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Topic: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Seriously.
    How many hours a day do you practice your primary instrument? The more you play the better you become, right? The opposite hold true, yes?
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Seriously.
    How many hours a day do you practice your primary instrument? The more you play the better you become, right? The opposite hold true, yes?
    I believe the former is MOSTLY true, but I'm still on the fence on the later<G>!

    Here's what I tell my students: practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. I use examples from sports medicine research to make the point, but it really is applicable to music as well.

    Right now my practice time is so severely limited that when I do pick up the guitar I find it wonderful and amazing that I can still play it.

    Prior to getting married I practiced an hour a day, right after the evening news. It was the final wind down time, and I found it to be very relaxing, and remarkably productive. And I do mean practice, 15 - 20 minutes of scales, arpeggios and exercises, followed by 20 minutes of review material, and ending with 20-25 minutes of working on new material. This was in addition to whatever playing I might do, be it just goofing around or recording or jamming or playing out or...

    Since I got married, and had kids, and recently going through the whole replace the day job thing I get very little time to practice, or even play. And I really do need to fix that... but I just don't know how right now.

    I am confident that I will eventually get back in the groove though.

    Bill

  3. #3

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Ya know, I realized that OT could stand for 'On Topic' as well . . .

    Anyway, I don't spend anytime practicing my instrument for several reasons. First of all, I don't have one. Second of all, if I did have one, I do not have a quiet environment where I could effeciently practice. Thirdly, I've never taken any kind of lessons so it's hard to get proper feedback anyway. Fourthly, college courses take up too much time with writing essays and reading many pages, but I got to get those general education credits in, because for some reason old people have the strange notion that 'well-rounded' people are naturally more successful. That's not to say musician's shouldn't study the business side of music or anything, that's saying that the great composers didn't become great by spending the bulk of their time studying non-music related material. Oops . . . getting off topic . . .

    Well, I do have a digital keyboard that I began practicing on last year, but this year has been more busy then I could have guessed. The time that I do have I spend doing other things which are a little more important to me at this point, such as composing music.

    Eventually I guess I'll have to pay the $300 or so to get some real lessons . . . but that will have to wait until I get some time and money!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    I recently decided to stop being lazy and focus on my guitar playing over samples and computer based stuff, so for the last month or so have been practicing it for at least 2 hours a day and 4-6 hours on weekends. Plus I will sit and run scales while watching TV. This has made a tremendous difference in my playing, but I've got a long way to go to get to where I want to be (to be able to play anything that pops into my twisted noggin). What Bill said is extremely true and I have been focusing a lot on practicing slower and better to avoid getting sloppy when playing at speed.

    It is amazing what a sense of accomplishment you get and, for me anyway, it just motivates me more. I can't guarantee I'll keep this up long term, but I certainly intend to. I've been playing for about 18 years now, and never practiced this regularly for any length of time. Does this mean I'm groing up? Heaven forbid!!!!!

    BTW STyxx, where's your puppy avatar? They were so cute!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Seriously.
    How many hours a day do you practice your primary instrument? The more you play the better you become, right? The opposite hold true, yes?
    Well, the time I spend now varies considerably, depending on the condition of my arthritis, or how involved I get in a new composition. Used to be 8 or so hours a day.

    But: more practice does not inherently produce improved skills. If you overstress your muscles, goodbye music for a while. If you do not consider the physical problems, lots of trouble is just waiting. Probably the biggest problem is tense muscles. If your left shoulder is troublesome, don't practice the sousaphone very much!

    Back in 1943, I read in a beginners book "Practice makes perfect if it is correct practice".

    Currently, I find that I can get sufficient practice to maintain basic skills if I get my practice in short sessions, about 30 minute each, as many times a day as possible. Now and then, if all things conspire in my favor, I can manage a few hours, as long as my French Roast coffee is conveniently located.

    Richard

  6. #6

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    I simply cannot practice enough, merely for the fact that I play just about any instrument I get my hands on! I don't have a "primary" out of the lot, as I'm not part of a live group, so I tend to "practice" more on my most recent instrument (these days it's tenor sax) until I'm happy with my base level of competency.

    Two of my chosen instruments particularly suffer for my lack of attention: bass and cornet. I need to keep up with bass playing to maintain calluses on my plucking fingers: when I don't I get blisters too easily, which limits my playing time to short bits. Having come through school playing trombone, I've never built the lip to extend my range for cornet: someday I'll have to do some serious practicing to accomplish this, but at the moment I have neither time nor reason to dedicate myself exclusively to it.

    As to "the opposite" holding true, I hold the belief that sometimes *not* playing for a while can make you better. Namely, a little vacation from the instrument allows you to return to it fresh if you were in a rut, and cross-training on another instrument can introduce you to new concepts that you can transplant to your first instrument.

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  7. #7

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    I'd be happy for a little free time to join a gym.

    Then time for practice.

    Of course, when I'm asked to produce some music, my poor performance skills really take a bite out of my productivity...

    The day job has been very demanding of my time lately. My 87 year old Dad is in the hospital right now. There's a lot more important stuff going on. But within all this, I did get a pretty cool gig to write some stuff recently. Barely made the deadline... But was proud to have gotten through it despite the many adversities.

    Time for practice? Someday. Meanwhile, these past four weeks at least, time for sleep would be a luxury.

  8. #8

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    I've always been taught that practice makes permanant, not perfect. If you practice it wrong there is absolutely no gain--just a loss. I know this point has been brought up, but it cannot be emphesized more. I agree about taking a break for a while. I took a break from cello for two weeks when school got really busy and I didn't have time anyway, but when I returned It was a fresh start and I felt better about my playing.
    Typically I practice cello an hour to an hour and a half a day, taking a break between warmups/scales and my piece(s). I really should practice more, but I don't have the time. On piano I practice about 45 mins my lesson material, then I practice the cantada for church for 30-45 mins, then I go over to my keyboard and practice for the church service for a while (depends on how hard the hymns are). BTW: if any of y'all find (or have) a good practice organ for sale with a full standard pedalboard and two manuels perferred near me (NJ), please let me know.
    As far as flute and bassoon, I don't practice either at all unless I have some sort of performance coming up or if I decid to play one of them at church.

    -Chris

  9. #9

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    I took a break from cello for two weeks when school got really busy and I didn't have time anyway, but when I returned It was a fresh start and I felt better about my playing.
    Isn't school annoying?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  10. #10

    Re: OT - AT - TT - IT - He he!

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    Isn't school annoying?
    *groan*

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