Thoughts on Practice and Progress

Those of you who have kindly followed this site know that for about a year now, I’ve been practicing just about every day and recording and posting most of it. At first, I felt like I was making good progress, but that seems to have dropped off, and I suspect that the reason is that my practices are not very directed or intentional. I just play what I want, or what I like.

It is becoming clear to me that I need to organize my practice and spend much more time and energy working intentionally on specific skills.

How to do that? Here are some initial ideas.

– Divide practice into three 15-minute phases: a) skills, b) review of learned tunes, and c) work on new tunes.

Skills work can include doing rolls against the metronome, scales, chord progressions, and common licks. The principle here is to work on only pre-selected things, thus bringing order to the process.

Review of learned tunes can be complete playthroughs, VEs when things get to that point, and demos.

Work on new tunes can proceed after a sufficient review period, and this will be how tunes are added to the review segment.

Ideally, a morning practice and an evening practice would take place, and then updates to what’s being done in practice can occur. Or maybe a weekly update is more realistic.

To begin with, I’ll try the following as my segments for tomorrow:

Segment A: Skills–

52151251-53151351 roll for 16 cycles at 120, 150, 180, and 200

21215125 for 16 at 120, 150, 180, and 200

32151231 for 16 at 120, 150, 180, and 200

3251-4251 for 16 at 120, 150, 180, and 200

Repeat that for 15 minutes.

Segment B: Review–

Murphy’s ‘John Henry,’ ‘Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,’ and ‘Old Joe Clark.’

‘Devil’s Dream’ in AABBA form (twice)

Casey’s ‘Eight More Miles’ bluegrass then melodic.

Repeat that for 15 minutes.

Segment C: New Material–

Stretches of Murphy’s ‘Fireball Mail’ and the high break from Earl’s ‘FMB’

Repeat that for 15 minutes.

That’s it! Already it feels more organized. Watch this space for tomorrow’s attempt at the above.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s