Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:04 pm

You’re right Larry. Reading music and reading and playing on sight are two vastly different things. I’ve had piano lessons and lots of guitar reading experience and I still am a poor reader. I “sight read” only simple pieces. EQUALLY challenging or even more so for me is placing a particular note on the staff on the fingerboard. So I keep a cheat sheet on my music stand that shows all the notes and their position on the fret board. What it doesn’t show is the name of the note, because you know what? Who cares if it’s a B or a D#. It is two steps above the current note I’m playing. Maybe because I have limited brain capacity or I’m just lazy, but I don’t bother cramming in arbitrary note names. What is important are relative pitch, intervals and harmony not what you call it. Now I can see a dot on the page and find it on my fingerboard and put my finger there. The next dot is a third above the last, etc. Focus only on those pitches you use 80% of the time. By that I mean, there is no point in knowing the note on the sixth string, 15th fret. You never use it.

I met and saw or heard about so many great players as a kid who claimed to never read music. So why was I forced to learn a new alphabet when others got by without it. It held back my making music. In retrospect I’m glad to have learned it but as a tool, a means to an end, not the thing itself. You learn the English language so you can express yourself, not to be able to diagram sentences.
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LarryShone
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by LarryShone » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:43 pm

The thing with playing from a sheet is once the tune is in my head I stop reading the notes per se and just play along. Thats when its time to learn a new piece, to keep it fresh. This only really applies to my piano playing which I've been learning since 2014, but until very recently I never played guitar from a sheet. (I grew up with an ability to play by ear)
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:20 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:04 pm
EQUALLY challenging or even more so for me is placing a particular note on the staff on the fingerboard. So I keep a cheat sheet on my music stand that shows all the notes and their position on the fret board. What it doesn’t show is the name of the note, because you know what? Who cares if it’s a B or a D#. It is two steps above the current note I’m playing. Maybe because I have limited brain capacity or I’m just lazy, but I don’t bother cramming in arbitrary note names. What is important are relative pitch, intervals and harmony not what you call it. Now I can see a dot on the page and find it on my fingerboard and put my finger there. The next dot is a third above the last, etc. Focus only on those pitches you use 80% of the time. By that I mean, there is no point in knowing the note on the sixth string, 15th fret. You never use it.
Wow, really interesting post to me Rick. We have an almost opposite approach.. I always keep track of the names of the notes, and I learned all the notes going up the neck on day 1.

I find the idea of playing intervals very interesting. I might try and look at it this way, instead of keeping track of the names of the notes, which does seem like an extraneous and unnecessary step, now that you mention it.. My fingers don't even know the alphabet.

Hmm..

Very interesting how you are playing. It makes sense to me.. I would have to go back and relearn to play intervals and to not worry about note names. Something to definitely think about and keep in mind. Any chance you could post a picture of your cheat sheet? I'm beyond intrigued by your approach. I never thought about thinking in this way.
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:21 pm

LarryShone wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:43 pm
The thing with playing from a sheet is once the tune is in my head I stop reading the notes per se and just play along. Thats when its time to learn a new piece, to keep it fresh. This only really applies to my piano playing which I've been learning since 2014, but until very recently I never played guitar from a sheet. (I grew up with an ability to play by ear)
Same here, I memorize the pieces.. which keeps my reading from developing.

I think we could use some reading exercises, a bunch of them. And to maybe approach it from the perspective of intervals vs notes, like rick suggests.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:27 pm

Don’t get me wrong. If you’re starting as a kid and want to pursue a career in music, you should pursue as much knowledge as you can. But that’s not me.

I’ll dig up my cheat sheet.

Also I recently found a web site called Improvose for Real that provides an alternative path for learning to play. I find it interesting and not in any way contrary but complementary.
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:51 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:27 pm
Don’t get me wrong. If you’re starting as a kid and want to pursue a career in music, you should pursue as much knowledge as you can. But that’s not me.

I’ll dig up my cheat sheet.

Also I recently found a web site called Improvose for Real that provides an alternative path for learning to play. I find it interesting and not in any way contrary but complementary.
See.. I like how you approach guitar. More open-minded than most.. we do not live in a world of black and white.

There is room for many different approaches.

As they say.. a million ways to skin a cat.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:06 pm

LarryShone wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:48 am
I wonder how many hours it is estimated to be able to read music proficiently. I would be more than happy achieving just that.
I think that goes along with the overall goal of CG mastery. It is that much more difficult to learn a complex piece if lack of sight reading skill slows you down. But I grant that once a piece is learned, sight reading is irrelevant to performance.

