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Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'professional' ???   You are logged in as Guest
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britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'professio... 

One of my Chinese friends sent me an interesting quote today:
" The amateur practices until he gets it right; the professional practices until he can not get it wrong. . ."

I was curious to see how many of us agreed or disagreed with this rather polarized statement? Do 'pro' players really practice differently from 'amateurs'?

Any thoughts?

_____________________________

Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 14:31:47
 
edguerin

Posts: 1511
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

quote:

The amateur practices until he gets it right

I'm afraid that means "for the rest of his life" (at least for me )

_____________________________

Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 16:15:29

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

Pro players are willing to do things in certain ways, and for lengths of time
that many players are not willing to do.

I teach over 30 students per week. I'm lucky if one single student actually
practices exactly what i tell him to, and how i tell him to.

99 percent of the time, they just are not willing to really bare down on
themselves.
Ironically, the students that have some talent, are usually the really lazy ones.

Hard work and determination can take you a long way.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 16:24:18
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to ToddK

quote:

Hard work and determination can take you a long way.


Perhaps the well-known quote by Thomas Edison sums it up best: "Success is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration."

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 17:27:51
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3035
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

I think there are different roles in what can be called practice.

Some people practice to perform things right while others don't care for methodic instrumental practice and only repeat small parts until they get it right.

A concert level performer would fall into the first category while flamenco/popular music/etc players are more concerned with coming up with stuff, grabbing small ideas from other players, etc.

I think it's all a matter of context.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 17:36:29
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

When I was playing professionally and teaching I practiced a minimum of 6 hours a day, every day with no exceptions. That's what it took for me to be able to play some of Sabicas' works at speed. People who do this type of routine usually don't think of it as practice (at least I didn't) but most professional musicians are clinically insane anyway and I suspect I'm no exception .

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2014 22:43:27
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

When I was playing professionally and teaching I practiced a minimum of 6 hours a day, every day with no exceptions.


Playing; teaching and still practicing 6 hours a day?

Jesus, John! When did you ever find time to eat?

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 14:34:50
Guest

[Deleted] (in reply to britguy

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 15:14:36
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to ToddK

quote:

Hard work and determination can take you a long way.


As obvious as this statement is, it remains the golden rule in the pursuit of success (and with "success" I simply mean attainment of one's goals, not necessarily wealth and fame).

And equally obvious is that determination and hard work are inherently tied to one another through a simple process of cause and effect, where hard work can only stem from determination, as a consequence of one's resolve to accomplish a certain objective.

The reason why I am dissecting ToddK's statement is my earnest desire to re-ignite an inspiration I fear lost. Since joining this Forum, I learned at least how ignorant, incompetent and talentless I truly am.

I miss those days when I thought I sounded "great", and my own recording felt satisfactory. Now, I am never pleased with anything I play, finding flaws in everything from tone to time.

The problem, however (and here is why I am dwelling on Toddk's point) is that the realization of my deficient skills is not stirring the desire to practice more and overcome each issue. Instead, it burns out my passion that seems to evaporate into even less productive, aimless and increasingly shorter playing sessions.

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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 15:25:26

Morante

 

Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to jshelton5040

The professionals I know don´t really practice: Román Vicente, Keko Baldomero, Oscar Lago etc., who are directors of music for a dance company, spend their time composing music and teaching the arrangement to other guitarists in the company. When they have a private contract, they have an incredible repertoire from which they can improvise. Singers also have an incredible repertoire of letras.

This is a process of constant renovation, of which an amateur cannot even concieve
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 15:29:56

Morante

 

Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Morante



La May con Keko
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 15:37:39
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to gj Michelob

quote:

Now, I am never pleased with anything I play


Remember that story of Paco de Lucía’s about how he was driving and some guitarist came on the radio, and he thought “Hey, this guy’s pretty good!”.

Then he realised it was himself, and he didn’t like it any more?

(What was that from?)

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 15:39:28

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Morante

quote:

The professionals I know don´t really practice:


At some point years ago, they did. And they did it the right way.

Once you get rolling, you don't need to practice a bunch, if you're teaching
and playing gigs.
Some days, i only run through a couple of drills for 30 minutes.
This is just maintenance practice. I teach and play lots of gigs.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 17:02:45
 
Shroomy726

Posts: 1329
Joined: Jun. 5 2005
From: Argentina (living in U.S.)

