Which of course is why I asked
Yes because each day you bring a different attitude and focus to your practice. Some days, like you, I feel like I could go on productively forever. Other days, after about 5 minutes on a segment, I feel bored or off. Pushing any further in this session may be counter productive, so I move on to something else or go take a walk. When I come back to it later, I usually have a completely different attitude.twang wrote: ↑Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:59 pmWhich of course is why I asked
And to clarify the question in my OP, my interest here is more on the micro-level of practice time decisions-- that is, for any one item (measure, phrase, etc...) what do you find as the optimal time/effort per day to work on it. I expect the answer isn't a simple number of minutes, or attempts, but rather something more qualitative.
I keep at it until I feel I am not doing it like I mean it, or until I feel that if I carry on, I won't do the rest of my core practice like I mean it. How long that actually is varies from day to day. One aspect of trying to optimise practice time is keeping your energy levels up. I struggle here, must admit.
Peskyendeavour wrote: ↑Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:11 pmThis is a difficult question since I don't look at the clock when I practice, and I just play what I fancy doing and feel like it's making progress.
So very un-optimised practice I'm sure, but I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere...
I like to think of practice as experiment, so most of the time I fall into the self set trap of trying out this way of doing things then that way, and think of it differently and doing it again. If I get bored I move onto another piece, exercise... A new attitude. If I feel I'm getting stuck I stop and come back to it later or another day, when most likely I see something new in the way I'm doing it wrong or something I didn't see before. Mostly, however I play till I get told to go to bed.
So optimising my practice I guess it's keeping my brain active and my interest level up. Not interested in scales today? Forget it, try tomorrow.
Of course I'm amateur so who cares.
The good news is it optimizing one also optimizes both two and three. Practicing if you practice enough that you have a feeling of Mastery in your hands that is it feels easy and you can play over and over without messing up then you have achieved Mastery over a particular section. Practicing more than that is counterproductive because you will reach a point where you start making errors and going backwards. Take up the same section tomorrow and repeat the same process. Do this until you have it feels easy whenever you pick it up. You don't need to spend any more time on the section after this. If you choose the right size sections probably smaller than you expect this is the most efficient way to practice. The process should take about 15 minutes to 20 minutes for each Passage.twang wrote: ↑Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:21 pmI've been thinking about the relationship between three things...
1) The time per day that you practice any one phrase/section/piece on a given day,
2) The total time you spend practicing to mastery, and
3) The total elapsed days to mastery.
I expect you can tune #1 to optimize either #2 or #3, but probably not both at the same time. Certainly you can goof up #1 and optimize neither.
I find it hard to tell on any given day how much I should keep working each bit. In general I try getting each thing right 5 times in a row before moving on. But sometimes I'm having fun and feel like working it more even though I suspect I'm just using up energy and practice time so other stuff will get "cheated". Other days, I feel impatient to move on, but still feel like I haven't done enough for the day to get the most value from the day's work. Maybe it's one of those things that it should vary each day depending on mood but average out somewhere?
I'm interested to hear people's experience with this. What sort of guidelines seem to work for you? Have anyone tried to measure this? Do folks practice by time, number of attempts.
I've been continuing to experiment. Along the lines of what you suggest I've been starting a piece by working the difficult sections first and working them hard: