Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

22
Fiddle Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Fiddle
 Playing Advice
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Practice makes perfect...


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/53993

TuneWeaver - Posted - 09/02/2020:  13:52:31


This is more commentary than profound information!! For the past several months I"ve had few jam opportunities..so, when I got my fiddle out I spent my time working on tunes I hadn't 'nailed', or new tunes and I focused a lot on playing slower and trying to make more sense out of my bowing..yada, yada..Tunes that I'd usually play at jams got set aside.

Now, we are jamming a little more in small groups.. Guess what? Those old tunes that I hadn't played much for several months now sound a lot better..and are 'rolling' off of my fingers and bow (which means I never sounded better !!)



.. Why? Well as I always told students (when I HAD students).. What you learn on any one tune will apply to all of the other tunes..

So...three or so months of slowing down and Focusing on technique.. is being reflected in the tunes I hadn't played... This is NO secret to me or other fiddlers,  I'm sure...but for me it is just a reminder of how important a focus on technique can be...Maybe some beginner will read this and be inspired??



 



Also, playing is smaller jams has enabled me to HEAR better the other musicians and we can get 'tight' easier..


Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/02/2020 14:55:23

Johnbow - Posted - 09/02/2020:  14:59:40


It’s really cool that even after all these years of playing you’re still able to track progress - and apparently in more than one way - bowing and listening. The human mind is amazing.


Edited by - Johnbow on 09/02/2020 15:00:23

TuneWeaver - Posted - 09/02/2020:  16:02:08


Yes, still tracking progress, and any time that I think I'm gettin' really good alz I gotta do is watch a few Youtube videos of other fiddlers, and I'm put in my place..
I do wonder sometimes about fiddlers who don't really play much these days.. I wonder both, how fast skills slip away, and how quick they can be reclaimed !!

Woodcutter - Posted - 09/02/2020:  16:47:08


Why wouldn't fiddlers play as much these days --- I mean, what else is there to do? Personally I've always enjoyed practicing and I try to make each practice worthwhile (not just play the same tunes over and over). So I've spent the past several months doing scales and arpeggios, fast, slow, medium, working on new bowing patterns, etc. Has it helped? Time will tell.

I agree with you totally about smaller jams being tighter. I've been in quite a few lately. And one person I play with regularly always wants to play s..l..o..w..e..r, which I found difficult at first but now I see the benefits. As far as skills slipping away, as I age I find I can still get on a bicycle and go down the road --- perhaps not as fast as I once did --- but I still end up in the same place at the end of the ride.

buckhenry - Posted - 09/02/2020:  22:25:42


I reckon the skills that may have slipped away would be real easy to reclaim if it is known how to practice the 'techniques'.....

bsed - Posted - 09/04/2020:  13:08:24


quote:

Originally posted by Woodcutter

Why wouldn't fiddlers play as much these days --- I mean, what else is there to do? Personally I've always enjoyed practicing and I try to make each practice worthwhile (not just play the same tunes over and over). So I've spent the past several months doing scales and arpeggios, fast, slow, medium, working on new bowing patterns, etc. Has it helped? Time will tell.



I agree with you totally about smaller jams being tighter. I've been in quite a few lately. And one person I play with regularly always wants to play s..l..o..w..e..r, which I found difficult at first but now I see the benefits. As far as skills slipping away, as I age I find I can still get on a bicycle and go down the road --- perhaps not as fast as I once did --- but I still end up in the same place at the end of the ride.






I'm turning 65 today, 9/4. I also like to get on my bike. And I, too, like to end the ride "at the same place". Hopefully that's back home wink.



I've been using my time to learn more challenging tunes. I've really developed a liking for those Bob Walters and Cyril Stinnett hornpipes. What the heck, I've got nothing but time to perfect these tunes. And I've had pretty good success. Take Bob Walters Hornpipe. I've known how to play the tune for over 20 years, but not fast. Now I can get it almost to dance tempo (or fast jam tempo).



