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How much should you practise each day? (Read 1579 times)

Offline slurred_beat

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How much should you practise each day?
« on: February 07, 2021, 10:58:38 PM »
How much should you practise each day if you want to get good? Like people who can play fast etudes? And how much should you practise at a time? I mean like should you sit one hour many times, or many hours one time each day? I want to get better but I dont know if I practise enough.

Offline j_tour

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 02:30:18 AM »
How much should you practise each day if you want to get good? Like people who can play fast etudes? And how much should you practise at a time? I mean like should you sit one hour many times, or many hours one time each day? I want to get better but I dont know if I practise enough.

Like, probably, I want to say, four?  Maybe five?  A million?  Three?

If you want to play music, that should be approaching twenty four hours a day.  Every day.  Every single day.  For the rest of your life.  While sleeping, while whenever.  You really have to choose.
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Online ranjit

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 05:29:08 AM »
There's no fixed answer. It's better to split practice time throughout the day to allow time for consolidation. You'll have to practice an hour or two a day for a few years at least, but it's hard to say much beyond that. Not everyone reaches a level where they can play etudes, although it may seem that way because a disproportionate number of pianists here can play them. They also typically start as children, which I don't think is absolutely necessary from personal experience, but I may be wrong on that.

I think the question you should ask yourself is how to optimize the time you do spend practicing to do something useful. I would suggest looking up Josh Wright, Graham Fitch, etc. online and to make note of what they have to say. Bernhard also had some great posts back in the day, but you need to apply his advice carefully.

I think constantly having the end goal in mind is helpful. You want to deconstruct the techniques used in the pieces you want to learn long term, and then work in reverse by mastering the individual techniques required to play them.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 07:44:44 AM »
If you want to play music, that should be approaching twenty four hours a day.  Every day.  Every single day.  For the rest of your life.  While sleeping, while whenever.  You really have to choose.
That's not enough, need to also continue to do it when you are dead, study hard and you will work out how to do that.
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Offline dw4rn

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 08:18:07 AM »
I think the question you should ask yourself is how to optimize the time you do spend practicing to do something useful.

I very much agree with this. Also, somebody wrote in this forum not a long time ago something like 'practice until you've worked through your repertoire properly', which I also think makes more sense than just counting the hours. Of course, that requires you to be able to judge when you've done enough work on a particular problem and would be better off leaving it until tomorrow.

You can also do a lot of work away from the piano, like analyzing and memorizing music.

Like ranjit I also think it's better to split practice time throughout the day. If you don't, at least try to take frequent shorter breaks.



Offline ivorycherry

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 05:31:13 PM »
I think you can’t really have a specific time for how much to practice. I think it’s very important to practice efficiently. I think a good amount of time to play can be from 30 to 120 minutes a day depending on your level or dedication. But I think that 30 to 45 minutes a day of efficient practicing can get you very far,  I think the best way to practice is to set a goal for how much you want to achieve or learn in that day on one or multiple pieces.  I usually to split up my practice sessions in two because I am usually learning 2 pieces at a time. Usually, I like to spend some time, say, around 10 minutes playing scales and arpeggios to warm up and for technique. Then set a goal for how many measures I want to learn of the piece(s) I am going to play that day. It is super important to have a goal in mind. And I work incrementally in small parts. Work on measure at a time. So have some time, say, 3 to 5 minutes, and give my full concentration on that measure or part of it. Learn it really well, inside out, and sideways. Even memorize it. It is important to play parts in different ways. My teacher always says, “You gain control by manipulation”, and it’s meant for piano, not  life. Basically, by playing a part different ways, your brain gets more perspectives and views on it, and that way understands and learns it better. Staccato, super quietly, in rhythms(short-long, long-short). Move on to the next measure. Then after some time, take a short break for like 5 minutes to kind of recharge your brain, and then on the other piece I have. But incrementally and efficiently.

If you want to play music, that should be approaching twenty four hours a day.  Every day.  Every single day.  For the rest of your life.  While sleeping, while whenever.  You really have to choose.
That's not enough, need to also continue to do it when you are dead, study hard and you will work out how to do that.

Ehhh, being serious, I don’t think that’s enough.


Hope this helps in a way,
Alex

Offline anacrusis

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #6 on: February 10, 2021, 09:21:49 PM »
I know people who practise 1-3 hours a day and are really good, and I know people who practise 6-8 hours a day and are really good. I would say that you get diminishing returns beyond a certain point. But if you have a big repertoire, you might need many hours just to get through it all.

