want to resolve to. So it doesn’t matter where you start from. You start your “Ionian” shape from the E5 position/A note, but if you proceed by only stopping on C#, E and G#, you are highlighting the minor triad of the C# Phrygian. I actually do this with all seven shapes: I go through all seven shapes by stopping on G, B and D, highlighting the I chord of G Major/G Ionian. Then start over, this time stopping on every A, C and E I come across in all seven shapes, this way highlighting the A Minor triad/A Dorian. I hope I did not make any mistakes in my explanation and I also hope that I was able to help!


I also find that a half hour of focused practice suits me better than a long binge.


Oh yeah Hello there, I do totally understand what your talking about brother. It took me a second to actually think it over and go over the notes of the major scale and sequences in my head. Those are some awesome concepts you brought up there and I should adopt the same idea when I practice. After all it only gets easier to comprehend the more you think it over.

As far as starting on the A note in the E5 position I missed a key word in Kikos video. He was using the A note as the tonic note. (Its actually good to get the terminology down). Then he proceeded to explain going through the 7 shapes by breaking them up into two categories, the Major and Minor modes. Considering playing all the shapes from the A position for these different major and minor mode patterns gave it the feel for a different root note. (Or tonal center? I will have to look into the concept of the tonal center for each shape to be sure).

When you take a liner approach when using the G Major Scale (Starting on the third fret 6th low E string) and you learn all seven patterns as you move down the neck one note at a time and learn these different position patterns up and down, then move down one note at a time to the next pattern and repeat and etc. you will actually hear the different mode sounds and shapes as all the notes tie into the G major scale as the root note. (However each shape may have a different tonal center by using a different root note “Playing off the G major Scale” all the modes with different root notes tie into the G note . I will have to look into it some more…)

You could always check for an example on Alternate Picking Day 3 example 3. (Each shape moving up and down is a mode shape as follows starting with Ionion, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian. I believe they all share the G note in common as they play of the G Major scale pattern…

Originally I knew the example of the major scale in all positions as desribed in the tabs for Alternate Picking Day 3, example 2 (to include the Natural and Harmonic Minor…) without fully understanding the whole concept… (Crazy to think I never played each pos. up and down…)

Well I believe I certainly was able to have an aha moment and connected some dots lol…

Thanks for you help brother and I will also look more intoo what you were explaining.

I hope what I explained above makes sense.

Best Regards,


I definitely feel like 30 min a day is like the least minimum however I do enjoy the full workout routine. I have noticed awesome improvements in my lead guitar playing abilities, in fact I never thought I could accomplish suc h a feat.

I do like rocking out and playing through my set list of well over 30 songs however when your just not feeling it it’s hard to play your music with intention of real feeling… Anyways I been feeling a little down lately that’s all. Good news is all things will eventually come to a pass.

Anyways, It’s hard to remember all those songs if I dont spend time going over them or keeping your set list together when you go out to perform.

What I do love about practicing every day is that it keeps me sharp. Even if it’s been a while since I’ve played a song, I can pick it up and put all the parts together pretty quickly.

Nice to chat brotha and I wish you a good experience playing on your guitar and practicing my friend.

Best Regards,


I feel you Louie. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I definitely want to build up my endurance, cordination, concept and sound to include all the muscle memory for an effortless playing delight. :blush:

I do like to go over the fundamentals concepts as they have helped me to discover my strengths and weaknesses and helped me to work in those areas where I need the most.

I have certainly noticed some serious improvement in my guitar playing ( particulary with the lead…) and it’s also always good to change your daily exercise routine once you get all the positions, shapes and exercises down.

I certainly hope you the best with your guitar playing and practice, it was certainly a pleasure talking with you my friend. :blush:

I will certainly take a look at the book you were talking about there. Thanks for the tip!

Best Regards,


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I find I retain more if I play all major modes one day then minor the next just to re enforce the voicings.
Then take the days routine and put it to a baking track…utilizing other scales and patterns.


I find that very helpful as well… In fact I will break up the Alternate picking ex.3 on to three day into three separate exercises and I am having much success in getting things up to speed.

It’s such a wealth of information that I recomend, yes changing up your routine daily but keeping the same narrative.

I hope this helps brother,

One day at a time! :wink:


Yes Frisco one day at a time!!
I just finished working five 12hour continental midnight shifts and miss my baby!! Amazing how strong my fingers feel after not being able to play hard for a few days. I think that can be good to rest the hands and also let the muscle memory and the brain absorb the info.
Cheers all, hope the course is coming along!!

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Absolutely true! I tend to be overzealous with practice and with time I came to realize that sometimes more is less. Hands are tired, movement of fingers is not precise and by forcing it I just risk injury and keep repeating bad motion due to fatigue. Whereas if I am forced to skip a day or two, the next day I practice I totally tear up the fingerboard (well, on my level, but you get the idea).


My scheduled practice is two hours. I spend the first hour on skills, mechanics, technical and theory. I use Kiko’s practice framework.

The second hour I let it rip on my favorite or new songs, trying to build my timing and repertoire. I play along with backing tracks or the original, while standing, moving, working on stage presence (you know, paying attention to whether I would be boring if someone was watching/listening to me and being more engaging and animated).

Practice always goes by so fast every day and many times I have to modify the schedule because I don’t have two hours.


So you’re finding 2 hours per day to practice most of the time? That’s awesome,

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Most days I get at least 2 hours - since covid has me stuck working at home. One good thing from this pandemic!

I’ve made practice a priority and have cut out some time wasters. No more social media. No TV or Youtube until after practice.

I find it harder on weekends because my wife is home and the kids aren’t in school. The balance seems good, and the break somehow allows the practice to “sink-in.”


That’s the way to do it.
It’s interesting about this breakIn the weekend. I don’t remember the book title but I read a book on neuroscience that indeed talked about the need for regular breaks for the brain to assimilate and learn.


Wow that’s dedication Frisco, i struggle for time to be honest my wife is partially disabled and we look after our youngest g’son 3 to 4 times per week so very little time but i have no real aspirations these days just do it for fun and hopefully get better, used to play Bass but switched to Guitar earlier in the year, progress slow but have seen improvement so fingers crossed.

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