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#871109 - 01/14/11 05:07 AM How much do you practice?  
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,249
Jeff Van Devender Offline
Jeff Van Devender  Offline

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Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,249
Answers from this thread might be a great motivating tool for my piano students!

Then again.... ?

#871131 - 01/14/11 08:50 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I do not have much time these days for practice but in the past I used to practice a lot....performing almost daily is practice enough these days. That said new songs have to be run through several times and learned at rehearsals so that counts as practice.
My advice to a piano student would be to practice as often as you can...practice makes perfect.

#871134 - 01/14/11 09:34 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Posts: 3,760
When I first started out, I sometimes spent 5-7 hrs a day practicing, but at least 30 hrs a week. I did that for about 5 years on and of in my teens and early twenties. And at the time it seemed pointless, as I did not end up a professional musician. But man I thanked myself for that, when I later returned to music from a different angle, and became more serious. Those early years of practicing are very formative of the musician you will become, and I can almost ascribe all my technical ability on guitar back to those days of practicing. I later polished my chops ect., but it was those long days of learning good habits and theory that made me a musician.

Today I still practice, just in a different way. I practice parts I improvise forth, which could not be done if I didn't mastered my instrument of choice. When I've come up with something, I now can usually play it well in a short time (an hour), but there sometimes are parts I practice for longer untill they sit well enough to sound good on a recording.

I'd say, no practice, no musician.

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#930838 - 11/01/11 05:40 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 580
Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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I regret that I don't practice my piano much, maybe a couple of hours each week. I'm primarily a guitarist, but I've been playing the piano now for about 18 years, but more like the first two years repeated nine times :),
I love the piano, if I could ever get a hit song such that I don't have to do much else for a living, I would practice all day long. But, I can play fairly well, and if I had 50 songs memorized, I could probably hold a gig as ambient music in a restaurant, but don't ask me for a tune I don't know ! I suppose the reason that, after all these years, I don't have much memorized is that I use the piano mostly for writing, not performing or learning other's songs. I'm 60 years of age, and I started in my early 40s, so a word to elder folks, if you want to start, it's never too late, and I'm proof of that.

#930841 - 11/01/11 05:53 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Haven't practiced in over 30 years. I wonder if I can still play those chromatic minor thirds. Hmm... grin

John smile

#938721 - 12/31/11 12:01 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Dec 2011
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Eszter Skyler Offline
Casual Observer
Eszter Skyler  Offline
Casual Observer

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Posts: 7
I didn't have much time for practice this year. But practicing more is my new year's resolution! I don't think I'll have more than half an hour a day though... There are too many projects I'm working on at the same time...

#938767 - 12/31/11 03:24 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 224
Aaron Corley Offline
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Aaron Corley  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 224
West Valley City, UT
I started taking lessons when I was eight years old, practicing one half hour each day, seven days a week. At times, my parents had to fight me about it, too. When I got into high school, however, I had reached a level of proficiency that allowed me to play just about anything I wanted. I started buying sheet music that interested me and soon I was practicing several hours a day because I wanted to learn the songs I enjoyed.

Currently, I don't own a piano. I haven't practiced much since I moved out of my parents' house and I miss it. I compose entirely on the computer now, but, sometimes, I walk over to the church on youth night just to play for a while.

Your students are probably young enough not to see what a blessing it is to play an instrument. So few people do these days. Even if they never make a cent from doing it, someday they will be glad they stuck with it. Music is so much a part of our lives; I can't imagine my childhood without it and want the same for my children, too.

Looking for a good book about lyric writing? Visit http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=959266

Check out my music at http://www.soundclick.com/aaroncorley
#939153 - 01/04/12 09:10 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Aaron Corley]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,272
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,272
Indianapolis, IN USA
When I was actively gigging, I would play keyboards 8-12 hours per day on off days and outside of the gig itself and no less than 4 hours even on long work days, I'd put in any possible additional time I could get. I was usually writing at the same time or rewriting parts etc. There was no place else I wanted to be than behind the keys.

I just came across over 120 hours of original music pieces I composed between 1986-1996 so I wrote and recorded about an hour of new original music per month for a solid decade not counting my finished songs with co-writers etc. (These are all just tracks and key/vocal demo ideas) well over 2000 songs in total. But when you're playing every minute you can, it adds up quick.


Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

#939159 - 01/04/12 10:34 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
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Brian, I'm curious to hear what your music sounded like. Would you consider posting any of it, even just a selection or two? I'm sure others here would enjoy hearing it too.

Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.


#939188 - 01/04/12 08:13 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,532
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,532
Crozet, VA
Dan: I was going to say the same thing.

Brian: Post some of your old pieces for us!

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#939771 - 01/09/12 04:17 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,520
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Jeff, my previous reply about not practicing in 30 years is a bit deceiving. I don't do conventional practicing, i.e., scales, arpeggios, etc, but I do "play practice". Especially my own pieces. Before recording I'll work through any difficulties in fingering.

Some teachers believe there is enough technical practice within the piano pieces themselves. I guess it depends on what pieces are being used. I find Czerny's "The Art of Finger Dexterity" to be delightful pieces and technically healthy exercises (especially up to speed). I know of at least one concert pianist that plays these in concerts. Others will think of them as dry, boring exercises. But when played correctly, they're dazzling.

Anyway, yes, scales and arpeggios in all major and minor keys playing both hands in thirds, sixths, tens, and in ascending, descending, and parallel motion, starting each scale on a different note of the scale, etc, etc, is a must in the early years. Chromatic, whole tone, and the three forms of minor scales should not be overlooked.

Don't forget about having students play-by-ear. Have them pick out familiar tunes on the piano. And of course, sight-reading.

But the bottom-line: exercises should be enjoyable and done when not fatigued. I always told my students don't practice mistakes. Which often happens when one is not alert and doesn't have the "eye of the tiger".

Jeez, I sound like an old fuddy-duddy. grin Forget what I said. Life is too short to lock oneself up in a room practicing dry scales endlessly. Get a life for cryin' out loud. grin

Best, John smile

#939775 - 01/09/12 04:48 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,428
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,428
Never. At least not in the sense of sitting down and doing musical exercises for the sole purpose of strengthening my technical proficiency.

But I do practice like a doctor, in that my work is my practice. I make music pretty much every day, and when I'm not playing or recording, then some process is actively going on in my head--always have some song being puzzled out as I go through normal life. Cannot escape it---it blares, tempts and cajoles.

I'm not against practice...I just don't practice it.

#939783 - 01/09/12 06:09 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
I practice some, mostly working out new techniques. But I play a quite a bit. Played nineteen hours this week. Some weeks I play twice that. As a young man I would play forty hours or more in a week...and I mean playing time. Didn't have time to practice, but since I was teaching and showing others how to practice, I guess I really was practicing. That brings up "multi-tasking."

At dance gigs or regular gigs I give myself certain tasks. It might be using correct left hand position or varying right hand picking techniques. Or I might limit myself to all half notes, but try to play interesting lines. In the past few years I've been training myself to play without looking at my left hand and I've gotten fairly good at it. It helps when reading music and it allows me to make more eye contact with the audience. So, actually I do a lot of practicing while I'm gigging.

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#965797 - 06/27/12 06:00 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 453
Michael Downing Offline
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Michael Downing  Offline
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 453
United States
Not enough! Writing becomes my practice. I would love to actually take lessons now as an adult.

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