Practice to performance level

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Alex65
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Practice to performance level

Post by Alex65 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:22 am

There are a lot of topics about practice in this forum, here is another question, maybe the answer is somewhere out there but I couldn't find it.

When practising a new piece I always take out the tricky parts and practise them until they are ok. At some point I know the piece really well, and I have the feeling the only thing that I can work on is to play it over and over again. Besides this is a bit boring it also feels that I am not using my practice time efficiently. But it is not played perfectly. Sometimes it is, but also times with small errors incidentally like a note that doesn't comes out ok.

How do you practice a piece to performance level? As I consider myself beginner level should I not worry about it, put it aside, pick up now and then and it will come in time, or should I keep pushing playing it over and over again?

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tormodg
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by tormodg » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:17 am

You need to define "performance level". As a beginner it should not necessarily mean "playing perfectly". I have played for 35 years and still don't play things without errors. Errors are part of a performance. Only professional players can afford to spend the time needed to polish things to extreme levels - and even then they make mistakes.

Playing pieces for yourself is not the same as playing for others. Stage fright, nerves, stress and any situational factors will impact your playing, usually for the worse. I think the best way to improve your playing is to play in front of others. Which means imperfect performances for friends/wives/lovers/neighbors/colleagues/co-students. :)
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nicolasDR103
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by nicolasDR103 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:26 am

Hi! Yes, as tormodg said, a public performance will point out difficulties and bad habits that have been overlooked during practise. Also preparing for a performance of this kind , e.g. a guitar seminar or a recital amongst friends, can give you the extra drive needed to advance a piece from the 'ok level' to a better one. I think a piece becomes really familiar after at least a few performances.

The other alternative is recording. It really puts you on the spot and helps you define what needs more practising. I haven't applied that method a lot but It seems very helpful. Although a little distressing at first :D

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by Larry McDonald » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:59 pm

Hi,
I sometimes use what I call "extreme" playing with my students. I have them take the tempos to absurd speeds to see where/if there are mechanical breakdowns that need my attention. Then I ask them to set their metronome to "glacier" and check that there is another memory system (such as an audiated memory) other than motor memory, which often fails at very slow tempos. Overlapping memory strategies are critical for performance, in my opinion.
All the best,
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

robinfw
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Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Practice to performance level

Post by robinfw » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:02 am

One question many answers.
One of the answers is in the OP itself.
Yes. Set metronome to 30-40 bpm.
Play
With all notes equal.
Until you hate it.
Until you can play and be thinking of what to eat tomorrow.
And then continue with step 2.
To be continued.
Maybe.

Henny
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Location: Amsterdam

Re: Practice to performance level

Post by Henny » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:16 am

after you know how to play the piece (notes),made an analysis of the chords, you have to focus on the dynamics, tone, phrasing , timing.....this again makes it more interesting ..if it is getting boring..focus on the music and not on the technical aspect.
with some research you can find docs to prepare for performance.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:35 pm

to practice to performance level certain piece?
If you want to perform? - then practice everything to performance level .
not one piece. Could one really play one piece well and everything else not good?
nonsense.
Good technique take time, years to develop.
Passion, fire? - could one ever develop it?
And to perform - one need to perform all the time when possible, to your friends, neighbor, relative, at work anywhere you could - this is the best performance practice.
Sitting at home alone and playing for yourself will not bring you ever to performance level
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

davekear
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by davekear » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:35 am

Get a gig in a restaurant. I used to play 4 hrs a night 6 or 7 days a week. Playing that much, that often, there are times when you reach stratospheric levels that's like magic. You just sit and watch yourself play at a level you never played before. And you just enjoy the ride. These moments are invaluable, because now you know the impossible is possible. And you're playing for people, but you're not being scrutinized. Good training.

Rognvald
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by Rognvald » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:23 am

Alex,
the advantage of working with a good teacher is that he can suggest material that is, more or less, aimed at your performance level. If you are continually trying to play pieces beyond your technical ability, you will never have any satisfaction with the music. Play pieces "at your level" and play pieces "slightly above your level" which will allow you to grow. Be certain to incorporate technique exercises into your warm up with the same principle in mind. Only then will real progress be attained. I hope this helps. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

msa3psu
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Location: State College, Pennsylvania

Re: Practice to performance level

Post by msa3psu » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:32 pm

An old saying I've heard is that a musician practices until he/she gets it right; a professional practices until they can't get it wrong. This doesn't teach anything about how to do either but it says a lot about attitudes and approaches to performance level playing. I very much like Larry McDonald's suggestions about extreme metronome trials. It can be very revealing.

Ramon Amira
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by Ramon Amira » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Practice it backwards.

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Saitenfee
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Location: Germany

Re: Practice to performance level

Post by Saitenfee » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:05 pm

We all want to be perfect, but nobody is really perfect. To play very well, without (or with less) errors needs time, concentrate, much practice.

My experience is: if you often hear guitar-music on CD or brilliant yt-videos, you receife the impression that nobody makes mistakes! But it's a false conclusion. My suggestion is: visit frequently live guitar concerts. That will show you the reality and you will be more easy-going in your own practice. :wink:

CactusWren
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by CactusWren » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:55 am

It's likely that you are working on pieces that are too hard for you to perform at the level you want.

As an experiment, learn some pieces that are far beneath you. The simplicity will give you time to get everything right, and you'll be able to use your full range of expression and musicality. And that is your real level.

choctawchas
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Re: Practice to performance level

Post by choctawchas » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:20 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:35 pm
to practice to performance level certain piece?
If you want to perform? - then practice everything to performance level .
not one piece. Could one really play one piece well and everything else not good?
nonsense.
Good technique take time, years to develop.
Passion, fire? - could one ever develop it?
And to perform - one need to perform all the time when possible, to your friends, neighbor, relative, at work anywhere you could - this is the best performance practice.
Sitting at home alone and playing for yourself will not bring you ever to performance level
:bravo:
Oliver Moore 2012
Miles Henderson Smith 2012

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