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When you sit down to practice...   You are logged in as Guest
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bobbywest87

 

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr. 9 2017
 

When you sit down to practice... 

What exactly do you do to prepare yourself for playing and learning? Sometimes it feels like practice discipline is just as important as the music itself, and that is where I struggle. So what can I do in order to get the most out of my practice sessions?

Currently I'll warm up without a metronome just strumming and getting my hands loose.

-After about 5-10 minutes of that I'll do some hand stretches.
-I then spend the next 30-45 minutes playing a few parts of a piece that I'm learning with the metronome turned down to a tempo I can keep up with without messing up.
-After that time I turn the tempo up to a moderate-fast speed and have fun for about 10 minutes just trying to see how well it helped me improve by playing slow (and often times I can tell if it's worked or not).
-Lastly I cool off by practicing Picado (because that one always takes me a long time to figure out) or another technique that I want to improve for my piece.
-Final ten-fifteen minutes or so I cool off even further by revisiting some of the old pieces I know how to play and reapplying my improved technique.

All in all, my practice sessions average about 1.25 hours to 2.50 hours per day max. My goal is ten hours a week on average and I've been able to keep that up for the last 2.25 years since I started playing. I'm up to 1172 hours of practice (I time myself and keep a spreadsheet)

I can definitely tell I'm getting better but I was just wondering what I can do to reach that next level. What do you guys do?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2018 18:30:28
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3751
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

You may want to consider that optimal exploit of new skills takes a timeout of the brain as soon as possible after rehearsal. So, once at good execution of new exercise, best would be to not peak out (not surpass threshold / omit falling back to minor execution) and to have a nap. That would allow the brain to imprint your current best coordination.

From there it could be counterproductive to end your session with pieces or techniques already mastered. Because unless the routine repertoire was executed better than before, nothing will be gained (other than conservation) while the new skills exercised beforehand will be taking a second stand with brain´s memorizing.

Now, as rewarding oneself with fluent routine at the end of a session appears to be psychologically understandable, what might help could be if that part of the session was scheduled after the nap (or maybe after an autogenous relaxation break, which should support to brain mapping too).
-

Types differ.
If I was to put my sessions under strict program like you do, as much as I think it be a good and efficient way to do, I would start avoiding the practicing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 10:33:09

Piwin

Posts: 2300
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Types differ. If I was to put my sessions under strict program like you do, as much as I think it be a good and efficient way to do, I would start avoiding the practicing


Same for me. I'm just not wired that way.
In fact, I'd say "practice discipline" is something you seem to have under control. You "struggle" because that's a pretty strict regimen you've set up. Anyways, this isn't very helpful, but my guess is that as far as discipline goes you're doing better than most of us.

So if you're getting better, I'd just say keep on doing what you're doing. Don't forget to practice the stuff you suck at and not just those things that come easy.

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 14:13:32
 
bobbywest87

 

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr. 9 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

quote:

From there it could be counterproductive to end your session with pieces or techniques already mastered. Because unless the routine repertoire was executed better than before, nothing will be gained (other than conservation) while the new skills exercised beforehand will be taking a second stand with brain´s memorizing.


I agree with you that this way has worked for me in the past. I struggled to get the tremolo technique down for a good month and all the sudden after one good night of sleep I woke up and it just made sense. Like my brain was working in the background this whole time and it finally found an answer. I went from sucking to semi-decent overnight. :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 19:50:45
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 174
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

In terms of working on your flamenco chops, compas, compas and more compas. All must be done in compas, no compas, no flamenco my friend Practice your scales a compas for example. Learn chord progressions of certain palos you like and keep it in compas. My last tidbit would be to master your right hand tecniques.

If you are just interested in learning flamenco pieces of music then any classical based practice will do, with compas and flamenco technique thrown in.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 20:00:44
 
bobbywest87

 

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr. 9 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

quote:


In terms of working on your flamenco chops, compas, compas and more compas.


I try my best to do everything in compas, but I have a feeling if I ever were to accompany anyone (not that anyone where I live knows anything about 'flamingo' music) that I would not be able to keep compas. I get lost and don't really know how to find my way back if that makes sense.

I really want to practice compas but I'm not really sure how. Do you just put on a flamenco metronome and practice different remates?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 20:12:07
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 174
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

quote:

I try my best to do everything in compas, but I have a feeling if I ever were to accompany anyone (not that anyone where I live knows anything about 'flamingo' music) that I would not be able to keep compas. I get lost and don't really know how to find my way back if that makes sense.

I really want to practice compas but I'm not really sure how. Do you just put on a flamenco metronome and practice different remates?


