PDA

View Full Version : What's Your Practice Schedule?



spacecakegirl
12-21-2009, 07:03 AM
So, I'm a teacher, and I've just started my two glorious weeks of Winter Break, and I have a brand new Kiwaya KTS-4 that Santa brought a little early so I could have something to do on my two glorious weeks besides eat Christmas cookies.

I'd like to start "practicing ukulele" rather than what I do now (which is pick up my uke and jam some songs I love and jam some songs I'm working on and surf the internet looking for songs I want to love...)

1. How often/how long do you practice?
2. What do you do?
extra credit: Why do you do it this way?

SweetWaterBlue
12-21-2009, 07:18 AM
Hey - your practice sessions sound a lot like mine. In just a few short weeks of playing I have already fallen into this same rut. I know that I won't get much better at anything but simple jamming if I don't get more discipline into my practice. I look forward to hearing what the more experienced players advise. I already know (think?) I need to start learning some finger picking, more interesting strums, and some more complex chord transitions.

paraclete
12-21-2009, 07:19 AM
What's wrong with playing songs you like?

I don't have a strict practice schedule any more. I've been playing stringed instruments all my life, and uke is the most recent addition to the arsenal. But when I did have a schedule, it was something like this:

30 minutes scales and warmups
10 minute break w/ stretching
30 minutes review material, songs I've been playing for awhile
10 minute break
30 minutes new/current stuff that I'm starting to learn

I did this twice a day with whatever instrument I was currently working on, usually guitar or violin.

I strongly recommend sticking to a schedule that allows for breaks, both to rest your hands and also clear your head. It helps keep frustration from getting a foothold.

And in addition to this schedule, I usually ended up jamming on something here and there. Above all.... have fun! :)

uber_goober
12-21-2009, 07:26 AM
I tend to practice first thing in the morning before getting ready for work. I try and get up about half an hour early and use that time to work on tunes for my next gig. I try do to this a couple times a week.

Now, why would I want to get up early? I find it's the only time that can be reliabilty dedicated to practice. Evenings tend to be hectic once I'm home from work, so I can't count on getting some music done.

As a side note, playing music first thing in the morning is a really peaceful way to start the day.

-John

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 07:33 AM
So, I'm a teacher, and I've just started my two glorious weeks of Winter Break, and I have a brand new Kiwaya KTS-4 that Santa brought a little early so I could have something to do on my two glorious weeks besides eat Christmas cookies.

I'd like to start "practicing ukulele" rather than what I do now (which is pick up my uke and jam some songs I love and jam some songs I'm working on and surf the internet looking for songs I want to love...)

1. How often/how long do you practice?
2. What do you do?
extra credit: Why do you do it this way?

Practice? What is that?
In all truthfulness, I too am a teacher and I have tried this whole practice thing and it just doesn't work. I find that my skills are too advanced for beginner practice and not advanced enough for advanced practice. i don't understand theory (haven't tried to figure it out) and I like playing with feeling versus being a recital type. If you are already playing music then you might get bored with the scales and strum thing. Keep doing what you are doing.

Valerie
12-21-2009, 07:38 AM
I usually practice 1-2 hours a day.

It goes something like this:

15 minute warm up (scale exercises, finger stretching exercises)
5-10 minutes of Sight reading (if I've a new piece of music)
5-10 minutes of making notes on new music (areas where I messed up in the sight read, areas where I had to slow down, etc.)
20-30 minute practice of new piece
20-60 minutes of older music


Why do I do it this way???

Because when I played instruments as a kid that's how one of my teachers told me to practice: Warm up, new music, old music. If I don't have a brand spanking new piece of music to play I play an older piece that I've not memorized yet or I play a piece I love and work on trying to find places to add dynamics.

As for the 20-60 minutes of older music-- thats the having fun part and just playing to play.

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 07:39 AM
Maybe there is something to this practice. I noticed that everyone that is practicing is better than me. I'm a lazy musician.