Surely, as you learn more pieces by using what sight reading skills you have, that skill will improve. My theory is that sight reading is reflexive in the same manner as "reading," recognizing a word instantly leading to it's utterance. How many hours it takes? I suspect sight reading always takes practice, as what you learned (the reflexive nature of it) might be quickly forgotten if not used - at whatever level you are studying. I find it the same with reading books! It is likely that one will stumble over difficult, complex words (and their meaning) if one fails to read them frequently enough.

Then, there are factors of aging to consider, which might make the reflexive neural connections more difficult to achieve and maintain. It will be different for everyone, irrespective the 10,000 hour rule, whatever!
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:38 pm

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qoStryoDSjcEv4nR6

This is how I cheat. Haha. Probably a no-no. Not sure if link will work.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by LarryShone » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:55 pm

Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:38 pm
https://photos.app.goo.gl/qoStryoDSjcEv4nR6

This is how I cheat. Haha. Probably a no-no. Not sure if link will work.
It worked. I think I will stumble when it comes to playing fretted notes, as unlike the piano where the notes are laid out, they have to be found on the guitar fretboard.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:17 pm

LarryShone wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:55 pm
Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:38 pm
https://photos.app.goo.gl/qoStryoDSjcEv4nR6

This is how I cheat. Haha. Probably a no-no. Not sure if link will work.
It worked. I think I will stumble when it comes to playing fretted notes, as unlike the piano where the notes are laid out, they have to be found on the guitar fretboard.
You will have to get right hand steady and then focus on left hand. It will take intense focus at first, but eventually will be effortless. The hands wind up synchronized.

I probably need to follow the same advice for piano, eh? Just not enough time to get proficient at several instruments, I don't know how people do it. I'm envious.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by LarryShone » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:31 pm

Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:17 pm
LarryShone wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:55 pm
Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:38 pm
https://photos.app.goo.gl/qoStryoDSjcEv4nR6

This is how I cheat. Haha. Probably a no-no. Not sure if link will work.
It worked. I think I will stumble when it comes to playing fretted notes, as unlike the piano where the notes are laid out, they have to be found on the guitar fretboard.
You will have to get right hand steady and then focus on left hand. It will take intense focus at first, but eventually will be effortless. The hands wind up synchronized.

I probably need to follow the same advice for piano, eh? Just not enough time to get proficient at several instruments, I don't know how people do it. I'm envious.
You should try clarinet! I can play a tune on it fine enough, as long as I stay in the low register. But the hardest thing about it is the embouchure. Still haven't got it!
Surround yourself with people dear James, they are easier to fight for than principles.
José Ferrer Estudiante 5208A
Fender DG 5 acoustic
Tanglewood DBLT SFCE electro-acoustic
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:45 pm

NOTATION/FRETBOARD CHEAT SHEET
I mis-remembered. It does have the note names.
Fretboard3.jpg
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by astro64 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:48 am

Rick, I am bit confused about your reason for needing the cheat sheet given your obvious dedication and time spent with the guitar. I was thinking that if you read the score from the sheet music, you already know the names of the notes you need before you may have to decide where to play them on the guitar for that particular section of music. Perhaps you have never learned the names of the notes when you look at sheet music? The piano with its consistent placement of intervals anywhere on the keyboard might make it less necessary to have to link the name of the note to the notation on the staff. For the guitar all we need to remember in order to know all the notes is the names of the notes on the first five frets on the lower strings and all the notes on the first string. Anything beyond fret 12 is an exact repetition from fret 1 and up in terms of the names of the notes, so subtract 12 and you are back to mostly the first 5 frets.

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by LarryShone » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:59 am

I can look at such sheets till I am blue in the face, but it just doesn't go in. I would much rather just concentrate on practising reading notation.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Willie » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:48 pm

Not sure there is a magic method to learning to sight read. I agree that level of difficulty is different for everyone. Learning to play CG is about patience and time.

As an 11 year old I learned guitar from friends who were taking guitar lessons. (Didn't everybody on this forum hang out at a music store on Saturday mornings)? Eventually I knew enough to take a change off a record, Beatles, Hendrix, Stones, Cream, Allman Bros., Led Zepplin; All late 60's tracks. I didn't learn to read music until my first music theory class in college at age 21. I spent my first semester of Bach harmony almost in tears.

For those who didn't learn to sight read as a child it is exponentially more difficult. As an undergraduate studying CG I was in the habit of learning the notes quickly (not sight reading) and putting away the sheet music to polish. In retrospect I wish had kept reading along during the polishing phase. Now when I work on something I play it with the music long after I have it memorized. It requires some discipline on my part. I have been doing that for 4 years and just now I am starting to be able to sight read beyond the 7th position.

I would love to hear from a guitar teacher what some of the proven methods to help sight reading are.

Willie
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