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ragtimelil
11-19-2014, 08:51 AM
I've read some really good advice here and elsewhere about making the most of your practice time. I've tried to follow the advice but end up in a hole.
I play 3 instruments, uke, string bass and dulcimer. I'd like to give the first two most of my time but don't want to neglect the dulcimer either. I'm semi retired so have lots of hours to do with what I will.
I'm also living alone, which means I get to do ALL the chores - make the bed, make coffee, walk the dogs, cook meals, clean, wash dishes, do the laundry, etc. I'm not a neat freak so I'm not compelled to do more than what is necessary.
Today I kept track of my time to see what I spend time on. So far, at 1:48 pm, I've practiced the uke and bass 30 minutes each. I've still got to hang up laundry and make lunch.
I know I get hooked into social media. I've tried using a blocker but I sneak around it and turn it off - And being here takes time too although I consider this educational....
What do you do to have some discipline in your life?
:music:

janeray1940
11-19-2014, 09:04 AM
I killed all social media (except for this site) when I became serious about uke. I'd rather spend my time with real-life interaction with others, or doing other things I love - social media was, for me, far more of an obligation than an actual connection with people I cared about. Like you, I consider this site educational, so I continue to check in during my downtime at work.

I have a fulltime job, halftime school (no, a graduate degree just wasn't enough torture for me!), several freelance projects, and all of the home/pet responsibilities you detailed. Living alone, it's just me doing all of this stuff - but then the flipside is living alone gives me the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, in my free time. My house may not be spotless (it's NOT) but I do manage to average about 2 hours of uke time every day.

All of that to say - prioritizing. If I don't feel I've spent enough time on uke during the week, and a friend wants to make plans on the weekend, I decline and spend the time catching up on uke. Or I send my laundry out to the wash-and-fold. Or I don't sweep the floors that week. Whatever :)

ragtimelil
11-19-2014, 09:22 AM
You're a better person than I am.
I have some scattered family that I keep in touch with through FB. But I DON'T need to be scrolling through it every hour. :eek:
You'd think I'd have time to spend a couple/three hours a day on at least TWO of my instruments. Some days I just can't seem to get AT it.

janeray1940
11-19-2014, 10:26 AM
You're a better person than I am.
I have some scattered family that I keep in touch with through FB. But I DON'T need to be scrolling through it every hour. :eek:
You'd think I'd have time to spend a couple/three hours a day on at least TWO of my instruments. Some days I just can't seem to get AT it.

Ha ha, wouldn't go so far as to say "better" :) Maybe more organized? I make lists every day, the old-fashioned paper-and-pen way, and stick to them as closely as I can.

Rllink
11-19-2014, 10:35 AM
I am retired as well. I play the uke, I'm an artist, I'm writing a book, I restore vintage motorcycles, and I hit the gym four days a week. I don't work on the book as much as I wish that I would. I play the ukulele most every day for anywhere from a half hour to hours on end, depending on my mood. I really never feel like I don't want to play my ukulele. I draw or paint several times a week, and sometimes I'm in my studio all afternoon, but I goof around a lot while I'm up there. So I'm always checking my e-mail and forums and such while I'm doing my art, which actually isn't a bad thing. I do not live a very structured life. Some people in the ukulele community might even argue that my definition of "practice" is not practice at all. I tend to sit out somewhere and play the ukulele while I'm relaxing, as playing the ukulele is a very relaxing thing to do. Actually, everything I do is relaxing. I don't live alone, but it is just my wife and me. She works out of our home, so she is busy a lot, which means that I have to find ways to entertain myself that do not involve pestering her.

DownUpDave
11-19-2014, 10:35 AM
I have a schedule, but I am still working full time so I have to or nothing would happen. I get up have a coffee, look at stuff on this site and then practice for 45 - 60 minutes. It is real practice, scales, finger picking exercises, chord progressions, uncle rods bootcamp stuff ( more chords). I will take time after dinner, usually an hour or more to work on songs and noodle around, gotta have some fun.

Maybe it is as simple as you setting aside one specific hour ie 7-8pm everyday. I know when I am on holidays I can just waste away time because there is no need for structure but then all of a sudden the day is gone.

Rllink
11-19-2014, 10:55 AM
I have a schedule, but I am still working full time so I have to or nothing would happen. I get up have a coffee, look at stuff on this site and then practice for 45 - 60 minutes. It is real practice, scales, finger picking exercises, chord progressions, uncle rods bootcamp stuff ( more chords). I will take time after dinner, usually an hour or more to work on songs and noodle around, gotta have some fun.

