Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Versatility Vs. Expertise; Variety Vs. Intensity, How to practice?
Bluesberry
post Feb 17 2019, 10:34 AM
Post #1


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 482
Joined: 21-October 09
Member No.: 7.720



Hi guys,

I'd like to know your thoughts on how to practice new material in order to develop further. Specifically I'm interested in what you think of the amount of new material in relation to how much time you have; that is, how much new stuff should one practice? The context for this post is that I aim to be a versatile guitarist, not knowing too much of a thing, but being able to play most styles at least rudimentarily.

For example, I had some 4-5 lessons going on recently. I was dealing with Muris' Lydian riffs and Phrasing lessons, Ivan's SRV lesson, Muris' advanced BB minor lesson and Vasilije's Jazz Etude lesson. My idea was that it didn't matter so much whether I could play it all - I knew I couldn't - but that I expose myself to as many new ideas as possible in order to develop faster.

It was a nice idea, and I think it has its merits. I noticed, however, that pretty soon the advanced lesson had completely fallen out of my routine. It was followed by the riffing lesson, which I had mastered. I kept on bouncing back and forth between the SRV and etude lessons, but ended up letting the etude go, too, for the time being.

The reason for this was that I felt I wanted to focus on building one thing at a time; in this case, it was mastering the faster, more challenging runs on a single lesson. Now I've built my speed somewhat, without completely abandoning the other material I originally intended to learn.

So what do you think? Is it best to

- learn a single lesson at a time, pushing your concentration to the maximum? This has its intensity and focus as a pro. However, sometimes it's better for the brain to have variety - not all progress is linear, and sometimes practicing apparently unrelated stuff (fingerpicking vs. alternate picking, jazz vs. metal) leads to progress on the other.

- learn as much from different areas as possible? This has variety and novelty as its pro; at least you won't get bored. However, learning isn't easy, and such practice would take its toll on focus and memory. I can imagine becoming quickly overwhelmed by the new material, and not being able to form any kind of a framework for all the new ideas. One might end up chicken picking jazzy arpeggios to a thrash metal song, so to say (which might sound good, I don't know, but you get the idea). Another weakness to this approach is that it doesn't provide enough intensity for diligent technical practice. For example, I would need to put a LOT of hours to get that Bb minor advanced lesson right; simply trying it every now and then isn't enough - or at least it takes a lot more time to achieve results.

- aim for a compromise, weighing the "intensity" factor? That is, take a couple of lessons or one lesson, which you practice like you never did, whereas you keep a couple of other lessons in the background - to which you return for, say, 20% of the time you use for practice? This would have the benefit of intensity without losing the big picture - you're exposed to new material, you don't forget to stay creative, you stay interested, and you can go deep at the same time. A potential weakness is that this style might still not provide enough variety.

- aim for a compromise, weighing the "variety" factor? This means taking some 4-5 lessons, and giving about 20% for each of them. One might do this in a variety of ways, say, use 15 minutes a day for each lesson, or use a week for one lesson at a time, and so on.

- aim for a more complex solution, using each and every one of these approaches, periodizing one's routine? This is a familiar approach in sports and strength training. It would look something like this: I take a single lesson and work at it for two weeks all the way. Then I take a couple of other lessons, to which I give more time, but I return to the first lesson for, say, 20% of the time. The next couple of weeks I'd try to immerse myself into as many new songs as I ever could. The next couple of weeks I try to remember as much of this material as possible, but only devoting 20% of my time to it - the rest goes to practicing intensely a single lesson. The next couple of weeks I only practice a single thing... and so on.

I realize all of this depends on one's goals and expectations - do I expect to become a superb tapping machine as fast as possible, or do I expect to be able to both tap and know some chords? And so on. However, the idea of "block periodization" interests me, and I'd like to know your thoughts too. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Caelumamittendum
post Feb 17 2019, 11:30 AM
Post #2


Learning Rock Star
*

Group: Members
Posts: 5.354
Joined: 14-June 08
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Member No.: 5.298



The short answer is, as you say, it depends on goals and expectations, and not only that - we all learn differently.

- Does it work for you? Yes? Then maybe continue.
- Could it work better for you? Yes? Then maybe expand on your idea.
- Does it not work for you? Then maybe re-invent your practice routine.

