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ibnatbatuta

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

beginner practice routine 

Hello there,
I'm quite new to this forum. I have been trying to learn how to play the flamenco guitar for about 2 years now, and I have to admit my progress is quite slow.I seem stuck unable to move any further. I've decided to give it one more year before I totally give it up. I know i don't practice regularly ( not every day and not the same stuff every time) maybe that could be the reason, I wanted to ask you if you could give me any advice for practice routines or any tips that would help me develop. Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2012 21:09:52
 
ArtZumer

Posts: 67
Joined: Aug. 4 2010
From: Brisvagas

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

There was a great post somewhere about using an excel spreadsheet to track how much you play of what (i couldn't find it but somebody else might be able to link it)

One possible idea is to set yourself a date to perform a piece or two e.g. at a family event or something of the sort. That will get you practicing so you don't look like a fool!

There just some of my thoughts anyway.

_____________________________

“I’m retired now so the practice is down to just 4 hours” - Julian Bream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2012 22:36:47
 
kudo

Posts: 2064
Joined: Sep. 3 2009
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

are you egyptian by the way?

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2012 22:46:22
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

quote:

are you egyptian by the way?

lol .... ole kudo !! you know I was about to ask the exact same question as yours

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http://www.youtube.com/user/GuitarristaAD
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 1:22:09
 
Florian

Posts: 9282
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

setting goals its a good idea....

is it a question of disorganization (lack of direction) or lack of motivation...etc they all summon different types of advice

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 1:35:02
 
ibnatbatuta

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

Thank you very much for your replies

The spread sheet sounds like a great idea.. i'll try to look for them in the forum ( would you have any idea roughly when were they posted?)

If anything i think it's lack of direction I do not currently have any teacher nor can I find any proper one near where I live.

The thing is I don't know what to do first, when i try playing my favorite palos I always feel i lack tecnique and once I start exercising that I just don't know where to start and how to properly exercise my technique.Should I focus on left hand technique first? which right hand techniques should i start with as a beginner? Also the fact that i'm hardly progressing makes me doubt weather i'm doing it properly. is it just a matter of time and more practice?

And yes I am egyptian (not sure what made you wonder though)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 3:51:04
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

quote:

And yes I am egyptian (not sure what made you wonder though)

for me it is the "ibn batuta" thingy

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http://www.youtube.com/user/GuitarristaAD
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 3:59:30
 
Florian

Posts: 9282
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

perhaps if you upload a video of yourself playing we might be able to be more useful to you and tell you if its a question of doing it wrong or need more time and practice...until wee see you play we just guessing...since there's no teacher in real life to correct you use the forum to make sure you are practicing the right things correctly

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 5:55:25
 
odinz

Posts: 407
Joined: May 26 2010
From: Sarpsborg,Norway

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

My experience tells me that you have to set up some sort of goal, because if you dont have any goals, there isnt really anything to progress towards you know?

It is also important to practice alot if you really want to become good, I dont think anything comes for free. It is a progressive line, you start out as a beginner and work your way towards becoming a good player.

My first goals was to handle the different palos in a basic way, one by one.

Then after that I started learning more and more falsetas for different stuff.

Of course there is also technique practice and stuff.

Right now I have started working on complete compositions by others or making my own variations on cool falsetas and stuff..

So im still a beginner too I think, but last year I really started to progress not only flamenco-wise but guitar-wise.

I got introduced to a very beautiful composition that I wanted to play perfectly, in my own way. I think I am soon there, but not yet.

I also play classical guitar, and there are many things in classical guitar I think is useful. for technique, for fluid playing and most importantly memory( too me atleast)

Hope this gives you a hint as to where you should be going, and have fun playing!

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 10:55:21
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

Right, goals are decisive.
And like with all performing disciplines; the more appropriate and detailed pictures in mind are, the faster and easier progress will be.
( Exercising won´t do much, if imagination won´t match ergonomical execution.)