Melissa82
12-21-2009, 07:44 AM
Maybe there is something to this practice. I noticed that everyone that is practicing is better than me. I'm a lazy musician.Lol, ditto!

molokinirum
12-21-2009, 07:48 AM
Practice?? :uhoh: Nobody told me I had to practice!! :confused: I too like to just play songs and have fun. Hell, if I wanted to get frustrated then I might as well go to work!! Yes many people speak highly of this thing called practice and the advantages to doing it.....but I do not have two or more hours in a day to play scales, strumming etc. :(

Citrus
12-21-2009, 07:57 AM
well, if I've got work or something I usually only practice 2 hours a day, if I've got a free day it averages closer to 7-8 hours. I think the most I've played in one day was 12 but meh, you do crazy things when you're trying to impress girls. In any case, I'm put this in two ways, the way I should practice and the way I do.

Should:
30 minutes - scales
10 min break
30 minutes figuring out songs by ear
10 min break
30 minutes on new tablature
10 old tabs

the way it actually happens:
30 minutes pushing my way through a shimabukuro tab
30 minutes just sighting reading that same tab because i got too lazy to memorize it
10 min trying to learn a better way to tap
10 min on UU
10 min of pure scotch
30 min looking at pictures of cats on the internet

austin1
12-21-2009, 07:58 AM
this is how my practice as of late has been going:

20 minutes of playing old music
10 minutes of debating whether or not to study for finals
30 seconds of deciding not to
30 minutes of playing new music
5 minutes of debating whether or not to study for finals
30 seconds of deciding not to
10 minutes of attempting to convince myself that studying for finals would be in my best interest and I had better do it or else it won't matter whether or not I can play a ukulele
.5 seconds of deciding I'd much rather play a ukulele
30 minutes of playing whatever
30 minutes of watching uke videos on youtube

and that's the story of my life...at least til finals are over :D

molokinirum
12-21-2009, 08:00 AM
well, if I've got work or something I usually only practice 2 hours a day, if I've got a free day it averages closer to 7-8 hours. I think the most I've played in one day was 12 but meh, you do crazy things when you're trying to impress girls. In any case, I'm put this in two ways, the way I should practice and the way I do.

Should:
30 minutes - scales
10 min break
30 minutes figuring out songs by ear
10 min break
30 minutes on new tablature
10 old tabs

the way it actually happens:
30 minutes pushing my way through a shimabukuro tab
30 minutes just sighting reading that same tab because i got too lazy to memorize it
10 min trying to learn a better way to tap
10 min on UU
10 min of pure scotch
30 min looking at pictures of cats on the internet

Only 10 min of pure Scotch??? :confused: Sounds like you are cutting your practice a little bit short!! ;)

paraclete
12-21-2009, 08:12 AM
LOL! Yeah, that would be about how it goes for me now... well, minus the cat pics online and add 30 minutes of posting uke vids that I found on Youtube to Facebook.

But only 10 minutes of Scotch? I tend to lubricate my entire practice sessions with Merlot.



the way it actually happens:
30 minutes pushing my way through a shimabukuro tab
30 minutes just sighting reading that same tab because i got too lazy to memorize it
10 min trying to learn a better way to tap
10 min on UU
10 min of pure scotch
30 min looking at pictures of cats on the internet

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 08:17 AM
I've been thinking about this practicing thing(ADD superfocus going on), I have come to the realization that scales ans tabs and all that is for people that might have a future in music. I'm a back porch player. I'm never going to make money playing and I have no interest of playing a recital. I like jamming and making people smile. For that I simply need to learn songs and make my own stuff up. But if I was much younger or much more talented then I'd spend more time scaleing and strumming;)

Valerie
12-21-2009, 08:22 AM
I've no future in music either: but scales and drills are good for you!

I find that by doing them I'm better able to improvize, or figure out a piece of music by ear.

Besides- they can be fun.

For a while I've been meaning to make a vid of some of the warm-up stuff I do...


(still need to do that...)


Anyways. You don't have to do hours and hours of scales- only about 5-15 minutes a day.

Citrus
12-21-2009, 08:23 AM
LOL! Yeah, that would be about how it goes for me now... well, minus the cat pics online and add 30 minutes of posting uke vids that I found on Youtube to Facebook.

