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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 9 2014, 03:18 AM
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I usually talk here about my guitar practice notepad. There I write down my weekly/monthly goals, and the lessons/exercises chosen to achieve them. When I’m doing some practice for technique maintenance, I play for around 2 hours. When I have more time during the day to dedicate to practice and there is no composing inspiration I practice more time.

However, there is something different happening when I’m learning something new which I find tricky to play and/or memorize.
When working on a difficult passage I have found that practicing for 30 minutes - and then pause for a few hours will yield better results than practicing for 60 minutes in a row.

Does this happen to you? What’s your experience?


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klasaine
post May 9 2014, 07:20 AM
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Practicing in concentrated yet shorter time periods is a technique that many musicians use. The jazz guitarist and great teacher Howard Roberts did (and taught) that as did jazz and studio guitarist Barney Kessel. BK said he'd practice in 15 minute intervals spread over the day.

Personally, I'm the opposite. When I have to learn something, I sit down and work on it until I get it at least relatively close to where it needs to be. Then I may take a break and/or start back at it the next day. I'm very methodical about working it slowly - for 3 hours if that's what it takes - and building up speed (or comprehension). I kinda lose myself in the process and lose track of time.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 9 2014, 07:21 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 9 2014, 10:38 AM
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Since my time has become very limited, I am usually trying to make up by starting early whenever I need to learn something new, if of course the context allows it.

I usually have about 4 hrs a day to practice and I am trying to make the best out of it - two sessions of two hours each, one in the morning and one in the evening are the thing for me nowadays. But you know, as we move through life, things can change, of course smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 9 2014, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 9 2014, 06:38 AM) *
Since my time has become very limited, I am usually trying to make up by starting early whenever I need to learn something new, if of course the context allows it.

I usually have about 4 hrs a day to practice and I am trying to make the best out of it - two sessions of two hours each, one in the morning and one in the evening are the thing for me nowadays. But you know, as we move through life, things can change, of course smile.gif


Yeah, there are always unexpected situations. We must be always ready to say "no", but that's not always possible. Even what happens to me that music related things connected with my band are usually the reason why I have to post pone my practice routine. Does this happen to you? how do you feel about it?



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Cosmin Lupu
post May 10 2014, 01:04 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 9 2014, 05:10 PM) *
Yeah, there are always unexpected situations. We must be always ready to say "no", but that's not always possible. Even what happens to me that music related things connected with my band are usually the reason why I have to post pone my practice routine. Does this happen to you? how do you feel about it?


Usually band related things can be dealt with with the aid of the internet or the telephone and so on - rehearsals and music writing or practicing to get riffs tight and so on, or most of all singing and playing at the same time is great practice in itself biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 10 2014, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 10 2014, 09:04 AM) *
Usually band related things can be dealt with with the aid of the internet or the telephone and so on - rehearsals and music writing or practicing to get riffs tight and so on, or most of all singing and playing at the same time is great practice in itself biggrin.gif


Sure! It's cool when things can be arranged thanks to internet. In our case, we invest a lot of time in press, reunions with manager, press agent, going to events and things like that. It's part of our work, besides rehearsing, playing and composing.


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 11 2014, 02:12 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 10 2014, 03:41 PM) *
Sure! It's cool when things can be arranged thanks to internet. In our case, we invest a lot of time in press, reunions with manager, press agent, going to events and things like that. It's part of our work, besides rehearsing, playing and composing.


I know exactly what you are saying mate smile.gif

For us, almost every Sunday evening is a band reunion alongside our PR/Manager - we discuss band aspects and activities and then, we usually enjoy a glass of wine and some cake at our favorite restaurant, where the chef is our friend and amazes us with new recipes ALL the time... it's really amazing biggrin.gif


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verciazghra
post May 11 2014, 06:22 PM
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I think 30 minutes is too much. I was watching this talk about how to establish long term memory. And if something is difficult for you to memorize, practicing it for 5 minutes with 10 minute breaks(which should optimally involve some physical activity and complete distraction from the subject), this should be repeated about 3 times before you've turned your short term memory into long term... at least according to the presentation I watched.

For tricky passages this has been my go-to method for a while now, and I've also included it to my main strategy for learning new words in foreign languages and other similar things.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 11 2014, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 11 2014, 10:12 AM) *
I know exactly what you are saying mate smile.gif

For us, almost every Sunday evening is a band reunion alongside our PR/Manager - we discuss band aspects and activities and then, we usually enjoy a glass of wine and some cake at our favorite restaurant, where the chef is our friend and amazes us with new recipes ALL the time... it's really amazing biggrin.gif


That sounds like a nice plan mate. smile.gif

QUOTE (verciazghra @ May 11 2014, 02:22 PM) *
I think 30 minutes is too much. I was watching this talk about how to establish long term memory. And if something is difficult for you to memorize, practicing it for 5 minutes with 10 minute breaks(which should optimally involve some physical activity and complete distraction from the subject), this should be repeated about 3 times before you've turned your short term memory into long term... at least according to the presentation I watched.

