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Practice Tactics
Strategy tips that help us become better.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (16 votes) 
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ELCBK
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August 19, 2021 - 2:39 pm
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I don't think hardly anyone that follows this forum is aiming at 3 or 4 hours of hard practice per day. 

The discussions throughout this forum, except this current one, have been geared more for the average player - an hour or two of practice. 

With emphasis on enjoyment. 

https://vendors.punchbowl.com/images/vendor/vendor_logos/6785551/medium_mmm_logo_image.jpg?1482172177

 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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August 19, 2021 - 5:12 pm
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My goal is still to be competitive in professional orchestra auditions one day...

The difference is that I don't feel the need to get there by a certain age, so I don't have to cram all the learning in within a certain number of years. You don't have to practice 4-5 hours a day to be "any good" -- you probably do, at least once you reach 10-12, to get into conservatory at 18 and have a good shot at winning professional auditions immediately after you graduate.

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JohnG
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August 19, 2021 - 7:27 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
...Unfortunately I am addicted to reading and that takes my mornings away.

That is so true for me. I sometimes spend 2-5 hours reading all manner of things. I often think, "I'll practice after this chapter", but then the opening paragraph of the next chapter catches my eye! It doesn't help that I'm a speed reader and often know what's in the next paragraph before I finish the current one.

 All that being said, my practice goal is an hour a day at this time. At mhy age, I will never be a performing musician, and only hope that I get good enough that I will be able to play for my family and not have them running for the doors (and windows). Perhaps I'll be able to play in small settings with other not-too-accomplished players.

Ones own goals must establish the pattern and duration of practice.

The old curmudgeon!

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Gordon Shumway
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August 20, 2021 - 4:24 am
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ELCBK said
The discussions throughout all these threads has been geared more for the average player - an hour or two of practice. 

With emphasis on enjoyment. 

But isn't that the opposite of what William Fizpatrick is about?

Andrew

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ELCBK
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August 20, 2021 - 9:12 am
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Sorry, you quoted me out of context, but I could be clearer. 

Edited that sentence to now read: 

The discussions throughout this forum, except this current one, have been geared more for the average player - an hour or two of practice. 

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AndrewH
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August 29, 2021 - 4:32 pm
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https://www.violinist.com/blog.....218/28861/

Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim weighs in on practice time.

"It depends," Kim said, adding that at this point he practices about one to two hours a day. That said, he has noticed that for a high-level player "there has to be three or four periods in one's life where you practice a LOT and HARD," Kim said. Like five hours a day. "But nobody can sustain five hours a day over a whole lifetime - our bodies are not meant for that. But consistency of practice is important."

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ELCBK
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August 29, 2021 - 5:27 pm
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@AndrewH -

GREAT FIND! 

Thank you. 

...now, if I could just find something on how long professional Fiddlers practice - to compare. 

It would make my day. 🤗

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ELCBK
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January 29, 2023 - 4:06 pm
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Just reviving this thread. 

All the great 'Practice' Threads I could find are listed/linked in the OP.

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Katie L
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January 29, 2023 - 5:27 pm
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Just read through this and like the quote you put on Emily 

No matter beginner or seasoned player - all of us should appreciate that we are the Magicians that coax the music from our wooden (or CF) box! 

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ELCBK
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January 30, 2023 - 12:41 am
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@Katie L -

Thank you! 😊

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ELCBK
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March 15, 2023 - 9:44 pm
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Sharing a couple enlightening videos I watched the other day - about PRACTICING... of course! 

Eyal Kless words it kinda funny, but VERY helpful - so we aren't wasting our time & get the most out of our practice! 

I like that Eyal stresses 'everything we do during practice should have a purpose' - NO mindless repetition.

What really surprised me - his take on learning a new piece.  Not only a small sec of notes at a time, but everything about that small section, before moving on to the next - bowing, rhythm, dynamics, and up to speed! 