If you want to learn compas on your own, give youtubes a look, lot's of stuff on you tube. Don't know of any english speaking flamenco's like Ricardo have any lessons on the tube's but if you search ToniFlamadeus on youtube he has lots of videos on that subject. You can download them using a youtube downloader. Then use vlc to playback. You can play at any speed you want since in vlc you can change the tempo on a video and more a less keep the tone

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 20:41:17
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 174
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

Forgot to say that a Flamenco Metronome is a great invesment, they are some like "aCompas". They are a great way of practicing your compas!.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2018 20:56:42
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

If I had your regiment I would have quit years ago lol
The only good habit I have is I use a metronome nearly constantly. When I'm sorting out a falseta I use a flamenco metronome and when I'm just playing things I already know I either use dr. compas or random "solo compas" videos on youtube just because it's funner than playing alone. I like to play along to songs a lot too. Those are all things that can help with compas. I have terrible picado, slightly sloppy arpeggio and slow alzapua but I do know where I am in compas basically 100% of the time and I think that's more important. I can generally jam with a singer or dancer without major structural issues but my solo playing sucks, and I kind of don't care, that's not really why I'm in to flamenco anyway. I've gotten to the point that I wish I was a singer and now it's too late, as I wasn't born in Andalucia.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 1:52:56
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 336
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

Watch a video of the bit I should be learning.

Tune guitar. To test do a bulerias riff.

Moodle around with bulerias for 10 mins.

Watch video again because I've forgotten it all.

Get up to let the cat out.

Practice new stuff for 10 mins.

Go get coffee.

Bulerias....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 9:26:31
 
Goldwinghai

Posts: 151
Joined: Mar. 17 2015
From: Virginia USA

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

One thing that I’m very proud of myself is that I consistently practice 2-3 hours everyday. I don’t know when I will get to the next level. But that’s not important. I am having fun and I know I have been improving little by little and enjoyed hearing the flamenco sound coming off from my guitar. My practice session starts with a cup of Cappuccino, after an hour, another cup, then another hour on the guitar. My wife told me this weekend that she had heard some beautiful music, thinking it was from a CD, she then sneaked to my TV music room only seeing me playing. What a compliment and an encouragement!
My left hand fingers are very stiff, so stretching and playing easy scales slowly for about 10 minutes. I try to visualize my fingers like the piano hammers, down and up cleanly and independently. Now, one finger moves, all move and out of position, the work continues. After the warming-up period, I turn to my transcription books, Melchor de Marchena, Sabicas, Nino Ricardo, Paco Pena, Ramon Montoya, Manolo Sanlucar and pick a page to practice/learn. I like Farruca, Alegrias, Solea, Fandango, Bulerias, so one session I probably cover 2 or 3 compas. Once the notes are somewhat memorized, I practice with the regular metronome. Like the saying: it’s the journey, not the destination. I am happy with my progress and life in general. Consider myself very fortunate!


Sent from my iPad
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 14:18:27
 
JasonM

Posts: 1005
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

I see caffeine is a common practice aid here. I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes like Paco. But no longer. I hear nicotine is a stimulant and aids the memory. But don't smoke kids it's bad for you.

I hate being contrained to a regime as it feels like a job, but I have changed a few things over the years.

1. Now when I go to learn a new piece I start with the hardest part and work on that instead of at the beginning.

2 for Compás, I Start with the metronome and foot tap first, no Compás track. I might set the metronome to hit on the 8th note, then quarter, then only accents

These have improved my playing
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 15:57:17

Piwin

Posts: 2300
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to JasonM

quote:

But no longer


Kudos!

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 16:04:45
 
Brendan

Posts: 171
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

I do a lot more technique drills than I used to. I used to concentrate on repertoire, and found that I had a wide range of stuff that I could play badly (the alegrias challenge a few years back was a scorching experience in this respect). I wanted to play it well, so I got down to mechanical basics. This is a danger in itself—you can get kinda fascinated by that level, and some days I forget to play any music.

After a few years of this, the range of music that I can play badly has noticeably widened.

Do you use a mirror? The correct answer is ‘yes’. Can we have a chat aboat what people look for in the mirror?

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2018 23:31:58
 
kitarist

Posts: 630
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to Brendan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brendan
Do you use a mirror? The correct answer is ‘yes’. Can we have a chat aboat what people look for in the mirror?


I use a mirror. What I look for depends on what I am focusing on (or where I am at).

A year or more ago I used to have two mirrors and was looking a lot at my left hand (front and side view).

Then I spent some time looking at a side view of my right hand when I was focusing on demystifying picado technique - mostly working on consistency of hand/finger prep and execution while scale-travelling across strings.

Then the side mirror broke (but it was time to switch focus anyway..) and I started focusing on the main mirror which these days has a front view of my right hand. A lot of it is to do with rasgueados.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2018 23:04:15
 
Mark2

Posts: 1478
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: When you sit down to practice... (in reply to bobbywest87

Don't take me seriously because I'm playing strictly for my enjoyment. First I smoke a joint. Then I play whatever I feel like playing. At some point I usually record a chord or chord sequence and try out different scales in different positions on the neck-like harmonic minor over a half diminished chord, lydian dominant over 7th chords, altered scale over #9 chords. Then I'll use ireal book to play over a standard-just jamming trying to sound good. At some point I get serious about flamenco technique and usually for me that means early Paco. Bulerias falsetas, rasqueados, picados, alzapua, arpeggios, etc. usually but not always con dr. compas. If I'm feeling ambitious I'll put on a recording and follow along the best I'm able. Then I smoke some more weed......
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2018 23:49:41
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