Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Slow and easy  (Read 2238 times)

Offline prjacobs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Slow and easy
« on: April 10, 2008, 07:31:02 PM »
I know that I'm repeating myself, but I find I'm in such a good place musically that I wanted to.... well.... share'[:)]'

What I'm doing is relaxing as I practice. Concentrating on slow, quality work.  It's the only thing I care about.  However long it takes me to learn something is of no concern.  I have less tension than I've ever had in my playing and I feel that I'm expressing my musical ideas easier, and with better feel.

I think we can all tell when we're pushing too hard, being tense or anxious about our progress.  Hey, we are what we are.  Trying to force the issue only screws it up.
 

Slow and easy

Offline Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
  • What is this ?
Slow and easy
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 07:37:33 PM »
I like the concept.

One thing that I hate is that when I concentrate to learn new instrumental stuff, I catch myself breathing really shallow and almost holding my breath to the point I have to stop and make myself breath deep.

I find it very hard to just breath deep and slow like normal. [?]

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Slow and easy

Offline Padraic

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 221
Slow and easy
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 09:21:48 PM »
My father is a Tai Chi instructor, and because of that this is something that I try to be VERY conscious of whenever learning something new (be it music, or anything else). I have found it to be very helpful, and makes the learning the focus. I don't seem to get stuck or too tense while doing so if I just relax and breathe :)

Padraic
Atlanta, GA
1998 Parker Fly Artist!!! w/Gen 2's
(I have other guitars, I just haven't touched them since I got my Artist)
Sovtek Mig 50-H
Epiphone Valve Jr.
Orange Tiny Terror
Marshall MF280 4x12
Custom cabinet w/ Eminence 1x12
Sovtek upright 2x12
Luthier
Owner of Mullycrushed Custom Instruments

Slow and easy

Offline Titus Pullo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 512
Slow and easy
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 11:50:59 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by prjacobs

I know that I'm repeating myself, but I find I'm in such a good place musically that I wanted to.... well.... share'[:)]'

What I'm doing is relaxing as I practice. Concentrating on slow, quality work.


About the best advice there is! I wouldn't be injured now if I'd taken it   [:(]

I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but Jamie Andreas' "The Principles" is a good reference, albeit a bit tedious for most; it addresses exactly what you mention.

The best way to approach her method is to realize that it's as much 'music' as is anything else we play. In today's immediate results oriented culture, I can't imagine too many sticking with a slow and determined micro-managed method until they need such an approach. And by that time you're either injured or have hit a wall. I wish I were the latter.
-

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker


Slow and easy

Offline ckyvick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
Slow and easy
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 07:44:56 AM »
the book "The correct principles of correct practice for guitar" talks about relaxation a lot, so you have no tension at all. that is the key, to play with no tension at all and as relaxed as possible. make sure there is no tension in the way you are sitting...when Shawn Layne spoke about speed he said that for himself repetition would cause a mental block, so he would try to play it faster even if sloppy then clean it up. but he had a freakish nervous system that gave him magical powers.
 

Slow and easy

Offline prjacobs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Slow and easy
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 07:14:38 PM »
Don't forget, you're playing something you've never played before. You have to play slowly enough to realistically listen and watch where you go wrong.  You're LEARNING! Slow playing is the only way to truly observe your mistakes on all levels. So it's not just a matter of relaxing, it's relaxing with a fine tuned focus and fixing every single mistake, whether it's wrong notes, tension, left hand, right hand, whatever.  Going faster is necessary to develop the fast twitch movements that you'll need, but if you're crashing and burning too much, slow it down.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 07:15:20 PM by prjacobs »
 

Slow and easy

Offline ckyvick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
Slow and easy
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 10:26:45 PM »
^i know, i was just saying that thats how shawn lane looked at building up speed,which doesnt work for everyone and certainly not myself. the book i mentioned has you sit down with the metronome playing whatever it is over and over at different tempos...Lane was probably faster than any of us will ever be...and he could make such beautiful music. some people need to focus more on relaxing and some people it just comes to naturally for some reason~
 

Slow and easy

Offline simonlock

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4374
Slow and easy
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 06:25:57 PM »
Since I improvise most of the time I have very few "learned" things to practice my technique. I don't learn riffs or tricks and only try to follow what my ear wants to hear next. It can invite a lot of frustration some days. If I improvise at a 40-60bpm tempo my brain can more easily and creatively subdivide time and I have a chance to explore something new. I also have the time to look at what i'm playing and be more likely to be able to repeat it(something that has been holding back my writing process). Another interesting phenom is your brain doesn't have difficulty going from 40bpm to 120. Absolute feeling of the music in your fingertips and  pick is a must.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 06:26:20 PM by simonlock »
 

Slow and easy

Offline prjacobs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Slow and easy
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 01:27:26 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Since I improvise most of the time I have very few "learned" things to practice my technique. I don't learn riffs or tricks and only try to follow what my ear wants to hear next. It can invite a lot of frustration some days. If I improvise at a 40-60bpm tempo my brain can more easily and creatively subdivide time and I have a chance to explore something new. I also have the time to look at what i'm playing and be more likely to be able to repeat it(something that has been holding back my writing process). Another interesting phenom is your brain doesn't have difficulty going from 40bpm to 120. Absolute feeling of the music in your fingertips and  pick is a must.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!



Simon, I don't know what kind of set up you have, but you may want to try recording your improvisations.  As I've said before, composition is frozen improvisation and recording them will give you a chance to see what your improvs are made of.  We all fall into comfort zones and use our most facile chops a lot, but I think it's good to look at where we don't quite achieve what we want and work on improving those holes in our playing.  Again, using slow relaxed practice, only  caring about quality work.  As a composer, you may want to just sing stuff to yourself and see if that changes the content.  Also, when singing, vocalizing, or whatever, take the time to develop your initial impulses. That way, it's only your musical mind, not an instrument dictating your direction. Let your mind develop longer lines and forms, perhaps not achievable in the same way on an instrument.Plus, as again I've said before; there's nothing like singing to improve your feel and understanding of the dynamics of music.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 01:29:25 PM by prjacobs »