For tricky passages this has been my go-to method for a while now, and I've also included it to my main strategy for learning new words in foreign languages and other similar things.



Interesting stuff... where have you been seeing that talk that you said?


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Hajduk
post May 11 2014, 11:05 PM
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Thank you all for the great ideas smile.gif I usually do a half hour on then 10 min off, going to mix it up a bit now.


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verciazghra
post May 12 2014, 12:19 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 11 2014, 09:54 PM) *
That sounds like a nice plan mate. smile.gif




Interesting stuff... where have you been seeing that talk that you said?


Yea I actually heard it first in thisJazz Advice Master the intervals in 28 days where it says "the plan". The concept is called spaced learning.
Spaced Learning Biology Lesson this was one of the examples I found but there's plenty of information on the subject. Another Short Youtube Talk About It

Hope any of that is useful, I found it intriguing and try to incorporate it into my daily practice as much as I can.

This post has been edited by verciazghra: May 12 2014, 12:20 AM


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StaceyD
post May 12 2014, 01:05 AM
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ooh this reminds me of something I looked into last year, regarding memory. I was interested in how to get things to shift from short into long term memory and came across a similar thing about spacing and not cramming..

This page talks a little more about it, and also has a link to an interesting study with mass learning and flashcards:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/everyb...-out-and-mix-it

another interesting experiment:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/everyb...-any-instrument

but what it ultimately comes down to, is the fact that spaced learning, whether it's within-session spacing, or between-session spacing forces you to concentrate more, as the material you're going through is as of yet, still unfamiliar. The theory behind it is that repeatedly going over something, too soon, can contribute to a diminished effort on each attempt.


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Hexabuzz
post May 12 2014, 03:09 AM
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Here's another really good article on learning by breaking things up into shorter time periods:

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/why-the...pear-overnight/
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dcz702
post May 12 2014, 05:00 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 9 2014, 02:18 AM) *
I usually talk here about my guitar practice notepad. There I write down my weekly/monthly goals, and the lessons/exercises chosen to achieve them. When I’m doing some practice for technique maintenance, I play for around 2 hours. When I have more time during the day to dedicate to practice and there is no composing inspiration I practice more time.

However, there is something different happening when I’m learning something new which I find tricky to play and/or memorize.
When working on a difficult passage I have found that practicing for 30 minutes - and then pause for a few hours will yield better results than practicing for 60 minutes in a row.

Does this happen to you? What’s your experience?

Yes I agree I have seen it in my practice. When I practice a piece that's difficult for me I seem to get hung up on it and just repeat over and over the same piece, sometimes for a couple hours , and doesn't really feel like it's improved. But I have found i practice it slow and clean then make sure I have it down at a tempo I'm comfortable with, it's a lot easier the next day. So I have been practicing several different things this way, maybe 30 minutes on each then then next day I can see more improvement on everything, feels like I accomplish more this way.

This post has been edited by dcz702: May 12 2014, 05:02 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post May 12 2014, 12:20 PM
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I think that generally, focus power is one of the crucial elements in one's development - how?

- some people can focus for longer periods of times or are sufficiently disciplined to do what's necessary
- other folks forget what they were doing in 5 minutes or get bored so quickly, that they can't even put two chords together

These are the extremes of course, because there are different degrees to the above mentioned cases, but generally, if you are good at analyzing yourself and more than anything, HONEST with yourself and about yourself, you will understand your abilities, pros and cons and you will act accordingly.

Why ruin a day, by trying to practice 8 hours, when you know you won't do it and feel guilty afterwards, rather than practicing 1 focused hour and feeling you could definitely do more and then do another focused hour in the evening and having 2 focused hours of practice one day - that's more than 3 hours of aimless noodling from the 8 hours you will never get to accomplish.

What I am trying to say here, is that you should take it easy and if in time, your discipline and focus power grows, which should be the case, if you really wanna get somewhere, you will become more and more able to play for longer periods of time with greater results.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 12 2014, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE (Hexabuzz @ May 11 2014, 11:09 PM) *
Here's another really good article on learning by breaking things up into shorter time periods:

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/why-the...pear-overnight/


Thanks for this link. I will save this article for reading later, it seems very interesting and on topic. smile.gif

Cosmin said something interesting about the quantity of time that we dedicate to practice, and he marked the big different between quantity and quality.... it's much better to practice 2 hours very focused, than 8 without concentration.