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

You cannot play at a level like Paco without spending insane amounts of time practicing. If you've seen documentaries and read about Paco, you will see that practicing took half of his life away. That is the 'curse' of being a professional flamenco guitarist, especially when you are the one leading the pack. Just because you have talent, doesn't mean you don't need practice. Talent mixed with efficient learning is also a huge factor in minimizing practice time. Let's also consider that the level of difficulty of the falsetas chosen is directly related to the amount of practice time needed to upkeep them.

And I also think that gigging, teaching, and whatever other activity where you actually get to play, can be considered 'practice' if done the right way.

_____________________________

Gracias Paco por la música que nos diste. Me cambiaste la vida y nunca lo olvidaré. Que en paz descanses.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 17:06:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Morante

Thanks, Morante. That was great!

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 17:10:42
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

Nowadays the real professional level is so high means cantaor or tocaor 'largo' (play many palos and play well) and good falseta composer. I doubt that a really good tocaor could excluded insane hours of training or playing and getting perfection.

Remembering what I had read along my life in Spain: Niño ricardo was all the day with his guitar, Paco said ... you know... "La guitarra es una hija de puta, no hay instrumento màs desagradecido..."I read twenty years ago an interview of Tomatito, few years after of Camaron death, in which he declared to play 8 hours per day. I heard Cañizares to say more or less the same. Sanlucar declared in symposiums that the creation of a better good method, as in classical guitar, would be necessary because in flamenco all dependes on talent and effort .... The most of the few exceptions about this actitude that I heard, I won't say names, have not been regular along the time.

_____________________________

Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 19:16:51
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Yes Paul, really on point, aren't we so much more forgiving of the way others play and sound and so much more severe with ourselves?

Thank you for reminding me of that double standard, and from "ipse" PDL.

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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 20:24:36
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

quote:

ORIGINAL: britguy
Playing; teaching and still practicing 6 hours a day?

Jesus, John! When did you ever find time to eat?

Judging by my girth eating has never been a problem . I had a regular job playing at a restaurant for several years. Six nights a week three hours a night and five hours on weekends, I would practice all day then go to work and play for several more hours and sometimes had gigs during the day or after hours. I loved playing guitar more than anything and was devoted to both flamenco and classical. My classical teacher (Manuel Lopez-Ramos) suggested one should keep a minimum of 6 hours of repertoire ready for performance. I always tried to keep 3 hours of classical and 3 hours of flamenco ready. After arthritis eliminated my ability to play guitar I took up piano and now I practice piano around 1.5 to 2 hours a day and feel like the progress is really slow. I suppose I don't have the talent of some others who have posted on this subject, perhaps that's why I had to play so much to make any progress.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2014 23:34:40
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

After arthritis eliminated my ability to play guitar I took up piano and now I practice piano around 1.5 to 2 hours a day


That's interesting.

I also suffer from arthritis in both hands (I turn 80 on Tuesday 16th) and found I was having severe problems playing piano (mostly classical ragtime). So - after a few years lapse - I went back to my old guitars, and found I have far less problems than playing the piano.

I'm still a lousy player, but at least I don't suffer as much pain and aggravation. . . .

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 2:38:52
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

quote:


I also suffer from arthritis in both hands (I turn 80 on Tuesday 16th) and found I was having severe problems playing piano (mostly classical ragtime). So - after a few years lapse - I went back to my old guitars, and found I have far less problems than playing the piano.
I'm still a lousy player, but at least I don't suffer as much pain and aggravation. . . .


Happy birthday, Britguy! I am not a very good flamenco guitarist either, and I don't even have arthritis as an excuse.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 11:02:25
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3035
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

I have poor blood circulation (?) on my hands and feet. When it is cold like it is now, it takes about half an hour to start playing something decent.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 13:44:21
 
Argaith

Posts: 434
Joined: May 6 2009
From: Iran (living in London)

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

Many happy returns Arthur :)

Apart from practicing the right way, etc; I think its generally down to how much one practices. In the best situation, if I am only doing my day job and have not a thousand other things to do in the evenings, I only get an hour to practice by the end of which I've only just warmed up!

