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Author Topic: 100 Days of Practice  (Read 4726 times)

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MelonBox

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100 Days of Practice
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:18:52 AM »

I'm starting a new project! General aim: to be a better musician.

First post is up where you can find out all about the reasons for and my objectives for making this commitment work around a busy schedule:

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/2020/02/04/100-days-of-practice-my-new-project-free-download/

If you feel inspired to join in, it would be great to see your posts/links to videos here on this thread. Let's get better together  :||: :|||:

Mel
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Chris Rayner

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 07:18:04 PM »

A better musician!?  <Sound of credulity being strained>😉
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 08:17:56 PM »

Definitely up for the hundred days of practice - but the challenge for me is making sure it is more effective and focussed. If I could stick to working on a tune (or maybe a couple) a day, plus scales etc. that would be a start...but changing long term habits and behaviour isn't easy !

J
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 09:58:13 PM »

I practised today - I worked on a piece I'm intending to do for Theme of the Month, and in the latter half, for about 25 minutes decided I should finally get around to learning Vals i Lekstugan. (Torader's performace for reference)

Session began with the benefit that I can hum/sing the tune, however, necessarily totally familiar with it in a DG box playing key, so, I had to adapt to that for a bit first. I printed sheet music I made some time ago, and slowly figured out each bar, and referred to the above video a couple times just for a hint on which way to play some of the D chord passages (since they could be played on push or pull).

I suppose, in terms of what I have done so far, I have built a sequence of things my fingers will be doing in each bar for the A music, and a little for the much simpler low octave B music - you'll note that I sometimes pause at the end of each bar while my brain regurgitates the next sequence of finger waggles it will be sending. I'm less interested in keeping the pulse right now, especially due to the complicated nature of the tune. (edit also, looking at the box is already no longer something I'm doing at all at this stage)

I also figured I'd try youtube's video editor to just trim the start and end off where I manhandle my stupid phone but it turns out it might takes hours before it updates the actual video, so, I won't do that next time. I think it's finally just done updating it, but, it's here, anyway, https://youtu.be/9UyNopvAFQY

I then went back and corrected some of my ABC notation for the tune. My quest for tomorrow is to have slept between now and then and that should provide some fabulous progress benefits, and then I'll need to figure out the high octave B music properly.

Still love this tune, although maybe I won't in 100 days...

Let's get better together  :||: :|||:

Oh, and btw that tune you're working on sounds mad, I love it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 10:05:16 PM by Gena Crisman »
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Winston Smith

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 10:05:03 PM »

I have to say that the application and obvious devotion that you people have astounds me! I take my hat off to you all.
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Martin P

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 08:12:50 AM »

But what to practice. Tunes you know well, but need refining or new tunes?
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 08:45:19 AM »

Of course, the other big question is how long to aim for each day.  I could easily spend today going through the tune files and planning a programme with a mix of old tunes which I enjoy playing but have never completely mastered, and I keep finding new ones which divert my attention but offer challenges.
The sensible part of me (still got one somewhere) reminds me that I also ought to focus on tunes in the 'performance' repertoire - always more problematic when other musicians are involved. Keeping a diary will help me focus and review progress I think.
And I reckon I might need to invest in more embrocation for sore muscles and lots of coffee  ::)

J
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 10:56:07 AM »

Well, one advantage of having 100 days is, you have plenty of time to figure those things out - it gives you time to practice practicing. Keeping a diary or physical notes can be super worthwhile - just the act of writing them can have a significant benefit. I tend to print out and write notes on scores for tunes I'm learning.

Good daily practice, to me, would be anything from 15 to 60 minutes of intentful, motivated & reflective playing. Outside of that, you can be planning, taking notes, thinking about and writing music, which all contribute to self improvement. If you can't actually play your instrument on a specific day, you can still make plans and select things to work on. Reviewing what feels effective for you can help guide future practice - ultimately, it's all about you.
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Andy Next Tune

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 11:03:22 AM »

Julian, not being sure what to practice and how long for is exactly the type of prevarication my brain regularly undertakes as well!!!! (:)

I've given some thought about Mel's challenge and I see the real benefit as building the discipline to find time to practice every day. Exactly what you do will vary - tunes for a gig, tunes for the next morris practice, new techniques, stuff from a workshop, TOTM,....whatever. But if we are practising for a little while every day, I suspect we will eventually find time for everything!!!

The next bit of prevarication is when to start. Now, I'm busy today and out on Saturday............
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arty

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 12:45:37 PM »

I can’t bite my tongue any longer!