But only 10 minutes of Scotch? I tend to lubricate my entire practice sessions with Merlot.
http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/2000455272489756911_rs.jpg

bazmaz
12-21-2009, 08:38 AM
home from work, eat, crack open a beer, get uke out, play, annoy wife, she cant hear the tv, we fall out, she goes to bed.

Therefore bought an eleuke - now its home, eat, beer, uke, annoy wife cos the unamplified sound of the strum is all "clicky"...

freedive135
12-21-2009, 08:51 AM
1 Mix a Mai Tai
2 Open Uke case
3 Start strummin somethin
4 Sip some Mai Tai
5 Go back to #3 and repeat till I have to go back to #1


My playing is my practice!!!

So far noone has asked me to play scales for them....

all kidding aside the need to work on scales is there especaily if you are wanting to improvise single note melody lines but for me it's mostly strummin and I don't improvise, if I want a melody line I just tab out a song from one of my many books...

molokinirum
12-21-2009, 08:51 AM
LOL! Yeah, that would be about how it goes for me now... well, minus the cat pics online and add 30 minutes of posting uke vids that I found on Youtube to Facebook.

But only 10 minutes of Scotch? I tend to lubricate my entire practice sessions with Merlot.

Wine is good, but I prefer to practice with a quality Rum with a few ice cubes and a nice wedge of lime!! This type of practice always helps my playing AND my singing!!!

MisoHappy
12-21-2009, 09:35 AM
Hm, never actually considered it practicing, but then again, what else do I call it? lolol

Well, recently my dad dug up a giant crate of old local music, and man, I'm having a blast with it. All these songs my family sings all the time, and I never knew the titles.

Well, I'll just play through the few I know a couple times, recording myself w/ my video camera. That way, I can listen and know what I need to work on.

Also my dad is teaching me how to sing and play the tons that I don't know, and he's a great teacher, and he also has a much better ear than I do.

(I don't have a "schedule" but I practice whenever I get the chance)

When I'm working on a tab, I take it page by page. I'll learn, memorize, and in a sense "perfect" (work out how I exactly want to play it, how I want it to sound) a single page, and when I do, I move on to the next.

SweetWaterBlue
12-21-2009, 10:05 AM
Well, recently my dad dug up a giant crate of old local music, and man, I'm having a blast with it. All these songs my family sings all the time, and I never knew the titles.

.

That's really cool Miso. When I was in high school (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth in the 1960s), I had a small dance band. You know - the kind with a few trumpets, a trombone, sax, drums etc. We were not very good, and never played any gigs. We were all decent musicians on our instruments, but we just didn't want to spend the time practicing together to make it a good band. Anyway, one day out band director asked if we would like an old box of dance band music he dug out from somewhere. We took it and started playing it. I was just totally blown away that the sound we made sounded just like it came from the 1920's. I am still amazed today that a box of sheet music could bring that music back to life.

Citrus
12-21-2009, 10:08 AM
miso made an extremely good point about recording yourself, it's something I've been meaning to do more of and it's crucial to making any kind of big improvements.

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Agree. This is why I make videos occasionally for YT. I stink but by posting them I get feedback and suggestions. I can also see myself.

Valerie
12-21-2009, 10:46 AM
:agree:

Yup yup.

I record audio on almost all of my practice sessions, video very seldom.

ukecantdothat
12-21-2009, 10:56 AM
...which is pick up my uke and jam some songs I love and jam some songs I'm working on and surf the internet looking for songs I want to love...
This is my approach lately, unless I have a gig (which the next one will have the Great Aldrine and Barefoot Wahines following us, so there will be extra time put in, no doubt...), then I pull up practice tracks of the the set list we'll be doing and I'll run over those until I get tired or the kids need me for something. I play by ear until my lobes get sore! Sometimes I need the charts to remind me of the arrangements or if there's something new. More often than not I'll try to learn songs without charts, because I hardly ever refer to them on stage. I find myself stiffening up musically when the right brain is competing with the left that way.