I am not quite there yet, but I had to approach my practicing (or lack of) from a different way. I used to think "I should practice this for 30 minutes" and write "legato: 30 minutes" as a goal of a practice routine. For me that didn't work, as I would practice 1 minute and blame myself for not doing 30 minutes, and I would tell myself it wasn't good enough. In a way that made any practice not be good enough, while in reality 1 minute is better than 0 minutes. So I have worked on a practice log, and I'm still working on it:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...c=59967&hl=

It is to encourage me to spend the time I feel like and want to spend, while also maintaining a vision of progress. Now, this is a bit besides your point of course. Evaluate your goals, your methods and see where it gets you.

If you do 2 months of tapping to become a tapping master, then 2 months of alternate picking to become a master of that and so on, you will eventually find you need to maintain that level, I think. That does not mean you will lose your skill set. It's a bit like riding a bicycle. Once it's really placed in there, I don't think you forget that easily. I know there's some muscle memory and training in that, but if you have practiced regularly and been comfortable at 170 bpm and that has been stored, then if you take a break for 2 months you won't be pushed all the way back to 120 bpm - or at least it likely wouldn't take you as long to get up to speed as it took in the first place.

I think your complex solution is good too, as it's a good compromise. I think that would work for me personally. I have wanted similar when it comes to classes in school, but it's hard to tell whether it would work in areas such as that.


--------------------
For some prog metal made by yours truly, check out:

https://soundcloud.com/benjamin-storm-linnebjerg/storm-linnebjerg-a-celestial-voyage-full-demo

And subscribe to my Youtube Channel and Instagram here! and here!
...and my Twitch:HERE!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Feb 18 2019, 04:24 AM
Post #3


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 17.719
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



I could not have said it any better myself so there is no point in repeating it smile.gif It does in fact, all depend. I know that's not what you probably want to hear. It's only natural to want to make as much progress as quickly as possible. Also natural to want to know the best way to go about said progress. Part of the journey is figuring out, first and foremost, how to keep motivated to keep practicing and not just stop playing. That one thing is most important. Don't stop playing. Giving up on the instrument is the one thing that will wreck your progress. So find a way to keep practice fun/interesting. If it becomes work, it can become tiresome and tedious. Keep at it and you'll learn the best way that you learn as you go. Try to listen to everything and then absorb what is useful (Bruce Lee).
Todd
QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Feb 17 2019, 06:30 AM) *
The short answer is, as you say, it depends on goals and expectations, and not only that - we all learn differently.

- Does it work for you? Yes? Then maybe continue.
- Could it work better for you? Yes? Then maybe expand on your idea.
- Does it not work for you? Then maybe re-invent your practice routine.

I am not quite there yet, but I had to approach my practicing (or lack of) from a different way. I used to think "I should practice this for 30 minutes" and write "legato: 30 minutes" as a goal of a practice routine. For me that didn't work, as I would practice 1 minute and blame myself for not doing 30 minutes, and I would tell myself it wasn't good enough. In a way that made any practice not be good enough, while in reality 1 minute is better than 0 minutes. So I have worked on a practice log, and I'm still working on it:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...c=59967&hl=

It is to encourage me to spend the time I feel like and want to spend, while also maintaining a vision of progress. Now, this is a bit besides your point of course. Evaluate your goals, your methods and see where it gets you.

If you do 2 months of tapping to become a tapping master, then 2 months of alternate picking to become a master of that and so on, you will eventually find you need to maintain that level, I think. That does not mean you will lose your skill set. It's a bit like riding a bicycle. Once it's really placed in there, I don't think you forget that easily. I know there's some muscle memory and training in that, but if you have practiced regularly and been comfortable at 170 bpm and that has been stored, then if you take a break for 2 months you won't be pushed all the way back to 120 bpm - or at least it likely wouldn't take you as long to get up to speed as it took in the first place.

I think your complex solution is good too, as it's a good compromise. I think that would work for me personally. I have wanted similar when it comes to classes in school, but it's hard to tell whether it would work in areas such as that.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
MisterM
post Feb 18 2019, 10:22 AM
Post #4


Accomplished Tone Master
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.018
Joined: 8-January 15
From: France
Member No.: 20.608



Hi

I like the 2 idea, because I practice it.
I try to learn 3 - 4 lesson max
I make my own exercices to improve each lesson

To resume - If you want work somes technic you can learn

Stephane lucarelli's lesson
Sweeping, hybrid picking, palm muting
Creative arpeggios is a great lesson

Darius's lesson
Alternate picking, palm muting
Alternate picking workout 2 is the best for me

