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Thread: Changing my daily routine to practice more efficiently

  1. #1
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    Jan 2021
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    Default Changing my daily routine to practice more efficiently

    Not only Ukulele, but also when I practice some Chinese wind instruments, often I find myself being practicing blindly and inefficiently. The progress is very slow or near stagnates.

    To get me out of that dilemma, I want to make some rules on my daily routine. I understood those rules very well before, but I didn't execute them consistently...
    1, Focus on quality, not quantity. I couldn't stop trying to practice many pieces each day, and was hoping one day I can be good at one of them. That doesn't work.
    2, Slow down, slow down. Pursue of speed is another focusing on quantity rather quality. I practiced chromatic scales at 140 bpm, and a piece at 52 bpm of the desired tempo on the TAB, both quality was pretty low. Today I started to practice them at 100 and 30 bpm, respectively, and the feeling is pretty good because I have time to examine the quality rather than in rush to finish the practice.
    3, Set the daily goal and/or mid/long term goal. Without a goal, the practice is like a blindly Fly...

    If you have any opinions on efficient daily routine, I would like to hear you.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike $ View Post
    This sounds like a good plan. Slowing things down is probably the best thing you can do to improve your technique and tone. I wonder how many songs you will be working on at one time? I usually work on 1-3 at a time. I may play many more than that, but the ones I am working on are few.
    Up to around 10 pieces. Include a couple of non-trivial pieces (though not very difficult too), and several very simple pieces.
    I plan to focus on about 2 or up to 3 pieces, though I may still play the others every now and then to not to forget them.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2017
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    I too use to have the problem of playing too many songs everyday hoping to someday play them all well. You are right, it just does not work. Now I concentrate on one song at a time. When it sounds good then I play it once or twice a day. So today after speed and scale practice I work on just one song, slowly, over and over. Then I play the five songs that I think sound good.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2015
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    I plan to practice in a more organized way - starting tomorrow.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #5
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    May 2020
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    - Practice the sections you have trouble with instead of always starting from the song's beginning.
    - Don't practice the chromatic scale; instead, practice the scales used in the song you are working on (e.g. the specific major or minor scales; chromatic scale is only used in very few songs).
    - Set aside specific time to practice (e.g. everyday at 4-5, every Tuesday at 8-9, etc.)
    - Record yourself when practicing.
    - Use a metronome.
    - Perform warn up exercises before practicing (e.g., for guitar, I like to do some simple finger exercises on the fretboard)

  6. #6
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    May 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I plan to practice in a more organized way - starting tomorrow.
    Yes, I agree that it's easy to give advice; following the advice is something else.

    Honestly, I've not practiced on any musical instrument since a long time ago because I now play instruments with a purpose (this is different than having goals; I don't have any goals, only a real purpose). I can achieve my purpose with a low skill level so there's no real practice. Well, I do sometimes learn new songs, but the songs are not increasing in difficulty so, at most, I apply the practice techniques just a few minutes (e.g. working on a particular chord transition).

  7. #7
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    Feb 2017
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    I will add not to follow other people's goals. I know that sounds like a vague Chinese fortune cookie, but here's what I mean. Other people's goals can be intoxicating and may motivate you somewhat for a short time. However without a natural and sincere inner desire, your enthusiasm will ebb away.

    For example, I find nothing to be more boring and less satisfying than learning songs. But I might vicariously get caught up in someone's passion and get sucked into their goal of playing something like "Riptide." I'll learn the first measure, then the second and march on like a good little soldier...but eventually I am going to realize this process is completely stultifying and not what I want for my ukulele-life. My time will have been wasted.

    So be sure you're following your own goals.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike $ View Post
    If you don't like learning songs, what do you do with your ukulele? Do you not play songs?
    I make my own up. I really like scales and improvising. That's been my goal for the last couple of years, and I can now do it with a modicum of success.

  9. #9
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    Reading The Practice of Practice was a pretty eye-opening experience. Tons of cool science to practice routines!

  10. #10
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    Jan 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukuleleStrings View Post
    Reading The Practice of Practice was a pretty eye-opening experience. Tons of cool science to practice routines!
    Thanks. That book looks like an eye-opening book.
    I will try to obtain a copy. It's not available in my country, China.

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