Bad habits – what are yours?

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Cass Couvelas
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Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by Cass Couvelas » Mon May 05, 2014 10:41 am

What are your bad habits?

How do you recognise them? Does common sense tell you? Or logic? Watching others? Or the sound you're making? Or your teacher, if you have one?

What steps do you take to combat them?

And to what degree have you – in your estimation – so far been successful?

Kicking off, just three of the many currently concerning me are:

a) failing to consistently position my left-hand thumb in the optimum position under the neck. My teacher pointed this out a while back, and logic continues to reinforce the point. But I forget to, simple as that. I need to concentrate very hard during shifts – particularly when returning within a beat or two to the same position I started from.

b) collapsing my left-hand little finger (bending it at the final joint). Pointed out by my teacher. I find it hard to stop this – my instinct insists that collapsing it gives me greater security on the string and I'm less likely to slip off it (particularly the top string). But it isn't efficient, could damage the joint and is clumsy.

c) Crouching and craning too far over the guitar, particularly in more intimate pieces. I feel sure this is a bad habit, and not a little self-indulgent. I was watching a masterclass where it was pointed out to the participant that he was too crouched over, as if trying to draw the guitar into himself, rather than projecting outwards. Loosen the body and let the sound out.

I have many more I'm tussling with. But I'd like to hear yours.

Cass
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(Dorothy Parker on Katharine Hepburn)

Malcolm
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 05, 2014 10:55 am

Persevering with a piece when it simply isn't working at that particular time and getting frustrated and angry, :evil: instead of just putting the guitar away and taking a long, brisk walk. When I finally do that and come back to it later it's always better 8) .

Cheers,
Malcolm
When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.

Mark Twain

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petermc61
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by petermc61 » Mon May 05, 2014 10:59 am

Buying guitars I shouldn't and then getting in trouble with my better half.

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BugDog
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by BugDog » Mon May 05, 2014 4:23 pm

I would argue that for a) there isn't a set optimum position. I try to get the fingers where they're supposed to be and let the thumb take care of itself. On the other hand, there are about as many discussions about this as there are about rest stroke vs. free stroke.

Don't have habit b). I do have habit c).

The thing I have always struggled with was to stop trying to squeeze the guitar between my legs. Also lifting my left foot. And sometimes I get sloppy with where on the string I plant the RH finger tip.

I'm gaining ground, but I still have to think about these things.

The worst bad habits are the ones you're not aware of.
BugDog
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simonm
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by simonm » Mon May 05, 2014 4:28 pm

Internet

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lagartija
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by lagartija » Mon May 05, 2014 5:34 pm

Rushing the beat. I'm sooooo polite. I don't want to be late. Therefore I sometimes cut the note short before a difficult transition and get there early. Sometimes it isn't even a difficult transition. I just think I'm going to be late. Often, I don't hear it, but my teacher does. :|

Not playing legato enough. (Obvious result of first bad habit)
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andi33x
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by andi33x » Mon May 05, 2014 6:00 pm

I see my bad habits when trying to play or practice very very difficult pieces. My belief at this moment is that there is no limit for me to play them (which maybe is wrong - or even I suspect it's wrong :( ) but with this belief I try those pieces and I see that my hand positions or other habits are not suitable for them. The key is that my view is not blocked by considerations like e.g. "the piece is anyway too hard for me" or something like that. With the motto "I can play what Julian Bream can play" I am open to look for the reasons not to be able to play it.

Of course the end result may differ from Julian Bream :lol: but I always learn something new...
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

Patrick delBosque

Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by Patrick delBosque » Tue May 06, 2014 6:53 pm

I guess technically it's "bad" as far as sight reading skill development goes, but mine is tabbing a new, difficult piece before learning it. ....especially if it has a lot of upper neck fingering.
My brother-in-law's is learning new pieces by watching YouT videos instead of reading the sheet music.
Patrick

mmapag
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by mmapag » Tue May 06, 2014 8:49 pm

lagartija wrote:Rushing the beat. I'm sooooo polite. I don't want to be late. Therefore I sometimes cut the note short before a difficult transition and get there early. Sometimes it isn't even a difficult transition. I just think I'm going to be late. Often, I don't hear it, but my teacher does. :|

Not playing legato enough. (Obvious result of first bad habit)
I have this one as well as it's alter ego when playing in 3/4 time. I can rush the beat on the 2nd note and then add in an extra half beat after the 3rd. Recording myself and then listening to it helps tremendously with this. Playing without a metronome or without intentionally counting and it happens every time.

My next one is starting every piece too fast. My teacher will stop me and say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Start that over again at about 2/3 of that tempo." :roll:
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Alain Cloutier
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by Alain Cloutier » Tue May 06, 2014 9:15 pm

Trying to learn too many pieces! I'm currently learning-practicing between 25 and 30 pieces and, I can't help it, I have to sight read many more on top of it!

It's probably the reason I take so long to master anything...

Mike Gover
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by Mike Gover » Wed May 07, 2014 1:56 am

For me lately it's been a haphazard and inconsistent and infrequent practice schedule.

Right now taking an honest inventory and fessing up to all my bad playing habits would be demoralizing....... :oops:

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robin loops
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by robin loops » Wed May 07, 2014 4:25 am

Mirrors (early on) and recording (after becoming an advanced player) have been some of the better tools that have helped me identify problems.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

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martinardo
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by martinardo » Wed May 07, 2014 11:19 am

Obsessing over equipment rather than just making Music.



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choro
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by choro » Wed May 07, 2014 1:14 pm

STMPS .....Starting too many pieces Syndrom

I start to many pieces and most time when I get bored or I hear another beautiful piece I stop finishing it.

From 10 pieces I finish in the average 6.
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kervoas
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Re: Bad habits – what are yours?

Post by kervoas » Wed May 07, 2014 1:28 pm

Same as Choro - by the time it's near perfect I've played it to death.
And then not perfecting any problem sections, just muddling through in order to play the whole piece through.
Such fun.
“The only escapes from the miseries of life are music and cats”
Albert Schweitzer

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