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Author Topic: 100 Days of Practice  (Read 4866 times)

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JohnS

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2020, 08:58:19 AM »

Quote
I think there's a possibly fine line between just playing and practice, but I do believe it's there.
I would say that if you play a tune with the intent of making it just a little bit better than normal then that's practice.  Or just a bit differently. 

That might involve isolating a section of the tune for special attention.  But even if you sail through the tune and are quite happy with it then that's still more playing time under your belt and it will have reinforced the tune in your memory.
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2020, 09:09:56 AM »

The advantages of retirement - my diary shows that so far I've been spending at least an hour each morning and afternoon playing, concentrating on three or four tunes.
Farewell to Muirheads - I hadn't heard it before the TOTM and thought it would be an interesting project. If You Will Not Have Me...- thinking particularly about overall speed as part of a set (views on what speed to play 3/2s at welcome !), and bass/chord variations. One bar is causing me problems as the fingers run away so time for metronome I reckon. Then there's Sweetness of Mary (the tune just popped into my head during a sleepless night). I'm hoping that the fiddler will like it enough to learn, and I'm thinking how to make it work in performance if need be. And there's Rain on the Woodpile, which I doubt I'll play in public but is an excellent practice tune because I have to focus on speed control, fluency, chords, avoiding mistakes (if only !) and making the transition to the second tune in the Leveret set 'Terminus'. I also need to set aside extra time to perfect a tune I wrote for a Border dance...and I haven't picked up the G/C for two weeks...good job I don't have a job !
Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J
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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2020, 12:50:31 PM »

Gena,
So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car. Trouble at mill?
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2020, 02:02:52 PM »

So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2020, 02:12:42 PM »

So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.

I find it quite tricky playing melodeon in the car, but I have been known to drive somewhere nice and practice in the open air. I still remember doing this on a hill side near Grenoside, looking out at a rather brilliant view. When I finished I was surprised by a round of applause. I turned round to find a bunch of joggers stood there listening.
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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2020, 03:05:45 PM »


Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J

Why can't you post recordings Julian? I find getting tunes to the point where I feel I can post them is probably my primary motivation to practice.
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2020, 03:29:51 PM »


Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J

Why can't you post recordings Julian? I find getting tunes to the point where I feel I can post them is probably my primary motivation to practice.

'Technical issues' - I used to be able to simply upload vids from my Kindle to Youtube now pooter says 'no'. I suppose I ought to use my PC if I could find it...
Generally, my motivation to practice is that I think I should be able to play better considering how long I've been playing ! Too many bad habits learnt in my misspent youth I reckon. And also my life does mainly revolve around music and dance - not alone in that I am sure.

J
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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2020, 03:48:52 PM »

Ah, right. I post to YT via my PC but I'm sure there are plenty of other ways too ( phones/tablets type malarkey). It's a shame though - seeing melnetters playing is always good.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 03:51:08 PM by Mcgrooger »
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2020, 12:29:45 PM »

A Two for one Deal from yesterday, so, maybe a 3 for one if I record practice tonight (yesterday was SO's birthday so, no time for video editing really yesterday)

Day 3:
I spent some time at practice making sure I have RHS extras for the dances we were doing, and this is what I came up with. I'm not sure how I would rate everything I would doing here, but, it's getting me thinking about bringing in options for bringing in other notes from the appropriate chord underneath the melody.
https://youtu.be/4FTPwnPCuvQ

Day 4:
I also did some more Vals I Lekstugan work. I tried going through the whole C music for the first time - I swear, I must have something wrong still in my transcription of the 1st repeat ending of the C music still. I'm also getting caught up in the A music at one particular part - this tune being more outside row focused, my accidentals often feel like they're in the wrong direction for the first time in a while. Oh, how the other half lives...

