When it comes to injury, “how” is a more important factor than “how much.” A player who does everything in a biomechanically efficient way is less likely to sustain injury than a player who doesn’t. Mind you, I’m not saying it’s impossible for players with good technique to injure themselves. Rather, I’m saying they’re less likely to do so.Dofpic wrote:I would disagree on the 5 reps doing perfectly until you move on. This in my opinion is one of the things that gave me and others like Christopher Parkening Focal Dystonia.
Some years ago I was among some students of Vieaux. One made an offhand remark along the lines of: “Jason learns things fast because he’s so talented.” Another student replied: “You know, Jason hates it when people say that. It implies that he never had to work.”Dofpic wrote:The bottom line or biggest reason for different outcomes amongst us is one word... "TALENT". If I started at the same age as Jason Vieaux with the exact same teachers and followed the exact same path up to the point of him winning the GFA I still would not have won. He is an enormous talent and I am not.
You can certainly include those things. In fact, I do just that when running reps. As I get more confident with a passage, I try playing it different ways: dynamics, color, articulation, rubato, whatever. The idea is to be more flexible, not less, as the passage gets closer to performance level. The purpose of running reps isn’t to lock into only one way of playing. Rather, it’s to become comfortable enough to vary the passage at whim.larryguitar wrote:I certainly agree that mindless repetition is not helpful but the idea of calling something a perfect repetition strikes me as comical. Perfect in what way? Hitting all the notes and getting the rhythm right? We all know there is so much more to playing a piece well than just those things.
I’ll be clear. I absolutely believe in talent. That said, it’s also true that the results of talent are often indistinguishable from the results of mindful practice. In fact, talent without mindful practice is a seed dropped on parched and barren soil.dtoh wrote:Maybe one of he things they do differently than the rest of us is to practice more.
I see it as simply recognizing the reality of performance. Being on stage raises the emotional stakes. Is it better to recognize this in the practice room? Or should we wait until we’re on stage?larryguitar wrote:You know, I worry that trying to count perfect repetitions will cause tension in my playing and therefore cause me to make more mistakes. I would liken it to a baseball player facing a full count. He knows that he has to hit or go back to the dugout. In this case, the player has to execute the seventh repetition perfectly or face the cycle all over again. For me, it distracts from the music. Of course, I practice passsages and whole pieces many times but I don't count.
Agreed.larryguitar wrote:I think talent is vastly overrated. If you go back and look at talented players, you will find that they started at a young age, had many excellent teachers, and put in thousands of hours of practice. Whatever talent they had, they would be nothing without quality instruction and practice.
There are fundamentals of practice that every musician must understand. These fundamentals are the same for everyone. But after that come the details of how each individual player implements the fundamentals. And the details can be infinitely varied. It’s of no great import that the details vary. What matters is that the details effectively address the fundamentals.larryguitar wrote:I have this idea to set up multiple practice areas in my apartment. There will be one place for scales and arpeggios, another for new repertoire, one for old repertoire, a dedicated computer setup so I can work on duets with StaffPad, and other areas I come up with. Then, every day would be a physical journey, sort of like circuit training in a gym. To me, it seems like it would be easier to remember that I didn't physically go to one of the stations than it is to remember that I didn't put certain sheet music on my music stand.
If we're talking about getting real I think this is an important point.Peter Lovett wrote: ↑Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:40 amI suppose what I am saying in a long-winded way is that my practice sessions are not a search for perfection as I doubt that at my age I will ever be able to achieve that but they are a search for being a musician. I could not embrace the "play it 5 times perfectly then move on" school of thought
Great post Dofpic. Very interesting! I've always doubted the five times in a row rule, because it doesn't appear to work for me. I have to admit, it appears to make me play worse, so I don't follow that advice. It's as you say, the brain needs TIME to assimilate new movements. I tend to practice hard and then be PATIENT. I'm really glad someone has debunked this method of practice. I've often wondered whether I was wrong about it, but your post makes me feel better!Dofpic wrote: ↑Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:53 pmTom great post as all of yours are. Here are some thoughts to add. I would disagree on the 5 reps doing perfectly until you move on. This in my opinion is one of the things that gave me and others like Christopher Parkening Focal Dystonia. My current teacher who is helping me with overcoming this said it takes the brain 3 weeks to become competent in a new drill or movement and another 3 weeks to perfect it or become second nature. She has me practice a certain exercise 4 times in a row and I can only do one of the 4 correct thats fine. Move on for 30 seconds to another exercise for 4 times then come back to the first one. Have 4 or 5 different exercises to vary the practice. and always do it just 4 times no more. Obviously I am undoing problems so it takes longer. But I am closing in on 6 weeks with her and sure enough after 3 weeks of doing this the original exercise I could do correctly 3 out of 4 times and now i do them perfectly almost every time.
She says that I have to trust the "chemical learning process" that happens in our brain. This means that going thru this regiment that over night and while I am not practicing the brain is absorbing these new movements. However if we continue to do them until we can do it 5 times perfectly may take 20-30 repetitions to do this thus confusing the brain and our muscles and brain latches on to these bad movements. (5 out of 30 ain't good)
In my case she started me practicing 3 times a day for 10 minutes then last time I am now up to 12 minutes 3 times a day. I started with 6 different movements and now I am very confident on these 6 movements. 2 weeks ago she introduced 6 new movements. not so good right now but it is coming in baby steps.
the risk of course is trying to perfect something too fast and over practice it.
The bottom line or biggest reason for different outcomes amongst us is one word... "TALENT". If I started at the same age as Jason Vieaux with the exact same teachers and followed the exact same path up to the point of him winning the GFA I still would not have won. He is an enormous talent and I am not. This happens in every discipline. Some are just more blessed with talent in music, sports, business fashion etc.
Anyway your post is an excellent one that hopefully spurs us all to do better in performance, practice and teaching.
I agree, I think learning has to take place in a kind and nurturing way. If teachers berated their students when they played poorly, nobody would study the guitar. After all, nobody is born with the ability to play.Rasputin wrote: ↑Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:39 pmIf we're talking about getting real I think this is an important point.Peter Lovett wrote: ↑Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:40 amI suppose what I am saying in a long-winded way is that my practice sessions are not a search for perfection as I doubt that at my age I will ever be able to achieve that but they are a search for being a musician. I could not embrace the "play it 5 times perfectly then move on" school of thought
I know quite a lot of fatties who can debate the merits of various diets in incredible detail. It almost seems like the bigger the belly, the greater the knowledge. Why then are they still so lardy? It's not because they are comfortable in their outsized skins - with maybe one exception they really do want to be thin. It's because they can't see, or don't want to see, that a good diet is one you can stick to. The same goes for practice regimes. I think they have to be set up to provide a balance of enjoyment right now and a sense of working towards something for later. There's a little of the drill sergeant in some of the suggestions above, and he is not welcome in my practice room.
A lot of posts about practising read as though it is something that you do until you get good, at which point you can just play. I don't think that point ever comes, in which case this mentality is just going to lead to frustration and disappointment. I expect to be practising until I put the guitar down for the last time, so it has to be something I relish and look forward to. I'm sure that is true for others as well. I don't mean it has to be easy - I had a really good workout earlier today and it was hard but still felt really good. That is the kind of thing I think we should be looking for in a practice session, but it has to come from a kind and nurturing place, not one of self-discipline bordering on masochism.