Practicing guitar

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belminokanovic
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Practicing guitar

Post by belminokanovic » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:30 am

Hello,

I think it is very interesting to share with you one post from FB.
It is the advice for practicing guitar from guitarist Johannes Moller.

-slow practice (ultra-slow [no set rhythm, prepare every single movement in left and right hands, focus set on making absolutely no mistakes])
-mental practice (with & without the score; helps also with memorisation)
-sectional practice (micro-phrases [i.e. small fragments], practice separately; phrase-by-phrase; 3 consecutive notes, then 4, then 5, etc.)
-rhythmical permutations - with metronome, with subdivisions; dotted rhythms: 16th-dotted 8th; dotted 8th-16th; 16th-16th-8th; 16th-8th-16th; 8th-16th-16th; quarter(tied)16th-16th-16th-16th
-separate the hands
-counting out loud while playing
-singing (singing melody, accompaniment, separate voices; verbalising rhythms from pieces; helps with breathing also)
-each note twice (repeat each movement identically – i.e. repeat each RH finger twice per written note; short-long articulation)
-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)
-practice with de-tuned guitar (maintain fingering, positions)
-separating voices (especially helpful when studying early music)
-play through whole piece while purposefully buzzing every note by reducing LH pressure (develops sense of perfect amount of necessary pressure in LH)
-practice with cloth/scarf inside the strings at the bridge to mute strings (helps to develop the production of a bigger sound; good for silent/late evening practice)
-record yourself, play back (same day or some days later to analyse)


How do you practice a guitar?

Cheers, :D

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tormodg
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by tormodg » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:17 pm

That's an interesting list. I admit to arresting myself for playing too fast even when I consciously play at a slow tempo...!

But as for: "-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)"

Why would this be useful? I understand that you reduce complexity by taking away the need to shift position, but doesn't it add the unecessary complexity of "seeing" notes in the wrong place?
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Tom Poore
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Tom Poore » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:57 pm

tormodg wrote:That's an interesting list. But as for: "-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)" Why would this be useful? I understand that you reduce complexity by taking away the need to shift position, but doesn't it add the unecessary complexity of "seeing" notes in the wrong place?
That’s a head scratcher for me too. I don’t see the point of spending precious practice time doing something you won’t do when playing the piece. Would be interesting to hear a justification for doing this.

As for the de-tuning idea, I’ve heard of that before. But I’m still not sure what useful purpose it serves.

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USA

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Larry McDonald » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:32 pm

Tom Poore wrote:
tormodg wrote:That's an interesting list. But as for: "-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)" Why would this be useful? I understand that you reduce complexity by taking away the need to shift position, but doesn't it add the unecessary complexity of "seeing" notes in the wrong place?
That’s a head scratcher for me too. I don’t see the point of spending precious practice time doing something you won’t do when playing the piece. Would be interesting to hear a justification for doing this.

As for the de-tuning idea, I’ve heard of that before. But I’m still not sure what useful purpose it serves.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Removing the shift is one of Eduardo Fernandez' "parameters" that can be eliminated during a diagnosis of poorly executed technical issues. I've used it to demonstrate to the student what EXACTLY is the problem. It's often finger-exchange or "wrist-twist" (improper pronation or supination) by the way. Essentially, it is a lightly rehearsed diagnostic tool, and not a practice strategy.

I have no idea what the de-tuning could be used for except to confuse an audiated memory and isolate motor memory. But why would you want to do this.
Lare
[edited 2 x, geeze I gotta proofread more.]
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Mr Kite

Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Mr Kite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:09 pm

tormodg wrote:as for: "-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)"

Why would this be useful? I understand that you reduce complexity by taking away the need to shift position, but doesn't it add the unecessary complexity of "seeing" notes in the wrong place?
I think the idea is that you put the finger down as if the shift had taken place, even though this is going to give you the wrong note -not that you try to play the right notes in the position you are already in. I am guessing this teaches 'shift with your arm, fret with your hand' or maybe 'move your hand with your arm, move your fingers with your hand' or even 'the fretting action is always the same, whether it happens to be combined with a shift or not'. I came across a similar idea quite recently so will definitely be trying this.

As for detuning, could he mean this in the sense of playing in a lowered tuning, the point being to reduce string tension rather than to confuse the ear? I guess the movements would need to be quite different if the strings were really sloppy. Still not sure why it is helpful to do this though.