I also played through one of my own tunes, Battle Shorts, to see how that tune is sticking. The answer is, mostly pretty well, although I still get caught up on a couple of parts of it. This is my first tune with a 'weird bridge', which took a bit of practice to get right, but, that's in the past and I'm just checking it's all still under the fingers:
https://youtu.be/OzaGiCI92ok
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george garside

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2020, 11:00:47 PM »

So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.

many years ago I was living in a hospital staff flat   and the only way I could play/practice the box was  in the car   . I found the best way was to push the front seats as far forward as possible and to sit  in the back seat.  On a number of occasions I  drew the attention of hospital security bods  ??for doing strange things in the back of a car!  They got used to it and left me alone probably seeing me as somebody slightly eccentric!

george

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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2020, 02:07:18 AM »

Day 5, I learnt a tune called 'roman Wall', such is apparently also an Irish tune called the eavesdropper, and remembered how to play travellers joy, which I probably haven't played in almost a year. Here's a short video of me getting that wrong :
https://youtu.be/ZlBWlyirX0I

Today, day 6,I didn't really practice per se, but I did perform at the local folk club and attend a session for two and a half hours. So, plenty of music was played today. I added a lot of rhs chords, figuring out where to adlib them in while playing, and played some harmony lines by just making stuff up on my low scale. That, to me, feels like putting ideas into practice, which must therefore also somehow be a form of practice. QED.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2020, 11:44:32 PM »

Day 7, I fixed my bar of Vals I Lekstugan that kept going wrong, and also learn a bit how to play in E major: https://youtu.be/cCCyLqHFgR8 (spoiler it's awful and I love it)
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Winston Smith

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2020, 07:17:27 AM »

Never mind the actual practice, Gena; the fact that you always "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak, must endear you to everyone on this site. Surely we've all come to love you for that?
Please, keep on sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2020, 12:41:11 AM »

Never mind the actual practice, Gena; the fact that you always "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak, must endear you to everyone on this site. Surely we've all come to love you for that?
Please, keep on sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.

I appreciate your encouragement. Sometimes I feel like my posts can come across as a little narcissistic? Really my goal is kinda the opposite.

Day 8:
https://youtu.be/SSuDGM5FSp4
So, it would seem I've finally managed to get a C part of Vals I Lekstugan to work. I swear, every time I play this slowly, or without the chords, it just sounds wrong. Compare with this attempt on Day 4 - I think it needed the chords and rhythm to sell it. For reference, I have concluded that this does not sound like trash.

Leaves me a bit of a choice though; so, per this thread, I found a midi version of this tune on a website and pulled it apart to get a useful score, which I then compared with Torader's playing and effectively changed to match. The midi has a different run in these 1st repeat bars, that to me sounds kinda a lot smoother? It does hit the accidentals a little heavier, using all 4 in quick succession, buuuuut that probably doesn't bother me, so, I guess I'm not too sure what would cause the difference yet, but I think I might learn this other version as well and then put them side by side (the chords are carbon copied so aren't correlating/necessarily possible)

Code: [Select]
% NB transposed to DG!
% From Torader's playing
"D"AG AB "A"c^c |\
|1 "D"d^d "A" e=f ga | "D"ed "A"^cd "A"BG | "D"D2 z :|2 etc
% From midi import:
"D"FG ^GA "A"^AB\
|1 "D"c^c "A"d^d ef | "D"ed "A"^cd "A"BG | "D"D2 z :|2 etc

Then again maybe I should check that midi import again and check I haven't deceived myself.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2020, 03:28:49 AM »

Day 9
Instead of directly practising today, I wrote a tune, which I also think of as practice. I was prattling around trying to make some Tchaikovsky work, but after deciding I'd need to play it on the box to know, I thought about my other great interest, modes, since Mel talked about playing in them in her practice video today. So, per my day 7 or w/e I've been checking out E major. E is an interesting note on the DG melodeon - We all know you can play in E natural minor, and E dorian, and some people will figure out E harmonic minor, too. But, if I'm thinking, yeah, E major and E mixolydian too, so, what's to stop you completing the set and adding in E phrygian & E lydian?