Maybe it is as simple as you setting aside one specific hour ie 7-8pm everyday. I know when I am on holidays I can just waste away time because there is no need for structure but then all of a sudden the day is gone.Well, at one time my life was very structured, but not so much anymore.

DownUpDave
11-19-2014, 11:02 AM
Well, at one time my life was very structured, but not so much anymore.

I funny thing is I am not a structured person by nature, example is I "file by pile". I can be as disorganized as they come, just ask my wife. But I am old enough to realize I don't have 50 years left to learn this so I try to make the most out of my time. If I had my druthers I would just noodle around with the uke all day long.

Down Up Dick
11-19-2014, 11:21 AM
I am another retiree. I haven't been sticking to my schedule, but I'm supposed to play my Ukes in the AM and play at least an hour in the afternoon on my other instruments. My main instruments are a piece of cake. I warm up with scales, etc., then play mostly whatever I feel like playing mostly by ear.

On my Ukes, I try to stick to certain subjects, such as clawhammer or singing accompaniments or fingerpicking, but I get distracted by other interesting stuff. I get distracted very easily and have trouble concentrating. I was going to write a thread about these problems, but here I am with it now. I wish I could stick to one or two subjects so I could forge ahead with my Uke music.

Lately, there have been lots of errands and doctor visits and shopping, etc. They really cut into playing time. I guess I should just straighten up and quit whining. I need longer days.

Remember when you were a kid and your folks usta be after you to practice? You wanted to go out and play ball or somethin', but you had to play scales and stuff. Well, I guess I'm still there. Maybe I still need somebody to scold me into practicing.

Well, practice makes perfect! :old:

Rllink
11-19-2014, 11:31 AM
I am another retiree. I haven't been sticking to my schedule, but I'm supposed to play my Ukes in the AM and play at least an hour in the afternoon on my other instruments. My main instruments are a piece of cake. I warm up with scales, etc., then play mostly whatever I feel like playing mostly by ear.

On my Ukes, I try to stick to certain subjects, such as clawhammer or singing accompaniments or fingerpicking, but I get distracted by other interesting stuff. I get distracted very easily and have trouble concentrating. I was going to write a thread about these problems, but here I am with it now. I wish I could stick to one or two subjects so I could forge ahead with my Uke music.

Lately, there have been lots of errands and doctor visits and shopping, etc. They really cut into playing time. I guess I should just straighten up and quit whining. I need longer days.

Remember when you were a kid and your folks usta be after you to practice? You wanted to go out and play ball or somethin', but you had to play scales and stuff. Well, I guess I'm still there. Maybe I still need somebody to scold me into practicing.

Well, practice makes perfect! :old:I practice scales, and chords, and chord progressions, and strumming patterns, but always in regards to songs that I want to learn to play. I never practice anything just for the sake of doing it unless it is some riff that someone posts on the internet that I think it fun. I'll never do a scale just because it is the next one in line. But if I'm playing a song in a particular key, I'll go up and down that scale until I feel comfortable with it. Especially if I'm trying to play it fingerstyle. But I usually start out that way, but then, when I feel like I've given it what it deserves for the day, I pick out stuff just off the cuff and mess with it. To me, that is my practice.

janeray1940
11-19-2014, 11:41 AM
I never practice anything just for the sake of doing it

I don't either, and I think this is in part why uke has "stuck" for me as an adult, while all the stuff I tried to learn as a kid (piano, guitar, bass) didn't. While I have a bit more tolerance/patience for things like playing scales now, as a kid I found it excruciatingly boring - but I think that's because back then, it was just rote memorization. Now I approach it in context to whatever I'm currently working on, i.e. if I'm learning a fingerstyle arrangement in A minor then I'll take the time to review scales and chords in that key.

I'm also a yoga and Zen practitioner and I think these things have helped to alter my view of what "practice" means. As kids, practice generally means something you do over and over ad nauseam with the concrete goal of becoming proficient at it. Talk about a setup for failure! In both yoga and Zen, the term "practice" is more goal-free, the emphasis instead being on the proverbial journey rather than the destination.

actadh
11-19-2014, 12:08 PM
I am still working full time. My contract is for five classes and ten hours of office hours plus "as needed" time for committee work and various college obligations each semester. I teach one to two online classes of the five required, and often an overload class as well.

I awaken around 6 due to an early bird spouse.

I signed up for 8am classes this semester since I was up anyway - thinking it would give me more time in late afternoon to practice and play. But, I find that I would like to use the early morning to get centered, and the ukulele is perfect for that.

