There is one thing I see missing
in threads about deliberate practice, or practice in general and that is the lack of goals - to my mind, once you have a clear goal and timeframe in mind, everything else falls into place, one way or another...
Thanks for reading!
I agree totally. When I wrote my Melodic Foundation Studies, I set it up to start the tech studies in C Major, then more in A minor - about one page each. Then came the review étude which is a short melodic work using the two keys/techs in a melodic setting. Instant applying. It works!
It uses ten major and ten minor keys and the ten appropriate melodic études.
Yes, Tom, but further to that, in practicing I think the goal should be, for example, to play the Cmaj and relative minor scale, at a speed of 120bpm, using up/down bows, by the end of the month... Or similar... Small steps, small goals from which big things grow...break down the task in manageable chunks...Oops, corporate training coming through alert :-))
I agree with goal setting, and think that tangible and measurable is a lot better way to go if you want to see/hear results.
Some things are easier to measure, like "I want to be able to play ___ exercise/scale at ___ tempo with ___ bowing" vs. "I want to improve my intonation". I think both are achievable, but I feel that you have to find a way to measure intonation. Recording yourself is a great way to be able to hear progress, and I would suggest long tones, drone scales, and playing with a pianist/ensemble/recording (that features good tuning/intonation) to help you get there. I don't really know how to phrase that into a goal structure of "I want to do "x" in "y" way to achieve result "z"" though.
Personally, performances and lessons tend to be my strongest motivators. Even if it is playing for a couple of peers in your living room, performing is extremely valuable. And lessons are an expensive waste of your time (and that of your teacher as well) if you don't push yourself to prepare for them.
Set goals for sure. Find ways to measure them, find a couple more chances to perform than you are entirely comfortable with, and regardless to where you are in your career or ability, keep studying.
Now get back in the woodshed!
If it is missing, you don't see it. Carry on.
The best part about goals is they give you a somewhat clear understanding of all the knowledge you are missing to get to any certain level. Whether it be tap shred improvising over 35 different chord variations at 200bpm (start slooooooooow!!!) or learning to sing and play a 4 chord pop song at the same time (memorize the lyrics!!!).
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