Well, the main thing is going to be air, but other than that? Turns out, nothing much! To cut a long story short, I've already written a tune for every mode of the G major scale, which for fun, I can play back to back - 8 jigs, one each in G major, A dorian, B phrygian, C lydian, D mixolydian, E natural minor, even F# locrian and back to G major. Takes about 5 minutes to play through without repeats, it's uh, it's tough! I'm getting there on that one, too. But, I've been pretty interested in parallel mode shifts, too, where the tonic remains the same note. In this case, anchoring onto E creates an interesting (to me), and mostly repeatless tune. Surprisingly I've had this tune name, Parallel Popcorn, for a while now, but obviously it fits this bizarre attempt at composing quite nicely.

Anyway here's my tune. Should all be possible to play with casta style accidentals, the only worry would be air balancing, which is something I do take into account when writing tunes, but without trying it, there may still be some problems. As is normal for me, it's written in the key of G and all the accidentals are aggressively marked - should play fine as a midi, too.
edit - should add; Sequence is E 'Wonder Scale' aka Mix+b6, E Phrygian, E Mixolydian, E Harmonic Minor, E Major, E Dorian, 4 bars of E Dorian+#4 that I liked too much to throw out, E Lydian, E natural minor, E Mix+b6.
Code: [Select]
X:38
T:Parallel Popcorn
C:Gena Crisman 12/02/2020
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:3/4
Q:1/4=100
L:1/8
P:WPMHVDFLNWE
K:G
% E is versatile
% I can do E major, E mix, E dorian, E natural minor, E harmonic minor,
% A tiny bit of E Phrygian and E lydian
% That's what this tune is now
% Let's start with the wonder scale - Major 1-5, natural minor 6-8
P:W
"E5"[E]2[E^G]2[EB]2|"A5"[Ec]4"D5"B2|"E5"[E]2[E^G]2[EB]2|"A5"[Ec]4"D5"d2:|
% OK let's get our jam going
% our push chord is a D5, that fits with: Natural Minor and Phrygian
P:P
"E5"e=f e=f eB |"a"A2 "D5"A4 | "g"GB "D5"c2 "G5"d2 | "E5"e6 |
"D5"=f2 =fe d=f | "E5" e2 E4 | "D5" dc dc BA | "E5" e4 B2 |
% OK, done, now we modulate to a major sounding mode
% Let's go Mix
P:M
"E5" e2 ed^cB |"D5"d2 d^c BA |"A5"^c2 ^cB A^G| "E5"E2 ED ^CD |
"E5" ef ed ^cB |"D5"d2 f2 a2 |"A5"^c2 ^cB "B5"f2| "E5"e4 B2 |
% Next is: Dorian or Minor or Harmonic.
% Harmonic let's us play the Major card next maybe?
P:H
"B5"B2 BF B^d | "E5"e2 ef gf | "B5" B2 BA GF | "E5" E6 |
"C5" cB Ac ^de | "E5" gf e4 | "C5" cB AG "B5"FB, | "E5" E6 |
% Now let's bend this major by repeating our phrase
P:V
"B5"B2 BF B^d | "E5" e2 eB ^GB | "B5" B^c ^d^c BF | "E5" E6 |
"A5" ^c2 ^ce ^cA | "E5" ^G4 E2 | "B5" F2 F^G BF | "E5" E6 |
% now we bend back minor, we haven't done natural or dorian, dorian makes sense to me:
% This feels like more of a bridge
P:D
"A5"E2 "D5"D2 "A5"^C2 | "E5" E2 E4 | "A5" E2 "D5" F2 "G5" G2 | "E5" E2 E4 |
"D5"d^c B4 | "E5"EF G4 | "A5"^cB A4 | "D5"DE F4 |
% So, weirdly this was supposed to be lyidan, but it ended up has Dorian #4, a mode of B harmonic minor!
% OK I guess, let's take 4 bars of it to bring in the Bb, because B is waaay too many sharps for our chords to cater for
P:F
"G5"G2 _B2 G2 | "E5" E6 | "G5"_BA G2 _B2 | "B5" B6 |
% how on earth do I play E lydian. The chords would be E5 B5 and my 'look at me' chord would be F# major
P:L
"E5"e^d B4 | "B5" F_B =B4 | "E5"e^d e2 f2 | "B5"B_B F4 |
% Yes this is definitely lyidan and not B major.
"E5"B_B ^G4 | "B5" F2 _B2 F2 | "E5"B_B ^G2 "B5"B,2 | "E5"E6 |
% And finally E natural minor
P:N
"E5"EF GF B,D | "C5"EF GF c2 | "D5"Bd BA F2 | "B5"Bd BA D2 |
"E5"EF e4 | "C5" EF e2-e [cg] | "D5" [dA]2[dG]2[dF]2 | "B5" BF "D5"AD "B5"[B,F]2 |
P:E
%%MIDI gchord b
"E5"[E^GBe]6||
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 03:32:58 AM by Gena Crisman »
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2020, 08:47:19 AM »