I do admire those who have structure to their practice, though. Being an old geezer blues and rock guy, I just don't have the patience!

Skrik
12-21-2009, 12:34 PM
I've been thinking about this practicing thing(ADD superfocus going on), I have come to the realization that scales ans tabs and all that is for people that might have a future in music. I'm a back porch player. I'm never going to make money playing and I have no interest of playing a recital. I like jamming and making people smile. For that I simply need to learn songs and make my own stuff up. But if I was much younger or much more talented then I'd spend more time scaleing and strumming;)

We have a winner. I "practise" all day long. I pick up a uke with my tea in the morning, and put it down before I go to bed. (Oh, and there's that eight hour break in the middle of the day when I have to earn ukulele money.)

scottie
12-21-2009, 12:46 PM
I practice in the morning before work for a couple of hours. Scales and or RH exercises/studies or whatever technical thing for the first hour or so and songs for the next. Sometimes the practice session is less than two hours, I try to split it equally. Any extra time in the evening or weekend is a bonus.

Scales and studies can be boring but they make us better players. There more fruitful in terms of their impact on your playing if you focus on phrasing, ligado, dynamics and other aspects that make them more than 'notes'.

Additionally, it's morer betterer when you don't try to get every aspect of practice into every session. five minutes of scale warm up will lead nicely into an hour of arpeggio practice, and sometimes you've got to devote your practice session to one thing. Trying to cram every aspect into each session doesn't give me enough time working to actually improve much of anything.

scottie
12-21-2009, 01:02 PM
I have a book by Aaron Shearer called Scale Pattern Studies For the Guitar. He advocates taking one key and it's relative harmonic and melodic minor keys (the decending melodic is natural minor) and devoting a day's scale practice to those keys only. . . again, a matter of taking enough time to assimilate some information rather than trying to do too much and not assimilating much of anything.

Rheab
12-21-2009, 01:11 PM
I already practice piano 1 to 1 1/2 hrs a day, run or strength-train 1 hr a day during the week (at 5:45 AM) and run up to 3 hours on Saturdays ... AND I have to work a J.O.B. So that doesn't leave me much time for the uke, which I just started last week.

Best thing I can do right now is 20 min./day during the week and a bit more on the weekends.

Rheab
12-21-2009, 01:12 PM
P.S. I haven't watched TV in more than a year. You can see why.

spacecakegirl
12-21-2009, 02:18 PM
P.S. I haven't watched TV in more than a year. You can see why.

I didn't have internet for a little over a year and I still don't have any kind of cable. When my high school students find this information out their jaws drop, "Miss, what do you DO all day???"

Read? Check
Play ukulele? Check
Play with dog? Check
Cook dinner? Sometimes check
Hang out with the hubby? Check
Work 11 hours a day to give you a quality education? Check

rogue_wave
12-21-2009, 02:34 PM
A funny thing about the scales thing. I pushed against any kind of structured practice for a while, and would just keep working on songs, of more likely just banging around and getting a feel for the instrument.

A few months ago, I realized that I was pretty stalled out. I would play the same song fragments, wander around the same few chords etc. So I started to look at adding 10 minutes of a structured practice item- Learning the fretboard, scales, fingerpicking patterns.

One of the greatest things I have done. It turns out the big benefit for me wasn't really from learning the scales, but the mental rest that 10 minutes provided between looser jamming/playing.

The more I worked on these very finite, conquerable drills, the more my confidence grew in my playing. I find my fingers are more likely to find their way to their proper place during chord changes, I can play without watching my left hand.

So now, I try and mix in at least 10 minutes of scales (I am following the Three Notes Per String Method posted here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9272&highlight=note+method) Each day I played one new scale for half and one of the previous days scales for half.

I pick a Uke Minutes with a technique and work on that for at least 10 minutes.

In between, and all day, I fiddle, explore, play, try new songs, try and remember old songs, etc.

Some days I play all day long. I have a work uke that sits in my edit room and tends to be in hand about half the day. At home at night after everyone is asleep i'll sneak some more quiet focused practice too.

