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Practice Habits Survery

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jazzbo, Oct 10, 2000.


  1. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I thought I'd take a little survey and find out what the consensus is on practice. I'm definitely not the best student myself, but the occasional woodshedding seems to go a long way! So, I thought I'd ask:

    1) Do you still practice?
    2) How often do you practice, and for how long?
    3) What does a normal practice consist of? (Types of drills, exercises, etudes, that sort of thing).
    4) Anything peculiar or unique about your particular practice habits?

    For me, I have 3 band practices a week. One band gets together for 4 hours, twice a week. (Original music). The other band I'm in (covers) gets together for one practice, for 3+ hours. Outside of that, I practice about 30-60 minutes a day during the week. I work about 50 hours a week and have a 3 hour daily commute for work. It really limits the time you have for anything else. On the weekends I practice about two hours a day, sometimes less.

    I try to vary my practices up. Sometimes I'll work on ear exercises, technique, and dexterity only. Other times I concentrate more on theory, sight reading, and chords and scales. Sometimes I'll just sit down and try and learn songs. Some of it depends on what my instructor gives me, sometimes I'll just work on whatever my heart desires.

    I try to avoid all distractions while practicing. I unplug my phone, and usually put up the Do Not Disturb sign on my door so my roommates are respectful. I hate wasting time when I don't have much of it to waste.
     
  2. Acacia

    Acacia

    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    i try to practice about 2 hours every day. usually when i get home from work. it usually consists of grabbing cds from my collection and trying to learn what I can. i am in the process of putting a band together and have 'rehearsed' with my 2 guitarists several times. we are doing covers and have some original stuff starting to come together.
     
  3. You got me intrigued on this so I looked it up and practice does not just pertain to a single person. for instance "Magic is something they practice often". The only difference is that rehearsal is specifically preparing for public performance. All of this according to the Collins dictionary.

     
  4. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Depending on how much time I have...I try to practice what I already know....some scale work....and ALWAYS....something new.
    In short...I like to establish my current level of playing...prepare for the unexpected....and push myself towards a higher level.
    There should always be a measure of growth in one's playing. Hmmm..I better go practice...:D
     
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Practice methods have very much to do with the purpose of the practice. When I was actively involved in bands, I praticed at least two hours a day, plus had nearly daily rehearsals, and some jams as well with one of the band's guitarists.

    What I did during private woodshedding in those days is very different from what I do now. I'm no longer in a band and I am not seeking to be in one, but continue to love my bass guitars and just "fooling" around with them. Also, I have definite time constraints now, I didn't have then.

    Believing that music is a way of keeping the brain young, exercized, and free of "rust", I practice now for mental and intellectual fitness. My current project is to break away from my heavy metal roots...not because I'm tired of metal, but I want to do something new to challenge those lazy brain cells. So I am working my way, slowly and methodically through Mel Bay's "Complete Jazz Bass Book." I also have several other books such as "101 Latin Bass Riffs" that I am working on. too, to try new things and break out of the metal rap patterns and habits I developed.

    When in bands, I felt like I was under a time pressure to learn as much as I could fast, resulting in a scattershot approach. Now I am giving myself all the time I need to develop in a better more planned way and not rush ahead until I am really comfortable that I have something down reasonably well.

    Maybe one day when I am in a nursing home, I will be well -prepared to lead a liitle jazz band combo or little blues band jam group. (Just kidding.)

    Jason Oldsted
     
  6. I personally do about 30 to 90 min a day during university terms, and 2-3 hours a day in the off season. I usually warm up with a bit of scales play some songs I know, do a little book work, then the other half I just play solo style playing whatever notes i feel like. I like the solo style part cause I feel that it gives me a better feel for the sounds of my bass.
     
  7. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Ed,

    I guess what I was referring to is personal practice time :eek:. The "rehearsals" :), I mention because I feel I get a lot from rehearsals, but not nearly as much as practicing on my own. It seems quite often that when people get to a certain point in their playing that they stop taking lessons or having personal practice time, so I was wondering what people's individual approach may be.

    How many out there really feel like it's hard to get all the time you want?
     
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Yup, I'm one who finds it hard to find the practice time I want and need. I like to practice in big blocks of time, ideally about four hors, but I just never have that kind of time any more. So I have to use a "catch as catch can" approach which does not work as well for me. That is just my own personal learning style. I'm sure others do better with many short sessions. But for me, it seems like I get into a "flow" and learn better if I can just keep going, so with the lifestyle I have now, I just don't have the luxury of long pratcice sessions which are more fruitful for me.
    I miss the days when I did have sucha luxury.

