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Practice routine
What to practice and how
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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stringy
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September 11, 2020 - 6:28 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
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This question has probably been asked many times on here, but I was wondering if anyone has any advice on structuring a routine for most benefit. I usually go through scales and arpeggios for half an hour, Including shifts to third position and third position scales, then I go through tunes I know and am learning and then Etudes, I do sometimes find myself wandering off and messing about but try to stick with this routine. Has anyone any ideas?

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ELCB
Michigan, USA
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September 11, 2020 - 9:46 pm
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stringy -

Wow, good for you! 

I'm afraid I take a more casual approach to practicing because my only concerns are family, friends and the possibility of a little jamming with them.

You might enjoy this great thread, I read it before I even joined the FM Forum. 

"Sasha's Secrets #1: Perfect Practice" on page 3 under the "Learning to Play" heading. 

- EmilyEye Alien Walking Caterpillar Monster Emoticons

 
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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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September 12, 2020 - 2:02 am
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My routine, when I'm not injured, is divided into four blocks as long as I can practice for 30 minutes or more.

1. Warm up. Almost always just playing through one or two movements of unaccompanied Bach. I find it's good for getting me into the right frame of mind -- musical rather than entirely technical.

2. Technique maintenance. Scales, arpeggios, open string bowing, and a selection of etudes. I normally pick the etudes the same day rather than having a set rotation, but the idea is to hit as many different aspects of technique as possible over the week because I don't have that much time to spend on it in one day.

3. Repertoire. I spend almost all of this on tricky spots in the pieces I'm working on, and have been known to spend an entire practice session on just two measures of music. Unless it's the last few days before performing, I typically only play through a piece in its entirety once every week or two.

4. Technique focus. An extra bit of work on an aspect of technique I think needs improvement or remediation. I do this last because, according to the research on learning, the last thing you spend time on in a practice session is the thing that sticks best. I omit this if I need to learn a piece in a short time, in which case the last thing I work on should be repertoire.

Regardless of length of practice session, the warm-up block is about 5 minutes, and the technique focus block is about 10 minutes. Typically, I split the time in between into 1/3 technique, 2/3 repertoire.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 23, 2020 - 12:45 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15264

My routine was similar to Andrew in that I warmed up with scales, moved to more serious technical studies then solo works. Later when I was full time employed in the orchestras I would often jump right into working on next weeks new repertoires since I played so often that doing a great job in my position was more important. It's of course better to warm up and play scales but scales are in all music, and depending on how you learn things, there is technique in everything as well.
Technical exercises are designed to focus on particular aspects of technique. If you practice anything the right way, you benefit. Playing slowly while dialing in on intonation is super beneficial. Focusing on posture, relaxation, position....etc, with all your playing is better than sloppy run throughs.

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

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ELCB
Michigan, USA
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September 23, 2020 - 1:54 pm
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I've known of some adults (like my brother with other string instruments) getting busy with work, maybe even discouraged by lack of progress, they start skipping a day of practice here and there - maybe several days, then a week... 

What's best for people prone to that behavior? 

Is it better to at least try to play a few melodies, etude or 2 (or 3) - every day, just to keep engaged?  I've been wondering if it's really even possible to help someone, other than myself, stay motivated or prevent boredom/burnout? 

I think it's unlikely I'll ever end up losing interest in playing because I can't help but try new music and I keep rotating my older pieces (with their individual challenges). 

Sorry to get a little off subject!

 

https://www.lanesboro.lib.mn.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/cat_fiddle.jpg- Emily

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 23, 2020 - 2:14 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15264

It's possible to motivate people but not to help them if they are not interested.
I like to keep my instrument out and visible, that way, I may pick it up just for some seconds vs not at all.

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

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stringy
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September 23, 2020 - 5:46 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
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To be honest, I am fanatical, my problem is practising too much. I end up maybe, playing bits of tunes, and not really getting anywhere, I know I am doing it but sometimes it’s hard to get out of the habit. I generally practice about an hour and a half a day, which is most of my free time.

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