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The best practice routine....?

Soulsaver

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How often do you practice?
How long do you normally allow?
How do you get the best out of your allocated time?
Do you have a set routine ? Sections split into 'playing or developing a tune vs scales & arpeggios?
Do you do anything else as practice?

Input from all levels actively encouraged/invited/welcomed
 

fjsys

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For myself I am currently at about three 20-30 minute sessions a day.
I cannot play much longer than 30 minutes in a session.

The way that I split them up is.

Morning session - performance practice. Since it is early and scales and problems get on everyone in the houses nerves. I pick a few songs and play through them finding and marking my problem spots.

Afternoon session - Work on the problem spots I found in the morning adding some hanon runs if my arthritis/cubital tunnel will allow.

Evening session - Sight reading and learning new material.

The times are not really set, and neither is what is in them. I need to find some more discipline to make sure that all three sessions are not just playing songs...
Ben
 

Tom

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Pretty much follow the world's worst practice routine - nothing for days, usually during the work week, followed by intense 2 -3 hour sessions, usually on the weekend. Hardly recommended.
 
M

MothersR

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Hi

Try to practice every day.
At least an hour and a half in the evening starting at 7:00pm and split it with a tea break.
I try to work on bits I'm having problems with and play through them until they're OK and then try to play the lead in to them and the next few bars after. Sometimes it's the transition that's the actual problem.
No set routine as such and don't practice scales and arpeggios as much as I should and my teacher would like - so when faced with them in a piece sometimes fumble what should be second nature. I have about 6 solo tunes on the go at the moment and quite a number for the band.
Intermittently I'll pick a piece from my music books for sight reading practice as well. Also I'll split left and right hands so I can understand each part before putting them together.

Bob
 
J

Jim the box

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I only practice the sets for an up and coming Scottish dances, it's pretty intense at about 3 hours in an evening for 3 days (depending on the programme).

It's a bit like cramming for an exam and as I have three in the next four weeks I'm going to be busy. {}

And someone on the forum was asking about hobbies? Ha Ha Ha Ha :lol:
 

Soulsaver

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I have the advantage during the week, in office hours, of the house to myself - but I have the disadvantage of bursitis under LH shoulder blade.
I practice every day (except if on holiday...)
I (try to) do an hour a day minimum after that limited by the bursitis ache - it's distracting.
I don't have a set allocated pattern - sometimes I'll do a bit of scales & arps (S&A)
I always work on the current piece - and, if I'm in the mood and have time - I run through a few pieces I've done in the past to keep them 'under the fingers'.
I pooter occasionally - try a bit of playing by ear, try to play something that I knew but have forgotten without revisiting the sheet etc. but not before the stuff I must do for the teacher.

I'm sure I need a more disciplined approach but I feel the trade off between optimum learning absorption (believe c. half hour), time for pieces vs S&A and before the ache from left shoulder blade bursitis after approx. an hour - is tricky to find a balance.

I suspect that if I 'sight read' better, I'd get the tunes delivered quicker and have more time for developing technique.
I'm certain I should spend more time developing sight reading skills.

Does your teacher advise a practice routine? Mine just listens to the previous set piece, re-sets with recommendations if there is more to do, or sets a new one. Rarely includes exercises - so my time is spent mainly on the piece.
 

jarvo

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Hmmmm....wildy indisciplined and unstructured and for as long as I can stand to listen to myself constantly fluffing up (did you like that ?) simple phrases and parts that yesterday I had nailed........What's a scale ? (joke ....I know you weigh things on it ) ...no I do them.....

Techernickle stuff ...I try out what I hear and read on here....BobM put me straight regards the bass side via a telephone convo and so I do try and practice a more disciplined left hand ....keeping the "diddly" bits back to a minimum, as a more dramatic firework show when unleashed.....IF they go right ...otherwise it's just cacophonous......

Musically ,I am a bit of a tart and will try anything and go with anything if I like it...........

so it has fallen to me to find out for myself that some more up to date pieces of rock and popular music that I like do not always "fit " the accordion .....i.e. sometimes the accordion works better as an ensemble/or band instrument just playing riffs and licks over a vocal or guitar accompaniement....

..and also whilst practicing stuff that I loathe (trad folk mostly ) you come to appreciate it and like it.....because it "fits" ........

How long ...mostly everyday ........at least one hour ....and then if it isn't going well I'll try the banjo or the uke...or etc.....and sometimes even if it is going well.....the others get jealous.....


My biggest problem is lack of concentration and discipline....and I think I'm trying to learn too many tunes and pieces......and now this Tarra 'n' tell 'er has cropped up .....I cannot resist a challenge ....

In fact my practice is a bit like this post ...scrappy , all over the place and mildly annoying or at least puzzling...