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 02:41 PM
We have a winner. I "practise" all day long. I pick up a uke with my tea in the morning, and put it down before I go to bed. (Oh, and there's that eight hour break in the middle of the day when I have to earn ukulele money.)

I'm lucky to be a teacher. I get to hold an ukulele for long periods of time during the day. As a matter of fact I just spent an hour in the local Bucks "practicing" I played 10 songs and got 4 people interested. I even tried to give away my makala dolphin but the little girls mom wouldn't let her have it. Was afraid it would take away from her piano time:) Mom is smart:)

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 02:44 PM
I already practice piano 1 to 1 1/2 hrs a day, run or strength-train 1 hr a day during the week (at 5:45 AM) and run up to 3 hours on Saturdays ... AND I have to work a J.O.B. So that doesn't leave me much time for the uke, which I just started last week.

Best thing I can do right now is 20 min./day during the week and a bit more on the weekends.

I take my uke on walks with me and the dogs. Once I lose a few more pounds I'll start running and maybe I'll take the uke on runs as well:)

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 02:46 PM
I didn't have internet for a little over a year and I still don't have any kind of cable. When my high school students find this information out their jaws drop, "Miss, what do you DO all day???"

Read? Check
Play ukulele? Check
Play with dog? Check
Cook dinner? Sometimes check
Hang out with the hubby? Check
Work 11 hours a day to give you a quality education? Check

Remember that these long days aren't worth it (this is from someone that spends 10 hours in my classroom). The work doesn't ever end. Just an FYI from a 3 year teacher.

haolejohn
12-21-2009, 02:49 PM
A funny thing about the scales thing. I pushed against any kind of structured practice for a while, and would just keep working on songs, of more likely just banging around and getting a feel for the instrument.

A few months ago, I realized that I was pretty stalled out. I would play the same song fragments, wander around the same few chords etc. So I started to look at adding 10 minutes of a structured practice item- Learning the fretboard, scales, fingerpicking patterns.

One of the greatest things I have done. It turns out the big benefit for me wasn't really from learning the scales, but the mental rest that 10 minutes provided between looser jamming/playing.

The more I worked on these very finite, conquerable drills, the more my confidence grew in my playing. I find my fingers are more likely to find their way to their proper place during chord changes, I can play without watching my left hand.

So now, I try and mix in at least 10 minutes of scales (I am following the Three Notes Per String Method posted here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9272&highlight=note+method) Each day I played one new scale for half and one of the previous days scales for half.

I pick a Uke Minutes with a technique and work on that for at least 10 minutes.

In between, and all day, I fiddle, explore, play, try new songs, try and remember old songs, etc.

Some days I play all day long. I have a work uke that sits in my edit room and tends to be in hand about half the day. At home at night after everyone is asleep i'll sneak some more quiet focused practice too.

This is good advice. I want to spend a few minutes learning notes and scales but there is no way I could spend an hour or more practicing. I have a little microwave generation in me. I need to learn theory or a little bit of it and there is a good uke theory for newb section in the beginners section but i just can't find the time to focus on it.

ukestang
12-21-2009, 03:27 PM
Practice, never.
Play, whenever.

Rheab
12-21-2009, 07:14 PM
I take my uke on walks with me and the dogs. Once I lose a few more pounds I'll start running and maybe I'll take the uke on runs as well:)

I would pay good money to see you run and play uke at the same time! Kind of like the juggler I saw in some races.

Rheab
12-21-2009, 07:18 PM
I didn't have internet for a little over a year and I still don't have any kind of cable. When my high school students find this information out their jaws drop, "Miss, what do you DO all day???"

Read? Check
Play ukulele? Check
Play with dog? Check
Cook dinner? Sometimes check
Hang out with the hubby? Check
Work 11 hours a day to give you a quality education? [/B]

The answer to your students' question: "Not frying my brains on reality TV shows and TMZ."

uke5417
12-21-2009, 07:53 PM
As soon as I was able to play a few chords in a few positions, I started writing songs, and that's become the "drill." Noodle around until I find a chord progression I like, add a melody to it, write some lyrics. Practice and refine it for a few days before singing it into the can otherwise known as YouTube.

