Nick’s Practice Schedule (April 2013 – )

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Master Practice List (April 2013 – )

Finger Calisthenics | Practice from 30 to 300 BPM :: 

– Stretching exercises
– Alternate and sweep picking with chromatic, major, minor scales and arpeggios; switch up rhythms
– apply groupings and other sequences (groups of 2’s-11’s; jump steps 3rd’s-7th’s)
– Fingerstyle workout
– i,m alternates, tremolo exercises, rasqueados, p,i,m,a patterns

Scales | Arpeggios ::

– 7 modes of melodic minor; melodic minor 1/2 step away from dominant 7th chords | run through one key a day
– harmonize tertial chords diatonically; apply picking sequences; approach each triad with leading tone below; detached, not sustained; staccato
– 7 modes of harmonic minor | run through one key a day
– harmonize tertial chords diatonically; apply picking sequences; approach each triad with leading tone below; detached, not sustained; staccato

Harmony | Voiceleading ::

– Triad cycles | close and spread apart
– options :: Cycle 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in major, melodic and harmonic minor
– Seventh voicings | review drops
– Chord vocabulary | usages in multiple contexts (consult vocabulary folder)

Reading ::

– Rhythms (Gary Chaffee | Factorial Rhythm book)
– play behind, center and ahead of beat
– Extra practice (opt) :: choose from fakebooks, flute or Bach violin book

Tunes ::

– Tunes for upcoming performances
– Standards, application of vocabulary over ii V’s (bebop, embellishments), etc
– Transcriptions



About Nick Grinlinton

Nick Grinlinton has written 107 entries on this blog.

Nick Grinlinton is a guitarist, composer and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a two-time ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award finalist and has composed and played music for Jerry Seinfeld's web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". A speedy runner, Nick currently focuses on racing distances from the mile all the way to the marathon. As he continues to train daily, he is currently examining what effect music has towards running. To learn more and to contact Nick, visit his website.

4 thoughts on “Nick’s Practice Schedule (April 2013 – )

  1. Nick, thanks for posting this guide on practice. I’d be curious still on how you determine how many of these items to devote time to daily since it seems one would need an average of 4-6 hours in order to cover half of this content. I assume you must have some logical method for rotating the material? And too, I’d be curiuous on how you personally determine when you’ve spent enough time with material before moving on altogether to the next, etc.

    1. Hi Drake,

      Thanks for checking out my practice schedule. As per my schedule, I’ll usually figure out how much time I have, then I’ll divvy it up among my categories.

      Generally, I like to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour on warmups. 30 minutes on scales and 30 minutes on harmony, 15 minutes on reading and generally an hour on songs. If I have less time, I usually run through at least every category so I maintain consistency.

      What’s great about this schedule is all categories and subcategories build on each other, so if I don’t have time to run through everything in scales or harmony, I can achieve that through studying or learning tunes. I do have lists and PDF’s of lessons I’ve compiled throughout the years of material I can run through, so material is rotated. I find the more consistent I am with fundamentals (technique, scales, harmony), the less time it takes me to run through them.

      For warmups I’ll move on once I hit my peak speeds and endurance. Scales and harmony are more about running through them straight. I don’t concern myself if I run into a hiccup because I’ll master it over time (same concept with reading). Generally, it’s more about the going through the process. Hope this helps.


  2. Thanks again, Nick. I find your suggestions very useful and will be putting much of this to use as I develop my own practice routines. And thanks again for presenting all here in this wonderful blog. I’ll be in touch again later and let you know how it’s all going.

    1. Sounds great, Drake. If you haven’t explored this blog fully, I do have more practice examples and thoughts that may help.

      Thanks again,

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