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Practice Log

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Hi all

    seeing that I couldn't quite find what I needed, I have made one up in an Excel format. This is my first time in using a log, so I am going to give it a go for next 6-12 weeks and see what I get out of it, for the time that I can dedicate.
    Note - some of it is borrowed from examples available on line, so not original work.

    Any additions, comments, most welcome!

    Regards to all

    Attached Files:

    Whippet likes this.
  2. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    Thanks for the upload. I was thinking about a practice log but couldn't really figure out how much time to allocate to each category. How did you come up with the time?

    I feel like I'm just wasting time trying to perfect some new material and end up memorizing the song by ear and not by reading the notes, and that takes almost all of my daily practice. I don't even get to arpegio and scales on a daily base.

    Anyway thanks for the upload, it helps me immensely to come up with some sort of order in daily practice.
  3. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    I worked on a hierarchy of weaknesses and allocated time accordingly. It is not set in stone, and may change as I work my way along. To your point, it is about structuring practice time so you make the best use of it. The additional points are there to remind me of what to look for, during practice.

    Whippet likes this.
  4. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    Thank you for the reply and additional information. It makes me re-evaluate how I spend my one hour. Thank god I was able to stop noodling around with the drum machine, it was so easy to just waste half an hour doing nothing but zoning out.

    As you mention on your spread sheet and in your reply, I need to work on my weak points more than ever and at the same time not set it in stone. Sounds so logical and easy but it's not!!

    Anyway thank you once again.
  5. This also draws attention to how you approach practice in order to make progress both technically and musically, as well as preparing yourself by warming up physically and mentally. Perhaps do a back search in this forum for Practice Routine. I agree that it is so easy to lose focus however part of your time spent should be deliberately giving yourself permission to relax and enjoy yourself, and putting the bass down and going for a walk to clear your head (IMO).
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  6. That's a nice idea, and would have been very helpful when I was a teenager. I feel like you're trying to cram a lot of stuff in to a short amount of time. I suppose that's ok if you only have a spare hour a day to work or otherwise have difficulty concentrating or staying engaged. You could easily double or even triple those times and still feel like you're not getting everything done. I'm also not sure about the order you've put things in; I would almost always want to do my scales and arpeggios before any repertoire work.

    These days, I don't like to be too attached to any specific routine. I'll use a journal if I'm feeling overwhelmed with material, but I'll design a unique schedule at the beginning of each day mainly for time management. It's less about motivation and more about using the available time wisely.
  7. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    There's a real interesting interview with Hal Robinson on bassthings.com, where he gives the following thoughts regarding practice:

    "Hal: It’s important to understand that my practicing is issue-oriented. In other words, if I’m going to just play through a piece, and I’m not really working to improve it or looking to make upgrades, then I’m basically just entertaining myself. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you can’t really call it practice. So if you want to practice, it should be with goals in mind – particular techniques that you're wanting to work on."

    And later on, in the same answer...

    "I don’t prescribe etudes. While etudes can be helpful, they can also be harmful. When you practice, everything you do becomes stronger and that includes the bad stuff. So if you tense up or if your shifting is too fast or your string crossings are imperfect, you’re not going improve unless you devise specific ways to improve them. It doesn't help that a lot of etudes don’t have any dynamics or any musicality to them.

    I think a far better way to approach technical growth is to make what I call one-measure etudes, where you identify the proper motion and just allow your muscles to feel and to respond in such a way that they can own it rather than trying to play through an entire etude. What happens often times with regular etudes is that you are more focused on getting through the entire exercise rather than breaking down specific deficiencies or problems spots and solving them."

    Anyway, food for thought. It definitely made me rethink my typical practice routine. Might also be a good column or two to have in a practice log (piece | issue(s) | movement/measures | DIY etude solution).

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