Learning efficiently?

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
Chueg
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:53 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by Chueg » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:59 am

[quote="2handband"]

1) Don't play note number two till note number one sounds perfect... every time. Don't play note number three until you can play both notes one and two one after the other flawlessly... every time. Master each challenge before moving onto the next.

Yesssssss

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scottszone
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:19 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by scottszone » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:23 pm

I break my practice down into categories: 1) reading skills 2) technique 3) vocabulary 4) theory and 5) repertoire

To improve my reading I practice reading etudes, new pieces I am interested in, or Bach. I read slowly and will pause if need be to determine the best position and fingering. I may read the same piece playing in different positions as well, open position vs third position for example. I take note of where open strings work better vs fretting notes, and any odd left or right hand moves. I much prefer a clean score rather than a cluttered one with left and right hand finger notation. I like to work that out for myself to find what works best for me. I try to read at least a little bit every practice session, but some day more others less depending on my priorities at the moment.

I like to start my practice with about 30 minutes of technical exercises with metronome, similar to the ones you find in the Pumping Nylon book. I have made a few of my own exercises too that help with specific things I am trying to improve: picado, slurs, tremolo, arpeggio patterns, etc. Some days I do these exercises later in my practice session if I am more inspired to work on something else. I have about 10 etudes that I play through as well to help reinforce the technical exercises. I do notice my comfort, precision, and ease of play is much better after a brief technical workout.

Vocabulary work consists of chords, scales, and arpeggio studies in different keys and modes. I usually improvise or work with standard jazz chord progressions for this work. I work specifically on modes or keys that I feel need improvement. I play jazz standards and improvise as well as play classical guitar pieces, but I have found this work improves my fretboard knowledge and fluidity regardless of the style I am playing.

Theory usually consists of analysis of the pieces I am learning. I note the chords and chord progressions, mode and key, modulations, etc. It helps me better understand the piece and my memorization as well.

And repertoire consists of learning short and long term pieces. Some I learn rather quickly others are a long term project. I average working on around roughly 10 pieces per practice session. Short pieces I may play through completely, after working on any problem measures. Longer pieces I break down into sections.

All these categories are inter-relational and each helps to improve the others. I don't usually work on all five areas in one practice session, but by the end of the week I've usually covered them all.

Hope this helps!
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2016 Cordoba C7-CE Cedar/IRW
2006 Cordoba GK Studio Spruce/Cypress

Salvador
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:59 am
Location: Asia

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by Salvador » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:12 pm

Sometimes it's the right hand, i think. In classical guitar, plucking or finger picking is very important to familiarize. I assume that you are still not used to plucking the strings. Since your style is fingerstyle guitar. I think it's good to play a song, pluck the strings and sing. Example, 'Dust In The Wind', learn the plucking pattern and sing it. That way you are also learning the rhythm of the song.

Or you can learn the plucking patterns of the song and play along with the song. You can also get the chords of a song and strum along with the song. That's one way of how to practice rhythm, to be on tempo. Play along with the song.

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scottszone
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:19 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by scottszone » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:28 pm

When I learn a new piece, I work in stages:

1) read through the piece slowly, working out fingering and positions, and mark the score where needed. Basically, I figure out exactly how I want to play it, where the trouble spots are, and any specific techniques I need to use to play it.

2) I read it till I have it memorized and do not need the score. It is typically not at performance tempo or level at this stage, and I may have to pause or slow down in spots to remember or play through the tough parts. Basically, I try to get to the point that I no longer need the score, even if I am playing it very slowly or without a strict tempo.

3) Then I play it with many reps over days, weeks, or even months. I may isolate difficult sections and just work on them. Once I've worked out all the trouble spots, I play it many times over until it feels natural, there are no hesitations or sloppy parts, and I'm happy with the tempo.

4) I perform it live. I have found once I've played a piece for an audience a few times, it is drilled into my memory and has become a part of me and I will always be able to remember and play it with occasional maintenance. At this point I am mainly focused on phrasing, dynamics, and general musicality of the performance.

I keep a rotating repertoire of pieces I've performed, others that I am preparing for performance, and brand new pieces that I am in the process of learning. Sometimes a piece doesn't work out for me for one reason or another and I shelve it, or return to it at a latter date if it is a piece I still want to learn.
2006 Manuel Contreras II C-5 Cedar/IRW
2016 Cordoba C7-CE Cedar/IRW
2006 Cordoba GK Studio Spruce/Cypress

Moonlighting2610
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:25 am

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by Moonlighting2610 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:16 am

There are plenty of free and useful information on learning classical guitar effectively. As my example I would gradually take advice from those source and apply it in my practicing:

http://scottkritzer.com/2011/08/02/gett ... -practice/

https://www.classicalguitarshed.com/on-practicing/

https://www.classicalguitarcorner.com/online-lessons/

sal
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: Learning efficiently?

Post by sal » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:51 am

Metronome is an absolutely essential tool and should be used for most of your practice session, especially when starting a new etude, scale, exercise, whatever.
Most mistakes come out of inefficiency and excessiveness. The metronome removes all that extra time you allow yourself to be inefficiencient and excessive.
Basically, if you practice with a metronome you don not have time to make mistakes.

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