Best way to study a piece?

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Lawler
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Lawler » Fri May 24, 2019 5:43 pm

dguedes wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:17 pm
...isn't there any case where it is worth it to learn a lot of pieces without being careful (i.e: learning mistakes in the process)? I always thought that at the end it was about being better such that I could learn new pieces faster and faster.
Sloppy playing, like anything else, becomes a habit if we do it a lot. So much so that the player won't even notice anymore that they're buzzing, out of rhythm, out of tune, getting a harsh tone, or any of the many things that creep into our playing if we're not attentive. Slow down. Do it right. :D

Terpfan
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Terpfan » Sat May 25, 2019 3:21 am

Lawler wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:43 pm
dguedes wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:17 pm
...isn't there any case where it is worth it to learn a lot of pieces without being careful (i.e: learning mistakes in the process)? I always thought that at the end it was about being better such that I could learn new pieces faster and faster.
Sloppy playing, like anything else, becomes a habit if we do it a lot. So much so that the player won't even notice anymore that they're buzzing, out of rhythm, out of tune, getting a harsh tone, or any of the many things that creep into our playing if we're not attentive. Slow down. Do it right. :D
So true, everyone should record themselves in practice. We are a good judge of others but we believe we are better than we actually are.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat May 25, 2019 3:50 am

Noa Kageyama has a great blog called Bulletproof Musician that addresses your questions about which kinds of practice are more effective. He uses research to backup his conclusions.

One issue he’s covered is slow or fast practice. Once you’ve learned to play the piece how do you get it up to tempo. The common advice of play it slow is good to a point but pushing the tempo beyond way beyond your ability to play accurately will help you push it up. This is why if you’ve every watched a hockey team practice it is always up tempo, constant action and movement. Practicing the skills at top speed makes it easier at game speed.

So it may be you need both. Slow practice to lock in the “muscle memory” (bad term) and very fast tempo to push yourself. Definitely a higher proposition of time spent on slow, but take some time to try and play it faster that you curlers rly can e execute perfectly. Blow past mistakes. What you find is you need different strategies to be able to play it fast than you’ll ever learn by going slow.
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dguedes
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by dguedes » Mon May 27, 2019 6:42 pm

Just for update reasons: I started from scratch, learning two tracks from the first RCM book (i.e: easier than the 1st RCM Grade). I'm actually impressed: I get stuck even in the easiest pieces lmao. Looks like I have a lot of work to do

By the way, I really liked how DelCamp pdfs (d01, d02, etc) and RCM (grade1, grade2, etc) rate/classify pieces by difficult levels. Do your guys know any other classification of pieces difficulties? The main reason is that only now I get how accurate they are.

Briant
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Briant » Wed May 29, 2019 4:38 pm

Before you pick up the guitar and start to play a new piece for the first time, try to read through the piece without the guitar.
Make note of the key,time, any accidentals, dynamics etc.
The more groundwork you do without the guitar the easier it will be when you start to play.

powderedtoastman
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed May 29, 2019 5:18 pm

There are many different ways to break it down....

Play only the harmony, play only the melody, play a half measure at a time, play a measure, play two measures.

Understand the underlying harmony so you know what chord is happening at a given time, sometimes knowing them by name and shape helps.. For example in a piece I was just looking at I noticed the first measure is a D major arpeggio in the D chord shape in 2nd position, and then the next one is a G major arpeggio in an E-major shape with a barre chord in third position.

My teacher gave me a very long list of things to do to be able to make a bulletproof performance of something. He mentioned getting into being able to tab out the piece while not even having a guitar, and so many other things to know the piece inside and out.

Hopefully some of these ideas could be of some use!

dguedes
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by dguedes » Wed May 29, 2019 7:32 pm

Actually I really liked this suggestion of being able to tab out a piece without having a guitar in hands, I'll try it out.

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Sebastian
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Sebastian » Thu May 30, 2019 5:04 am

I break down this, firstly, in two options:

a) If the piece was NOT previously studied/read (aka, if the piece is completely new):
Then just proceed to read it (with the instrument), write down right hand digitations specially the difficult parts (where there are many options to digitate), try to play it through and circle with a pencil, the bars or parts of bars that are more difficult. Identify them.

b) If the piece was previously studied/read:
By this point you already identified the difficult parts. The ones circled with a pencil. Apply several process to it:
>If it is a section where the right hand has a very difficult part, then apply stuff like plantings: by pressure, full planting (where possible), sequential planting, speed burst (with staccato and without). Although firstly, I would study it VERY slowly observating the movements of each finger.
>If it was a section where the left hand has a very difficult part, then play it in a very slow motion. Observe one finger at the time moving. Then another one. Then another one. Then another one. Of the left hand, of course.... Then play the difficult part at 60% of the total speed, speed it up... slowly. Alternate: two repetitions at 50% speed of the adjusted speed, then the next repetition at 100% of the adjusted speed. Speed it up.

This is just a resume of course. It ommits the technical excercises derivated or not from the piece itself. If you wanted a more detailed plan, you could PM me and I will very possibly send you a reply with the information needed.

Cheers.
You're reading this.

Terpfan
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:08 am

I really think it is important to record yourself practicing. We are good judge of others but not ourselves. It is amazing how much our brain can be trained to ignore mistakes, buzzes, squeak, and while playing, we hear what we want to hear. When we think legato, we hear it, however in recording we hear the truth. Past 5 months, I have been recording myself and I really think I improved dramatically.

dguedes
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by dguedes » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:51 am

^
You mean recording also the video, or just the audio is enough?

Terpfan
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:39 pm

For me, audio is enough. Video could help with observing movement but also can be distracting. Maybe audio mostly with occasional video.

dguedes
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by dguedes » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:40 pm

That's great - I'll start to also use this to support me, then. Do you also compare the audio with others? haha

robert e
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by robert e » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:47 pm

dguedes wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:51 am
^
You mean recording also the video, or just the audio is enough?
If posture and affect matter, and most teachers think they do, you'll need video to check them. You may also catch other things that are less audible, as well, like unnecessary arm movements or hand position shifting undesirably as a piece goes on.

Terpfan
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Re: Best way to study a piece?

Post by Terpfan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:49 am

20190820_203533.jpg
After going through Martha Masters reaching the next level, We were not taught to practice like that at Peabody. Martha Master did not improve at Peabody. she was highly regarded before she came to Peabody and seemed to get worse even after masters degree. it was shock for everyone in Peabody that she won the GFA.
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