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Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

Question for everyone 

Hi there,

I'm just curious about something. Exactly how much do you people practice? And for how many years have you been playing? What's your practice structure like?

This I've always wondered as I'm really interested to know how you guys play so well. Surely there's a thing called natural talent, but I'm also sure that practice plays a huge role.

In particular Grisha, Ricardo and Todd, how much time have you invested in this art all this while? Sorry if I missed out anyone (I'm sure I did!), it's just that these are a few 'high profile' forum members.

Cheston

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 26 2005 23:22:03
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Cheston I think this is a legitimate question. Id also like to know how much time it "cost" the real good players here to get so well.
And YES it makes a huge difference. I have a guitar for 3 years now, but 90% of what I can do now ive learned within the 8 months, in which I had a teacher. In these 8 months I played up to 2 hours a day, and enjoyed every minute because every day I felt Im making progress.
I wish I had started lessons 3 years ago

Some people report me they can play many hours a day; Im very curious to know how they do keep concentration and patience.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 26 2005 23:33:03
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to XXX

No one who's really good is going to tell you the truth.

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 26 2005 23:42:13
Guest

[Deleted] (in reply to Skai

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 26 2005 23:55:34
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Nealf,... I or rather we all know that lines you wrote. Its not only the amount of time, but at the end of the day time is an important factor, too. You will probably not play the same 1,2,3,4 excersize everyday for 5 years will you?
You get advanced and play also other things, but that happens only in time. So there is again a relationship with advancing in playing and time, because in order to do the harder excersizes you have to control the easy ones and so on...

I dont think that the differences are that big as youve mentioned nealf. You have to see it in long term for at least months or years. And you musnt compare different things like practising in front of tv or things like that.
If somebody needs 2 hours for something for which another comparable talented or say average, needs only 30 minutes, then the first guy did somth wrong in the past.

Sorry didnt understand Miguels point there. Is it kind of a trademark or what?

Ps: wasnt it Todd's words, saying that its proportional to the amount of time your practising? I think they were discussing picado.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 0:53:59
Guest

[Deleted] (in reply to Skai

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 1:54:14
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Sorry I always seem to lack an easy undestandable language or sometimes I need longer to find an easy formula.

What I meant was this:
Comparable talented pple with comparable amount of effort having put in guitar playing, practicing with comparable good methods and not trying to copy PdL years long, will make comparable progress, thats it. Yes there is an "average learning speed".
"Comparable talented" incluedes all except the ones who started very early or have a natural talent. But those people are not the majority, and the rest has quite comparable abilities, as it seems to me.

Btw. I never learned a whole technique within 2 hours.
Yes I think these things are generalizeable, if you pay attention to the circumstances.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 2:59:01

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Everybody's regimen is different. And different players are good
and not so good at different things.

I basically never practice picado/single lines, because its easy for me.
But certain odd rasgueados, i have to constantly stay on them to keep them
clean.
This is just one example.


(one interesting note i just realized, Ricardo, Grisha, and I all have
guitar player/fathers)

TK

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 3:20:50
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Todd's giving you guys a beeeg hint here. :)

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 4:37:49
 
TANúñez

Posts: 2547
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
From: TEXAS

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

I'm not a big believer in "natural talent". Actually, I don't really believe in that at all. No one is born knowing how to play the guitar. I know for a fact that Ricardo, ToddK, Grisha and others of that same skill level or higher didn't start playing like that right away. Their success is based on all the years and all the hours of hard work. They worked their butt's off to play like that and still continue to work.

Now, not everyone is the same. I think Genetic makeup plays a large part. Hand structure, finger length, elasticity. Two people can practice the same picado excercises for the same amount of time and each have the same abilities and still, one may be better at it than the other. Faster than the other. Why? IMO, maybe one just has the better hands or fingers for the job.

It's not how long you practice but how well you practice. Regardless of the practice time. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Just my two euros.

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www.instagram.com/tanunezguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 5:00:01
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Guys who play well have played a lot. There is a certain type of person who is good, and it very often is a person who is borderline obsessive-compulsive. They listen very carefully to what they are playing and they simply won't accept mediocrity or sloppiness in rhythm, attack, or tone. If you are like that, you won't fail--you will reach your goals in time. I think it's nonsense to believe that great players don't practice their assess off. For all the "natural talent" that the great players have, they also happen to have practiced hours and hours a day with obsessive attention to detail, and usually surrounded by music and knowledge.

I think a good example is those rock players who started young and learned by records. They could find one note on the guitar that they heard on the record, and then they moved on to the next note. And then the next, and next... that kind of singleminded devotion and intensity will not be denied.

Looking at Todd, Grisha, Ricardo, and Paco (which one doesn't fit...just kidding :)))))), you see people who started young and were surrounded by music and knowledge at a very early age. I would wager that each fell in love with the instrument and spent ungodly amounts of time at it. At some point, they reached a level of mastery.