Thus don´t make the mistake I once did, following what seems to suit you well, and developing a stagnating one-trick pony.

Technically:

Do not start out with trying to tame your smallest / outer limbs.
Realize that instrument playing isn´t a fingertip artistry, but playing with the whole of your body ( minimizing outer limbs artistics).

Hence, first thing to concentrate on should be establishing ergonomic posture and planting.
For the right hand for instance exercise abanico, acaballado, arrastre and alzapua with focus on a leading wrist.
Have the wrist as leader of motion and see the economizing that it will give.

Same when you go on later with arpeggio, tremolo and picado. Strictly omitt active return of fingers to starting point. Have wrist and gravity do the preparation. Don´t think with single fingers. Take the time and patience to have it happening.

The more you can hold yourself back from galloping ahead with superfluous motoric engagement, the sooner ergonomical routines will be established, which again will allow you a path into seamless playing.


Same with the left hand.

Do not start out with falsetas.
Concentrate on ergonomic posture and omitt superfluous strain ( like pressing down hard, stretching pinky away; pushing wrist forward, etc.)
In general, keep angling at minimum required.
Wrist straight, ellbow close to the torso.

Start with what many people learn later on, as it appears challenging; which again it only will after unergonomical approach: Barre.

Put the first finger on the fretboard and find out how to have all strings fretted cleanly with yet almost no strain at all. Just by positioning the finger soft / flat and relaxed right at the fret wire; only not too far ( buzz), nor too close ( mute). Patiently, find out minimal power required.
Do it without support of the thumb, and watch out for the thumb to be truely relaxed while kept off.
Internalize correct positioning and pull, instead of forcing and clamping.

Generate all of the pressing by a dorsal pull of your ellbow / shoulder.
Counter the pull with an according pat of your right arms ellbow at the carcass.

Sense whenever there occures strain. Stop, relax and continue when it occures. The more persistantly and patiently the better.
( Costing you only months of preparation, in place of decades of struggle.)

Musically:

As Ricardo rightly says: Best would be to find a group of gitanos and to groove along with them.
In absence of such or of a good teacher, playing along to records / videos should be helpful and inspiring.

Beyound that, fellows here know which tutorial books and DVDs are recommendable.

Hope that helps.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 13:56:16
 
changue

 

Posts: 187
Joined: Aug. 31 2010
From: London

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

I find it helps to practice at the same time (every day). For me, the best time is in the evening. I can sometimes play in the afternoon but I'm used to concentrating between 6 and 8pm (approximately). Maybe you could try and find the best time of day when you can tune in to what you are trying to do?

I am by no means an expert player but I don't think it is at all controversial to say that the 'beginning' stage of flamenco is particularly long and arduous. I know everyone progresses differently but it took me YEARS to get anywhere.

Besides, Battuta? Giving up? That doesn't sound right...

Good luck,

Changue
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 17:23:12
 
Rmn

Posts: 308
Joined: May 14 2011
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

quote:

Right, goals are decisive.
And like with all performing disciplines; the more appropriate and detailed pictures in mind are, the faster and easier progress will be.
( Exercising won´t do much, if imagination won´t match ergonomical execution.)

Thus don´t make the mistake I once did, following what seems to suit you well, and developing a stagnating one-trick pony.

Technically:

Do not start out with trying to tame your smallest / outer limbs.
Realize that instrument playing isn´t a fingertip artistry, but playing with the whole of your body ( minimizing outer limbs artistics).

Hence, first thing to concentrate on should be establishing ergonomic posture and planting.
For the right hand for instance exercise abanico, acaballado, arrastre and alzapua with focus on a leading wrist.
Have the wrist as leader of motion and see the economizing that it will give.

Same when you go on later with arpeggio, tremolo and picado. Strictly omitt active return of fingers to starting point. Have wrist and gravity do the preparation. Don´t think with single fingers. Take the time and patience to have it happening.

