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Learning to play

GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 06:05 AM
G-Force 27 Mar 15 - 06:13 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Mar 15 - 06:14 AM
Leadfingers 27 Mar 15 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 06:28 AM
Leadfingers 27 Mar 15 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Mar 15 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 08:01 AM
John P 27 Mar 15 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,gillymor 27 Mar 15 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 15 - 10:41 AM
Rumncoke 27 Mar 15 - 11:20 AM
CupOfTea 27 Mar 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 02:35 PM
Leadfingers 27 Mar 15 - 02:54 PM
CupOfTea 27 Mar 15 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 15 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Mar 15 - 07:37 PM
CupOfTea 27 Mar 15 - 09:21 PM
Bert 28 Mar 15 - 12:19 AM
Musket 28 Mar 15 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 15 - 04:48 AM
Jack Campin 28 Mar 15 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Mar 15 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 15 - 06:42 AM
John P 28 Mar 15 - 08:58 AM
Will Fly 28 Mar 15 - 12:44 PM
r.padgett 28 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Mar 15 - 03:07 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Mar 15 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,DrWord 28 Mar 15 - 04:21 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Mar 15 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Stim 28 Mar 15 - 07:21 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 15 - 05:41 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Mar 15 - 08:16 AM
Alan Day 29 Mar 15 - 09:39 AM
Will Fly 29 Mar 15 - 10:05 AM
Dave Wynn 29 Mar 15 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 15 - 03:17 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Mar 15 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 15 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,DrWord 30 Mar 15 - 11:08 AM
CupOfTea 04 Apr 15 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Joe Moran 04 Apr 15 - 12:02 PM
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Subject: Learning to play an instrument
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:05 AM

I have been an amateur musician for many years and never very good at it. I can play a few instruments - Guitar, Piano Accordion, Anglo Concertina, Mouth Organ and Tin Whistle, as well as being able to get a tune out of most things that make a noise. But only ever passably and never to a standard I would consider good enough to play 'out' apart from amongst friends. About 18 months ago I started to take lessons on Piano Accordion and, even though I know I have a long way to go, I do feel I am improving.

A few things I have noticed
- There are good weeks and bad. Sometimes I can't play a thing and others everything seems to click
- The teacher sets me pieces that I feel are too complicated at times. But that does seem to have the effect of making the previous ones easier!
- Practice definitely helps! I have known this for years of course but have only started realising how true it is recently
- A teacher definitely helps as well. I had a lot of bad habits I didn't even know about!
- Playing along with others helps. During the summer I spent about 6 nights playing the simplest bit along with an international standard accordion orchestra. My timing improved massively even if my playing didn't :-)
- There are certain pieces that come naturaly. To me a waltz is far easier to do than, for instance, a jig. Not just about speed, but timing.

Other things have struck me but those are the ones that spring to mind first. Not sure what I want out of this thread. Hopefully a bit of advice. Hopefully to give encouragement to others. I am happy to let it take it's natural course (Unless that is a discussion on bigotry :-) ) Whatever happens, hope you will contribute and enjoy.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: G-Force
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:13 AM

I agree with everything you say. Especially about practising, it's no good expecting to get better if you don't practise. And you're right about jigs especially fast jigs, they're the hardest.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:14 AM

I don't suppose you want piano accordion jokes, Dave...


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:21 AM

Best of luck Dave - And Well Done for deciding to get a few lessons .
Some of us are fortunate in that we CAN reach a decent standard on the back of some natural talent to the extent that we can actually get paid work in music - Sadly we regularly meet people at clubs and sessions who apparently either don't have much talent or don't practise or both , and don't seem to accept that a few lessons would do them some good


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:22 AM

Any contribution is gratefully accepted, Steve. As long as you don't mind the retorts being about Liverpool :-)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:28 AM

Hey, I have heard you, Terry. Don't kid yourself... :-P No, seriously though, I think most people have a natural talent and I believe mine is the ability to understand 'how it works'. Fit's in very well with being able to get a tune out of most things and now I am getting to understand how music 'works' better as well. Those who make a living out of it, like yourself, must get mightily pissed off with those who think it comes easily to you. I know how hard professional musicians work. What's the phrase? 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration :-)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:41 AM

Middle aged lady gets off a train at Grand Central Station , New York , and asks a porter " How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The porter replies "Practice , Lady , Practice "


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:52 AM

Practice smart and practice slowly!