JUarvo
 

Anyanka

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Most days, I practise/play the big box for at least an hour or two. Usually in one lump, as I have a bad habit of playing until it hurts... yes, I know. :oops:

I like to start and finish with my favourite "warm up" pieces, two Andy Cutting tunes that I hope to play WELL one day. Other than that, it depends what's coming up: right now I'm getting ready for the No.1 Ladies' gig in Colwall this weekend, which means methodically working through the entire repertoire, and going over & over the tricky bits. I prioritise tunes where I play a part over those where everybody piles in on the melody.

When there's nothing urgent, I like to work on a repertoire of tunes for honing, try out some new tunes, plus some improvisation (noodling) and experimenting with bellows, buttons etc. I sometimes do scales and arpeggios... After this weekend I want to get methodical on the free bass, I have a book of tuneful exercises to work through.

Morris pieces are constantly on the go, and the other next thing is to change those over to CBA - hard, because I've played them hundreds of times on PA.
 

Soulsaver

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Be interesting to hear (see) what George says (writes) as a teacher, especially on scales & arps. He usually has strong opinions on these kind of things.
 
D

Daveg4otu

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Like Jarvo - totally undisciplined....some days I'll spend an hour - sometimes 2 mins before I get fed up with the awful noise.

I tend to try anything and everything that I think I can play by ear (I don't do dots).Websites that carry guitar tab are useful as the include the chords for backing.

Some days I'll play on my own , other times against karaoke midi files...the advantage of these is that you can change tempo, key and remove instruments from the backing track - so , for instance , if the midi file has an accordion already you can kill it off.

Thousands of free midi files on the www.

Also use a drum beat machine occasionally.
 
J

Jim the box

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Daveg4otu said:
Also use a drum beat machine occasionally.

A drum machine is a brilliant aid IMHO as it does not wait for you as your own bass hand does and also sounds better than a metronome. :tup:
 
D

Daveg4otu

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Daveg4otu said:
Also use a drum beat machine occasionally.

A drum machine is a brilliant aid IMHO as it does not wait for you as your own bass hand does and also sounds better than a metronome. :tup:[/quote]

Good free one for the PC is call Hydrogen ...google it..
 

Tom

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Good ideas. Looked for free Band in a Box type app for iPad. Found chordbot, prerty cool. Nice thing is that you can leAve it playing in the background while playing your accordion app. Good for at work or on the road when you don't have your accordion. Free version is pretty limited, may try the paid if I get around to it.
 

knobby

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I was originally practising for 30 minutes per day, as that's all the frustration I could stand.

Recently, as I've progressed a little and have a few more tunes I can murder, I try to do an hour and manage that most days.
 
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smdc66

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ideally i'll try to do daily practice, half hour to 1 hour max to not aggravate rsi type problems

otherwise try to stick to every other day for same length time

sometimes life events get in the way and things get put on hold temporarily

if i have some sort of event (rare) will practice that repertoire religiously, otherwise just go over some of the tunes i know and also experiment waiting for the next eureka moment when i can hear a tune developing

:oops: i sometimes forgot about scales and drills and just try to have fun

:ugeek:
 
G

gregnaha

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Soulsaver said:
How often do you practice?
How long do you normally allow?
How do you get the best out of your allocated time?
Do you have a set routine ? Sections split into playing or developing a tune vs scales & arpeggios?
Do you do anything else as practice?

Input from all levels actively encouraged/invited/welcomed

Keeping in mind that Im also a music major - I practice everyday for at least 5 hours (piano - I play accordion about every other day for half an hour or so). I always start with a stretch and a warmup. I try to not work on any one thing for too long. If its an exercise I do it for about twenty minutes and then come back to it. Its important to keep things fresh in your mind and retain focus.
 
G

Guernseyman

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I normally do 2 hrs a day. Whilst I may have 3 or 4 tunes on the go to learn, I usually pick one and play it till the wife wants to murder me and then I'll move on but will usually run through the latest half dozen tunes to keep them in the pipeline. I I'll often play Masons Apron and Timor the Tartour as fast as I can too, too keep the fingers subtle. Terrible at doing scales. They bore me but like doing arpeggios because they feature so much in accordion music.
I need to do more left hand scales really but hey, who doesn't. Should always be fun!
 
P

Pete Mo

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I generally get in 2 hours a day with a quick break to get the coffee pot off the stove and recaffeinate my system.. Before frustration/fatigue sets in I spend the last 20 minutes on scales, arpeggios and ornamentations followed by collapse in the armchair once the tendons start screaming!
The most useful element I've added to my practice sessions is a little gentle awareness of posture and ensuring my hands, arms, shoulders and head are relaxed.. it's amazing how tension can stifle your playing.
The drum machines a good idea for keeping time, gonna give that a go :)
 

Soulsaver

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Interested to hear what professionals do?
 

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