I am shocked because I thought everyone practiced. I thought everyone practiced, pretty much, every day. I bought my first instrument eight years ago and I have practiced nearly every day since, save those days when I have been ill, working or out for an evening. On those days, I miss it! I can’t imagine not practicing every day, it is a really enjoyable and important part of my life.

I will practice every evening for at least an hour, spending half an hour on new pieces and difficult phrases and then the last half an hour, I play pieces I already know well, just to keep them going. On Sundays, I regularly play for two to three hours.

Before I bought my first accordion, I did the same with my guitar and my oboe. It is not a hardship, it is something that I enjoy and I look forward to it each day.

Obviously, I need to get a life!  ;D
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 01:21:48 PM »

I can’t bite my tongue any longer!

I am shocked because I thought everyone practiced....It is not a hardship, it is something that I enjoy and I look forward to it each day.


Have to agree with Arty. If it's a chore something's going wrong.
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 03:13:30 PM »

Certainly isn't a chore for me...I stopped playing for a few days recently due to neck pain and I missed playing so much. Normally I play for at least a couple of hours a day, and as my wife is working towards an approaching violin exam she doesn't complain !
But I just need to be more organised and focussed about my practice, and set some goals, (whilst also thinking about posture whilst playing)

J
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Lyra

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 09:50:38 PM »

Might as well give up then, if finding it hard to practice, as clearly doing everything wrong.
There's a gazillion reasons (external and internal) why people find it hard to practice (note: not find it a chore), so hurrah for those who find it a joy but have a little sympathy for those who struggle. And thank you Mel for highlighting it.
/rant
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Winston Smith

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 10:08:46 PM »

You'll remember the ad "Don't cook, just eat"? Well, I would say, "Don't practice, just play!"
 
Eventually, by playing the tunes you enjoy and can play, you'll get better at diving about the keyboard and then you may well get the urge to want to play better, simply because you're more confident and therefore you may be more willing to actually put the work in to get it just that bit better, and then better again.

It didn't work for me, but as an old codger, I'm happy to just knock out tunes which appeal to me and tickle my fancy! Nothing depends on me playing well.
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2020, 10:19:11 PM »

I agree with Mr Smith.
I've been trying to play tunes that I thought were well beyond my skill. The process is helping me find my way around the keyboard in different ways and I'm discovering a lot.
I admit I've never done scales and exercises, I just try and play the tune.
At present I manage maybe four sessions of practice per week of around an hour. And it's all learning new tunes or reinforcing existing ones.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2020, 11:41:44 PM »

Day 2, More Vals I Lekstugan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZhTBv7Okjo

Not completely happy with my C music transcription still, but fixed a lot of the things that were incorrect, and improved the A & B transcriptions. But I imagine it'll start to make sense as I can start to play it.

Probably going to be fluent on the A and B parts of this tune tomorrow, but, tomorrow is Morris night so idk if I'm gonna be practicing this in a recordable way.
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Corinto

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 10:51:56 AM »

Agree with Pete and Winston.

Play a tune, and once more, and once more, ad libitum ... till it starts to sound like music ...
Average an hour every day, sometimes more, when at home and grandkids at school ...
Weekends and holidays more disorderly ...
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JohnS

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 02:55:41 PM »

'Even when he was 90 years old, Pablo Casals known as the world's greatest cellist, practised this instrument for four or five hours every day. Someone asked him why at his age, he still worked so hard on the music, and he responded, "Because I think I am making some progress."'

So really it should be N Days of Practice, where N = number of days between now and the time when you are physically incapable of doing it any more.

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Winston Smith

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 04:54:48 PM »

"So really it should be N Days of Practice, where N = number of days between now and the time when you are physically incapable of doing it any more."

If improving, beyond much where you are now, is that important to you, of course. But if practice can become a chore, then just play! I think there's a possibly fine line between just playing and practice, but I do believe it's there.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2020, 11:28:56 PM »

Day 3 - I practised today, kinda - No video, as I'd expected, but I stole moments between tunes at Morris practice to play Vals a bit. Additionally I confirmed my C music transcription as best I could earlier today with my preferred melodeon app, since I don't have an actual GC instrument.

I also worked on playing not for joe in the upper octave, muscled my way through Twiglet to see how loud I could be since our morris band was a bit thin compared to normal, and worked on my RHS chords for Worcestershire Monkey/Weasel's Revenge, in particular the A music where choices are a bit limited.

Also, we bought a car, finally.
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