I so enjoy doing this, and seem to learning so much in the doing that I have a hard time slowing down for a more formal approach. It's a weird dilemma: Work on a new song or practice technique so that other, future songs will be better?

The best I can come up with is to read a bit more theory and be mindful of it as I play. ("Oh, that's a pentatonic scale: cool," or, "an augmented chord works really well here: great.") I'll even practice a scale sometimes if it's in the key of the song I'm writing. But when the things I'm learning, theory-wise, get in the way of where a song wants to go, I go with the song. Am I wrong?

As far as time spent goes, having a lot of mostly cheap ukes around helps. There's the uke at my computer for recording; the uke atop my bed for the middle-of-the-night noodling; the uke in my bathroom (really); the one on the floorboards of my car (seriously); and a few more hung on walls in various rooms. Heck, I have one that goes backpacking with me.

Still, I think I need more practice.

MisoHappy
12-21-2009, 08:08 PM
That's really cool Miso. When I was in high school (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth in the 1960s), I had a small dance band. You know - the kind with a few trumpets, a trombone, sax, drums etc. We were not very good, and never played any gigs. We were all decent musicians on our instruments, but we just didn't want to spend the time practicing together to make it a good band. Anyway, one day out band director asked if we would like an old box of dance band music he dug out from somewhere. We took it and started playing it. I was just totally blown away that the sound we made sounded just like it came from the 1920's. I am still amazed today that a box of sheet music could bring that music back to life.

Music was so much more meaningful in the 1970s, 80s, 90s. I can honestly say that I'd choose C&K, or Kalapana over any recenter artists.

franulele
12-22-2009, 06:00 AM
Spacecake,

I'm a teacher too, and my vacation starts at 3:00 today! :D

My practicing goes in streaks. Most of the time I'm learning songs, but when I *do* take time to practice, I try some of these things:

Dr. Uke's Music "Theory/What to Practice" page. (http://doctoruke.com/theory.html) Beginning & advanced jazz chord progressions in many keys. Great stuff!

Curt Sheller Online Ukulele material. (http://www.curtsheller.com/ukulele.php)Great for chords, progressions & scales. You will need to sign up (its free!)

ukecantdothat
12-22-2009, 06:07 AM
Dr. Uke's Music "Theory/What to Practice" page. (http://doctoruke.com/theory.html) Beginning & advanced jazz chord progressions in many keys. Great stuff!

Curt Sheller Online Ukulele material. (http://www.curtsheller.com/ukulele.php)Great for chords, progressions & scales. You will need to sign up (its free!)Thanks for these links. I'm going to try them. It's always good to expand the chops.:D

CountryMouse
12-22-2009, 06:11 AM
Practice, never.
Play, whenever.

That sounds about like me. I go over various songs just about every day, ones that I'm planning on doing, ones that I hope to eventually be able to do (with chords that are still kinda difficult for me). I also just play when a song comes to mind. I'll never be a fantastic player, but I don't care. I just want to enjoy my uke and accompany myself and others on it. :)

Today I'm giving my fingertips a workout going over all the songs in Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Christmas book (they're almost all in the wrong key for me--heh). I'm transposing and getting ready for when Cat'r and I sit around and sing songs in a couple days. :)

CountryMouse

seeso
12-22-2009, 06:19 AM
1. How often/how long do you practice?

I practice every day. My time varies, from an hour to three or more.


2. What do you do?

I figure out songs I want to learn. I fiddle with the arrangements until I'm satisfied, then I play them over and over again. Usually the arrangements and techniques change as I go over them.


Why do you do it this way?

I should probably practice differently. I need to really practice my scales and strumming, but I get bored of those things really easily. I play instruments because I want to learn how to play songs and sing along to them, not because I want to be technically proficient.

I plan on changing that in the new year. I'm going to attack my strums and scales! This, I vow! :D

Link
12-22-2009, 06:30 AM
1. How often/how long do you practice?
2. What do you do?
extra credit: Why do you do it this way?

