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Thread: Improvement By Thinking.

  1. #51
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Apparently, you can also improve by just meeting the right people...

    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  3. #52

    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Apparently, you can also improve by just meeting the right people...

    I could understand only about 1 percent of what he's saying in the above video (the embedded version shows a preview but won't play, looks like the owner has disallowed playback from non-YouTube sites), anyway the gentleman sounds almost like he's speaking a foreign language... guess I'm not as good with understanding accents as I'd thought.

    However, I did recognize the tune he played at 2:39, although I know it by a different name - video lettering says "Fairy Reel", I know it as "Old Molly Hare" (example). Good tune, whichever name one prefers.

    Anyway, the video aside (since I can't discern what he's saying)...
    As to what Bertram wrote: "you can also improve by just meeting the right people," generally speaking I'd agree that meeting competent musicians can definitely be an inspiration towards improvement, as some of those other musicians' ideas might eventually get incorporated into one's own playing (either inadvertently by osmosis, or with a lot of focused effort & conscious thought, or various combinations thereof).

  4. #53
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Not a foreign language, just plain old Irish accent. It's the story of a new young fiddler who had his instrument only for 3 days and knew no tunes but who was supposed to play at a dance. On the way he met a fairy who gave him playing ability and this tune so he was good to go.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  6. #54

    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    As dreams come from the brain correlating and consolidating the memories of the day into permanent memory, it's no surprise they can occasionally have useful relevance.

    However, dreams are not reliable, in that they cannot be scheduled consciously to yield something useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    I would not call conscious thinking reliable either. Focusing on one thing can block out everything else, thereby missing out on information and aspects potentially useful for the task at hand.
    And you declare such focus a bad thing when putting in effort on improving and mastering a specific task, as a building block for a larger activity? That's silly. There is too much evidence in the field of pedagogy regarding the specific benefits of directed practice to instead argue against such focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    In contrast, visualization, the topic actually being discussed, is a conscious and willful activity. It can be initiated when desired, and therefore can be incorporated into one's regimen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Yes and no. It's great for, say, counting backwards in Greek, but fails pathetically at the simple exercise of not thinking of a blue elephant for an hour.
    Well, if you're in pursuit of philosophical explorations instead of excellence of mandolin technique, sure. I'm happy to discuss that in a topic not devoted to mastery of the mandolin, instead of derailing this particular discussion with something unrelated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankdolin View Post
    How did we get from thinking to dreaming? Hardly the same. One is hopefully real, the other is not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Reality is not outlined as sharp as many believe. ...(N)ever underestimate the reality of a dream.
    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Any claims that the occasional relevance shown by dreams to waking reality, balanced by how often they don't, therefore show that reality itself is fuzzy are appealing, but lacking evidence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    The reality we perceive is always incomplete, and we need to use all the information we can get. Can't afford to dismiss part of it.
    Again, an excellent directed practice regimen, versus random dreams... which has the strongest effect on one's mandolin proficiency in a demonstrable way (picking technique, fingering exercises, etc.)? This is a no brainer, given the evidence of pedigogical research.
    Playing a no-point 14-fret-to-the-body oval-hole with scroll, a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), a McNally Ukulele Strumstick in CGDA mandola tuning, a McNally 4-string Chromatic Strumstick in GDAE octave mandolin tuning, and rocking my six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone/extended cittern in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning...

  7. #55
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    My posts in this thread started from answering post #44, not the OP. I was not referring to practising or even a practise "regime" and possibly couldn't, because I don't do that. It would be too much like my day job. I play to have fun not thinking, and indeed thinking can throw me off. I am a single genre player and I have my technique down for that. I practise by playing a tune, say, 1000 times until I am unable to forget it. I avoid thinking while I do that, and reality means a real instrument in my hands.
    Just visualizing that would not help me, since eyes are too slow for Irish tunes, and it is more of a haptic thing.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  8. #56
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.


  9. #57
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    I'm with em e e (which so far s I can tell, is impossible to type in this little box). Sometimes I will make up whole tunes in my head, but when I pick up the mandolin I first have to go thru my warmup . . . and then it is all gone.

  10. #58
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    I have often written songs in my head, or at least phrases. I don't know if these are actually original works or something I am remembering (and I don't know how anybody can tell the difference on their own work on this point).

    But I find it is best to hum/scat them into a voice recorder before picking up the Mandolin. By the time I get the Mandolin tuned and get my fingers ready to play the tune is just gone.

  11. #59
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Visualization is a great way to build your musicality. Seeing "shapes" on the mandolin and equating them with the sound is really helpful. It's a great addition to your practice routine and can be done anywhere.

    I like to add in the component of theory. An example is visualize fretting the E natural note on the second fret of the D string. E natural can also be played on the 9th fret of the G string. Same pitch. Same octave.

    E natural is the root of an E major or minor chord.

    It is also the Perfect fifth of A major or minor chord.

    E natural is the Major 3rd of C Major.

    It is the Dominant 7 (b7) of F#. You can go on and on until you get a migraine

    Good luck!

  12. #60

    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Streip View Post
    Absolutely. It's called visualization, and athletes, artists, public speakers, etc. have been doing it for years.
    It would be more accurate to call it “elaboration” or “reflection”. Visualization can be part of that process but doesn’t have to be.
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  13. #61
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    I come to this thread late but find that my experience is different -- but that may be because, like Bertram, I mostly play a single genre that revolves around learning scads of fiddle tunes as single line melody (with the occasional double-stop or triplet). visualizing where to place my fingers on a tune i don't know doesn't get me much of an advantage in learning tunes. I'll get a tune stuck in my head and then I'll need to pick up the mandolin and play it. I'm fairly conversant with the fretboard at least in first position (you need to know that for ear training anyway) -- but i still need the tactile feeling of placing my fingers on the proper frets. thinking about fingering or tone or musicality isn't helpful for me. Same with figuring out difficult fingerings (say in choro or classical) -- i need to place my fingers where they need to go. that's not to discount visualization or whatever that works so well for so many -- it's just what works for me in the music i play. I've found over the years that anticipating -- focused thinking on a subject before diving in -- generally derails my processes -- it's a quirk of mine -- so i make do with what works for me.
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  14. #62
    Registered User peterleyenaar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Thinking is good, Good thinking is better

  15. #63

    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    I sometimes work out the way a tune is supposed to go in my head so I can teach it to myself later. I'll do this sometimes while riding my motorcycle to and from work. Sometimes I'll sing it out loud too. La la la la la.

  16. #64

    Default Re: Improvement By Thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I sometimes work out the way a tune is supposed to go in my head so I can teach it to myself later. I'll do this sometimes while riding my motorcycle to and from work. Sometimes I'll sing it out loud too. La la la la la.
    A cicada flew into my mouth once while I was doing that.
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