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guitarrista
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by guitarrista » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:18 pm

I don't get tips like the de-tuning and the un-shifting - it would be torture for me. Tips like these make sense if you are honing your mechanics to be a perfect machine executing the necessary movements in sound production. However musicality is an aspect which for me is inseparable from the whole experience.

One thing which is missing from the list is to practice for stage - meaning playing through mistakes and training yourself to just keep going and not be affected to the extent that your performance of the piece deteriorates further on.
Last edited by guitarrista on Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mr Kite

Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Mr Kite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:38 pm

guitarrista wrote:Tips like these make sense if you are honing your mechanics to be a perfect machine executing the necessary movements in sound production.
Yeah I think that's exactly it. There seems to be a bit of a theme of separating the technique from the musicality in the list above. I don't know Johannes Moller's playing very well but I remember seeing a YT of him doing Sueno en la floresta and thinking it was a very good - i.e. very musical - version. I doubt you can train musicality out of a person, whatever exercises you get them do to. I get that this approach is going to make practice more of a chore, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Dekselsedek
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Dekselsedek » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:58 pm

No 1 is probably the thing that helped me most. Too bad I learned that so late. I tell my students to play slowly quite often nowadays. It requires patience though.

franks59
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by franks59 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:47 pm

tormodg wrote: But as for: "-practice without shifting (stay in one position, but observing all fingerings and string crossings as though playing through the piece)"

Why would this be useful? I understand that you reduce complexity by taking away the need to shift position, but doesn't it add the unecessary complexity of "seeing" notes in the wrong place?
While I haven't heard of not shifting, I have heard of playing up a few frets and playing while de-tuned.

The purpose of this is to make sure you actively know how your fingers are supposed to move from note-to-note without relying on muscle memory or having any audible clues. Hearing the "wrong" notes forces you to actively think about what your fingers are doing for each note.

Frank

choctawchas
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by choctawchas » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:08 am

I videotape my practice sessions.
This is an excellent way to see and hear how I can improve very quickly with immediate feedback.
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Luis_Br
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:52 pm

I also don't know and I've never heard before on the detuned practice.
I also avoid practicing with no rhythm. Even when playing slow, rhythm is there.
About removing shifts etc. (Fernandez approach), I use it eventually to solve technical issues. But very specific to a few notes from a difficult passage. Repeat a few times to get the right coordination, than add the shift again. I used more this kind of reduction in the past, but since I started practicing hands separate for such issues, the reduction to practice each hand alone and slow on the metronome normally is enough to solve such problems.
Important point is that I do this to specific passages and to reduce practice time. It is the opposite of a chore. To me a chore is to play the whole thing for several repetitions, for days or weeks, to finally end up not mastering it. While if you develop a wise way of solving the issues, you get through each issue until you solve it definitely in one single study session, in a few sessions everything is done.

RectifiedGTRz
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by RectifiedGTRz » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:30 pm

I never heard of de-tuning; would that be to put the guitar in a lower harmonic tuning (making strings less taught), or to actually de-tune each string so that it is not in tune, but you have to maintain fingering (which would, I assume, strengthen motor memory and I guess visual fretboard memory?)
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franks59
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by franks59 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:58 am

RectifiedGTRz wrote:I never heard of de-tuning; would that be to put the guitar in a lower harmonic tuning (making strings less taught), or to actually de-tune each string so that it is not in tune, but you have to maintain fingering (which would, I assume, strengthen motor memory and I guess visual fretboard memory?)
#2 - but it's not to strengthen motor memory (muscle memory), it's to defeat it and replace/add to it, active intellectual memory. So you have to know at any given point exactly what the next fingering is. Muscle memory is great but undependable.

Frank

Luis_Br
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:20 pm

I think a better practice would be playing in another key without changing the tuning. This is learning the real music and using intelect rather than think on pure fingering without music.

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andreas777
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Re: Practicing guitar

Post by andreas777 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:10 pm

belminokanovic wrote:How do you practice a guitar?
I must admit that this is exactly the opposite of what I am doing :lol:
I wonder how many pieces someone can learn (and memorize) in a week, in a month, or in a year, by executing these technical exercises (only). I think these exercises are valid for professional players who strive for perfection, but for me as an amateur player that plays guitar after a long working day just to relax, for me they do not suit, and in the long run I would lose all my fun and joy playing guitar.
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