The lesson I've learned is that if you devote enough attention to correcting a shortcoming, you succeed. None of this "Oh, I can't do it" stuff.


bsed - Posted - 09/04/2020:  13:11:55


Well that's interesting. I was fooling around with some photos, and (unbeknownst to me) they showed up here. The left pic was a waterspout I saw on L. Michigan 7 years ago. The right one is me and a friend maybe 15 years ago.

DougD - Posted - 09/04/2020:  16:22:34


Its fairly easy to attach photos from your media page to a post by accident. I've done it myself a few times - its always surprisng.

sbhikes2 - Posted - 09/04/2020:  16:23:48


I've been trying to take lessons but I just am getting worse and worse, not more perfect. I'm at the point I cannot do ANYTHING. I can't do any of the exercises I'm supposed to do because I literally cannot bow straight or keep my hand flat like she says. I'm at my wits end ready to throw my violin in the trash and just go back to mandolin.

DougD - Posted - 09/04/2020:  16:35:40


Diane, maybe you and your teacher are not well matched. It happens. I took piano lessons for about nine years, and had three teachers. The first and last may have been doing their best, but it was pretty perfunctory. The middle one, Mrs. Greitzer, was inspirational. I went to her house, where I could play her small Steinway grand, instead of tinny spinets, and before each lesson we did exercises that just made you feel alive, body and soul. I learned more from her in just two years than both the others combined.
I've also taught beginners on piano, guitar, and banjo, and its not such an easy job, if you really care about it.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 09/04/2020:  17:46:55


I only wish that practice would make perfect. It's a wall that's a couple bricks too high. On the other hand, do you want perfect, anyway? I'd rather get to the point where I can put my own spin on something yet still have the ability to blend in with the rest of the gang.

buckhenry - Posted - 09/04/2020:  18:58:13


quote:

Originally posted by sbhikes2



 I can't do any of the exercises I'm supposed to do 






You are not expected to be able to do the exercises perfectly, it's the actual act of attempting them that brings improvement, and the improvements may not be evident over such a short time. With patience and persevere improvements will eventually show, but it may take years. So don't give up.    

farmerjones - Posted - 09/04/2020:  18:59:01


Perfection has no place in Music. (I've always wanted to say that.)
Living in fear of a clam. Be so uptight you loose fluidity. What fun is that?
As long as the phrase is on key and on time, a large percentage of the criteria is met.
There is something about once some tune is learned, to not move on but burning it in through repetition. Then again if learning a tune is just for one's edification, how well does one need to know said tune?

Bsed Bruce, my hat is off to you. Cyril's style, Dwight Lamb's style, that stuff will forever be beyond me. Maybe half speed. But then it wouldn't right, would it?

Peghead - Posted - 09/05/2020:  05:45:56


Diane, I'm sure you're improving, relax and pace yourself. Do this, hold the fiddle and bow with opposite hands and try to play something. Pretty weird huh? That's what it felt like to be a beginner. BTW, I still practice in a mirror to keep my bow on track.

DougD - Posted - 09/05/2020:  06:05:14


I'm not sure you all realize that Diane has been playing for 15 years. Her teacher now has her playing "Twinkle" out of the Suzuki Vol 1 book with tape on her fingerboard. That just doesn't seem like a good approach to me, unless its some kind of "boot camp" to break her spirit and force her to conform to the "new regime."

sbhikes2 - Posted - 09/05/2020:  06:54:45


I did not mean to incite a thread drift. I'm sorry. Carry on...

Practice kinda makes perfect, kinda doesn't. If you practice things wrong you'll bake them in wrong. This is why I'm trying to learn better technique. It actually has helped in small ways already. I have found myself suddenly doing things I couldn't do before.

Practice hasn't always worked for me. For instance, I struggled with a tune and decided I would get out a metronome and play the tricky part over and over, using the metronome to challenge myself to go faster and faster. Over and over until I crashed and burned, then ratchet down and push again, hoping to improve. It only helped a little bit, not as much as I'd hoped.

That's why I've gone in search of help with general technique.