I think starting young helps for a variety of reasons, one of them is that old people are not expected to be trying to learn music. There comes a certain time, when "if you were going to be good, you already would be", and that's when we give up on dreams of being musicians and move on to become accountants or electronics repair guys (snicker). But what if, instead of giving up, we worked another 10 years. Would we be just as good, or did we miss the boat?

There is no evidence either way since hardly any adults really can devote themselves to a musical instrument in the obsessive way that kids or pros who are already making a living at it.

Who is a better player, a guy who starts at 5 and practiced 5 hours a day for 10 years or a guy who starts at 20 and practiced 5 hours a day for 10 years?

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 5:13:02
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to TANúñez

I have only few things to add.

quote:

ORIGINAL: El Zurdo
IMO, maybe one just has the better hands or fingers for the job.
....
Just my two euros.


1. You do not need to make an "IMO" there, coz either this "better fingers" are fact or not; its not somthing based on opinions.
2. Actually I dont think that an advantage in motoric skills makes a big difference. There are people who play guitar with their toes*, so what Im saying is the human body is adjustible and the brain is the perfection in adapting. (*and Todd even plays flamenco with a pick )

Miguel, youre absolutely right in saying that also the most talented people have practiced it by time, its important to not forget that. When I meet musically interested people and ask them if they play an instrument they mostly say "Im not talented enough".
Im trying to give them confidence then, but they seem to have a bit of anxiety to start, may it because they will embarrass, or they dont like to practice it or I dont know.

But why you mentioned your last example? I think everybody will agree on that anyway, no need for conviction??? Of course its the guy who starts at age 20 like me

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 6:26:50
Guest

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Well. I'm going to try to answer Skai's question. I'm not one of the big shots, but it might be interesting. I play around 1 - 1½ hour a day, sometimes a bit more, but an average of 1½ is more or less what it is. I've played flamenco for a bit morte than 4 years, I'm a semi old fart, so I learn slower now. I have no classical guitar training, but I played classical violin for 10 years when I was younger. This taught me a lot of method and filosofy. I started playing the guitar when I was 8 - 10 years old, my father taught me.

What I've learned is that YOU are the main factor, your capacity to listen to yourself is extremely important. If you want to be good, really good, you have to play a LOT, but if you do it without a good teacher, one that teaches how to correct yourself, then you will be just another mediocre and frustrated player. You can learn without a teacher, but you have to learn how to listen to yourself and correct your mistakes....................
A good one here: for everytime you play a mistake, it takes 10 times to correct it.

I'm a happy player . I'm very happy with my progression, but I also take it very easy. I know I'm just a good amateur, and that I wont be anything else. That helps me a lot, when I think my playing sucks. There's no rush. I play because I love it. It's my only red line in a chaotic life, and I think it's THE most important thing for me. That's why I take care, I don't push myself, I don't hope that I will be mister bigshot and I enjoy. For me playing museic is some kind of meditation or like reading a very good never ending book.

Whoa... I feel like playing now

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 7:35:34
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Learning technical skills as a 8-10 years old kid dosen´t make a "master" or a "virtuoso"
only a trained monkey. Musical talent is often confused with technique.
Thats why guys like PDL stand out at a young age i think. The ability to make music AND have the technique thats what makes a virtuoso. Not these russian or japanese machine kids who are stars at the age of 10 and has beens at the age of 16.

Henrik el sloppppy

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This is hard stuff!
Don't give up...
And don't make it a race.
Enjoy the ray of sunshine that comes with every new step in knowledge.

RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 7:59:31
 
John O.

Posts: 1718
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Darmstadt, Germany

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

I've been playing flamenco for about 10 years, 7 of those half-heartedly.

It wasn't until about three years ago that I met a flamenco guitarist in the area who had connections to other flamencos that I really got started. He took me to flamenco schools and taught me how to accompany andd opened to me the world of flamenco beyond Paco de Lucia solo pieces.

Since then I've been extremely focused on accompanying leaving little time for solo guitar. Just in the past month I've picked it up solo technique again with my much improved rhythmic knowledge.

I work full-time but plan to take it down to part-time when I get enough students and hours accompanying classes. Until then how much I practise depends on which shift my wife has and my free time, which I do fortunately have a lot of.

To make it short: sometimes 1, sometimes 4, but it averages out to about 3 hours a day.

I get a bit depressed when I see players like ToddK or Grisha playing because I started playing so late in my life and my parents were against me making a career out of music, so I missed the chance to ever get to such a level of mastery as they've gotten to and if I ever do I'll be too old to make much of it <...sad violin music in background... > Still I do what I can and am too obsessed to stop!

Johnny
www.flamenco-guitar-mainz.de
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 9:24:18
 
John O.

