Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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fumingelephant
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Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by fumingelephant » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:03 am

So, currently I am just following along noad's method book. This is something I won't let go of, because I like where the book is progressing to. My practice is currently 4 pieces in noad, considering 4 in kitharologus, and considering delcamp online lessons. I practice each piece for 10 minutes, and if I add delcamp, it'll be 30 minutes. I move on when I have the exercises memorized, and can play them with good tone without any mistakes three times in a row.

Several questions here:
1. Back when I did classical piano(four years experience) I read about the technique VS repertoire debate. If I practice from only noad and the online lessons here, will I need to supplement with kitharologus? Ie, should I play noad+kitharologus, noad+delcamp, or all three? Will working into the 1.5-2 hour range do more harm than good? (this is only for the summer, when college hits me ill probably lay back a lot) I think I do have the motivation to prevent burnout, so assume that a non-issue for now.
2. Advice about kitharologus or guitar in general for beginners (me, lol) ? (currently dont have the finger strength and dexterity to even finish level one, I'm in the first 15% of noad, just for reference)
3. This is just an unrelated question: I've been playing exercises on the first four strings, when I play a note on, say, the first string, then more on other strings, the first string keeps ringing even though the sheet music says that it's only supposed to like a quarter note or something. This ends up sounding really muddy really quickly. The books mentions nothing about muting notes yet. How do I mute notes? Is it a thing? Do I just let it ring out?

Steve Langham
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Steve Langham » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:12 am

You have lots of questions so I won't try and answer all of them.
Kitharologus...a challenge for even experienced players. I'd suggest as a newbie you should find something a bit more accessible. Eg, pumping nylon or the bible of classical guitar technique by Kappel.

Also look at Sagreras books, available for free on this site . Really nice musical progression of studies.

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Guitar Slim Jr.
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Guitar Slim Jr. » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:46 am

I'm all for learning through repertoire. Technical excercse can be an important, even fun, aspect of your practice -- but it's secondary. Playing music is how you learn to play, and the majority of your time should be spent learning and playing music, IMO. If you're upping your practice, make sure you add more music than exercises.

Fortunately, there's a fair amount of repertoire in Noad's method books. His own anthologies make an excellent supplement to his (or any other) method. If you've never seen them: "The Renaissance Guitar," "The Baroque Guitar," and two more, Classical, and Romantic. Each volume is graded by difficulty, it's a journey of years for a beginner, but a really great place to start.

For technical exercise, I recommend you start a little more simply. Try some basic scales -- look at Shearer's instead of Segovia's. And of course the dreaded 120 right-hand exercises by Giuliani. These can actually be found in Noad vol. 2. They are CG canon.

I recommend, for a beginner, no more than 30 minutes *at a time* If you want to play more, give yourself a nice long break after 30.

Good luck, and play every day.

Steve Langham
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Steve Langham » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:45 am

The repertoire vs technique debate isn't unique to piano, you will find it here too. Some will advocate concentrating on reportoire, as per the previous post. And some will advocate technique, in order to lay a foundation of skills you can draw upon. It's up to you to work out where you land in this regard.

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SunnyDee
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by SunnyDee » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:10 pm

Steve Langham wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:45 am
The repertoire vs technique debate isn't unique to piano, you will find it here too. Some will advocate concentrating on repertoire, as per the previous post. And some will advocate technique, in order to lay a foundation of skills you can draw upon. It's up to you to work out where you land in this regard.
This same debate goes on among non-classical players. I would think "where you land" might depend on what kind of goals you have. A musician who is primarily an instrumentalist would go for repertoire, I would think. A person who wanted to compose might go for technique to build up a toolbox for improvisation and composition. I'm sure there's a mix for everyone, but where you spend your practice time would vary based on goals, I'd think.
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johnd
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by johnd » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:06 pm

I posted this before..........................

Found this statement from Andre Segovia very interesting. It is from the California State University Northridge, Ca newspaper.

In a 1977 Sundial article titled "A Visit by Segovia," the journalist illustrates how blunt and quirky Segovia could be, noting that "[s]tudents played for Segovia, who told the class he practices for only four or five hours a day. Anyone who 'practices eight hours is not a liar; he is an ass,' he said." This blunt but amusing aspect of Segovia’s personality is what classical guitar students expected from him. :lol:

johnd
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by johnd » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:06 pm

Sorry - Double post!
Last edited by johnd on Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fumingelephant
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by fumingelephant » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:28 pm

Thanks for all the replies, here is a soft reminder that i did have a question about muting strings in my post. :p

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Non Tabius
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Non Tabius » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:14 pm

fumingelephant wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:28 pm
Thanks for all the replies, here is a soft reminder that i did have a question about muting strings in my post. :p
I think if you are working with Frederick Noad, possibly Bk1 Solo Guitar, you will see he discusses rest stocks and free strokes.That would be similar to what you were doing on the piano, with the sustain and dampening(mute) pedal.Or playing the keyboard notes staccato, or whatever. To me, that would be the answer to what notes should be muted or not.In the end, you will find some strings will just sustain or mute naturally as the part is written according to the note values and suggested LH Fingerings.It's really something you should not get too hung up about at this stage.Try not to pressure yourself now, by the comparing what you did with relative ease on the piano.

