Hitting a Plateau

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
wchymeus
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by wchymeus » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:41 am

I thoroughly enjoyed "Practicing" and many years after reading it, it's still fresh in my mind. It's all about enjoying music and not watching yourself play and willing to be competitive. At least, that's my take away.
Just the fact that you think "plateau" tells me like Chris that you have set yourself a goal but are not enjoying the journey. So either you play for the music itself or you play for the recognition of your playing. Your choice. With the former, there is nothing wrong in bringing down the tempo and enjoying simple etudes and this notion of "plateau" does not make sense anymore.
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Sachis Badia 1977

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robin loops
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by robin loops » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:40 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:04 pm
robin loops wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:09 pm
reviewing older simpler pieces that you have moved past (level/ability) in favor or more advanced works, can be great for confidence building. For example, when one feels like they are hitting a brick wall with pieces like Back's Chiconne, playing through Lagrima for the first time in years, can really demonstrate just how much improvement one has made...
With respect, OK, that may work, but it also seems a little shallow. Something more important that comes from revisiting older simpler pieces is one can have valuable insights that one didn't have first time around, so one is still learning from this process.
That's kind of the point. With these new valuable insights coupled with better technique, these simpler pieces come to life in a new way you weren't capable of when you last played them. The psychological benefit to that is that in seeing how much progress one has made in their approach to these 'simpler' pieces, one can project a similar progress on the things they are currently seeing as a 'brick wall'. It's not to say there aren't other reasons to review older works, as well as other benefits from this activity. But it is a quite useful tool for ending dry spells and periods of frustration, as well as a good way to utilize the time during these spells, rather than repeatedly beating one's head against the brick wall that is impeding them at the moment. It's basically taking a step back and moving forward with an improved footing.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

Chris
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by Chris » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:23 pm

Mike Steede wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:24 am
That's good advice - thanks. I think I need to re-visit pieces that I'm more comfortable with and spend some more time with exercises (fun ones) and haul out the ol' metronome. I saw an interesting YouTube video on scales (can't remember where) that talks about playing them using destination points. Interesting stuff. Ah, found it! http://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/sc ... on-points/
That great to hear Mike. There are actually many in this forum who picked up the guitar again after many years so we are not the only ones.

I personally have had to go back to re-learn from the ground up, the most basic technique, the easiest pieces, even posture. It is taking quite a while but I believe the reward is high and that I will come out at a higher level of maturity and play much better. :)

I'm sure many here have experienced that you can't just continue playing at the level where you left off many years ago but that you really have to go back and do it the right way this time...

Chris
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by Chris » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:29 pm

lagartija wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:23 am
I read Glenn's book and he is a very articulate writer. I felt that as a young man he had unrealistic expectations as to what a career in music would be like. He became embittered because the reality did not meet his unrealistic expectations. I felt sorry for him that it destroyed the joy of music for him for many years. :-|
Yes indeed, thinking that he was going to be the new Segovia as it says in the article was probably raising the bar a little high :D

dory
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by dory » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:35 am

Hi Mike,

What level are you at? One phenomenon we see a lot in language teaching is that beginners feel like they are making a huge amount of progress, because everything they learn is a lot compared to what they already know. Then they reach the dreaded intermediate stage when they are still learning but what they are learning feels like very little compared to what they already know. I think the guitar is similar. I know that in my case I feel like I a, in a permanent plateau, but over long periods I become aware that I am actually playing better. If you are an advanced player this phenomenon may be much worse. I can't say because I don't consider myself (actually nobody else would either) so I can't tell you from thst persoective.
Dory

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Peter Lovett
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by Peter Lovett » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:31 am

Plateaus - tell me about 'em. I think they are getting closer and bigger the more I continue. However, I am finding that a sympathetic teacher who can introduce new or different material and going back to stuff you left behind you ages ago helps.

By continuing to bang away on the material that has brought you to the plateau doesn't help, or it will take you much longer to progress. By playing new material and going back to stuff done and dusted ages ago I find that I can play this material with far more fluency than I had previously or it is coming to me far quicker. Then when I go back to the problem stuff I find that I progress again.
1994 Jim Williams lattice braced, Cedar/Tasmanian Blackwood

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Mike Steede
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by Mike Steede » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:25 pm

Wow! So many have posted on what I thought was a simple question - it seems we've all or most have had some experience if not a lot with this 'problem'. Maybe it's not really a problem at all and the norm is to have the normal rise over run relatively low so we don't in the short haul see the incremental rise each month or year. I never got into this thinking it would be easy, in fact as I look back I got into it as I saw a life-long pursuit that would always challenge me. Turns out I got what I was asking for and I should accept that. Stepping back and changing perspective, and hearing all of the stories/comments from everyone else has really helped. Thank you all!
2017 Steve Ganz 'New Moon'
2017 Yamaha NCX900FM
1991 Olmstead '37 Hauser

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Mike Steede
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by Mike Steede » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:32 am

Thanks again for all the help folks. I think I've beaten it and broken through - I went back to some older pieces, began playing them at a slower tempo with more feeling, ritardando and rubato, focussing more on tone and feeling. That's helped a lot. After the years away from playing it's really a pointless exercise to expect I can play with the same level of technique I used to have - that'll come back I'm sure - I just have to be patient and enjoy the ride. All the best to everyone and thanks for your comments. Best to all / Mike S.
2017 Steve Ganz 'New Moon'
2017 Yamaha NCX900FM
1991 Olmstead '37 Hauser

henders
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Re: Hitting a Plateau

Post by henders » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:20 am

Mike Steede wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:32 am
Thanks again for all the help folks. I think I've beaten it and broken through - I went back to some older pieces, began playing them at a slower tempo with more feeling, ritardando and rubato, focussing more on tone and feeling. That's helped a lot. After the years away from playing it's really a pointless exercise to expect I can play with the same level of technique I used to have - that'll come back I'm sure - I just have to be patient and enjoy the ride. All the best to everyone and thanks for your comments. Best to all / Mike S.
" I just have to be patient and enjoy the ride." Yes, enjoy the process and just enjoy the moment. Appreciate the moment. A beautiful instrument in your hands, beautiful sounds emerging, the miracle of music. What a marvelous thing.

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