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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Practicing/Musical Exercises vs. PLAYING

Swing Swang Swung

United States

To infinity and beyond!
Feb 19th, 2012 09:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What are your thoughts on practicing vs. playing? Realizing these are two totally separate activities is key to a guitarist's development.

I've put my thoughts about this in my latest blog post (see link below).

I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Thx!

Exercises vs. Playing

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Feb 19th, 2012 11:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great blog on the philosophy of guitar playing.

Understanding how music works is important, but equally (probably *more*) important is why it works.

I think it's important to learn the rules, and then go right out and break them.

fredocaster

USA

Feb 19th, 2012 07:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great stuff. I like the sports analogy. I have found that it does work a bit like sports - you have to do your homework, but at game time, you have to just let it happen without thinking too much to be your best.

I also liked the play slow to play fast part. That works for me too.

One other thing that I have discovered is that as I continue to learn, I just continue to find out the great volume of things that I don't yet know. But that is why I keep playing - there is always something more to discover.

(This message was last edited by fredocaster at 07:04 PM, Feb 19th, 2012)

scott-s
Contributing Member
*

juneau ak.

scott-s
Feb 20th, 2012 08:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think the practice/playing ratio really depends on where one is at in his/her quest as a player. My 9 year old boy for instance needs to work on mecanical skills- his right hand stumming and chord fingering so his chords ring true.Thats the exercise part- but then we always play a song, one he likes to sing - so he learns how to sing, strum, and change chords all while keeping time, thats where he gets to learn to "feel" how a song goes. He is willing to do the work becouse he knows it will make our song sound better. When I pick up my guitar I don't think
" gee, I'm going to practice my augmented scales today" -but I'm not a jazz player, I doubt a bluegrass picker would ever do so either but you can bet he's done some Travis picking exercises.But a jazzer needs to know that stuff. My end goal is to be able to play well with other people who are into the same type of music.So when I do practice its usally the parts I expect I'll be doing.I must of practiced exercises somewhere along the line becouse I can play a few scales in a few different keys with out much thought. But knowledge and skill are two different things, one can know all kinds of scales and theory but it takes practice to become skilled at something.One can "know" how something is done, but it takes skill to be able to do it. Iv'e played with guys who knew hunderds of chords and quite
a few complex songs but could'nt find the 'one' in a jam or improvise a little solo when it was their turn to go, and yet when in their element they play circles around me.I like learning new chords and different progressions when I set out to learn something new. Most of the time just learning a new song or two gets you going down a whole new path for a while.


Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Feb 21st, 2012 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Most of the time just learning a new song or two gets you going down a whole new path for a while."

Agreed! Directly related to this, playing in a band opens up huge doorways to new discovery. That's what forced me to learn and explore songs by artists I would never would have otherwise considered listening to.

shg

Straya

May 27th, 2012 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Regarding "play slow to play fast" - the biggest jumps in my technical ability have occurred when I started out playing fast and messy and then tidied it up, rather than playing slow and perfect and then speeding it up.

gdw3
Contributing Member
**

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
May 27th, 2012 07:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not me. Playing fast and messy just leads to more mess. Playing painfully slow and cleanly is extremely hard, so it makes playing fast seem easier.

gdw3
Contributing Member
**

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
May 27th, 2012 07:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I enjoyed your blog post, BTW. I like the idea of "leaving plenty of headroom in your chops".

I agree that you practice w/ your head & play w/ your heart. I find it's not always easy to do. I get caught up in "playing notes", and sometimes have to remind myself to put myself into it!

shunka
Contributing Member
*****

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
May 29th, 2012 12:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You can practice to be a carpenter by hitting nails with a hammer, but you can't be a carpenter until you build something.

shg

Straya

May 29th, 2012 09:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The muscles and movements that you use to play fast are different from those that you use to play slow. Try telling a sprinter that the way to learn to run fast is to do it really slow and then build up. F*ck that, the way to learn to run fast is to run as fast as you can and then improve it.

Playing slow and controlled is great practice for playing slow and controlled. Sometimes to refine your ability to play fast you have to start out playing as fast as you can.

That's my 2c :)

shunka
Contributing Member
*****

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
May 29th, 2012 10:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Five minutes on stage is worth several hours in the rehearsal room - once you build a basic skill set.

AceLuby

MN

Workin on my chops
May 30th, 2012 11:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

shg, have you ever been a sprinter? You most definitely practice your form very slowly. In fact, you do it one step at a time, make sure your form is perfect at each step and correct issues there, where it easier to do so. This builds muscle memory in the same way that playing licks slow builds muscle memory. What you don't see are people flailing down the track.

Once the muscle memory is built you can push yourself to go faster, but not until the muscles know what they need to do. You are wrong that the muscles needed to play fast are different than those that are needed to play slow.

tonyinbermuda

Bermuda

It's got to get better in a little while
Jun 2nd, 2012 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Shg, if you practice playing fast and sloppy, you will always sound fast and sloppy.

There is a reason why guitar teachers (and teachers of other instruments too) recommend learning difficult passages slowly.

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Practicing/Musical Exercises vs. PLAYING




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