To me, this is where having an mp3, or video, reference of your piece comes in handy for learning something new.

 

 

The 'practicing up to speed' is what gets to me. 

Eyal specifically states something like, "don't practice slow for 2 weeks before trying to get up to tempo - you'll just learn to play slow".  He also proposes pushing up the tempo in the very 1st practice! 

I do try to push up the tempo as soon as I can - sometimes not for a few days.  I do have trouble with some fast tunes & can have a problem getting past .75, or .85 speed - I get stuck.  Sometimes, I deliberately choose to play slower, but I really need to check with a metronome to find out if I'm always getting stuck at the same 'bpm'. 

...just more I'm working on. 🙄 

 

Also related & worth watching:

Reducing Finger Pressure - Eyal Kless

Stress Relief For The Left Hand - Eyal Kless

https://embroideryavenue.com/images/e2plain.jpg

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Strabo
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March 18, 2023 - 1:31 pm
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I find that it is better for me to focus on the quality of practice more than on the quantity. Other activities and obligations in my life very much impact my available practice time,  so it is unrealistic (and frustrating) for me to expect day-to-day consistency.

It is helpful for me to direct my attention to how I am practicing, what I am working on. I try to practice in the early morning and late afternoon. Morning practice is about building my skills, for example right now I’m working on fast and clean string crossing, also getting better in awkward keys. In the afternoons I like to let loose, play tunes, focus on expression and musicality, experiment with interesting improvisations. Sometimes these experiments don’t work, but often something wonderful happens and it makes me a little bit better fiddler. Inspiring times.

I have learned that my attitude often varies depending on what I’m working on. When i stumble on challenging technique I’m inclined to think that I’m the world’s slowest learner, that I’ll never be any good. But in the afternoon I’m often impressed with how well I play! I can really do this! I’m the Real Thing!

Once I learned to accept these different modes of learning, practicing became less of a duty or chore, and more of an opportunity. Like everything else, some days and some times work better than others.

 

Strabo

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ELCBK
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March 18, 2023 - 5:48 pm
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/86/69/64/8669644e2942670838f56c972a71cc62.jpg

Having this topic resurface always helps to regenerate my enthusiasm.

It takes a lot to keep me motivated for the longer-term work on things I need to change.  Member's views, tips, plus the videos here - all help to keep me going!

Been trying to convince myself that even 5 minutes a day, for each of the things that have been hard for me to change, would yield me better results than my sporadic attempts, but I haven't been very successful at being my own 'practice coach'.  

Sometimes I have the energy to get the 'not fun' stuff out of the way first, sometimes I just can't bring myself to tackle those things until after I've explored learning something new & exciting, to charge me up.  Some days I just don't want to face any of my 'really not fun' exercises at all and convince myself I'm okay by just working on something else - like intonation, or bowing (which I don't mind doing). 

Listening to music helps motivate me to practice, but I have to admit to a psychological aversion of the word 'exercise' - strict regime, repetitive... seriously negative for me & I have to find a way to change my mindset. 

I wish the concept of 'wasting time', or 'lack of progress', was enough to motivate me to change, but I always see some progress and I can always find time - if I really want to.  ...can't believe I've lost my ability to change self-defeating behavior. 😔 

Another wake-up call for me!

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ABitRusty
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March 18, 2023 - 6:26 pm
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snap out of it.  think your beating up on yourself.  maybe just forget "practice" a few days and play stuff that pops in your mind.  

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ELCBK
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March 18, 2023 - 7:15 pm
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🤣 ...think I do that more than I care to admit!

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ELCBK
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January 2, 2024 - 7:27 pm
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...sharing a couple videos I used, with  practice tips for better intonation and cleaner playing. 

 

Stefan Jackiw Shares His Practice Tips From the Carl Flesch Scale system!

 

Pinchas Zukerman Teaches Galamian's 'Catch & Release' method - for cleaner bowing, using excerpts from Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole! 

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