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Topic: Practice till perfect?  (Read 1679 times)

Offline peterb20

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Practice till perfect?
on: July 21, 2016, 06:13:45 PM
I'm working my way through Alfreds all in one 1st book, and i tend to get bored of playing a song and move on without mastering it. I've suddenly realised that I'm not learning songs, I'm basically attempting to sight read in real time. I'm thinking this is an advanced technique and so I would progress further if I committed to learning one song and mastering it in its entirety before moving on. Or are both techniques fine?

The reason I ask is when I flip back 10 pages, the same note progression causes me the same problems again and again. I know learning it off by heart means I haven't played it by reading, it's by memory and I'm a little concerned that I'm not matching notes on the score to finger movements, I'm just solely teaching my brain to tell my fingers where to go.

Have I just babbled out a question?!

Offline outin

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Re: Practice till perfect?
Reply #1 on: July 22, 2016, 03:27:06 AM
Do you take lessons or learn by yourself?

There are many aspects of mastering a piece. Practicing reading is good, but if you want to develope as a player, you should also learn how to approach and master technical difficulties. Usually when you have worked on some tecnique well enough, you will find it easy when you encounter something similar again in music. This aspect seems to be missing from your study. But learning technique without a teacher is difficult...

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Practice till perfect?
Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 05:04:30 AM
It seems like you are asking whether it's better to sight read or to memorise. And then taking it further, should one sight read sloppy and move on or sight read until it's well controlled. There is a degree of sloppy playing that needs to be avoided and there are small improvements you can make to polish a piece completely up. If your aim is to improve your reading skills and therefore your learning rate then you would be wise not to polish pieces up too far (as this wastes time) and at the same time not to skip past trouble sections and play it sloppily as you will never learn new skills this way.

It is a balance that needs to be achieved, difficult to say specifically what you need to do without having lessons with you. If you cannot read rough something successfully you need to know what is stopping you. Polishing works up to as good as you possibly can get will waste your time a great deal. Yes polish pieces but not every single piece, in my experience teaching it is inefficient to force students into mastery for every piece they tackle, what is better is to always improve and make what is not correct into more correct. From bad playing we understand better playing as we move closer to an ideal method.

Also understand that sight reading and memory go hand in hand, they are not mutually exclusive of each other. We remember patters in fingering and note combinations, we can anticipate sounds etc.
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Offline 109natsu

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Re: Practice till perfect?
Reply #3 on: July 24, 2016, 12:01:23 AM
Instead of Alfreds, I recommend working on individual pieces, and mastering them. There is a limit to the number of pieces you can learn at once, and it will take years to learn the whole Alfred method.

Happy Practicing,

Natsu Ozawa
Cleveland, OH

Offline dogperson

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Re: Practice till perfect?
Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 02:08:07 AM
Instead of Alfreds, I recommend working on individual pieces, and mastering them. There is a limit to the number of pieces you can learn at once, and it will take years to learn the whole Alfred method.

Happy Practicing,

Natsu Ozawa
Cleveland, OH

Hi Natsu:
This OP is working on Alfred's Book 1, which means a basic skill level.  Therefore, I am questioning whether he has the skills yet to stop using some method book and work on individual pieces...  the advantage of the lower level method books, IMHO, is a systemic approach to learning skills as you progress through the book so that you can work on individual repertoire that has the skills you have learned.

Just a thought

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Practice till perfect?
Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 03:55:54 PM
Hi Natsu:
This OP is working on Alfred's Book 1, which means a basic skill level.  Therefore, I am questioning whether he has the skills yet to stop using some method book and work on individual pieces...  the advantage of the lower level method books, IMHO, is a systemic approach to learning skills as you progress through the book so that you can work on individual repertoire that has the skills you have learned.

Just a thought
Hi dogperson,

If you are studying alone, I can see how you stick with method books, but if you are studying with a teacher I think you can get off the method books and work on actual musical pieces that YOU like.
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