“Practice makes perfect,” so the saying goes.  However, many musicians view practice as a necessary but tedious and grueling task that’s full of drudgery.  Or even worse, some musicians approach practicing with a sense of fearful urgency, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that they must complete in order to reach their goal of being a “great” player.

These same people are often uncertain how to organize their practice time, not sure what they should practice, or how much time they should to devote to each subject.  Even accomplished musicians can sometimes experience a lack of inspiration or feel unsure about how to structure a practice session.

If any of this sounds familiar, then this class can help get your practicing back on track and assist you with achieving more fulfillment from your guitar practice sessions.

Practicing should be approached with joyful anticipation and savored instead of undertaken with reluctance or dread. 

The Joy of Practicing explores ideas and recommendations with an eye toward making practice enjoyable and productive rather than tiresome and dull.  The class covers a suggested practice routine broken down into nine categories with examples from each.

While the list of items presented may not be perfect for everyone, students can use the guide as a starting point to build a custom practice plan tailored specifically for their own needs and goals.

The Joy of Practicing covers:

  • Ideas for making practice sessions more fun and approaching music and musical development with a positive attitude
  • Breakdown of three types of musicians with a discussion of the differences in goals for each
  • Discussion of technique practice with examples of right and left hand exercises, as well as scale and chord exercises to improve technical proficiency
  • Note-recognition exercises for help with learning note names on the neck, as well as reading notation and rhythmic notation reading exercises
  • Devoting separate practice time to rhythmic development, with multiple examples
  • Discussion of listening to music, both “actively” and “passively,” and its importance in a musician’s development
  • Step-by-step breakdown of suggested routine for learning a new tune accurately and thoroughly
  • Concise but complete list of what to practice to develop harmony, chords, and comping, with multiple examples
  • Exploration of single-note improvisation with examples of applying concepts of voice leading, guide tones, approach and target notes, chord tone versus chord scale approach, development of intervallic patterns, reharmonization techniques, and motivic development
  • Discussion of composition and its importance to musical development, with suggestions and tips
  • Running time: 126 minutes
  • Includes 25 pages of written examples and exercises
  • All musical examples from the video are provided in music notation, tablature, and chord grid form.
  • Each example performance in the video is titled and numbered for easy navigation.
  • MP3 backing tracks for written examples and solos
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Class Content

Full Class + Download
The Joy of Practicing 02:07:00
Intro Song 00:01:40
Introduction & About My Guitar (Tuning and Fanned Frets) 00:02:01
Defining Practice 00:01:48
Goals For the Professional 00:01:42
Goals For the Semi-Professional 00:01:00
Goals For the Hobbyist 00:00:32
The Surprisingly Most Successful Way To Practice 00:00:52
How Kenny Werner Practices 00:00:51
Practicing Guitar, Video Games, and Life 00:02:59
Stop Trying To Get Better 00:00:42
My Practice List and Practice Time Organisation 00:02:23
One Small Subject In Great Detail 00:01:53
The Lifetime Master List and The Short Term Master List 00:01:30
Staying Relaxed 00:01:24
Slow Scales and Meditation 00:02:01
Warming Up Like Scott Tennant 00:00:31
Ex 1 – Left Hand Slurs and Variations 00:01:11
Ex 2 – Finger Independence 00:02:13
Giuliani Exercises 00:01:50
Ex 3 – Giuliani Right Hand Study 00:00:39
10 Three Octave Scales For Technique Practice – Ex 4A to 4J 00:03:37
Chordal Things – Ex 5 and Ex 6 00:02:01
Why Learn to Read 00:01:28
Ex 1 – Note Row 00:02:03
Ex 2 – Note Row on High E String 00:01:32
Ex 2a – Note Row in 5th Position 00:01:54
Ex 3 – Eighth Note Reading 00:13:11
Ex 3b Sixteenth Note Reading 00:02:30
Intro to Rhythm Practice 00:00:39
Ex 1 – Eighth Note in 4/4 missing h in eighth 00:01:08
Variations with Improvisation 00:01:50
Click on the and of 2 00:01:49
Ex 2 – 8th Note Triplets 00:02:35
Ear Training Exercises 1 to 4 00:02:08
Ear Training Exercises 5 to 7 00:02:10
The Importance of Listening 00:02:30
Active Listening 00:00:55
Two Approaches to Transcription 00:03:09
Transcribe! Software Tutorial 00:11:23
The Importance of Repertoire 00:01:46
Repertoire Ex 1 to 4 00:02:48
Repertoire Ex 5 and 6 00:02:12
Repertoire Ex 7 and 8 00:01:34
Repertoire Ex 9 – Alternate Changes and Color Tones 00:01:48
Repertoire Ex 10 – Chord Melody 00:01:24
Repertoire List Guidelines 00:00:34
A Systematic Approach to Harmony 00:02:29
Harmony Ex 1 to 5 00:05:36
Harmony Ex 6 to 10 00:07:30
Improvisation Ex 1 and 2 00:02:07
Improvisation Ex 3 and 4 00:01:34
Improvisation Ex 5 to 7A 00:03:20
Improvisation Ex 8 00:02:06
Improvisation Ex 9 and 10 00:03:35
Improvisation Ex 11 and 12 00:03:32
Tom’s Personal Approach to Composition 00:04:16
Closing Thoughts and Outro Performance 00:02:03

Course Reviews


9 ratings
  • 5 stars9
  • 4 stars0
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  • 1 stars0
  1. 5

    Tom is genius.
    I bought this class. It’s amazing!
    I have all your class and I recomend.
    All of best for you Tom!
    Roberto Barros from Brazil!

    by Roberto Barros
  2. 5

    Very inspiring course on a subject that some find difficult to deal with. Tom’s enthusiasm and love for the instrument are in abundance – offering practical advice and unique insight into the guitar and its nature. My go-to when I need a boost in my practice routine.

    by Andrew Hughes
  3. 5

    very complete lesson , and at the same time it’s pretty open ended ! Tom shares his take on elements that should be adressed during practice brilliantly !

    by Moncef Fadal
  4. 5

    This was my first Course at Mike’s Masterclasses. The Content is very inspiring and huge amount of useful material. Tom is a great teacher. Meanwhile I own a few other courses from Tom Lippincott. They are all brilliant!. Jo Savin

    by Jovica Savin
  5. 5

    This lesson is great for learning to create thorough practice sessions, the .pdf is invaluable as a jumpstart-checklist, with a few things I’d never thought of… Concision is a virtue with Mr. Lippingcott -great work! – Steve Nye

    by Mark Nye
  6. 5

    Tom Lippincott is a master! I have gone through the first 3 Modern Jazz guitar style classes, and he leaves no stone unturned. A masterful musician and educator with a delicate soul. His classes will take you to new heights with all of his insight. The Joy of Practicing is by far my favorite! I too have graduated to enjoying the process of practice, and was taken back to days when practice was fun! It still is! Thank you Tom for being alive! Your efforts will never be lost!

    by Marco Escobedo
  7. 5

    Tom is great and my favorite teacher. This is a very useful class which will open doors…Thanks, Tom for being such a great teacher! L

    by Levent Unal
  8. 5

    The lesson is very complete! Covers a lot of material to be studied in long term! If you don’t know how to structure your practice routine it is the best place to start. All the advice given about ear training and listening skills. Tom made a complete picture of what should be practiced according to your objectives!

    by Carlos Fernandes
  9. 5

    I have almost every one of Tom’s classes, and I have NEVER regretted a single purchase. I have learned an astronomical amount of new, fresh, interesting, useable ideas from every one of his classes, and this one is no exception. Tremendous class.

    by james Seaberry
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