I often feel embarrassed in front of my teacher and I think he's thinking that these guys can't be a*sed to try harder. I go to a group class and I think everyone else is pretty much in the same boat. We all have day jobs and often occasional evening ones. I am sure if I could think about nothing else than playing guitar and if I could afford doing nothing else other than playing guitar I could do much better.

A

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 13:51:48
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

quote:

ORIGINAL: britguy

I also suffer from arthritis in both hands (I turn 80 on Tuesday 16th) and found I was having severe problems playing piano (mostly classical ragtime). So - after a few years lapse - I went back to my old guitars, and found I have far less problems than playing the piano.


You have me beat by a few years britguy. I think my arthritis is caused by guitar making. There's no pain or loss of facility, I just can't bend the joints on my left hand enough to play some chords. It doesn't interfere with piano much although I doubt as a 5 year beginner an old timer like me will ever develop the speed to play the advanced repertoire. What a delight to be able to play music again. When I quit playing guitar I thought it was over.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 14:12:40
 
dreolino

Posts: 49
Joined: Feb. 4 2013
 

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Guest

quote:

This whole practicing thing has been discussed ad infinitum on the foro in the past with some briliiant posts by some of the experts in the field.

hey nealf could you give me the link to the thread you are referring to? thx
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 14:24:35
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

I have poor blood circulation (?) on my hands and feet. When it is cold like it is now, it takes about half an hour to start playing something decent.


Do you smoke, Sr. Martins?
I had the same problem but after quitting cigarettes, the situation has significantly improved.

_____________________________

gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 14:35:02
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Argaith

quote:

Apart from practicing the right way, etc; I think its generally down to how much one practices. In the best situation, if I am only doing my day job and have not a thousand other things to do in the evenings, I only get an hour to practice by the end of which I've only just warmed up!


What's more, and very important: there are thousand of guitarists that can play Entre Dos Aguas more or less, but they are not true tocaores, just guitarists. For professional levels you need mor than play and stay. You need play for singers, dancers, peruvian box players, palmeros, etc ... and to get the actual improvisation skills that are the bulk of flamenco. And interaction with this enviroment requires more than hour per day.

_____________________________

Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 14:39:05
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to jmb

“Playing one day with one singer, that doesn’t make you a flamenco guitarist with understanding. You’ve got to go there and play over and over and over, not with one but with many. Because each has a different accentuation, different rhythm, tempo, et cetera. This is how I see it.”

Juan Serrano

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 15:02:32
 
Leñador

Posts: 5228
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to britguy

quote:

Do you smoke, Sr. Martins?
I had the same problem but after quitting cigarettes, the situation has significantly improved

I second this, same problem for me went away when I quit.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 15:23:51
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Leñador

I have numbness in the little finger and the one next to it, 3 and 4 of the left hand. It was enough for me to quit playing for a few years. There was a period also when I had sharp pains in the neck. My brother the medical doctor and I theorized that both were due to an old motorcycle wreck, in which a nerve in my neck was pinched enough to give me fairly severe back pain for a year or two.

One day about eight years ago I twisted my neck a certain way. There was a crunching noise. The neck pain went away. Theory was there was a bone spur which got busted up. The finger numbness remained.

Almost two years ago I decided to see where regular practice could take me. At first the 4 finger wouldn't even go to the right string. I worked on slow scales and easy classical pieces. Both control and feeling in the left hand fingers began to return. The brain and peripheral nerves responded to practice.

Long story short, I think I will be able to play intermediate to advanced repertoire in the next few months. It's been an encouraging experience. As some of you may know, I will be 77 the day before Christmas.

We're taking a couple of weeks off to go to Costa Rica to celebrate Larisa's Masters Degree.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 16:01:12
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Practicing - 'amateur' vs 'profe... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

“Playing one day with one singer, that doesn’t make you a flamenco guitarist with understanding. You’ve got to go there and play over and over and over, not with one but with many. Because each has a different accentuation, different rhythm, tempo, et cetera. This is how I see it.”

Juan Serrano


Perfect definition ... that's what we, Spaniards, all, understand as level of "professional 'tocaor'" or "professional cantaor", otherwise your are simply a good (professional) guitar player, singer or percussionist . It does not matter if your are the king of skillfull guitarists if you can't enhance 'el cante' properly. And that is the most difficult. Time with others is important in flamenco.

_____________________________

Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2014 17:25:54
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