I bet most people practice things too quickly!

Also, really concentrate on what you are trying to achieve.

AND, practice lots!


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:01 AM

I am fast learning the slow bit, Tunesmith :-) Slower the better on some! How do you mean practice 'smart'? I am all for work smarter, not harder, but not sure how to achieve that here?


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: John P
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:25 AM

Part of "practice smart" might be finding out what you need to know or need to be able to do, and then working at it regularly until you can. An example might be the ability to, without thinking about it, play a scale in any key. Another example can be found in the sentence above: "work at it regularly". Fifteen minutes a day is better than two hours once a week. Repetition is part of how the brain gets to know things, and knowing things is not the same as remembering things.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 09:18 AM

I learned quite a bit (and am still learning) from Mad For Trad tutorials for Guitar and Irish Bouzouki on CD-ROM. I'm not sure the CD's are still available but some form of their tutorials, including one by Karen Tweed for P.A., are available online here .


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 09:24 AM

The 15 minutes a day bit is interesting, John. I'll look into that, thanks.

Thanks for the link, gillymor, I'll look into that too. Irish music is not really my thing but I am sure such a tutorial will contain stuff that will help in all types of music!


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 10:41 AM

Congratulations, Dave.

I just read a book on how to study, and I think it applies to practicing as well. The book said to study for 25 minutes, then take a break for five. If you have been studying something you dislike, then give yourself a little reward.

During the 25 minutes, the focussed, analyzing part of the brain works hard but with a narrow field of view. During the break, the brain broadens its scope, formulating the big picture and pulling in resources that you had no idea could help.

Another thing the book said: if you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a bread. Frustration interferes with learning.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Rumncoke
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:20 AM

Do play gently - if that is the right way to describe it.

I was once in a packed room with no easy way out, and someone started to play an accordion with great force and energy - and I almost went mad.

I can hear quite high frequencies - some bats and dog whistles for instance, and the harmonics from the reeds being hammered so hard were excruciating. I was, apparently the only person in the room who could hear them so people were mystified over my tears and my trying to block the sound, but if I could have got out I would have done - or I might have something extreme.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: CupOfTea
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:23 AM

I've tried a fair few instruments before finding ones that suited me. Middle school saw me taking 4 years of electric organ lessons (from a jazz organist when I wanted to learn folk guitar) That got me the basics of reading music, chords, keys - most of which I forgot, but 'twas easier to re-learn than from scratch.

Found that my hands were small for playing most guitar. Frustrating.

Then I got a bowed psaltery - and I learned a bit about playing by ear- still play it
Then I got a hammer dulcimer - and found I really didn't want to play tunes, and none of he HD teachers around me played it to accompany singers - sold it on, but learned a bit about intervals.

Then I fell in love with the Autoharp & stuck with it, where I learned more about chords, timing, finding a good key to sing in, transposing. I had very little instruction.

When I could no longer dance, and playing tunes became very attractive, I took up the concertina, with only a secondary urge to sing with it. Playing in dance bands with others with concertina and autoharp gave me a rich education in tunes, traditional keys, playing with others, and appreciating what the instruments around me could do.

Each different sort of instrument taught me different facets of music. The last one, the concertina was the hardest lesson. My hands were still on the small size, and playing a couple years before having the bars adjusted to alleviate strain was a huge mistake, with permanent damage. The fact that I also got addicted to practice with it only made that worse. I remember, even with keyboard, how hypnotic it could be to be playing the same tune over and over, almost like a meditation mantra. Might be good if you weren't wrecking yer hands.

What ever it is you learn to play, however well you learn to play, it can give such satisfaction to you. Playing music with others is adding joy to your life.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 02:35 PM

That was lovely Joanne (if you will pardon the traditional tune joke) :-) What sort of concertina do you play?


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 02:54 PM

Good friend of mine confused me when he said "The best fiddler in the world has never seen a violin" "WHAT ??" says I ! - "One day he'll see one , and he WILL be the best fiddler in the world"    Its his argument for IF you want to play an instrument , play as many as you can 'til you find which one is for you . I can get away with Guitar , banjo , and mandolin , used to play Clarinet and Sax , but my BEST instrument has to be Whistle - I can plays some Jazz standards far better on Whistle than I ever could on Sax , and that's with having to fake the accidentals !


