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Practice regime
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Gordon Shumway
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August 13, 2019 - 7:59 am
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I've had a struggle quitting my reading habits and switching to violin practice.

I've tried to come up with some sort of formal practice timetable to help me.

The reason I'm not asking my teacher first is because she's not used to an adult who wants to do his own thing, and I'm sort of "special needs".

I wondered if I should learn 3 pieces and a Kreutzer or 3 pieces including a Kreutzer and decided "3 including" is enough. (or for Kreutzer you can read "any long study that requires practice time", but I'm ready for Kreutzer 2 about now)

Then there are scales and arps. Then there are lighter specific technical exercises.

If I spend a half hour each on the three pieces and 1/2 hr on the technical exercises, and 1/2 hour on scales and arps, that adds up to 2 1/2 hours per day.

Do you think that's enough, or am I neglecting something and should I find an extra 1/2 hour daily and what should I do with it?

Andrew

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cid
August 13, 2019 - 8:25 am
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@Gordon Shumway If you have another half hour, why not work on a piece of you choosing to reinforce the other sections of your practice. Or, make it a simple piece that you can do without much difficulty (ie not a Mickey Mouse piece) and play around with getting it smooth and then enhance it with what you have been learning. I hope I explained that correctly.

I include my Books 1 and 2 from my cello at the beginning of practice, played as written, to warm up because they are easy for me and I am comfortable with them and can relax. I actually work front to back of each (Skipping the ones I am not find of, not because they are more difficult, but because I am simply not fond of that tune) At the end, I take the books again and play around with them. I have added arpeggio fills, etc. What I have added does not necessarily add quality to the actual song, I just used the techniques or whatever I have been learning or already learned in tunes that are not practice tunes. Again, I hope I explained my idea behind that correctly. Rarely, are they done the same twice at the end every day because I don’t write anything down. I just do it they way I feel like doing it to incorporate skills and techniques, lesson material.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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August 13, 2019 - 8:39 am
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What does your technical exercises involve? Is it finger based or is it based on bowing? If your technical exercises mostly involve fingering I would suggest focusing more on bowing technique for the extra time. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Gordon Shumway
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August 13, 2019 - 9:18 am
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HP said
What does your technical exercises involve? Is it finger based or is it based on bowing? If your technical exercises mostly involve fingering I would suggest focusing more on bowing technique for the extra time. 

  

Everything. Books like these -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grade.....pdctrvw_dp 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pr.....#038;psc=1

They deal with 4th finger strengthening. Legato bowing. String crossing. Positions. Everything. As the exercises get harder they get longer, so they would probably qualify as an extra piece to be learnt, and more than one would require the extra half hour.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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August 13, 2019 - 9:22 am
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cid said
@Gordon Shumway If you have another half hour, why not work on a piece of you choosing to reinforce the other sections of your practice. Or, make it a simple piece that you can do without much difficulty (ie not a Mickey Mouse piece)  

Maybe, but that (see my reply to HP), would make it 5 pieces I was studying, which is probably too much. As a kid, for piano exams, I never studied more than 3 pieces plus scales, but I never practised for more than 2 hours per day.

I was kind of asking, am I giving enough time to scales and arps at 1/2 hour, or would 1 hour be better?

Andrew

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cid
August 13, 2019 - 9:55 am
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Ah. Gotcha

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
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August 13, 2019 - 10:24 am
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For a day to day basis 30 minutes should be okay. It depends of course of how many scales you work on a day. I typically use 30 minutes on 5 scales a day in total, and have one day a week where I have a longer period where I focus on all the scales. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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starise
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August 13, 2019 - 11:33 am
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I really think this should be catered to the individual. I have tended to practice things I can't play well that have the techniques in them I want to learn. This way I can  tell myself I'm working on music and not an "exercise". That probably goes against what any teacher will recommend and I don't recommend you copy me. I loose concentration quickly when trying to play technical exercises, easily distracted....look a squirrel!!

Some minds are more methodical and organized. Will spend hours just playing practice exercises. While I play them, they are a small part of what I play. I probably need another flesh and blood teacher. You seem to be able to keep at an organized pace without boredom. Most tend to learn this way.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 17, 2019 - 2:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Gordon Shumway said
......If I spend a half hour each on the three pieces and 1/2 hr on the technical exercises, and 1/2 hour on scales and arps, that adds up to 2 1/2 hours per day.

Do you think that's enough, or am I neglecting something and should I find an extra 1/2 hour daily and what should I do with it?

I know that some teachers and professionals would disagree with me, but remember that your "pieces" consist of scales and arpeggios as well. That means that if you practice those pieces properly, you're getting some great work done as well. 🙂

I am not saying that you should not practice scales, arpeggios and etudes, just that you can get a lot out of practicing any kind of piece with the proper mind set.

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

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cid
August 17, 2019 - 4:35 pm
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Fiddlerman said 

I know that some teachers and professionals would disagree with me, but remember that your "pieces" consist of scales and arpeggios as well. That means that if you practice those pieces properly, you're getting some great work done as well. 🙂

I am not saying that you should not practice scales, arpeggios and etudes, just that you can get a lot out of practicing any kind of piece with the proper mind set.

  

I was wondering about that. I read a lot about “needing” to do scales and arpeggios, which makes sense because it does seem to help with fingering and bowing. But then if you are working on pieces, be it violin, viola or cello, and they have a lot of arpeggios, wouldn’t spending double time on the arpeggio piece instead of taking time away from that piece to do arpeggio scales benefit the piece more, and still give you the arpeggio practice benefits? I was always wondering about that.

If I spend time with it in a piece, I am also adding timing more exactly to have that arpeggio fit a specific piece. To me, that arpeggio means more, has a reason and belongs to something. If any section of music just sounds like it is thrown in, or does not sound like it belongs to the rest, it just does not make sense to me. That is why the arpeggios in actual pieces always seem to make sense to me.

It is like jazz. To me, it is just a bunch of noise, my apologies to all you jazz fans. Or it is like the occasional jazz piece might sound nice and then someone goes off on a tangent. Once that happens, the piece makes no sense. The sections of that piece do not belong together. With arpeggios on their own, they do not belong to anything, no direction. In a song they belong and make sense.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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August 18, 2019 - 3:52 am
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Well, a careful examination of my two favourite technical books now indicates that I need to work on three studies simultaneously to keep to my schedule (there's an orchestra I want to join in September next year), plus two musical pieces, which makes 5 at a half hour each = 2 1/2 hours, so that leaves 1/2 hour for scales and arps, lol.

I like scales and arps. I'm very bad at string-crossing, so they are good exercise for my right arm, wrist and fingers. Also I've found a nice fingering system that lets me play all scales with just three very similar fingerings (ok, 4 if you include melodic minor descending), all ending in such a way that I can do exactly the same run up the E string whenever I want a third octave. Also they are pretty important for developing intonation.

Apart from that, I agree with Pierre - practising scales won't help you play a piece - you have to practice the piece (and the fingering of the piece may differ from your usual fingering of the scales in the piece), although scales may assist in sight-reading. But certainly on the piano, the techniques used in playing scales and arps give your hands the flexibility and suppleness to play pieces that contain them.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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August 19, 2019 - 12:49 pm
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Exactly. And, I am all for etudes and scales, but. Everything you play is beneficial if you do it the right way.

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

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