DougD - Posted - 09/05/2020:  07:28:47


I think Tuneweaver took this out of his initial post, but I'm one of those who doesn't play too much these days - just not interested. When I do pick up the fiddle I find that after a few minutes or a few tunes I'm playing pretty well - reasonable intonation is probably the slowest to come back.
However, ten or so years ago I was playing a lot, and was pretty decent. I don't think I'd ever get back to that level unless I played a lot again.

Earworm - Posted - 09/05/2020:  08:37:26


I keep going with fiddle lessons partly for this reason. At the moment I'm aware of just how easy it is to lose focus, and how few people in the world I really have to play with right now or get direct feedback from. Since I have no groups to be responsible to, I find myself just finding a tune I like and sticking to it a lot longer than I usually had before, or diving into tunes I would just never find at a jam, or finding some of those tunings that would normally be awkward to switch back and forth to. I can make style and technique priorities, for example, where normally they're in danger of getting treated as byproducts. But other days I just hit the "splatter" setting and try out everything that's in my head. I'm actually enjoying myself this way, but really, really miss my groups.


Edited by - Earworm on 09/05/2020 08:47:27

TuneWeaver - Posted - 09/05/2020:  13:54:34


quote:

Originally posted by sbhikes2

I did not mean to incite a thread drift. I'm sorry. Carry on...



Practice kinda makes perfect, kinda doesn't. If you practice things wrong you'll bake them in wrong. This is why I'm trying to learn better technique. It actually has helped in small ways already. I have found myself suddenly doing things I couldn't do before.



Practice hasn't always worked for me. For instance, I struggled with a tune and decided I would get out a metronome and play the tricky part over and over, using the metronome to challenge myself to go faster and faster. Over and over until I crashed and burned, then ratchet down and push again, hoping to improve. It only helped a little bit, not as much as I'd hoped.



That's why I've gone in search of help with general technique.






The thing about practicing with a metronome is that after a while it will 'click" (pun intended), and your brain/body will start to understand what it is saying.. I 'm  saying that you only need to GET the metronome Once, and then it will be easier to use from then on...Timing is a bodily sensation..Does this make sense?

sbhikes2 - Posted - 09/05/2020:  13:59:35


My use of the metronome was to train myself to do something tricky incrementally faster, not to train myself to keep in time.

TuneWeaver - Posted - 09/05/2020:  14:08:42


quote:

Originally posted by sbhikes2

My use of the metronome was to train myself to do something tricky incrementally faster, not to train myself to keep in time.






Walk before you run.. It it helps you in any way now, it will help you later.. The results compound!!!



 

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 09/05/2020:  17:40:22


For whatever it's worth...I find trying to learn from someone with teaching technique, in other words, teachers, doesn't usually work out for me with stuff like music or art or anything intuitive like that. I mean, if you're studying science or math...maybe...music...not so much. I think in my own experience anyway, learning music is mainly getting in touch with myself enough to know what i'm trying to do..."practice," for me has been just playing something that I'd like to play and try to play it how I'd like to play it. Of course this has never happened to me yet, but it's been how I enjoy playing. And whenever someone has tried to correct me or show me what I'm doing wrong, it has just made me miserable and confused...lol...so...just sayin'.



I realize everybody's different, everybody learns different, but sometimes just getting in touch with your own musical experience might be the thing to go for.  Of course, I don't know anything, so I could be way off base.


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 09/05/2020 17:42:10

buckhenry - Posted - 09/05/2020:  18:02:57


quote:

Originally posted by sbhikes2 



This is why I'm trying to learn better technique.



It actually has helped in small ways already.



I have found myself suddenly doing things I couldn't do before.






What'd I tell ya...? 



You practice the techniques you can improve, not by force but in a relaxed manner, if you dont get it at first you've got the next day to try again, and so the cycle continues. Dont expect miracles after just a few attempts, sometimes you wont notice anything and then one day you'll realize you can do something that you couldn't do before. The idea is to have perseverance...and...patience, that's how you keep going, and enjoying the journey...    

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.046875