Practice, Practice, Practice (informal survey and general discussion)

Posted: 10/24/2019 8:34:22 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Practicing your instrument daily is like magic.  Almost before you know it you're improving.  The more you practice the faster you improve.  Work on something and it's not coming together, and the next day it just does.  It's so crazy and effective it's hard to explain to people who don't play. 

So let's talk about practicing!  Here are some questions to get the ball rolling (feel free to add to them):

1. Do you keep track of your practice time?  Is it informal, or do you write it down somewhere?  (My wife is a private piano instructor and she thinks that writing it down encourages practice.)

2. How much do you practice: like 15 minutes, 1/2 hour, or an hour or more per day?

3. How you keep track of your repertoire?

4. How often do you attempt a new song?

 ===============

This is my current scheme, and admittedly it's quite scatter shot:

1. I don't keep track of my practice time, though I may start doing so.
2. Lately maybe 10 minutes per day, though sometimes a week goes by (preoccupied with my transition to Linux lately).  During development of the D-Lev I sometimes "practiced" an hour or more per day trying out new software.
3. I record myself playing and keep those recordings handy.  I started a Word document with a table for song title, key, and first note, but haven't messed with it in a while.  I may print out a blank version of it to easily add to it.  Not sure where that's going, but I need something like it.
4. Sometimes a couple of times per month I attempt a new song, it sort of depends on how much music I'm exposed to during the day.  (Living with a teaching musician exposes me to a lot of music!)

Posted: 10/24/2019 9:32:37 PM
rupertchappelle

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

I never practice. The more time I spend between playing, the better the play. Once you learn, you don't practice, you play. I don't even have to do that much either.

Posted: 10/24/2019 9:40:39 PM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014


Rupert can you share a link to the finest tune that you play. Is your theremin digital or analog?

Digital people are often reluctant to share sound.

Christopher

Posted: 10/24/2019 9:50:06 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

Sure, I'll bite:

1. Do you keep track of your practice time?  Is it informal, or do you write it down somewhere?  (My wife is a private piano instructor and she thinks that writing it down encourages practice.)
Informal unless I have some event I'm preparing for; then I make sure to get an hour or so per day (more if needed). 

2. How much do you practice: like 15 minutes, 1/2 hour, or an hour or more per day?
I work from home as a software engineer so I get a lot of time during the day where I either have to wait for something (15 minutes for a compile, 10 min to restart some services, etc), and sometimes I just need a break. When that happens I fill the time with practice. I also do roughly an hour in the evenings three or four times a week. But my practice time is split between instruments; I'm playing harmonica and Theremin currently; sometimes I do piano and trumpet depending on with whom/what I'm playing at any given time

3. How you keep track of your repertoire?
My theremin repertoire is small enough to fit in my head currently. And there's my youtube channel/google drive with a bunch of recordings

4. How often do you attempt a new song?
Whenever I feel like it really. 

Posted: 10/25/2019 2:35:00 PM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Practicing your instrument daily is like magic.  Almost before you know it you're improving.  The more you practice the faster you improve.  Work on something and it's not coming together, and the next day it just does.  It's so crazy and effective it's hard to explain to people who don't play.  So let's talk about practicing!  Here are some questions to get the ball rolling (feel free to add to them):
1. Do you keep track of your practice time?  Is it informal, or do you write it down somewhere?  (My wife is a private piano instructor and she thinks that writing it down encourages practice.)
2. How much do you practice: like 15 minutes, 1/2 hour, or an hour or more per day?
3. How you keep track of your repertoire?
4. How often do you attempt a new song? 
===============

1 - I'm not keeping track of practicing time. Turning on my theremin usually is part of my waking up and throughout the time I'm awake and at home I'm practicing and playing informally and keeping it varied and interesting to myself. At times just practicing holding one tone and adding more or less controlled vibrato and tremolo, playing some scales and intervals, playing through children's songs and other songs and melodies I've known since childhood. Singing semi-random tones and tone matching them, practicing using voice and theremin together, improvising along with existing tracks and recordings. And at times I'll be doing tai-chi like movents behind my theremin and observing what comes out without trying to make it 'musically correct'.

2 - Time can vary wildly from a few minutes to a few hours, most often around 15-30 minutes in a stretch.

3 - Since I'm primarily an improviser I'm not specifically practicing on building a repertoire, but practicing I do play and play along with existing songs and melodies, so they are becoming part of my 'palette' and I'm looking to incorporate something like 'musical quotations' into my improvised playing.

I guess that makes 4 an irrelevant question, as I'm not really working on building a fixed and repeatable repertoire, but more working at building my palette to use within improvisations.

(edit) When I initially got my Theremini the first thing I started practicing with were recordings of humpback whales singing, which I love, and the theremin is one of the few instruments that can both do the tone range of a whale as well as the melancholic bent tones and swoops.

Posted: 10/25/2019 4:26:33 PM
DanielMacKay

From: Halifax, Canada (east coast)

Joined: 7/28/2019

1. Do you keep track of your practice time?
Sort of. I have an app, "Vanido" which gives me about 20 minutes of intervals, scales, agility and pitch accuracy exercises a day -- a different mix every day -- and reminds me to use it each day.  Then I do "repertoire" pieces - play along to actual songs, karaoke tracks, backing tracks with chords, backing tracks without chords.

2. How much do you practice: like 15 minutes, 1/2 hour, or an hour or more per day?
I try to do about an hour of focussed practice and then playing whenever I feel like it.

3. How you keep track of your repertoire?
It's one list in my Youtube Library.  I put my phone on the theremin and use it to play backing tracks, play along, etc.

4. How often do you attempt a new song?
Whenever something catches my attention.  And, I'm playing at a birthday party next month so I need to do Happy Birthday pretty well.  Yesterday a friend asked me about the Doctor Who theme and we futzed with it a bit but I don't think it's a good fit for a solo monophonic instrument.

Posted: 10/25/2019 5:03:50 PM
rupertchappelle

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

Christopher - I have MORE theremin music online than ANYONE. Sorry you cannot find it. There must be a filter preventing thereminists for accessing my files! Curse that Dr. Moriarity and his horde of precision minions!!!

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