Many highly respected pianists seem to quote a number around 3-4 hours a day of work at the keyboard. But I'd advice against suddenly ramping your practise time up to that amount if you are used to practising less, as you might overexert yourself and maybe injure yourself if you are unlucky.

Offline slurred_beat

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 12:48:19 PM »
Thank you for the replies. I don't understand some of the answers 100%. I can't sit at the piano 24 hours a day because I need to sleep. And can you really get good only practiseing 30 min to 1 hour every day?

Maybe 3 hours is a good target?

Offline brogers70

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #8 on: February 11, 2021, 12:57:08 PM »
Thank you for the replies. I don't understand some of the answers 100%. I can't sit at the piano 24 hours a day because I need to sleep. And can you really get good only practiseing 30 min to 1 hour every day?

Maybe 3 hours is a good target?

I think it depends on what level you are at and what's going on in your piano life. If you are trying to rework your technique from the ground up to overcome bad habits, tension, etc., then maybe 15-20 minutes a day is what you need, because all you want to do is to engrain some particular sensations in your mind and if you go on longer you may lose focus just enough to let old habits creep back in and undo your work. On the other hand, if you have a fully developed technique and you are practicing mostly to expand your repertoire, then, you might work 8 hours a day, if you're aiming at long pieces and simply need to cover a lot of material. I agree with you that if you are somewhere in the middle, then 2-3 hours is pretty good. But it's pretty good because that's the time you need to work on basic technique for a little bit and to make progress on 2-3 new pieces and keep up and polish couple of old favorites. And I think you should not work longer than you have the capacity to concentrate - 10 minutes with the brain fully engages is better than an hour with the mind drifting.

Offline anacrusis

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #9 on: February 12, 2021, 06:17:33 PM »
If you are trying to rework your technique from the ground up to overcome bad habits, tension, etc., then maybe 15-20 minutes a day is what you need, because all you want to do is to engrain some particular sensations in your mind and if you go on longer you may lose focus just enough to let old habits creep back in and undo your work.

This agrees well with my experience of trying to rework this kind of stuff in my own technique. It can be quite hard to restrict yourself to so little practise when you have a great internal urge to play though, so though I would recommend the same number myself I certainly cannot say that I have always practised what I preach  ;D

Offline siiben

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #10 on: February 15, 2021, 10:19:25 AM »
I find that restricting yourself to less minutes of practise can be benefitial. If you have unlimited time to practise every day, then you can keep pushing the important and demanding practise further and further and just end up playing the fun stuff that gets you nowhere. Whereas if you only give yourself 45min a day then if you want to improve, you have no choice but to use what little time you have in the most efficient way possible.

Offline chrismaninoff

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #11 on: February 16, 2021, 12:42:34 PM »
I think it depends what you mean by "getting good."  If you want to learn to play one piece well, I think you could accomplish that in 90 minutes of work per day. 

If you want to reach the level of a professional pianist, that's really hard.  Like others have said, it's about efficient practice rather than mindlessly putting hourse in, though, so that's important to keep in mind.  Personally I think that 3 or 4 hours per day, at least 6 days per week, is necessary, for 4 or 5 years, so long as those hours are focussed and efficient. 

There is research to indicate that our attention stays most focussed for the first 20-25 minutes of practice, so the common recommendation is to divide practice into chunks of that length before taking a short (i.e. 5-10 minute) break and continuing.  It's also necessary to be learning about music outside of practice time to inform your practice; so, reading research on performance practice, learning about the music you are playing, analyzing it, etc. 
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Offline slurred_beat

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #12 on: February 19, 2021, 12:56:16 PM »
Ok so maybe I should practise 20 minutes at a time? And many times in the day? Is that right?

Offline volcanoadam

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #13 on: February 20, 2021, 09:04:49 AM »
Ok so maybe I should practise 20 minutes at a time? And many times in the day? Is that right?
Not exactly. You can practise all day for as long as you have sufficient breaks. Don't forget that you need to warm up before playing, so if that takes 20 minutes, you don't have any time for practise. So, warm up and practise for 20 minutes, then 5-10 minutes break, then another session, and so on. During breaks rest both your hands and your brain.
VA

Offline brogers70

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #14 on: February 20, 2021, 12:40:39 PM »
Ok so maybe I should practise 20 minutes at a time? And many times in the day? Is that right?

I'd say that 20 minutes is a good time to stay focused on one thing. I'm not sure about scattering 9-12 20 minute sessions throughout the day, though; even though I'm retired and have the free time, it would drive my wife nuts, and I'd rather have my afternoons free to do other things anyway. So I think the breaks can be quite short, just standing up and drinking some tea or something, or even just switching from one thing you're working on to another - often just changing the problem you're working on feels like enough of a break to allow you to keep concentrating.