So, I signed up for spring term for going in m-w 9:30am and tues-thurs 12:15pm. I think I will like that, and can get in some uninterrupted time for scales and to focus on something special each day. I will probably start out with my unused ukulele library of books and really concentrate on one skill at a time.

Nickie
11-19-2014, 01:10 PM
Wow you guys are a lot more dedicated to your ukes than I am. I'm lucky if I get 15-30 minutes of playing in per day. It used to be more, but now I am resposible for two very spoiled doggies every AM. And a yard, which I didn't have before. I don't cook much anymore, my GF is the chef, but she usually makes a huge mess of the kitchen, which I clean. We eat better, tho, more fresh foods, less junk.
My partner is an early riser too, so I am always sleep deprived, rarely getting off work before midnight. I owrk full time plus have a part time biz. I plan to retire in two years, then my biz will be fulltime, but more on MY schedule so I think I'll be able to play more.
I am very disorganized, if I could get away with it, I bet i'd be two hours late for work everyday. I have mail that's two weeks old....phooey.
I agree, FB is a huge time-suck. I've joined about 20 ukulele groups! I'm moslty only on UU at work, most of the time, there;s little or nothing to do.
So many songs, chords, picking patterns, theories, tutorials, and so little ukeing time. Darn.

ragtimelil
11-19-2014, 01:33 PM
I am retired as well. I play the uke, I'm an artist, I'm writing a book, I restore vintage motorcycles, and I hit the gym four days a week. I don't work on the book as much as I wish that I would. I play the ukulele most every day for anywhere from a half hour to hours on end, depending on my mood. I really never feel like I don't want to play my ukulele. I draw or paint several times a week, and sometimes I'm in my studio all afternoon, but I goof around a lot while I'm up there. So I'm always checking my e-mail and forums and such while I'm doing my art, which actually isn't a bad thing. I do not live a very structured life. Some people in the ukulele community might even argue that my definition of "practice" is not practice at all. I tend to sit out somewhere and play the ukulele while I'm relaxing, as playing the ukulele is a very relaxing thing to do. Actually, everything I do is relaxing. I don't live alone, but it is just my wife and me. She works out of our home, so she is busy a lot, which means that I have to find ways to entertain myself that do not involve pestering her.

Darn. Sorry to hear you are married......hahahaha

ragtimelil
11-19-2014, 02:15 PM
I have a schedule, but I am still working full time so I have to or nothing would happen. I get up have a coffee, look at stuff on this site and then practice for 45 - 60 minutes. It is real practice, scales, finger picking exercises, chord progressions, uncle rods bootcamp stuff ( more chords). I will take time after dinner, usually an hour or more to work on songs and noodle around, gotta have some fun.

Maybe it is as simple as you setting aside one specific hour ie 7-8pm everyday. I know when I am on holidays I can just waste away time because there is no need for structure but then all of a sudden the day is gone.

I know all about the "day is gone."
I wish I could get up and start right in. I know that would help, but I have to walk the dogs first (not optional) and eat breakfast (also not optional). Some days I can start in practicing, other days I may have to go grocery shopping. Then it's lunch. Some days I am so tired I have to nap. I guess I could schedule time depending on the day. But I want to play 3 hours on two instruments. That's six hours. I still have lunch to make and another walkies for the dogs and whatever. I've been going to bed wicked early these days.
I think I will try to schedule each day. That's an idea. I also looked up Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp - COOL!!!! Thanks for that tip.

Ukejenny
11-19-2014, 03:33 PM
Teaching and performing keep my feet to the fire. Right now, I'm giving clarinet, flute and ukulele lessons. I have to be prepared for those students and be able to play and teach everything each of them plays or wants to play or compete with.

I'm in a ukulele group and we have some performances coming up for Christmas. So, I'm practicing for those opportunities. Also, attending regular meetings of our ukulele group keeps me practicing as well.

My love of music has kept me curious after all these years. I still have a lot to learn and lots to work on, so that spark keeps me going.

Music is also my therapy. It relieves stress and makes me feel good. So, I do it for that healing reason as well. I

PhilUSAFRet
11-20-2014, 01:40 AM
Retired and have problems with depression. Procrastination a huge problem for me. I know the solution in my head, just can't get off my ass.
Uke club nearby? Need to meet others for informal jams.

ragtimelil
11-20-2014, 02:24 AM
Retired and have problems with depression. Procrastination a huge problem for me. I know the solution in my head, just can't get off my ass.
Uke club nearby? Need to meet others for informal jams.


