Unavoidable Programming During Practice

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Re: Unavoidable Programming During Practice

Postby Scott Taylor » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:59 pm

Here's a quote from a web booklet called "How to Practice - 5 habits to help make your music practice more efficient and effective" that sums it up:

"Our brains learn patterns. When we learn to play a piece of music our brains
are actually learning the patterns within them. Each time we play any section
with 100% correct notes, the pattern is reinforced. Each time any notes are
wrong, it isn’t. In fact, the more times we play something wrong, the more our
brain learns the wrong pattern! Better not to play at all than to play incorrectly,
at least that way you aren’t reinforcing the wrong notes!
Educational psychologists currently believe that a pattern is learned after it has
been repeated 7 times correctly. If a pattern is learned incorrectly first it takes
an average of 35 repetitions to unlearn and learn the correct way! So, if you
want to make faster progress let this be your encouragement for getting it
right first time, and every time!"

The author goes on to say that when we practise we often work on it till we get it right then stop. When you look back at your practise session, you played it several times with problems and you worked them out. But that means you just played it several times wrong again so play it several time right once you get it. They suggest at least 5 more times. It sounds like more woodshed time to me.

Now I'm supposed to LEARN a song with no wrong notes. That's tough. Reminds me when I learned to play pool. I learned to play from a guy who sometimes missed a shot. I think that may be where I learned to miss too.

If you're curious, the site with the booklet was http://www.essential-music-practice.com
Scott Taylor
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Re: Unavoidable Programming During Practice

Postby DagerRande » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:18 pm

Scott, thanks for making it more "official" and for the reference!
Rande Dager

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Re: Unavoidable Programming During Practice

Postby Norm » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:34 pm

Scott makes a good point.

Here's a "learning" tale for you

We've all loved Patsy's rendition of Willie Nelson's 'Crazy'

I think it's safe to say we all play at it and most can come up with something resembling the song

A friend of mine gets together with me every two weeks to make music and one of the songs we do is 'Crazy;

We both made recognizable versions but they were different which made me look into it. We liked playing it in G but I could find no sheet music for it in that key and no free sheet music of the entire song

But I did find a midi version of the song. Plain, fake piano sounding 'Crazy' but it was accurate! Lucky for me it was in G

So I spent several months and I mean months playing along with that thing note for note. I saw (and had to unlearn) certain spots I not only got wrong but had them embedded in there pretty hard. They weren't glaring errors, just subtle ones but playing them right made all the difference in the world

Only after I could play the exact notes without making any mistakes did I even bother to try an arrangement.

Now, when I play the song, I know, with authority, that my first turn on the song will be correct and accurate and it is a good feeling knowing this.

The other musicians know this too without being able to put their finger on what is different than mine because most badly played versions have several errors.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Unavoidable Programming During Practice

Postby Richard Hudson » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:07 am

It is really hard to get excited about playing a song when someone in the group is playing it incorrectly. Good points, Norm, and the others.

Along with playing the correct notes, timing is essential. Timing cannot be over-emphasized. Many times, that is the difference in someone being able to play hot licks and someone who makes for enjoyable listening. Most of us finger pickers have a tendency to speed up when we play. Playing by yourself all the time you don't notice it, but when you play in a group, the rest of the guys will notice it, believe me. Chet was not too proud to tap his foot when he played, so why should we? It helps. I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestions to practice with a metronome, or at least some kind of apparatus that keeps time accurately. You can play all the hot licks in the world, and play every song Chet ever played note for note, but if your timing sucks, your playing sucks.

Nothing takes the place of proper practice. If we are not too proud to recognize our weak points and work on them, we will all become better guitar players. And, that is what we all want to be, is better.

Richard Hudson
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