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: CupOfTea
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 04:07 PM

I play a Stagi C/G Anglo from The Button Box (who later moved the bar forward, and part chopped off so I can reach the air button). Leather is also covered, after developing an allergy to the chrome used to process the leather. Homely, but mine own darling.

Joanne In Cleveland (where, for heaven's sake it's SNOWING again!)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 05:07 PM

Nice box, Joanne. I have a Lachnal C/G Anglo and would love to play it better:-) This
is one of my better efforts.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:37 PM

Practice 5 minutes a time....

Morning, Noon, .MTWTFSS....

It is profoundly better than two hours twice a week.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

   Its a strange thing....once you commit to 5 minutes....the "fun" kicks in and suddenly...a half hour is gone. Keep the insturment....immediately available for "ear training" on sounds you hear on the morning radio.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: CupOfTea
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 09:21 PM

It's the days when I'm on my third pot of tea, and getting up to make tea or recycling it are the only things that takes me away from practice (or learning tunes or songs)and 4, 5, 6 hours have passed that get me in trouble. The days I work and I have to quit after a mere half hour or so before leaving are frustrating. Only relief for that is having some song with twentyleven verses to learn printed out to take in the car for the commute. Red light is long enough to scan a couple verses to sing when the light goes to green.

Learning to play was the OP topic - lemme say that in learning a new ballad, when I'm able to sing it, it's sometimes easier for me to memorise the words acapella, then I can concentrate on putting the instrumentation to a solid knowledge of the song. Doing the reverse, of knowing the melody/chords well as an entree into accompanied singing has worked well for me with shorter songs. My own milage may vary from song to song, but I've never done well with trying to learn melody and words at the same time (even when it's out of a hymnal)

Joanne in Cleveland (with an inch of snow now covering all the spring mud, and the temps diving to the single digits)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Bert
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 12:19 AM

If you want to be able to do something you must do it at least ten minutes every day.

If you want to do something professionally, you must do it eight hours a day (like a regular job).

If you want to be the best, you must do it more than that.

If you want to play an instrument, leave it out where you can get at it. When the kids were growing up, there was always a guitar laying around somewhere. We even had one in the bathroom.

Years ago I accepted my limitations and knew that I would never be a great musician. I started too late in life, my sense of rhythm sucks, and I am not willing to practice as long as it is necessary to be good.

I am a singer, and I sing all the time; as a guitarist I have mastered a few chords. Just enough to get me by.

Do what you do best, and practice what you want to do next.

I have found that really good musicians (and people) will always give you encouragement. It is only assholes who will put you down.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Musket
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 02:46 AM

I started in folk clubs as a teenager. My experience hitherto had been a youth Orchestra and a rock band or three. Both scenarios allow you to hide behind others a bit and not improve.

Just me and a guitar with no effects, no gimmicky distractions...   I reckon there's nothing better for raising your game than acoustic performance. A good peer group helps too.

That said, polite encouragement can lead to complacency. I'm not as good as some friends say I am. Yes, I get bookings to open for big names and I am not interested in the grind of either a band or regular bookings. But if I were, I know that technical skills do not follow the bookings line. I am on-stage yet looking around I know there are far more accomplished performers than me sat watching.

So I don't get hung up. I remain at the level I will never improve on after 35 years. By now, improvements aren't better skill but less mistakes!


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 04:48 AM

This is all good stuff. At the moment I tend to reserve 30-60 minutes about 4 days a week. I will endeavour to do at least 15 minutes on the other days and, following earlier advice, have a break if I do more than 20 or so minutes. I can see the benefit of little and often as well, garg, so I will give that a try as well but as I still work it can be a bit difficult. I may put my small accordion in the car boot and practice in the car park :-) Seriously though - Anyone any ideas for how to fit that 5 minutes morning noon and night in with a standard working day?

Feel free to keep 'em coming and I will try to remember to post how I am doing.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 05:08 AM

This says there's more to it than simply putting the hours in:

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/about/

In particular, look at the article "8 Things Top Practicers Do Differently".


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 05:13 AM

If you live in GB and like camping you might like to Join the camping and caravan club with its folk section. They have regular meets and usually a scratch band to play for dancing. Even if you did not know the tune well enough to play you could find a chord or two with either hand.

learning studies suggests a 24 hour rule - though no one is sure why. If you want to learn something do it once - then again within 24 hours. That works better than trying to do twice as much all in one session. ( for me I have to do several small practise sessions)
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 06:42 AM

That is indeed pretty interesting, Jack. Took me a while to find the '8 things' do so here is a direct link.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: John P
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 08:58 AM

CupOfTea's comment above about practicing for many hours as often as possible and falling into the timeless zone brought to mind something I've been thinking about lately. I'm lucky enough to have a job with an instrument builder; most of the people I talk to on phone are musicians or want to be musicians. I'm often asked how long it takes to learn an instrument, and the obvious answer, of course, is that it depends on how much you practice. And then people often talk about how great it would be to have the discipline to practice that much every day.