Offline chrismaninoff

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #15 on: February 26, 2021, 04:22:08 PM »
Exactly!  Personally I'd still book myself for like 90 minutes to practice, and then schedule in some like... tiny snacks... or tea-making sessions... or like idk fb scrolling if I'm really desperate.
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Offline flanker27

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #16 on: February 28, 2021, 03:33:09 PM »
I just practice as much as I can.
If I'm lucky work wise, then yes, I can play for 2 hours, usually during week-ends.
If I'm not, then, I can play a little for 5 to 15 minutes, it beats not playing at all.

Online ranjit

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #17 on: February 28, 2021, 07:39:17 PM »
I tend to just keep practicing for long periods of time. I think that after an hour or two, I tend to get into the groove, and work from then onward becomes more efficient.

I try to keep pushing until I make progress on what I set out starting to do.

Offline slurred_beat

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 10:49:40 AM »
Hmmmm... lots of diffrent ideas I see... it is maybe a difficult topic to have one answer on? I thought maybe there was science research that knew the answer  :D

Offline dogperson

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #19 on: March 01, 2021, 11:00:53 AM »
Look at bulletproof musician blog for practice information.  In general, you want to only practice when you are focused rather than mindlessly repeating. It may mean shorter sessions or frequent breaks in a longer session.  More important than the length is learning how to practice efficiently: don’t keep starting from the beginning, have a goal for the session, identify and work on the problems.

Offline mrkwrp

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #20 on: March 08, 2021, 05:30:42 PM »
For an inspiring story (for any busy-with-work amateur, anyway), I loved Alan Rusbridger’s book Play It Again. While Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian newspaper, and at a time it was going through a major crisis, he committed to learn and then perform the Chopin Gmin Ballade, having previously only tackled works at a lower level (around Grade 8, I think). Many (most?) days he could fit in about 15 minutes around his work commitments, but still managed to achieve his goal.

You will raise your eyebrows slightly at his repeated assertion that this is “one of the hardest works in the repertoire” (ahem), but it still shows what you can do with focus!

Offline lelle

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #21 on: March 08, 2021, 05:36:14 PM »
Yes, I certainly raise my eyebrows to that  :D Musically, maybe, it's a rather hard piece to pull off convincingly, but technically, it is not among the most difficult.

How long did it take him to reach his goal?

PS. Welcome to the forum!

Offline mrkwrp

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #22 on: March 10, 2021, 04:26:07 PM »
Thanks for the welcome – good to be here, just surprised not to have discovered it before!

It’s been a while since I read it, but IIRC it took a large part of a year, and had to postpone once.

To be fair, he was running a major national newspaper at a time of huge stress (the Edward Snowden leaks) at the same time. But he also found time to visit Emmanuel Ax (amongst others) to ask his advice on how to play it (there are some advantages to being a national newspaper editor!), and also to visit Fazioli in Italy to pick out a new piano to practise on, and then build a music studio in his garden to house it.

Offline lelle

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #23 on: March 11, 2021, 08:53:11 PM »
It's always fun to have new voices sharing their views here in the forum!

Those are some pretty nice advantages, I have to say :D and it's understandable if it takes that long if you start out at a far lower level than what the ballade is suited for. Thanks for sharing the story.

Offline siiben

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #24 on: March 29, 2021, 11:16:05 AM »
I think his goal was to learn it in a year but ended up taking a few months longer. Impressive feat, concidering he claims to only have had some 15 minute slot for daily practice if my memory serves. Would be interesting to hear a recording of the mini-recital.

Online ranjit

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #25 on: March 29, 2021, 11:37:56 AM »
Alan Rusbridger -- his performance wasn't really that good, although he did manage to learn the piece.

I'm leaning more towards thinking that the subconscious assimilation plays as important, if not more important, a role than the actual time practicing. I think 1-2 hours a day is a minimum for high level repertoire, but pretty much any serious piano student would be putting in that amount of time anyway.

Offline lelle

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Re: How much should you practise each day?
«Reply #26 on: April 02, 2021, 07:43:07 PM »
Do you have a link to the performance? I searched for his name on youtube but only found a video where he talks about learning the piece, there are just some seconds here and there of his practising and performing the piece. It sounds right about the level that would be expected of a busy amateur who hasn't played for many years from what I can tell. Brave of him to step up and perform it, that is very commendable!