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Joyful Uke
09-28-2016, 11:16 AM
What strategies, (if any), do you have for practicing?

I have some things I know well, play OK, and don't want to forget.

I have other things, (lots and lots of things), that I want to learn.

I'm working on some of what I want to learn, but probably too many, because there doesn't seem to be time to get work done on all of them in a day, along with reviewing what I know. (I don't review everything every day, but still want some review time each day.)

What has worked for you? I can't retire yet, so that isn't an option, though some days, I daydream about it. LOL.

kypfer
09-28-2016, 12:55 PM
What strategies, (if any), do you have for practicing?

I try to play as much music that I don't know as possible. That way I find myself really concentrating on the music and getting the timings and phrasings correct ... slowly, but correct. After a while, maybe a few minutes, maybe an hour, maybe even longer, I decide if it's a tune I really want to learn, if so it goes onto the "learn this tune" list.

For me, techniques learnt like this ... triplets, arpeggios, chord changes etc., really stick because I've learnt them in context and not got bored trying to work through some un-inspiring tutorial.

Obviously YMMV ;)

stevejfc
09-28-2016, 01:06 PM
No real strategies, other than, every time I practice, I always try something new. A new chord progression, a new melody or a new exercise or strum. Keeps it all fresh.

Mivo
09-28-2016, 02:47 PM
I tried a few different approaches, and right now what seems to work best is that I learn techniques in the context of songs. What I had also tried were detached exercises, but while they are rewarding in their own way, I got bored of them quickly and stopped doing them. I found it beneficial to pick a piece and stick with it for a specified time (e.g. at least a week), breaking it down into smaller bits, and practicing them at a slow pace (accuracy and precision rather than fumbling through at an uneven tempo).

As for actual strategies, there are two things that assist me in practicing:

- Recording myself once a week so that I can actually hear the progress. There always is progress, even if it doesn't feel that way, and the recordings show it.

- Writing down what I practiced every day and approximately for how long. Nothing eloquent or detailed, nothing that takes longer than a minute or two to write down, just a couple lines with what I did that day and how much time I spent on it. This helps me focus, reveals when I don't focus (jumping all over the place, skipping days, etc.), and makes me think about how I spent my practice time that day.

Ukulele Eddie
09-28-2016, 03:18 PM
I have learned that I really need to memorize a song before I can focus on playing it as well as I can. I also find Amazing Slow Downer an indispensable tool. I can import a version of the song, slow it down and play along with it. You can also change the semitones, which is great.

stevepetergal
09-29-2016, 03:48 AM
I have never been good at conventional strategies. I've never done scales, and my skills suffer greatly for that fact. In that respect I say don't do as I do. But, the convention in which I believe most strongly is practicing slowly. If you want to learn to play cleanly, you must always practice slowly enough that you play cleanly. Never practice faster than your technique can go. That said, practice is vital, but so is playing. I have time set aside for practice (the work required to improve) and time for playing (enjoyment). I try to never mix the two.

Croaky Keith
09-29-2016, 04:06 AM
Most of what I do is for the Seasons challenges, usually a song/tune that I know, (i.e. have listened to) - I then tab it out & start to practice/play it.
Mostly it takes only a few goes to get something reasonable, then practice it a few more times throughout a couple of days, record & post it.
I have only on a couple of occasions done something that I didn't already know from hearing/listening to it, but this routine seems to work for me.

CTurner
09-29-2016, 05:18 AM
I....the convention in which I believe most strongly is practicing slowly. If you want to learn to play cleanly, you must always practice slowly enough that you play cleanly. Never practice faster than your technique can go. That said, practice is vital, but so is playing. I have time set aside for practice (the work required to improve) and time for playing (enjoyment). I try to never mix the two.

+1 for these ideas. Slowing down is hard, but I find that breaking down a song into phrases, even measures, and just doing them till the fingers and sounds get better is very useful for me.

Twibbly
09-29-2016, 05:23 AM
I have never been good at conventional strategies. I've never done scales, and my skills suffer greatly for that fact.

If you like Disney music, Aristocats' Scales and Arpeggios is the best song EVER. I used to play it in basically every key I'd end up using in band. I need to tab it for uke, now.

Starting point (down under Original Soundtracks) - https://ukucafe.wordpress.com/about/mikes-tabs/

Joyful Uke
09-29-2016, 11:28 AM
I need to be more organized in my approach, I think. I often have no specific goals when I sit down to practice, other than "I want to learn all these songs." I'm going to have to figure out how to break things down from there, so I can have a goal or goals for each practice session.

PhilUSAFRet
09-29-2016, 01:42 PM
Lately, my main strategy has been procrastination. Doesn't work very well though.

Ukulele Eddie
09-29-2016, 01:46 PM
If you like Disney music, Aristocats' Scales and Arpeggios is the best song EVER. I used to play it in basically every key I'd end up using in band. I need to tab it for uke, now.

That would be AWESOME!!!

Twibbly
09-29-2016, 02:09 PM
That would be AWESOME!!!

I'll try to work on it this weekend. No promises, I still have an essay due and a quiz tomorrow!