What I found in my own learning, however, is that discipline had very little to do with whether or not I sat down and played for six hours straight -- the real answer is that I couldn't conceive of doing anything else. It's not like I was giving up doing something else I wanted to do, it's just that music was (is) about ten times more interesting than anything else. It's like a compulsion, which makes it hard for me to take credit for it. I've talked to other people about this and found that most of the pros I play with were the same way as kids and teenagers. We just played all the time. Starting at about age 13, I'd get home from school in the afternoon and sit down at the piano or the drums, get dragged away to eat dinner, and then play until I was told to shut up and go to bed. I never noticed that time was passing. I carried drum sticks with me all the time and played on my legs whenever I sat down. When I took up the guitar just after college, I did the same thing. There is a zone of passion that makes the hours speed by unnoticed. I don't think that I'm a really great musician, but I am very fluent and musical in my playing, and I think that comes from putting in the 10,000 hours because I couldn't do anything else.

Is it possible to teach this passion/compulsion/monomaniacal focus to people who are trying to learn to play? Is someone who doesn't have this able to achieve the levels of fluency that we expect from performing musicians?


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 12:44 PM

John P - just my feeling exactly. There's nothing like a day spent in just playing the stuff you want to play or need to play. I play a piece over and over again - perhaps a hundred times or more in a day - just stopping for an essential pee now and then (as I get older...). Being "in the zone" is just what it feels like, and I'm just glad I'm not alone in feeling slightly obsessed with it!

Just this morning, after years of never getting round to it, I decide I'd learn to play that wonderful Irish tune "The Blackbird" on mandolin. The B part's a bit of a bugger, but I put the music in front of me (with the tune in my head from 1,000 listenings over the years) and set to. I've been playing it all day with a guitar interlude playing some Woody Mann stuff - just to get the fingers doing something else - and it's coming up to speed. Too soon to play it in a session yet, or as a solo piece, but some more days of playing it from morning til night will get me there...

I can go for days without playing (I also collect and tinker with watches) - but even then I'm thinking of stuff to play or looking at sheet music or listening, or planning a video. If I wake in the night, some tune or other comes instantly to mind.

And I've been like this for 50 years. There's obviously no hope for me!


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: r.padgett
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM

Well I now try to play along on my D/G Marcus 'tina I try to play in the correct key for song tune introductions~ I also have Bflatt F tina and C/G all Marcus

I do not read music ~ I have Dave Mallinson's CDs and play along with the tunes from simple ones and those largely familiar as songs, lots of thes Irishy tunes have been transposed and played in G or D

I join in where I can in sessions on those familiar even if wrong! and try to get away with it!!

Melodeon players give me aclue as I cannot easily yet distinguish between D and G tunes (I watch the rows played!!)

Tinas are picked up frequently as out of the box all the time

Ray


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 03:07 PM

Don't practise your mistakes. If you come to a tough bit, dissect it out and get it nailed. The next step is to reintegrate it into the main tune! But whatever you do don't just flash past the bits that trip you up. They don't go away!


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 03:31 PM

For someone who is wanting to play tunes 'out' you have chosen one of the most difficult instruments to 'out' on. I'm presuming from your initial list of instruments you can knock a tune out on, you are basically an ear musician like me. Each of the instruments you mention has different limitations. The anglo for instance is probably the easiest instrument to get to a passable standard on but unless you can play the complex illogical (to me) Irish style it can be very limited keywise.

Ah but, I hear you say, a decent anglo costs the earth nowadays. Not quite, I was in a session a couple of weeks back and a young man who can't have been over 20 was busking in very competently on a wide range of tunes on one of those new black things with accordion reeds.

If you want to 'out' as soon as possible surely the best place is a learner's session or even a medium session with friendly musicians. If there isn't one in your area you could consider starting one.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 04:21 PM

yeah. what everybody's already said. what shaw said: don't practice your mistakes.
AND: take the time to read Daniel Levitin's This is your brain on music
seriously.

keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 04:39 PM

Call me Steve, Dennis. Only the grammar school masters ever called me Shaw.


