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On the subject of practicing.....

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  • On the subject of practicing.....

    I've seen Jeremy Green post several times in response to the common question "how do I become a great musician" that all of the greats have one thing in common.... they have spent a ton of time with a guitar in their hands.  Recently, I saw an interview with Eric Gales and they asked him how does he practice.  His response was that he gets inspired by a musician to the point he wants to play for 24 or 48 hours straight. 

    There's no shortcuts on this journey.  

     

    http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

  • #2

    Yer Blues wrote:

    I've seen Jeremy Green post several times in response to the common question "how do I become a great musician" that all of the greats have one thing in common.... they have spent a ton of time with a guitar in their hands.  Recently, I saw an interview with Eric Gales and they asked him how does he practice.  His response was that he gets inspired by a musician to the point he wants to play for 24 or 48 hours straight. 

    There's no shortcuts on this journey.  

     


    Yes indeed! Do yourself a favour... every time you see a fantastic player ask them very specific questions about how much they play(ed). The answer (if they are being truthful) will be a wake up call for what is required to achieve mastery. No way around it. The greats just love it much more than you do.

    Blog: sixstringobsession
    Subscribe to my YouTube channel

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    • #3

      Great Schmate; too much hype in the industry. Learning is the same no matter the field. Take Medicine.

      20 yr certification process.

      and no promises.

      I'm of the school that believes, can do first. I work on the bottlenecks and hopefully work 'em out of the loop.

      Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







      Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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      • BydoEmpire
        BydoEmpire commented
        Editing a comment

        I recently gave a presentation at my company to all the managers about this book:

        http://www.amazon.com/Talent-Overrated-World-Class-Performers-EverybodyElse/dp/1591842948/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363636601&sr=1-1&keywords=talent+is+overrated

        It's an amazing read, and I'd put it right up there with Victor Wooten's "The Music Lesson" in terms of impact on my playing.  Regardless whether or not you believe in talent (I suspect most people do), the book makes a very compelling case that it doesn't play much of a role in success.  It's backed by a good amount of credible scientific research, and breaks down success in any field to how much Deliberate Practice you do.  This is specifically defined, not just generic "hard work" or "10,000 hours" of doing stuff.  It's a specific process.  The book really taught me how to get the most out of my practice time.  I highly recommend it to every musician.

        Every interview I've heard or biography I've read of a successful musician, writer, athlete, business man, or engineer has made it very clear that the the principles of Deliberate Practice outlined in the book were critical.  Regardless whether or not they were good as a child, they had to put the time in, and put in the time doing the right things.  I've also never heard of a great musician who didn't put in a lot of time.

        As an example, Vai started playing when he was about 12.  He didn't even know how to string his guitar - certainly no child prodigy compared to others.  But, he said he played 10-15 hours a day as a kid.  Let's say 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. That's 2250 hours of practice.  If you were really hardcore about guitar, and practiced 1 hour a day, 7 days a week, it would take you 6 years go get that same amount of time in.  If you and Vai both started at 12, and he put in 10 hours a day and you put in 1, you'd be 18 before you had the same practice time as he did when he was 13.  That blows my mind.


    • #4

      I got jazzed when I first heard that it takes 10,000 of practice to develop world-class skill. The math doesn't seem that daunting: 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, 50 weeks a year - yer there in 11 years, neverminding the possibility that when you get half way to world-class you're probably in a pro enough position to start experiencing accelerating rates of return (y'know you quit your day job and suddenly you're playing for 8 hours a day or something).

      I think though, that that magic number is a gross underestimation in the case of guitar. For one, there's the physical element - as I understand it the 10,000 hours came from a neurological study. You gotta train uncommon muscles, develop reach, &c. Plus - and I think here I can speak for a lot of us - a lot of the hours we put in "practicing" are ineffectual in some way or another - maybe we're noodling, not training our brains and fingers in ways conducive to their development, practicing and thus ingraining the same technical errors over and over, playing stuff we've already got down pat... For me, I spend a lot time with trial and error just discovering how I should have been spending so many hours in the past... Of course quantity without quality is no quantity at all...

      My teacher estimates that he'd practice 1000 hours before performing a given program in concert, and at the height of his career he had 5 programs in rotation. So 5000 hours right there, to say nothing of the time put in getting to that level in the first place, and all the other programs he had under his belt over the years. 10,000 I think must be pretty tame

      uh yeah. Practice more!

      tl;dr

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      • windmill
        windmill commented
        Editing a comment

        I've just put the guitar down to come and do a bit of intenetting in the hope of learning something interesting.

         

        I've learnt I shouldn't be interrnetting and I should go and pick up my guitar.

         

         

        I knew that all along but its the delibrate practice instead of noodling that I have trouble with.

         

         


    • #5

      I've enjoyed reading the responses in this thread.  If you've got anything else to add please feel free to do so.... this thread is very inspiring.

       

      Two other more "modern" players who I have heard discuss practicing and playing a ton are Phil X and Jimmy Herring.  Two very different players, but both great at what they do and they have both put the time in.  Like some of you, my "practice" routine is not very strict and could definitely be more focused.  Right now, I have a lot of free time so I am playing a lot and being influenced by a host of new players.....Herring, Eic Gales, Eric Johnson, and Carl Verheyen are 4 guys I've listened a lot in the last 6 months and it's exciting to see their influence creep its way into my playing.  It's not even so much their technique as much as how they approach playing the instrument. 


      I've got a group of football/bbq/beer drinking friends who from time to time like to "jam" at my place.  One guy plays the drums (actually left his drum set at my house) and another guy plays guitar/bass.  It can be fun, but they think they just don't have "it" when they are not putting anytime in on their own to play or practice.  To me, the better you get the more fun it is making music.... and as this thread shows there is really only one way to get better.

      http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

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      • BydoEmpire
        BydoEmpire commented
        Editing a comment

        He was the best in the world because he wanted to be, and he as prepared to work at it.  He never had the guitar on less than 8 hours every day, plus the gig at night.  He'd take it in the loo with him because he liked the sound of the echo bouncing off the tiles.  He be up in the morning frying his eggs in the morning with it strapped on.  He just had the guitar on all the time.

        Chas Chandler on Jimi Hendrix.


    • #6

      This has been an interesting thread to read.   10 or 15 years ago, there would have been a lot of people saying things like, "I never practice because I wanna be totally original.  Practicing turns you in to a technician" It's a sure sign there are more people taking the instrument seriously.  That's great!

       

      I think what WHAT you practice is every bit as important as how much time.  For me a good way to figure that out is to ask myself: "What needs the most attention right now?"

       

      Success in practicing requires a willingness to listen to yourself playing something badly over and over.   Feel the frustration.   Push through it.   But don't forget to enjoy it because you'll be doing it a LOT!

      Thinking too much produces exactly the opposite of the intended outcome.

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