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Feeling Discouraged
An "off day" of practice and feeling a bit bummed/discouraged.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (18 votes) 
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Pete_Violin
Utah
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September 14, 2019 - 12:01 am
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@StaceyC 

I just wanted to let you know that I understand your bad days... Yesterday I came to my lesson and I thought I was ready..for the most part..with my material.

I am learning J.S. Bach Minuet in G and I have been playing it ok.  On my own, I would give it a 7 on a scale of 1-10, which for me is decent for learning a piece like this in a week.  Except when I played it for my teacher, I would rate my playing no better than a 3.

So I have bad days.  But I am going to do much better this week!  It is not the only thing I am working on, but I am going to work on some issues that she pointed out to me on the piece.  Mainly my bowing needs help and playing the correct notes as well - both at the same time, too!

I hope your playing is going well!

- Pete -

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starise
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September 16, 2019 - 1:35 pm
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I have had more of those days than I care to admit. 

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Georganne
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September 17, 2019 - 1:12 am
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When days like that happen I take the day off from what I was practicing and just go back to the beginner songs that I liked.  There were a few of them I really loved.  So go back to your beginner book and start playing.  Have fun with it. 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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starise
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September 17, 2019 - 11:48 am
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I believe some people are more prone to depression than others. The weather, hormonal changes, diet, lack of the proper rest can all contribute to it. 

For me with the changes in the weather up here, less sunlight and a few other things I won't go into I feel as if I'm spiraling down with no real reason. I decided to try some vitamin supplements and get as much rest as I can. It's odd because I'm optimistic about playing violin most of the time. I never accomplish as much as I intend to. Much of this has a lot to do with our mental attitude before we ever pick up a fiddle. I generally try to punch through it until it starts to feel better. I have realized though that it's a real thing, not imaginary, and for many it can be corrected through the right diet and rest.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 17, 2019 - 7:12 pm
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@starise - totally agree. With the right diet (food), rest, and exercise you can pick yourself up.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cid
September 17, 2019 - 7:44 pm
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I agree with Fiddlerman. I was told to do it that way when doing piano lessons.

I also found it easier to do songs for end to beginning sometimes. Not sure if that is just my unusual way of looking at things and learning, or if that is common with others. I sometimes start with the last two measures and then add the one before, and so on and so on. When I am having a lot of issues, I do that.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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September 17, 2019 - 8:06 pm
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End to beginning is a really good way to counteract certain human tendencies when practicing. First, it's common for people to stop and start over (or at least go back a measure or two) when they make a mistake. Second, when people break a piece into smaller chunks and learn one segment at a time, they tend to go in sequence from beginning to end. The result is that, for most people, the beginning of a piece gets practiced much more than the end. Starting at the end and working backwards is a way to make sure the entire piece gets practiced.

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cid
September 17, 2019 - 8:18 pm
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The fact that I noticed the beginnings were always coming out better is why I started doing back to beginning. I realized, as you stated, you usually go back to beginnings. For some reason, starting end and working towards the beginning, it isn’t the same as repeating from the beginning all the time. 

I guess it isn’t just my odd aay of looking at things.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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starise
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September 18, 2019 - 8:58 am
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cid I do that with books sometimes...check out the back firstsurprised  When it comes to music, the material I'm working on begins with what I would call the easier lines and works into the more difficult playing as the song progresses. I guess this only makes sense because most music gets more interesting as it goes along, sort of like a story with a climax and then an ending. The "climax" of the song is usually the most difficult to play (for me). On shorter songs it might only be a measure or two. There's usually a  few places in any intermediate tune that I need extra work on and I would consider them harder to play. They don't just flow off my fingers LOL!

I'm trying to get past the place where I need time to "acclimate" to my surroundings and the instrument. I might practice a passage the night before and I eventually nail it to the point that I'm fairly confident. At that point I can nail it several times in a row with no mistakes. Then the following day I go to my lesson. Pull out the violin, tune up and crash the first time through the same passage ARRRRRGH! I don't know if this is because I'm not relaxed having just came out of traffic/parking and all of that. I seem to need some time to settle down and relax. Another contributor is also probably when the teacher flags me on something I go on a kind of alert which makes me anxious about all of it from then on. She is only doing her job. I do think I'm a few notches ahead of where she thinks I am because of this. I can play it, just can't play it when I'm there smile

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GregW
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September 18, 2019 - 9:31 am
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Very seldom in a lesson have we started a tune at the beginning and played through.  My instructor will zero in on what she has found to be the most difficult section and go over it.  Or possibly point out the repeated phrases then cover a difficult passage.  A lot of time is spent on bowing..like why a certain bowing or slur is good here or there...

As far as getting discouraged..Sometimes simple stuff like moving to another room with different acoustics changes how I perceive things and motivates a little.  Or playing to a drum track ( free stuff for the phone out there)..  Maybe set it do a style thats way different or something like reggae.. 🙂 just be careful that doesn't stick in the muscle memory into the next lesson..

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 18, 2019 - 9:58 am
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Very good point - I experience this as well, particularly on (what should be) simple fiddle tunes with an AABB or such pattern, or like a pop song/tune with a melody-line and chorus line.  I seem to have two distinct issues -

(1) If it's a tune I know well (or THINK I know well) in my head already, well, just because I've heard it often, but have never before played it - I can launch into it without thinking - and one of two things will happen - either (a) the basic melody will be FINE (maybe the A part) - but the B part (or chorus in a pop song) will fall apart...  Or vice-versa - maybe it's the chorus-part of a tune that's stuck in my head 

What I'm trying to say is that one or other parts of the "well known tune" (be it AABB form or verse/melody - chorus) - I'll manage one or other parts, and one will let me down.   That's when I just say OK - let's go find some other takes of this on YT or whatever, and, if all else fails, get, or work out what the sheet would be... then just work on it.

(2) If it's a tune I don't know, never heard before until now, and think - mmm tasty little tune - yup must learn that one - I will suffer from the effect of learning from the start - and the (well, depends on the tune - but for argument's sake) first 8 or 16 bars become quickly entrenched in the brain, and - to get to the next 8 or 16 - I'm usually playing the first 8 or 16 over again.   I DO TRY VERY HARD TO BREAK THAT CYCLE and instead, use the closing 1 or so bars of the first part (often with a little modification) as an intro/pickup into the part I REALLY need to spend time on...

Indeed, I can empathise with this...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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