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 07:21 PM

Someone wondered what "practicing smart" was--it's just setting goals for yourself. Learning a piece, developing a technique, working on scales, passages, writing or arranging a song, or some such.

When you are performing, or even getting together regularly with friends, you usually have things you want to develop, but if you're not doing that, you often fall into just noodling around, often pointlessly and for years at a time;-)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 05:41 AM

One thing that affected me grately when learning piano accordion was the knockers ,who could not play my instrument but told me,I it was to loud, I was playing the wrong tune/chords,the accordion I had was a woman's , so much si that I packed it in. later in life I now play English concertina I realize that the majority who knocked me are not as good as they made out


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 08:16 AM

One thing that affected me grately when learning piano accordion was the knockers

Your bra is too slack.

(Sorry, couldn't resist, and simply had to get that in before anyone else did...)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Alan Day
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 09:39 AM

I agree with Will Fly.You are right there is no hope for you !!
I did a tutor for the anglo,mainly to help with coordinating the left and right hands.The first part of the tutor I practiced for months and I then moved on to other tunes. I state that the first part of the tutor is most important and the beginner should spend a great deal of time on it.Some players have contacted me and said that they are halfway through working on the tunes a week after starting on it.
Playing an instrument cannot be rushed ,think of it as a long term project ,it all gradually starts to get easier.Above it was suggested that you need to practice ten minutes a day and I agree with that ,if you wish to practice some more ,do it in ten minute intervals.
Al
PS Will, only joking (I think)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 10:05 AM

No - you're right, Al - I'm hopeless? (See you at the old White 'Oss this evening?)


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 02:30 PM

As you know Dave I am currently on a lifetime learning of a particular guitar piece. I have been at it 6 months and like you, when things seem unsurmountable (sp) suddenly another level becomes playable. As I don't work any more I can practice at any time of day and find that short (15-30 min) bursts reward me better than heavy long sessions. I also believe that learning in phrases or stages break down the piece to achievable parts.
Your statement that as you practice the next stage the previous stages become easier is a truism. I try and get to play a part so relaxed I could fall asleep.

As for jokes about accordians. I heard that perfect pitch is throwing an accordian into a burning skip and it landing on a melodeon is a perfect pitch. !


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 03:17 PM

Thanks Dave. You know I am only learning accordion because it has three sets of reeds and can drown out the melodeon don't you... :-)

Anyone reckon it is worth practicing after half a bottle of bandy BTW?

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 04:13 PM

Bandy? That's the cello, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 04:23 PM

Probably but it more likely is that I can't trype...


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 30 Mar 15 - 11:08 AM

I am so very sorry, Steve, that in my haste to post I brought back grammar-school memories. Never happened in school here in what some mudcatter calls Canuckistan. Shan't do it again. :) Not on here much, though it's most of the time I do spend online. Loved the OP, the first paragraph of which could have been me, 'tho with a different bunch of instruments. Current challenge: 5-string banjo. No real hope there, but a real hoot.
I'll die happy if I can make my tenor sound half as nice as Will Fly!

keep on pickin'
and read Levitin!!!!
dennis


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: CupOfTea
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 11:49 AM

I loved John P's statements about the passion involved in learning, and his questioning:
Is it possible to teach this passion/compulsion/monomaniacal focus to people who are trying to learn to play? makes me wonder if someone doesn't HAVE this to begin with, why DO they play? And what motivates practice of things that don't inspire passion? I know I only got to the "compulsion" stage on songs or tunes I really wanted to become solidly confident on playing.

However, learning how to play instruments with melodies I'm in love with, skipping over the educational norms of "beginner' pieces and playing scales, may put me at a later disadvantage. There are so many ways to learn - am I making it harder for m'self in the long run to NOT practice scales? Is picking up learning in a patchwork fashion, just learning what relates to my current musical infatuation to add to my store of knowledge, sufficient to someone mostly self-taught?

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Learning to play
From: GUEST,Joe Moran
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 12:02 PM

Well, I used to teach the guitar, and I was often disappointed at pupils lack of passion!
I love those pupils who would ask lots of questions, and who would get excited at the prospect of tackling a new piece of music.
Of course, it's part of the role of a teacher to try to instill passion in a pupil.
But, with many pupils - for me - it was an exercise in frustration.


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