Muris's lesson
Esay Jazz chord
Jazz swing rythm is a wonderfull lesson

Chris Harrington's lesson
Blues
BB King Blues is the magic lesson

Learn slowly is very important to get the good right anf left hand attitude

There are thousands of lessons here, the main thing is not to get lost and not aim too high level.
Also, the level is not always adapted, sometimes a lesson 3 is very difficult and another 5 easier

This post has been edited by MisterM: Feb 18 2019, 10:28 AM


--------------------
I'm French, I learn English.....
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Monica Gheorghev...
post Feb 19 2019, 09:00 AM
Post #5


Learning Tone Master
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.509
Joined: 12-July 13
From: Bucharest, Romania
Member No.: 18.479



We all are different and usually what it works for us, it doesn't works for everybody. From my point of view, to have an instructor it's a very important thing, if you aim to become a very good player (and a versatile guitarist). Also, to have a good chemistry with your instructor it’s the only thing that will make things work.
Some people are self-taught but this thing works for a hobby level. If the purpose it's to bring the playing at a high level, what you learned alone can turn against you and it's very hard to fix bad habits.


I will tell you how things work for me smile.gif I started from level 2 and now I'm on level 8 but keep in mind that the practice method makes only 30% of the work. The rest of 70% it's based on the time that you spend practicing, instructor, maximum focus, ambition, patience, attention at details from lessons (including how you hold the pick, right hand resting point and the correct hands position which are critical to be able to play very fast (200 bpm or more), etc.



So...I work at a single lesson and I don't finish with it until I not learn to play perfectly even the smallest details from it (phrasing, dynamics, tone, techniques, picking direction, accents, etc). I have very much patience and I'm trained to play the same thing over and over again without to get bored, until everything will sound how I want. Ask my instructor and you will find out that I can play weeks (many hours per day) just 3-4 bars from a lesson, until I understand how to obtain a particular sound for particular notes. If you think that I'm "crazy", believe me that my instructor is twice as "crazy" as me biggrin.gif
My purpose it's not to make an impressive number of lessons per month/year. It's more important for me to get 100% profit from each lesson that I make. In this way, when I finish a lesson, I already manage very well all the techniques from it and I can go further at a much harder level of difficulty or I can approach a different style. That's why I don't care if I work 1 month or 6 months at the same lesson.


To make things work, it's also very important what lesson you choose. Even if we can analyze our playing in an objective way, it remains a tricky thing to choose the perfect lesson for a good development. That's why in my case the one who choose the lessons for me, is my instructor. He knows very well what lesson I need and I should learn for a fast progress. The lessons that he chooses for me are very complex and require to manage a mix of techniques.
We are very honest with each other and this has helped us to build a solid team. My instructor it's the only person I trust because I know he will never lie to me. He always tells me the true and that's why he is very special for me. All my progress is due to him.


Also keep in mind that the level of difficulty from lessons it's somehow related by the speed that it's used in it. That's why some lessons which are from 3-4 level of difficulty (but has a bunch of techniques which must be managed) are much harder than some lessons from 5-6 level of difficulty (where are cases when you have only 1-2 techniques).
I never was agreed how things stay when it's about the level of difficulty from lessons but.....somehow I can understand. But...from my point of view it's much hard to manage correctly 10 techniques at 120 bpm than 1 single technique at a faster tempo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
post Feb 19 2019, 04:50 PM
Post #6


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 3.350
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Member No.: 17.304



Wise words and "truth" right here ...

QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Feb 19 2019, 01:00 AM) *
To make things work, it's also very important what lesson you choose. Even if we can analyze our playing in an objective way, it remains a tricky thing to choose the perfect lesson for a good development. That's why in my case the one who choose the lessons for me, is my instructor. He knows very well what lesson I need and I should learn for a fast progress. The lessons that he chooses for me are very complex and require to manage a mix of techniques.
We are very honest with each other and this has helped us to build a solid team. My instructor it's the only person I trust because I know he will never lie to me. He always tells me the true and that's why he is very special for me. All my progress is due to him.

...from my point of view it's much hard to manage correctly 10 techniques at 120 bpm than 1 single technique at a faster tempo.


I'll add that it's all about "application". If you don't use whatever technique or concept in songs or solos on a fairly regular basis, you'll never make it sound like music. If you think it would be cool to throw a jazz lick into a metal solo, work on composing a metal solo that incorporates a jazz line ... and then do another one.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 19 2019, 04:52 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bluesberry
post Feb 19 2019, 05:29 PM
Post #7


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 482
Joined: 21-October 09
Member No.: 7.720



Thanks for all the responses, gave me a lot to think about! smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 20th March 2019 - 02:28 AM