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 » Tue May 29, 2018 12:06 am

Thanks Alan. I must say I too have lost a ton of time over my life on apps. For music I have mostly stayed with the Luddite paper method. I have three 3-ring binders: one for Delcamp lessons, one for my Gold Set List, and one for other works in progress. This last one is divided by tabs into categories for New pieces, Almost learned pieces, relearning pieces and long term projects or wanna be’s. I try to work on something in each category when not focused on lesson material. I keep song books or methods on shelves and make a copy when it goes to a binder so I can write all over it.

I also use MuseScore on the PC to transcribe pieces I want to analyze or Re finger. I’m also gettin into learning a little about composition , harmony, etc.

I track my time using the iPod and iPhones using apps: MusicJournal for tracking time by piece or exercise and GuruTimer for tracking progress to 10,000 hours.

Finding the right system that works while not being a time sink in itself is a challenge. Play more. Keep it simple.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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

Post by mainterm » Thu May 31, 2018 6:47 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 3:02 pm
One of my challenges has been getting a piece, especially a long one like 4 minutes, to a state where I can get a relatively faultless recording. The problem is I get bored with the endless repetitions and lose focus.
Hi Rick - the second, boredom related part of this comment stood out for me. I listened to your recording (nice!) and some of the others (also nice). I also pulled up the score and read through the piece. I must admit, that by the final section of "A" material, I was improvising little variations and making changes to make the repeat more interesting.

It is a common challenge - whether it is during repeats in a baroque suite - in rondos, D.C aria form, or in your exam piece. Perhaps consider that part of your path to mastery is how to make these repeats still interesting musically. If they bore you, then they are more likely to bore whoever listens (yourself included if you listen back to a recording).

Slight tweaks in phrasing, dynamics, perhaps tone color are some ways to stay engaged when dealing with many instances of the same material. You may be dealing with constraints in the lessons that preclude this, but I think the style of this piece would easily tolerate small embellishments and tweaks to make repeats more interesting.

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

Post by ashepps » Thu May 31, 2018 7:06 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:06 am
Thanks Alan. I must say I too have lost a ton of time over my life on apps. For music I have mostly stayed with the Luddite paper method. I have three 3-ring binders: one for Delcamp lessons, one for my Gold Set List, and one for other works in progress. This last one is divided by tabs into categories for New pieces, Almost learned pieces, relearning pieces and long term projects or wanna be’s. I try to work on something in each category when not focused on lesson material. I keep song books or methods on shelves and make a copy when it goes to a binder so I can write all over it.
I also use MuseScore on the PC to transcribe pieces I want to analyze or Re finger. I’m also gettin into learning a little about composition , harmony, etc. I track my time using the iPod and iPhones using apps: MusicJournal for tracking time by piece or exercise and GuruTimer for tracking progress to 10,000 hours. Finding the right system that works while not being a time sink in itself is a challenge. Play more. Keep it simple.
=====================


Thanks for you encouragement Rick.

The forScore app will act on whatever you name a folder, just like you categories, but no paper and no digging, sweet!

Name them whatever folder you want and then you can link similar pieces together and so on. As I said it's the best app out there in my opinion.

Now I have the focus back and downloaded a free "tracking hours" something like that and is useful for anything, like guitar, great idea.

Keep up you consistently good pace and good luck, I only wish I had your ambition!

Cheers,

Alan
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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 » Thu May 31, 2018 7:08 pm

You’re right mainterm. When I’m just trying to concentrate on getting the notes right the tweeks go out the window. I actually did include some tweeks not in the score for this piece, like melody fingering on one string in the first couple bars with the slide up to 4th position. A little more ponticello in the last couple of measures of the A section. But as I said, I’m concentrating on execution in this recording, not so much performance.

It’s a rare composition that doesn’t get boring after 40 hours of reps, no matter how many ways you try to interpret it. The only stuff I find where this is not the case so far is just about anything by Bach. Hats off to teachers who have to listen to this stuff ad nauseous.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

mbhatt2003
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by mbhatt2003 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:29 pm

I am hoping to reach this marker as well. I do have time on my hands as I'm 36. If I practice 1 hour per day, I should reach 10,000 hours just in time for when I retire!

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

Post by Rick Beauregard » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:22 pm

mbhatt2003 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:29 pm
I am hoping to reach this marker as well. I do have time on my hands as I'm 36. If I practice 1 hour per day, I should reach 10,000 hours just in time for when I retire!
It’s all about sticking with it for the long haul. I started a little before your age and slowly quit over time due to other priorities and regret that now.

I highly recommend the Delcamp lessons. You should also get a good teacher if you can. Where in Canada are you from?
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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

Post by RussellFW » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:28 pm

I see this thread is itself somewhat 'old' now :) I would like to say a few words though as it does relate to my own situation. I am 59 now. I have taken a scenic route, over 20 years now, looking at many styles but always going back to classical.

My observation is that one has to have some 'use' for the music. I mean, musical activity, involvement and motivation are massively help by playing for others or in conducive settings. Anywhere from church halls, cafes, pubs, open stage events, village fetes, and so on. Maybe for a regular gathering of friends. Maybe aiming to pass the next formal grade.