I usually go to three jam sessions a month and that gives me some motivation to learn new tunes. I also joined a nursing home ukulele group. I'm laying off for Dec but will be back in Jan. They play tunes I wouldn't have tried or may not even like, but it stretches my abilities to learn them.
I have a difficultly in leaving my dogs in hot weather so sometimes don't make it but I'm trying to rectify that issue.

RAB11
11-20-2014, 02:25 AM
I became a dad four weeks ago.

Uke time has completely dried up because when I'm not at work, I'm (gladly) helping my other half look after the baby, and when the baby decides to chill out for a bit it's 'us' time. Mainly watching a film or catching up on a show we like. Weekends are just as busy seeing family that are scattered all over the county. Doesn't help that we're living with my dad for the time being to save a bit of money either.

Thankfully the missus is going for a well-deserved night out tonight so I should be able to get some solid playing time in while still being able to keep an eye on the RABlet.

Rllink
11-20-2014, 03:24 AM
I became a dad four weeks ago.

Uke time has completely dried up because when I'm not at work, I'm (gladly) helping my other half look after the baby, and when the baby decides to chill out for a bit it's 'us' time. Mainly watching a film or catching up on a show we like. Weekends are just as busy seeing family that are scattered all over the county. Doesn't help that we're living with my dad for the time being to save a bit of money either.

Thankfully the missus is going for a well-deserved night out tonight so I should be able to get some solid playing time in while still being able to keep an eye on the RABlet.That's cool. Play songs for your baby.

RAB11
11-20-2014, 03:28 AM
That's cool. Play songs for your baby.

Yep, definitely intend to. Had a first go at singing a few little lullabies the other day, without uke, and they definitely seemed to calm him down a bit.

Hoping to get him so used to the sound of the uke he'll want to start playing when he's older!

ragtimelil
11-20-2014, 04:09 AM
I became a dad four weeks ago.

Uke time has completely dried up because when I'm not at work, I'm (gladly) helping my other half look after the baby, and when the baby decides to chill out for a bit it's 'us' time. Mainly watching a film or catching up on a show we like. Weekends are just as busy seeing family that are scattered all over the county. Doesn't help that we're living with my dad for the time being to save a bit of money either.

Thankfully the missus is going for a well-deserved night out tonight so I should be able to get some solid playing time in while still being able to keep an eye on the RABlet.

Congratulations. I can see a new band in your future. My sister took up banjo a couple of years ago and sometimes goes to jams with a daughter on guitar. I can't seem to get my dogs interested.....

Rllink
11-20-2014, 05:08 AM
Yep, definitely intend to. Had a first go at singing a few little lullabies the other day, without uke, and they definitely seemed to calm him down a bit.

Hoping to get him so used to the sound of the uke he'll want to start playing when he's older!When my daughter was a baby I had a harmonica and I could only play three songs on it, one of which was Red River Valley. I would play it for her all the time when I had to take care of her. The harmonica seemed to make her quit crying when she was sad. One day when my daughter was in college and I was helping her move into the dorm, she was humming Red River Valley. I said, "oh, Red River Valley, do you like that song?" She said, "no, not especially, but it always gets stuck in my head, and I don't even know where it came from."

Down Up Dick
11-20-2014, 05:53 AM
Nice story, Rllink, I really enjoyed it. I feel bad that I didn't try harder to teach my kids music. Neither of them were interested, though my son liked to listen to it a lot. I didn't have the patience I guess, and we all were doing other things. I wasn't a very good father; I regret it now. Too bad we can't go back and fix things.

Well, water over the dam . . . :old:

ragtimelil
11-20-2014, 06:38 AM
Well, thanks to all the tips here, I outlined my day over my first cup of coffee. I started practicing ahead of schedule. I started with the string bass since my neighbor was gone. :rolleyes:
I played scales for about 15 minutes and then spent 20 minutes seaching for my rosin that I still haven't found. They good news is I found $20 that I didn't know I had.....:shaka:

Ukejenny
11-20-2014, 06:53 AM
I love finding spare money around the house!!!! And that is quite a find - twenty big ones!

ragtimelil
11-26-2014, 11:03 AM
I'm on a roll I found the rosin and I've been practicing diligently. But I seem to run out of hours in the day. I practiced three hours today, but that was split between two instruments. (Didn't even touch the dulcimer today). I'd LOVE to practice the bass and uke three hours each but I don't see how I could squeeze that in. How much time do you spend practicing? I know about the three hours a day for 10 years thing, but how much really do you think is a good amount to aim for in order to keep improving?
BTW thanks for all the motivation here. It really did help get me out of my slump! :music: