how to practice?

how to practice?

I have been playing the flute now for about a year and have a good few tunes. I wonder though if it is best to work on a select few favorites and really develop them or to keep learning new tunes? I seem to find that there are so many and I tend to jump around so much I don’t really ‘improve’ the ones that I already play? Thoughts from anyone?

Thanks,

Bill Coulter

Re: how to practice?

Sounds like the old quality or quantity question. I would split my practising time. Spend some time perfecting one or two tunes and then spend the rest of the time just playing through some new ones. You may find after a while that your best tunes are good enough to be left alone for a while and some of the tunes you have just been playing through deserve to be upgraded to the perfecting time, giving you time then to add some more to your play through time!

Re: how to practice?

Bill, you’re a brilliant guitar player… how did you practice that when you were starting out?

Re: how to practice?

I think you have to ‘tick off’ the ones you have learnt properly tho I tend to jump about too much myself with the inevitable etc.
Its how you practise too that matters.
Not too long on on one tune then come back to it frequently so you’re always testing your learned memory.
I heard this from a piano teacher - every mistake takes 10 times that to rectify. I.E. if you play a mistake, you have to re-play it right ten times to get it out of your system.
I think thats helped me the most learning any tune as I find the ones I’ve learnt even a little, come to me better if I’ve played them right in practice.
They’re not so scary too if I know I’ve got them right over and over again.

Re: how to practice?

I always told people to learn one tune, song, or whatever depending on the instrument, and that the kick you got out of this wouled encourage you to learn more.

Just my method, I am not claiming I am infallible on this matter, as I cannot face another 600 posts.

Re: how to practice?

I generaly learn one tune a week - ones that are popular, stand out or you really like.
in my practise time i usualy start with some regular, easy tunes i can already play- just as asort of warm up.
ithen work on my most recently learnt tunes and thenmove on to the 1 im trying to learn- be careful though -play steady to begin with, don’t mess up and leave it or you’ll makethat mistake over and over.
once you’ve learnt the tune speed it upslightly because thefastest player is generly not as appreciated as much as the one the addience can clap to andfeel involved .
Good players are remembered for good tecnique.

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Re: how to practice?

Keep thinking about Carnegie Hall …🙂

Re: how to practice?

Bill Coulter? Didn’t I take a DADGAD workshop with you a few years back? It was excellent and thank you.
Trust yourself, you know just what to do.

Re: how to practice?

My teacher gave me advise on this. He said that theres no point half learning a tune then moving on to the next one because youl only end up with a list of 1000 tunes that you cant play. He insisted (and rightly so) that i know a tune inside out before moving onto the next one.

It makes sense to me.

Re: how to practice?

Here is what I would advise. Invariably we are saying the same thing.

Practise long notes on the flute to get the tone nice and even.

Play you know inside out to start with.

Then practise on a piece you are learning.

Practise everyday at least 1/2 hour.

Listen to flute music played at the top level. I remember the first time I listened to Matt Molloy playing "A fig for a kiss" was very inspiring.

I found listening to good musicians on CD, tape or in sessions inspiring. I would call this music appreciation as important as practise.

Re: how to practice?

On the 3rd line, I meant to say "Play what you know inside out"

Re: how to practice?

I really do doubt there is one method that is perfect for everybody. I would match your practice style to your learning style. Try several different methods and see which one produces the best results and also encourages you to practice more. If you don’t enjoy the process, you won’t play much and there would be no point anyway.

Re: how to practice?

Two things I’d suggest are:

1) Try not to put the instrument away, leave it close to hand so that when you’ve got a few minutes you can play a tune or two at a moments notice. (Of course this may not be suitable for anyone you happen to live with😉 )

2) In these short playing sessions work on the tune you know so you’re not ‘wasting’ time. Use longer sessions to learn new tunes.

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Re: how to practice?

the way i find is don’t just learn tunes learn sets and if your in a regular session get everyone to learn the sets if ya just learn one off tunes ya forget them or else ya learn one and forget another, try to put all your tunes on sets of at least 3 with good key changes, you’ll find all you have to do is remember the first tune and the rest of them just come, all the best hope this helps

Re: how to practice?

Like bowburner, I divide my practice time. During focused practice I work on new material and technique, which means slow practice, going over the difficult bits of tunes I’ve already learned, and various other exercises that are generally not terribly pleasant to listen to but that pay off in the long run. The rest of the time I’m working on rather familiar material that already sounds somewhat decent, but that needs to be sped up or polished. I don’t concentrate very hard on technique during these more relaxed practice sessions, but the focused practice times give me a basis of good habits that are gradually making its way into my general playing.

I divide up these types of practice based on mood and circumstance. In my not-quite-six months of playing, I’ve never NOT been in the mood to practice (fiddle), but there have been several times when I haven’t had the patience to practice in a certain way. Sometimes I lack the concentration to play very slowly, so I’ll use those times to try to get some tunes going quickly enough that I can play them at the session. Other times I’ll be fed up with heading myself play out of tune; during those times I’ll play very slowly and focus on intonation.

Also, right now I’m on vacation, traveling - staying this week with friends and next week with family. I’m mostly practicing my better material this week, as my friends do not deserve to be punished for their hospitality. On the other hand, I am counting on the fact that my parents are duty-bound to love me unconditionally, and will not kick me out if I subject them to my repeated (and thus far, only marginally successful) attempts to cross from the A to E string without squeaking.

Re: how to practice?

:-s