    Jason Oldsted
     
  9. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    To answer the question 1 no 2 n/a 3 n/a 4 n/a

    I have been playing since 1981. Its obvious to me that no amount of practice will compensate for my limited ability. :) I do a lot of recording on my four track which may or may not be considered as practice. I like to make music. I play with my band 2-3 times a week. I also try to play in scratch bands or sub or dep and try to jam with a variety of musicians.
     
  10. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I practice every day between 30 min and two hours ( split between bass and guitar).This does not include band practice..oops sorry..rehearsal. However recently I bought a digital 8 track recorder for the purpose of making Demo Cd's.The quality of my practice sessions has improved immeasurably because I use the recorder as a pratice aid. In the search for creating the "perfect" solo, rhythm track or bass line for recording I find that listening and "undoing" all those takes has made me more critical of my own playing. I have clearly improved because of the recorder.
     
  11. Lately I've included other forms of music in my personal ear training excersises.My music club sent me Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature".I've been "attempting" to lean the title track. Listening to other genres has helped to make me more well rounded,however I know I still have a looooonnnngggg way to go.
    Recently I've been using this excersise I saw in Bass Player.It's in the Tony Kanal issue.Glen Lesch has a 5 minute work out that helps with left hand dexterity.It really works!! Check it out.
     
  12. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been doing that same exact exercise. The one where you play alternating half notes one half step apart while holding down your other two fingers on another string, right? That's a great drill!!!
     
  13. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Do you know, in what issue of BP...was that exercise?
     
  14. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Deynn,

    Check out the Tony Kanal issue...it's the August 2000 issue. Under the "Woodshedding" section, Glen Letsch, who teaches near me, but I can't afford his price for lessons, has a column called "The Language of Music." I didn't describe the technique entirely too well, but I think it's a great one, and it only takes 5 minutes. I try and do it daily, and honestly, I have noticed a difference in my chops.
     
  15. Jazzbo,Glen Letsch lives near you??Wow! Cool!! My practice has improved since reading BP and by participating on Talkbass.I've learned alot!!
    Another thing I've added to my practice is to go after my weaknesses in my technique.I must admit it isn't "fun",but it's necessary,Stepping out of the comfort zone is a good way to challenge one's self.
     
  16. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah Willie, Glen Letsch lives in the East SF Bay Area like I do. Actually, he does some teaching at the local JC here that I practice at a lot. I talked to him about lessons, and they were $50 an hour, which isn't all that bad, but I am with a teacher right now that I'm happy with that is only $35 an hour, and that extra $15 can go a long way. I talked to Glen Letsch on the phone a couple of times about lessons, and he seems pretty cool. One thing I was a little put off by was that he kept plugging his BP column and his video and book. In fact, the video and book are mandatory if you take lessons with him. But overall, he seems cool and I think I could get a lot from him if I wanted to.
     
  17. I hope I'm not straying from the subject of this thread,but $50.00 an hour? Whoa,I'm way out of touch.The last time I took lessons, I paid $10.00 an hour.I guess I'll stick with Glen's lessons in BP.
     
  18. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Willie,

    I just noticed you live in Maine. I'm not sure of the cost of living in Maine currently, but I'm sure it's less than San Francisco. Hell, my 700 square foot apartment is $1500 a month, but we won't go there. My first instructor was $12.00 for a half hour. Things just tend to be more expensive here. Anyway you slice it though, I'm paying $140 a month for 4 hours worth of practice time. Crazy, huh? I guess it helps that I'm happy with my instructor, so I really feel like it's money well spent. Glenn would have been $200 a month, and that is a significant difference. My trumpet istructor is $40 an hour, so those lessons cost me $160 a month. $300 bucks a month just for music instruction. I think I need to start teaching! :eek:
     
  19. That's nuts!!! I used to live in Cali,the San Diego area.The cost of living in Maine is cheap but unemployment is high!!!I'm currently out of work and therefor have much time to practice.I try to take advantage of the "extra" time on my hands.I can't believe the hourly cost of lessons, it's staggering.
     
  20. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Hmmmm....maybe I should start teaching trumpet again...:D