1. I don't. I should. The only time I even play is when I decide to make a youtube video, and then I just look up the chords and do a chord version of the song. I could do better.. a few of my videos have some arrangement and practice behind them instead of just hitting the record button. Those are the ones I'm actually a bit proud of.

2. Right now... just grab uke, sit down, hit record and play the song. After that maybe add some bass or percussion to the recording, but then I'm done. But going forward I really wanna practice more.

3. I really love music. But I enjoy listening to it more than playing it. So with my free time I don't practice, I watch other peoples vids or listen to other music. I really need to make time for practice though.

grammy
12-22-2009, 07:07 AM
imo it is a mistake to think that ' just playing songs' is not practice, of course it is! especially if there are some tricky chords in there.

structured practice, scales and such, is useful, but there is no denying scales are dull. more useful is goal setting, tell yourself you want to play, X,Y,Z then try to achieve specifically that.

finally, it is important to remember that music is about expression, not just skill. above all enjoy yourself.

MisoHappy
12-22-2009, 08:46 AM
Ok I'm actually going to answer the questions now :p



1. How often/how long do you practice?


Every day, whenever I get the chance. That's usually 1 or 2 hours a day. Sometimes 5 or even 8 when I'm on vacation (like now)



2. What do you do?

Depends on what I'm practicing.

If I'm working on my instrumental skills, then I find out what technique exactly I'm having trouble with. I do this by playing through several songs I know, so that I hit every technique.

For example, I'm currently working on my tremolo.

Then, I'll find a song that uses that technique frequently.

So I'm learning Body Surfing

If I'm working on my singing, I will find a song I want to learn, put it by itself on a playlist in my iPod, and play it on loop. That way I know how to sing it, and I also know what I want to change.

Then, I'll sing it, acapella, and record myself w/ a video camera. Then I'll play it over, and practice based on what I hear and what I want to change.

I also work on particular things with my voice. For example, I have a hard time sliding in my falsetto, so I take a song that has lots of it (similar to the above) and learn it.




extra credit: Why do you do it this way?

Rather than avoiding my weaknesses my whole life, I practice them and become better at them. I will always be better at some things than others, but I can always strengthen my weaknesses. :)

KenjiBeast
12-22-2009, 10:28 AM
I practice every day for one or two hours, and I spread my time more or less evenly over the following three disciplines:

1. Technique

That's finger exercises, speed training, independence, chords, scales etc.. strumming and fingerpicking patterns, also. Anything having to do with fluidity and dedication of motion, really.

2. Theory

I try to analyze existing songs and write my own.. I work on inversions of chords and stuff like that in a theoretical way. This is also where I tab out songs.

3. Repitoire

I practice my own or other's songs and also find myself arranging songs in different ways for different musical effects.

I think this routine is pretty well rounded, personally, and it's always worked for me.:D

CoLmes
12-22-2009, 11:34 AM
Geeze I need to figure out a routine for myself, looking at all of these schedules I feel like I'm wasting time.

I play all day for a few hours, broken up. I'll play things I'm having trouble with, such as a technique in a song. (Right now it's the last couple chords on Thug Mansion but I'm getting it.) I'll work on new songs.

I'll figure out new ways to put together songs.

I'll attempt tabs, though I seem to be very slow at learn a song by tab.. well difficult songs, like Jake S or Aldrine's stuff.

But yeah, even though I don't have a set schedule I'm still always playing and always getting better. But this thread made me think that I need to start setting down ground rules so I can have a faster progress.

SweetWaterBlue
12-22-2009, 11:37 AM
It may just be my imagination, or maybe I was in a zone this afternoon, but most of the songs posted in that DrUke link sounded great. I find most tabs I get off the net just don't have enough chord changes to make them interesting on the uke. The ones in the DrUke song book are great. He even gives you an MP3 and strumming pattern for most of them. I think I played through about 1/4 of them today, just to get a feel for them. Outstanding if you want to strum the popular campfire type songs. Thanks for posting it.