So, progress could perhaps be measured, not so much in practice hours (though that is interesting) but in performing hours or number of events. It seems to me that, without, engagement with an appreciative audience one has to work twice as hard, not least to keep ones motivation in the face of an indifferent world. At 'our age', being relevant is a bit of an issue.

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

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:30 pm

I agree Russ that intrinsic rewards, like your personal enjoyment or meeting goals, are maybe a necessary, but not sufficient, motivator for some. But without the intrinsic motivation most people will quit early on because if they are only motivated by extrinsic rewards, these are not likely to come for a while. Although my family and friends, and others (fellow Delcampers) interested in my progress are encouraging and complimentary when I play for them, my performance level is not ready for prime time yet. I think by the time I have reached about 5,000 hours and have interesting repertoire I can play at a performance level, I’m afraid my family and friends are my sole audience.

Of course you can always “fake it to make it”. My dad learned to play standup bass in a fortnight and was getting gigs as a fill in for 5 piece dance bands for a couple years before he could actually play. That may work for ensembles and for background instruments.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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

Post by jmlineb » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:03 pm

I'm almost 60 and getting back into the guitar, so your post really resonated with me. I have no illusions that I will become a master. However, I thoroughly enjoy both playing and listening to the classical guitar, and if I can get good enough to play pieces for others and accompany my daughter when she sings, that's good enough for me. Besides, the side benefits of brain exercise and staving off dementia are not trivial things. Best of luck! Enjoy!

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

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:21 pm

Musings on a recent Classical Guitar mag article on practice.

As the article noted, many people, when they watch a great performance, have no idea how the sausage is made. They assume there was some great innate talent or god given skill that went into the impromptu creation. This is seldom if ever the case. Hours and years of practice was required to learn the techniques and the language, and then to give life to the “inert” score that makes a beautiful performance. If there was something innately bestowed on the performer it was a passion and intense desire to work and to master the instrument. But even this in the right home environment can be acquired and encouraged and is not necessarily innate.

People often ask “how long do you practice a day?” It is well known Segovia practiced 5 hours every day, in 4 hour and a quarter sessions. But few ask: how many hours have you practiced in your life? Many of you readers could not answer that question yourselves. It’s true, it’s not just quantity but quality of practice that is required, as many in this thread have said. In equal parts? If I practice poorly for an infinite time will I eventually get good? What if I practice a very short time perfectly well?

I am reminded of the story of the painter on the street who painted an amazing portrait of a tourist and asked an exhorbitant fee. The lady said, “my goodness it took you just 10 minutes.” “No madame,” the painter who was Picasso said, “it took a lifetime.”

If Segovia practiced 5 hours every day his entire life he would have practiced well over 100,000 hours in his lifetime. If he had acquired all the mastery by 10,000 why not quit then?

I’m finishing up the last lesson of D06 and on to summer projects. I’m working on learning music theory and composition. 6440 to go to reach 10k.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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

Post by eno » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:40 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:21 pm
I’m finishing up the last lesson of D06 and on to summer projects. I’m working on learning music theory and composition. 6440 to go to reach 10k.
Rick, I admire your enthusiasm. I would love to study composition and advanced theory but it's just not possible with my busy life, so for me any precious free minute is given to guitar only. And since I don't have a luxury of extra hours I learnt and still learning to practice as efficient as possible, be very focused, pay attention to details, work on recognizing and fixing problems, in order to get the best out from that little playing time that I have available.

When I was younger I was just playing around for hours hoping that the technique will improve and fingers will learn by themselves and I will play better over time just because I practice a lot. And there was some progress of course but very slow and many issues with my playing remained with little improvement. Then I realized that fingers are stupid, they have no intelligence, and that those issues are not just because my fingers are not fast or trained enough, those are problems - wrong movements, wrong fingering, bad habits, fingers touching wrong strings etc - that need to be fixed and can be fixed one by one. Fixing required understanding what exactly the problem is, figuring out the right way to fix it and then paying attention to those fixes when playing. This was what made my practice more efficient and since then my progress speed much improved. Just sharing my experience, hopefully it will help you and other people.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:40 pm

Yes eno, I think your experience speaks to the balance of quality vs quantity question.

Regarding composition, I've found a great resource for beginning to get a handle on composition and some theory: The Art of Composing, Jon Brantingham https://www.artofcomposing.com/ . Easy to listen to podcasts, blogs or however you like to consume. And inspiring. I doubt I will ever compose anything of much value, but the process intrigues me, and the theory helps my playing and memory.

I appreciate the time limitations. I stopped playing for 35 years due to these limitations. Although I regret that, I'm not sure sticking with it only to do 25 minutes 3 days a week would have been very productive either. As I alluded above, it takes short term commitments and a long term view.

Your comment also makes another point about the kind of "deliberate practice" needed to accomplish the goals of the 10,000 hour idea. Practice requires knowing what the problems or challenges are, and how to fix them. In the past, this was only available through either trial and error (bad way) or with a good teacher. I think this is still true, but we have a lot of other options now too: online lessons, youtube performances, many method books and CDs, etc. The challenge now is, as Jon Brantingham puts it, "information overwhelm".
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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