The more you can hold yourself back from galloping ahead with superfluous motoric engagement, the sooner ergonomical routines will be established, which again will allow you a path into seamless playing.


Same with the left hand.

Do not start out with falsetas.
Concentrate on ergonomic posture and omitt superfluous strain ( like pressing down hard, stretching pinky away; pushing wrist forward, etc.)
In general, keep angling at minimum required.
Wrist straight, ellbow close to the torso.

Start with what many people learn later on, as it appears challenging; which again it only will after unergonomical approach: Barre.

Put the first finger on the fretboard and find out how to have all strings fretted cleanly with yet almost no strain at all. Just by positioning the finger soft / flat and relaxed right at the fret wire; only not too far ( buzz), nor too close ( mute). Patiently, find out minimal power required.
Do it without support of the thumb, and watch out for the thumb to be truely relaxed while kept off.
Internalize correct positioning and pull, instead of forcing and clamping.

Generate all of the pressing by a dorsal pull of your ellbow / shoulder.
Counter the pull with an according pat of your right arms ellbow at the carcass.

Sense whenever there occures strain. Stop, relax and continue when it occures. The more persistantly and patiently the better.
( Costing you only months of preparation, in place of decades of struggle.)

Musically:

As Ricardo rightly says: Best would be to find a group of gitanos and to groove along with them.
In absence of such or of a good teacher, playing along to records / videos should be helpful and inspiring.

Beyound that, fellows here know which tutorial books and DVDs are recommendable.

Hope that helps.

Ruphus


I thought i'd just post this again, because I think this is wise talk. good points Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 19:32:02
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14984
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

focus on compas...just rhythm guitar patterns. Learn new ones but keep doing old ones over and over, then mix it all up. Always groove always with metronome. If this gets boring to you...then yes you should give up flamenco.

Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2012 22:08:43
 
toefist

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul. 30 2009
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

You do not say what you can and can,t do. Are you practicing scales, learning new chords, a song, rhythm studies, sight-reading...
I usually warm up with scales, try to play different fingerings every time, new chord shape, short melodies and playing them on different strings, make a goal like others have said.
You can probably search this forum or YouTube for lessons and ideas.
Do not get discourage by a slow progress as everybody has these. At some point you will progress at a much faster pace and be happy that you study it out.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2012 23:54:44
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to Rmn

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rmn

good points Ruphus


Thank you, Rmn!

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2012 9:51:46
 
ArtZumer

Posts: 67
Joined: Aug. 4 2010
From: Brisvagas

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus advice is awesome. although i partially disagree with this bit.
quote:

Do not start out with falsetas. Concentrate on ergonomic posture and omitt superfluous strain ( like pressing down hard, stretching pinky away; pushing wrist forward, etc.)

IMO to practice these kind of tecnical aspects I have to be very motivated and inspired towards guitar. Although it is probably better to do this before learning falsetas ect., I would learn a really cool falseta or something I really like and deal with my motivation, then when I'm playing more and more inspired I work on the tecnical aspects of my playing. I say this because it sounds like your struggling motivating yourself to play every day.

_____________________________

“I’m retired now so the practice is down to just 4 hours” - Julian Bream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2012 10:02:21
 
ibnatbatuta

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus, you answered my question, that's the kind of response I was waiting for . I cannot thank you enough :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2012 15:29:46
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

You are very welcome! :O)

-

Art is right about missing self-gratification; which is why didactics usually provide some little solo etudes for motivation.

However, I think such to be technically counter productive ( because of the early imprint of temporarily suit postures). So, at least for learners above certain age, with already established goal in mind and love for the instrument, hence sufficient patience to overcome an initial period of only little musical gratification, the outcome will considerably reward for the invested discipline.

I have wittnessed a teenager who within 1,5 years became a flying rock guitarist. Incredible.
And I have observed good teacher´s classical guitar students playing impressingly after only ~ 2 years.