Posts: 1718
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Darmstadt, Germany

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

quote:

Not these russian or japanese machine kids who are stars at the age of 10 and has beens at the age of 16.


Careful there: You must check out Grisha's website if you haven't yet. You'll freak out, it'll make you wanna hang yourself with a guitar string, no kidding.

Johnny
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 9:35:12
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

If somebody is interestd in my practice.
I practice usually with falsetas which I use. I play them slow and repeat the problem-points.
The key to become a good technic is to practice slow.
And the metronome is very important. A while ago Canizares said every hour practiceing without a metronome is a wasted hour.
And the third important thing is: You need a good guitar. A crap guitar will hold you down.
And I dont have a special time which I play every day. Some years ago I played every day about 7 hours. I think every player who became good had or has that time when he played about 7 hours a day.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 9:47:21
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to John O.

Hey i´ve seen Grishas site a million times. I wasn´t refering to him.
I haven´t heard any of his OWN music yet. He is also expressing some emotions while playing so..He also got something a multitude of classical players lack. RYTHM!

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This is hard stuff!
Don't give up...
And don't make it a race.
Enjoy the ray of sunshine that comes with every new step in knowledge.

RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 10:02:08
 
John O.

Posts: 1718
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Darmstadt, Germany

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to duende

quote:

Hey i´ve seen Grishas site a million times. I wasn´t refering to him


Hey, it's all good, I thought that was the case. Not only rhythm, but the guy's got an unbelievable power and energy in his playing, geeeeeeeez!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 11:59:07
Guest

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

quote:

A while ago Canizares said every hour practiceing without a metronome is a wasted hour.


Maybe that's why he's so goddam boring

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 12:09:20
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Practicing with the metronome doesn't help unless you are listening and trying to "become one" with the beat. Trust me...I've spent a lot of wasted time with the metronome :)

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 14:13:10
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Yes no practice exercise is usefull if you arent serious doing it....

If Canizares would play out of compas with speed up and down he would be more interesting, ...really??

Ok and one word to Grishas playing:
His technic is very very amazing. But I would be much more exited about seeing him playing with this good technic some of his own compositions.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 14:26:13
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Doit, I'd like to see some of your baile while we're at it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 14:53:19
Guest

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

quote:

If Canizares would play out of compas with speed up and down he would be more interesting, ...really??


No, he would be equally boring.

What I meant was that you learn the best by having fun. Look at the double sense of the word 'play'
To much metronome, and you loose it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:07:55
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1257
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Hello everyone!

The most important thing in practice is practicing right. Which means with correct hands position, good (and full) sound and NO TENSION. If you feel discomfort - stop. Try to find out where it happens. Than ask yourself why. Listen to your playing very carefully, as if transcribing a piece from recording. Don't let one note pass unheared. Let your ear guide you as much as your hands (or more). It takes a lot of concentration, but once you start doing it regularly, you won't want to turn back. This way you not only train your muscles but also your mind. This way you set your aims high.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:21:28
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Anders, I don't understand. Isn't the essence of flamenco to stay in compas at all times? Isn't that one of the earmarks of the "sound" of flamenco--rhythmic discipline, as opposed to the free form swoops of classical rhythm? And feeling a groove--like Richard said years ago, the groove is what makes hot girls dance in discos all night. That's fun!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:21:35
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

I dont think anybody would like my dancing style... :./ Do you know Calton from the king of belair? Than you know my dancingstyle..hehe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:35:11
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1257
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

The second most important thing is the variety of material in your practice. Do you spend 2 hours practicing scales with the metronome, or do you work on arpeggio, tremolo, shifts, stretches, slurs, rasgueado, your thumb and scales with the metronome? I would go for the second. And then, if you have time, play more of scales or whatever.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:48:52
 
Grisha

 

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RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Skai

Ahh, almost forgot! You have to practice your repertoire SLOWLY. Divide it equally among several days (depending on how large it is), and play one part each day. Don't forget the dynamics, tone, timing and everything that you do at normal tempo. If you think this is boring, play this game: imagine that you are in incredible shape and are, in fact, playing very fast, but your mind is so powerful, that you perceive everything slow. And now that's your chance to get everything perfectly, technically and musically.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 15:59:34
 
Thomas Whiteley

 

Posts: 786
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: San Francisco Bay Area

RE: Question for everyone (in reply to Guest

quote:

I'm a semi old fart, so I learn slower now.


That is in your head. I am 63 and push myself to learn new material. I have learned several pieces within the last year that are the most difficult piano and guitar pieces I have attempted. I have to say that having Juan Serrano for a teacher did help a lot when it came to learning new flamenco guitar techniques and pieces!

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http://home.comcast.net/~flamencoguitar/flamenco.html
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 17:44:20
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