Sorry about that sidetrack, Gena. But I look forward to a rendition one day.
For various reasons I can't practice everyday at the moment, sometimes not for 3 or 4 days on the trot. However by putting in some serious work I've managed a reasonable rendition of both Origin of the World  (in Amin on the DG 2.6) and In Continental Mood. Both of these tunes were presented to me by Keith the fiddler as he has recently learned them and plays them well.
There were a few aha moments. Mainly when two bars went together seamlessly and when I found the right balance of cross rowing and on the row.
Despite having played in band known for French music, I've never really felt happy playing across the rows and I now think the rest of my playing will improve as a result.
The arpeggios in OotW have made me think of exploring the construction of other chords too, so my rationale that playing tunes is better for me than scales and exercises is ringing true.
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Julian S

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2020, 11:27:18 AM »

Some tunes are just wonderful as a way of stretching and improving ones playing - and Ootw and In Continental Mood certainly are amongst my favourites for that. I would also include a large number of Naragonia tunes, personally, and most of Leveret's recordings !
And on that subject - just heard about Halsway Naragonia weekend in late November...just hope I can flex other commitments so I can get there.

J
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MelonBox

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2020, 11:35:40 AM »

Day 9
Instead of directly practising today, I wrote a tune, which I also think of as practice.

Wow Gena! This is some incredible leg work on modes, and stunning use of ABC - I've never seen or heard anything like it but it's really interesting. Thanks for this. I must confess that it's taken me a while to get my head around modes, and I still work out the sclaes in a flow chart fashion (that's how a mate (nigelr of this parish) described them to me and it's kind of stuck!)

Really impressed by how this thread has taken off by the way. I get overwhelmed with the amount of text, but I have scanned through everyone's inputs and comments and am delighted at the inspiration that's coming out - in both directions!

Gena - this will take me some going at, but I'd love to use your Parallel Popcorn to study if that's OK? It might be the most painful series of videos but a really great study I think! Thanks so much for posting :-D
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 11:38:59 AM by MelonBox »
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2020, 07:03:37 PM »

Gena - this will take me some going at, but I'd love to use your Parallel Popcorn to study if that's OK? It might be the most painful series of videos but a really great study I think! Thanks so much for posting :-D

Certainly, go for it! But, it should be noted that I do write for my instrument - I'm not sure which way you fall on the the direction of your accidental plates - My D/G has a draw G# & F, press D# & Bb, which is the opposite from most eg Hohners/starter boxes etc you'll come across, but, most castagnari instruments I've played are configured that way around? I think it's very difficult to play in parallel modes without this, well, accompanied anyway.

Also, I imagine plenty of sections of the tune come across as a little hamfisted. My approach to modal tune writing is, like almost all of my tune writing, informed primarily by chord choices, so, sometimes I have to try and find some melody to get me where I want to go, a little bit like trying to find loose change in ones pocket. The intent though, cycle through as many modes on the same tonic, ideally alternating 'major'ish to 'minor'ish was definitely achieved and I'm happy with it for that, it was really only intended as a bit of a silly exercise.

So yeah, please do try and have some fun with it, or, if you ever want something else to sink your teeth into, I can probably oblige - pretty much all the tunes I write are modal or have some silly objective of some kind.
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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2020, 08:03:40 PM »

I have just come across this blog on a French site, which I thought was very relevant to this post:  https://blog.antoineherve.com/in-praise-of-slow-practicing-b67f31229e97
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