And on the contrary I have seen myself, who though able to impress kinds of listeners and fellows up to conservatory students, for about 30 years went through vast artistry to produce the sound. A plethora of triggers and muscles fighting their own antagonists, like in an imploding athlete. Like racing in an invisible gym of drain.


From there, embracing the idea of how a student does if he can consciously omitt typical and awkward "commodity" traps from start.
Optimally, stuffed with apt pictures in mind.
( Accordingly, inner pictures appearing so obviously relevant / conductive in my mind that there is lingering a nearly finished manuscript somwhere on the harddisk, so far titled "Factor of Guitar Playing", orphaned though since over three years or so. - A trial of summrizing and sorting explored findings, and picked up bits of fellow practitioner´s invaluable insights.)

Over the course of past 2 decades it came gradually to me that it can´t be the hare.
That, not even olympic athletic afforts can get you over a treshhold of hampered poise.

Since maybe 5 years now, me is increasingly exploring the hedgehogs way, and it´s a world very different from the times of motorically and neuronally exhausting waste.

Leisureliness seems to be what´s smart in all disciplines that I am familar with; including the most explosive ones.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2012 21:00:56
 
FlamencoEgipcio

 

Posts: 6
Joined: Dec. 13 2011
 

RE: beginner practice routine (in reply to ibnatbatuta

Ya basha! Ahlan we Sahlan! Where are you from in Egypt? Are you currently there? I was born in Los Angeles, but my parents are both from El Minya, and moved to the US in 1981. In any case, I'm glad to see Egyptians taking over the ForoFlamenco!

I've only been playing for exactly one year, since January 2011, but I do empathize with your struggles, and believe that I have some helpful advice to share.

First, don't underestimate the power of osmosis. Listen to professional flamenco recordings, and preferably watch videos on YouTube of greats like Sabicas, Paco Pena and Paco de Lucia. Do this CONSTANTLY. These videos often have very nice close up shots of right hand technique. Don't listen or watch for the purpose of study, but watch and listen to enjoy. If you do this frequently, you'll be surprised by how certain techniques and compas rub off on you without even making a conscious effort to learn. It's all about exposure.

Speaking of exposure, in the same vein as the first point, don't keep your passion for flamenco private. Share it with others, and attend whatever live flamenco events you can in your area. You've already done well on this point by joining the Foro!

Secondly, never, never, never practice beyond the point of fatigue. Tired hands make mistakes, and there's no point in practicing mistakes. On that same note, practice slowly, about 80 beats per minute with a metronome, or even slower than that. Master a piece or exercise at that pace before you move on. For me at least, I've had no problem thoroughly enjoying what I was doing even at 60 beats per minute. When you eat, breath and sleep flamenco, the melodies and rhythms resonate with you no matter what the pace.

Lastly, get two books, a book of full solo pieces and a method book, and work with them concurrently. I highly recommend Juan Martin's Solos Flamencos for full solo pieces, and either Graf-Martinez's Flamenco Guitar Method Volume One or Dennis Koster's The Keys to Flamenco Guitar Volume One. On Juan Martin, you will find heated debate on the Foro about the merits of his book, but honestly, I can't find a single valid reason why learning his solos won't make you a better player. That's a pretty strong statement for a beginner guitarist like myself, but I'm willing to take heat for it :)

When working with these books, play and master EVERYTHING within them, even if the solo piece or exercise is obviously too easy for you. Eating "humble pie" and playing something that seems below your skill level is a great way to improve technique. Just think of all the professional basketball players who are considered superstars, but average only 50-60% on free throws. That's sad and absurd, if you ask me.

One last thing, what kind of guitar are you using? It might be time for an upgrade. The guitar does NOT make the player, but I think too many people underestimate the effect a quality guitar can have on both self motivation and proper technique.

Best,
Kenney

_____________________________

''First, to redeem my guitar from the flamenco and all those other things." --Andres "kill joy" Segovia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2012 18:18:14
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