It is a debatable point, of course, but just for now get used to the guitar neck with its same note on different positions and strings, which is different to the piano.Noad discusses this aspect when comparing the guitar with the piano in Bk1 from what I recall.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:30 pm

Pick one and stick to it. I like Delcamp's lessons. He does cover damping extensively at the appropriate time. The thing I like is the sharing of your work videos or audio recordings with the community. Great for coaching, encouragement and performance practice.

Not sure if anyone said it yet cause I didn't read every word above, but to give you the most oft quoted phrase in Delcamp, "Get a ood teacher".
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Guitar Slim Jr.
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by Guitar Slim Jr. » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:08 pm

fumingelephant wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:28 pm
Thanks for all the replies, here is a soft reminder that i did have a question about muting strings in my post. :p
Agree with the other posters who say you're probably too early on to worry about this. Unless you're doing something in 1st position with a whole lot of open strings, the problem usually only involves open bass strings and in fact isn't a problem most of the time. Ironically, it's more of a problem with beginner tunes *because* of all the open strings.

At your stage, I would be far more concerned with sustaining fretted notes to their proper duration, especially bass notes.

dtoh
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by dtoh » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:05 pm

I would offer a contrary opinion. For a beginner exercises to develop strength, flexibility, and dexterity especially in the left hand are a much more efficient use of time than playing pieces. That said, playing pieces may be useful for motivational reasons or for developing music reading skills.

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jpryan
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by jpryan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:35 pm

Mute strings in whatever way is most convenient. In your example of playing on the first string then on other strings, I assume the first string ringing is open. If the next note is also an open string you can mute the e with a left-hand finger. If the next note is fretted you could mute the e with a finger you're not using to fret, or with another finger on the right hand, or with the side of the finger you're fretting with, or, since it's the first string ringing, with some part of your palm near the base of a finger. The simplest way to mute a fretted string is to slightly release pressure with the fretting finger. For base notes, often times the side of the right thumb works for muting them. I doubt if you could find an unacceptable way to mute a string. Use whatever works. Or don't ... often times strings are meant to ring even though the notation doesn't reflect it. Other times the sound dies so quickly that muting isn't necessary.
Like others have said, though, I wouldn't worry about it. It's nothing that won't come in time, and you won't be creating any horrible habits that won't be easy to change when the time comes that you have something to mute. You're already ahead of the game by realizing that it might be an issue.
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CactusWren
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by CactusWren » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:54 pm

Don't do Kitharalogus. That's the equivalent of doing worksheets in school. It's busy work. Any guitar method would be better--Sagreras, Shearer, Noad, Duncan, Romero, Aguado, Yates, the South American schools--anything. There will be plenty of exercises and etudes that are much more selective and effective. Kitharalogus might be a good idea if you intelligently combined it with graded repertoire and had an expected lifespan of 150 and no job or other responsibilities and you knew your body wouldn't get RSI or focal dystonia. It is the Hanon of guitar and similarly a time-waster, of great use for burned out teachers...

You don't actually need exercises for the most part. Instead of learning whole pieces, pick digestible chunks (maybe what you can memorize in a few minutes) and just repeat those for 15 minutes or so until they are perfected. Do this several days in a row until the state of ease comes up when you pick it up cold--now it is mastered. Practicing this way will make sure you're getting the maximum benefit from each lesson instead of just rushing through the material and ending up half-assed like most players, in the eternal intermediate state.

In the guitar, muting is very important usually ignored, so your sensitivity to the ringing notes is a good sign. The first priority is to mute basses so the harmony is clear. Probably you should place more emphasis on playing the treble notes cleanly and with good technique rather than moving the hand around a lot to mute, but by all means do it if it's easy. And if you can't stand the effect of unintended overlapping sounds, then do what you must to satisfy yourself!

fumingelephant
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Re: Beginner question: how much to practice and how to practice

Post by fumingelephant » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:58 pm

CactusWren wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:54 pm
Don't do Kitharalogus. That's the equivalent of doing worksheets in school. It's busy work. Any guitar method would be better--Sagreras, Shearer, Noad, Duncan, Romero, Aguado, Yates, the South American schools--anything. There will be plenty of exercises and etudes that are much more selective and effective. Kitharalogus might be a good idea if you intelligently combined it with graded repertoire and had an expected lifespan of 150 and no job or other responsibilities and you knew your body wouldn't get RSI or focal dystonia. It is the Hanon of guitar and similarly a time-waster, of great use for burned out teachers...

You don't actually need exercises for the most part. Instead of learning whole pieces, pick digestible chunks (maybe what you can memorize in a few minutes) and just repeat those for 15 minutes or so until they are perfected. Do this several days in a row until the state of ease comes up when you pick it up cold--now it is mastered. Practicing this way will make sure you're getting the maximum benefit from each lesson instead of just rushing through the material and ending up half-assed like most players, in the eternal intermediate state.

In the guitar, muting is very important usually ignored, so your sensitivity to the ringing notes is a good sign. The first priority is to mute basses so the harmony is clear. Probably you should place more emphasis on playing the treble notes cleanly and with good technique rather than moving the hand around a lot to mute, but by all means do it if it's easy. And if you can't stand the effect of unintended overlapping sounds, then do what you must to satisfy yourself!
Thanks for the response, this is one comment that hits closer to home for me

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