How many hours do Artist Practice...?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Bongoslade, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    How about a classical musician viewpoint?
    I have an uncle who is a concert pianist. He has played all over the world, with symphony orchestras, solo performances, and clinics. As he's nearing 80 years old, and retired as Chair of the Piano Dept at Penn State, he has scaled back on his concerts.....but prior to all that, he would practice five to eight hours per day, and even more if schedule allowed, and especially if he had a concert coming up.
    My personal practice time is probably 2-3 hours a day, with 1-2 spent learning new material, and 1-2 spent reviewing stuff I know to keep my chops and muscle memory up. And, I'm nowhere near a "working" artist's level.
     
  2. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    +1

    People think that if they practice something too much it will sound "canned." When I was in sales somebody said, "Practice your sales pitch once and it sounds terrible; 10 times, it sounds rehearsed, 100 times and it sounds natural." I think it's the same thing with music. If you practice something hundreds of times, you forget about the fingering, the timing, the dynamics and you just think about making music.
     
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  3. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A friend of mine was a successful studio drummer in Nashville. He said that everybody he worked with had great chops just to be booked for the session. The key was that they had to be very fast to land on the part they would play, then be able to repeat it consistently as many times as needed.
     
  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you think that Mr. Guy or Mr. Collins (RIP) only play 12-bar blues, you haven’t listened to their records or seen them live…yes, there’s a lot of 12-bar blues in their repertoire, but they go a lot deeper than that.

    I admire the dedication of the practice regimen, rehearsal, etc of classical musicians….and I enjoy the results as well.

    However, for most “highly practiced” electric guitarists, it often devolves into weedly-weedly soulless wankery and music that lacks improvisation, and often veers into pretentious monotony. A stunt show without a plot (IMHO).
     
  5. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I love that saying, hadn't heard it put so well. It strikes many people as counterintuitive I guess, like "why should I practice 'The Spider' when I could just practice this one song a hundred times, and why practice that one song a hundred times when I've basically got it."

    I'm at the shed daily on technique and dexterity/speed drills; it's the one thing I practice even when I don't feel like practicing. Every couple of months I'll go back and play something I know well to determine how the work's paid off (Maiden "Hallowed be thy Name" is a good one), and the answer is usually "in spades." Not even primarily in terms of being cleaner/faster, but in terms of just being more automatic/effortless.

    My wife doesn't practice guitar as much as I do, but I overheard her the other day talking to a friend who's also learning; she said she'd reached this level where when she practiced certain things she "automatically" got better in many other areas. Got a chuckle, but I'll take it.
     
  6. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    I've started recording myself a lot more during practice and it's really paying off. I can listen back with a teachers ear and hear things that I just don't notice while I'm playing. I've also starting recording my speed drills once a week so I can actually hear my progress. Nothing fancy, just my iPhone.
     
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  7. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Great suggestion you've made to me before I believe, and one I embarrassingly haven't really committed to. I record myself a fair bit playing songs, but not my little 14-minute warmup/dex routine. I'm gonna do that today, thanks for the reminder!
     
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  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have written a number instrument and electronics for some commonly used instruments. To my surprise and delight, most of these works have been played multiple players in multiple countries. Whenever I travel with them for a gig, their first priority is finding a place to practice throughout the day. It is a good way to stay productive, even on road trips. It's interesting to see how demanding they are about securing a practice space. Sometimes the venue or school will actually loan them a practice room key.

    Their whole lives are devoted to their instruments. While big blocks of time are the best, many times they will scrounge around trying to pick up an hour or two. It doesn't seem to faze them when they have to put extra effort into finding a space to toot their horns, or whatever. Knowing how to do that, while keeping a calm mind, is a skill not taught in the courses they took as students.
     
  9. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    I've always done it to some degree, but the drummer recorded a couple of rehearsals and there a few things I was doing that just ruined the songs for me. Just small things pop out like holding a note too long, cutting it short, going sharp on bends, a solo not working quite as well as you thought.

    I also recorded my last audition. I listened back and was happy with about 90% of my playing, but there were a few things that definitely needed fixing. I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't recorded it.
     
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  10. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've read that Larry Campbell and George Benson, both considered by their peers to be 2 of the most proficient players alive, have stated the importance of daily practice routines. I think that both classical and jazz players are probably more regimented in following regular, structured practice. Same thing for those with formal musical education.
     
  11. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods Tele-Holic

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    I didn't mean to imply that. I've listened to plenty of both of them. They had (and have) incredible improv chops over whatever the band is playing. The only point I am making is that there's a lot more freedom to improvise in the world of blues, rock, country, pop, soul, etc. than there is in classical music.
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    How many articles about practicing do i need to read and comment on before I've used up my days practicing time and can righteously put off practice until tomorrow?

    Translation: "I'm trying to figure out how to stop procrastinating".
     
  13. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    For most amatuers, yeah probably. For pros - generally, no.

    You personally may hear the dizzying display of technique by whomever known guitarist as non musical but rest assured that if they have some notoriety, they're doing something right (and musical) for the folks that dig them. The plot may be complicated and deep but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.
     
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  14. Mr powers

    Mr powers Tele-Meister

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    I try to remember lessons learned as an amateur stand up: I spent so much time 'writing and rewriting' that I hardly ever went on stage.
    It's why I didn't progress past winning a couple of contests and appearing in one comedy festival.

    Less practice, more creation.
    Don't be afraid to fail.
     
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  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    How to practice has been a part of every lesson from my guitar teacher.

    Professional practice is incredibly intense and creative. Here's a warmup session. 40 minutes. Warmup.




    And I love the insight into the life of a budding professional by Glenn Kurz in a book called Practicing which is structured around a single practice session.

    https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/0307278751/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_JPHJ5PASBR4VXQY7KTFG

    Segovia used to practice four times a day for 75 minutes each session.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
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  16. Bongoslade

    Bongoslade Tele-Meister

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    big ups to TV jammin' - that's what REAL guitarist called - noodlin'
    when i was very young - i would play my practice pad (yes i started as a drummer) - along with all the tv shows and commercials.
    so the same today with the guitar - watch the news and noodle - i mean practice.
     
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  17. Tele Jr

    Tele Jr Tele-Holic

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    I thought it was a 10,000 hour thing.
     
  18. Walker

    Walker Tele-Afflicted

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    Keith Richards used to say he didn't practice either, but he used to sit around and play a lot.
     
  19. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    In college I practiced 8 hours a day. I've been coasting on that intense period for 25 years now. For years after that I did a pretty focused 1 hour a day of practice, more when I was learning for a gig or new group. Now, I'm more like 30 minutes a day unless I have something new coming up.
     
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  20. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    +1000
    And in their early days they also played probably 5 or 6 gigs a week, every week - 4 sets each. This went on for years.
    Jazz musicians - same thing.

    Yeah, I don't put in 3 hours of study a day anymore on any regular basis but I do play, teach and record almost everyday and hopefully I'll start doing regular gigs again.

    Any one who has done years' worth of 6 nighters will tell you that even if they got sick of the music, the benefit to their chops is immeasurable and unparalleled.

    Having said that, I do still go through periods where I will work on things for several hours a day, several days in a row. If you want to get good, you have to work at it. Learn new stuff, perform new stuff, rinse, repeat. No short cut. No magic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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