How is your approach? How many hours per day do you dedicate to practice? Do you think that you are using this time wisely?


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klasaine
post May 12 2014, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 12 2014, 04:20 AM) *
Why ruin a day, by trying to practice 8 hours, when you know you won't do it and feel guilty afterwards, rather than practicing 1 focused hour and feeling you could definitely do more and then do another focused hour in the evening and having 2 focused hours of practice one day - that's more than 3 hours of aimless noodling from the 8 hours you will never get to accomplish.


I don't know about that - ? Playing guitar all day even if you don't get anything done on it is definitely not what I would consider ruining the day. That's a GREAT day!

I feel it's very important, especially when you're in the first few years of learning, that you do hang out with your guitar for extended periods. 4, 6, 8 hours straight - at least occasionally. Bond with the thing. You want to feel natural with it in your hands.
There are days that I do nothing but 'play' my guitar. I may not be actually practicing that whole time. In fact, it's likely I'm not practicing most of that time but the extended time really connects me to music and being a musician. I LOVE to play my guitar. The best players put in extended time.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 12 2014, 03:35 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 13 2014, 07:49 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 12 2014, 02:30 PM) *
I don't know about that - ? Playing guitar all day even if you don't get anything done on it is definitely not what I would consider ruining the day. That's a GREAT day!

I feel it's very important, especially when you're in the first few years of learning, that you do hang out with your guitar for extended periods. 4, 6, 8 hours straight - at least occasionally. Bond with the thing. You want to feel natural with it in your hands.
There are days that I do nothing but 'play' my guitar. I may not be actually practicing that whole time. In fact, it's likely I'm not practicing most of that time but the extended time really connects me to music and being a musician. I LOVE to play my guitar. The best players put in extended time.


That is very true in your case, because you are a seasoned musician who understands the importance of becoming connected with your instrument. But in the case of someone who is at the beginning of their journey and full of doubts regarding their progress, they wouldn't know what to expect - playing a lot and noticing no progress in any direction can be nasty.

You are right about losing yourself to the instrument and the music smile.gif I had such a day a few weeks ago - I took my acoustic in the garden and just let loose. What a joy!


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klasaine
post May 13 2014, 08:16 AM
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True and I understand about seeing/hearing/realizing ones progress - especially in the beginning.
Record yourself practicing for 20 minutes (or an hour) once a week. Do this for two months. Then listen back after the two months of recording yourself. You WILL hear progress.

As for spending some real time with your instrument ...
Maybe an adult can't do that - for many reasons. Work, family, etc. And probably also the loss of the childlike fascination of losing yourself just making sounds from your instrument.

*But you really young guys and gals here that are still in school or at least the ones not married with children ...
Turn off the friggin' video games and social network crap and spend 4 to 6 hours with your guitar for 3 or 4 days in row. You will not believe the connection you will make with it ... and how much better you will be when you come out of that guitar 'cloister'. Get into the habit of doing that once every few weeks for a couple of years and see where you are. This is how you get real good.
Summer is coming up. Do it! You won't be sorry.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 13 2014, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 13 2014, 04:16 AM) *
True and I understand about seeing/hearing/realizing ones progress - especially in the beginning.
Record yourself practicing for 20 minutes (or an hour) once a week. Do this for two months. Then listen back after the two months of recording yourself. You WILL hear progress.

As for spending some real time with your instrument ...
Maybe an adult can't do that - for many reasons. Work, family, etc. And probably also the loss of the childlike fascination of losing yourself just making sounds from your instrument.

*But you really young guys and gals here that are still in school or at least the ones not married with children ...
Turn off the friggin' video games and social network crap and spend 4 to 6 hours with your guitar for 3 or 4 days in row. You will not believe the connection you will make with it ... and how much better you will be when you come out of that guitar 'cloister'. Get into the habit of doing that once every few weeks for a couple of years and see where you are. This is how you get real good.
Summer is coming up. Do it! You won't be sorry.


You made me remember those days when I was back from school and used to dedicate the whole day to just play. I used to work on exercises, but most of the time just playing alone, and along with music, my favorite albums, over radio songs, and what ever it sounded. Even if somebody was watching TV, I used to learn melodies and everything that sounded there by ear. smile.gif

It's awesome the connection that you get with your instruments thanks to that, I also could train my ear a lot thanks to be al day learning whatever sounded in my home with the guitar.


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