You get what you measure

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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twang
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:57 am

Re: You get what you measure

Post by twang » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:53 pm

A sick as it may sound, for analytically minded folks like me, experimenting with ideas from different domains, and toying with different metrics is actually fun. Watching myself go through the process of mastering this beast is a source of endless fascination.

Watching a "metric" steadily improve is encouraging. I tend to forget exactly how I was doing last week, but looking at a list of scores from the last week really emphasizes improvement-- which I might add, often seems so minuscule during the last mile. (The last 20% of improvement takes 80% of the effort.)
Rick Beauregard wrote: Other posts talk about performance anxiety. This is when we spend all our time in the practice room in the left brain learning a piece, then walk out on stage (or in my case the video light goes on) and our right brain takes over and we crash.
For a really satisfying performance I have to aim for the most relaxed state possible. That's easy in the practice studio and so difficult in front of an audience. Getting to that state while under pressure is, in my opinion, one of the most important technical skills we can develop.
Whiteagle wrote: I am wondering whether doing scoring whilst you are playing could be a distraction. I aim to be able to play a piece 5 times in a row without errors but yes we could write a thousand page book on how do you define an error
I find that to be a double edged sword. On one hand, trying to keep score drives a lot of focus and active listening. On the other hand, it's one more thing to think about. I'm already finding it works better to use a simple three point scale: 3 is perfect, 2 passes the satisfying standard, and less than 2, well. Another danger, would be encouraging a tendency to judge while performing; it's hard enough just letting go of each sound and letting it be what it is. So, yes, for the next phase of my experimenting, I'm going to try judging from recordings.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

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scottszone
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: You get what you measure

Post by scottszone » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:06 pm

In a performance setting, I find listening to the music while I play as if I am not the one performing it helps. It takes a certain leap of faith, but I find the music more pleasing when I let my ears do all the work. At least for me, if I focus too much on the technical demands of a piece, the music suffers.

Of course, I focus on musical accuracy, technique, and memorization when first learning a piece in practice or rehearsal.
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nightflight
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:05 pm
Location: Chicago region, USA

Re: You get what you measure

Post by nightflight » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:56 am

I've thought about trying to be more regimented in my approach to practice... but tend to fall back to doing what comes naturally.

My warm up usually consists of playing whatever I am working on somewhat slowly - this helps me work out the stiffness of a trigger finger on my fretting hand. Then, I divide a piece up into sections. I practice each section as many times as I can, sometimes multiple times per day. I don't count how many times, though I do try to play a section through accurately at least 3 times before moving on to the next section. This is a carryover from how I was taught to practice when I was a kid.

I do sometimes practice with a book-on-tape playing or even a movie on TV. At this stage, I'm playing to make my hands go through the motions and for the music to become almost "automatic". Clearly this works better for some pieces but not others.

Granted I do not perform (I suffer from severe performance anxiety and play for my own enjoyment). In other words, I don't need to impress anyone but myself, my teacher, and maybe my dogs.

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