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Thread: 3 hours of practice a day?

  1. #1

    Default 3 hours of practice a day?

    I just watched Itzhak Perlman's Masterclass. I really enjoyed it!

    He mentions practicing three (50 min) hours a day:

    FIRST HOUR: SCALES
    SECOND HOUR: ÉTUDES
    THIRD HOUR: REPERTOIRE

    What are your thoughts on this?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    You make good progress that way, with a little warmup, maybe slow scales to start, Evan Marshall suggests a similar division of time, adjusted to time available. I can only handle 30 minute bits, with a short break between items.
    Play it like you mean it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I’ve had the octave for about a month, and done about a month of just scales and chords, messing around really, now I’m doing about 2 (honest) hours a day of REALLY slow, metronomed repertoire.
    -then again I’m not in a master class.
    Here’s one of the vids I found, as a beginning student you have to get this right, though it’s not easy to accept:

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  5. #4

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I'm impressed Perlman can do what he does with 3 hrs/day. Thile says he practices 8 hrs/day. Concert pianists are known for 5 hrs or more per day too.

    When I was recently laid off I played about 3 hrs / day for 2 months. It was a huge rapid improvement to my playing. Now I am back to 1 hr, and things have slowed. But I have kept all the improvements I made during that time and still continue to progress.
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Here’s one of the vids I found, as a beginning student you have to get this right, though it’s not easy to accept:
    Perlman makes a very good point in that clip, which I've heard in other conversations on the Cafe and elsewhere. It doesn't matter how much time you spend practicing, if all you're practicing are bad habits.

    Which has nothing to do with scales and etudes, and everything to do with the idiomatic style of the music you're trying to play. In the "folk music" genres that many of us play here in the Mandolin Cafe, that means opening your ears, and getting to know your preferred style of music well enough to know whether you're playing badly or not. The time you spend listening is as important as the time you spend practicing.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I think Ted Eschliman recommends two hours of listening to one of practice. It certainly helped me.
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Itzhak Perlman has played violin, at a very high level, for 70 years. He most likely practiced many, many more hours daily when younger. At this point in his life he may need to brush up repertoire from time to time, but he's not having to learn new pieces—if it's out there, he has played it, and played it well. Someone of his stature needs and wants to maintain his level of playing, but it's a different situation than it is for someone who is still student.

    For a violinist in conservatory, 4–6 hours a day of practice time is usually expected.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    As a conservatory student I spent at least 4 hours a day practicing, breaking it down into work with a metronome, scales, exudes anD then performance pieces. Even as a high school student, the last two years I attended a prep program at a conservatory on Saturdays, and I did at least 3 hours of practice every day, sometimes in a practice room at school.
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  13. #9

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I have heard 3 hours as adequate for a professional musician from several pros.

    The thing is, pros tend to be busy doing all of the other stuff they need to do to run their business.
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Funny how some topics come up. I just ran across this video from Magnus Zetterlund.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I need to practice at least 3 hours a day to move forward... but any time playing will at least help me maintain hand strength, dexterity etc...

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I used to know a lot of music students at Manhattan School, Cleveland Institute and other places, (I think) they didn't generally aim for X hours of practice, they structured their practice as warmup, technique, repertory, ear training/theory/improv, new material, piano (most of them had to learn piano if they didn't already), recording and listening to yourself. There's lots of other areas you could subdivide into, and they monitored how they were doing in each area. For most of them it was very physically demanding so they also had to take one easy day/week (minimum) and doubly demanding if they were studying classical and jazz. Some had to work conscisouly on stage fright /visualization/ readiness/reduce beta blockers.

    I've had other good players say their practice is "working tunes one at a time, thoroughly" or "working on what's not easy for me" and that's all the explanation they need/want to give. They don't bucket their time but they just go at it, so it's deliberate, directed, focussed practice.

    This is a good site for articles on practicing https://www.jazzadvice.com/category/...tice-routines/
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    .

    This is a good site for articles on practicing https://www.jazzadvice.com/category/...tice-routines/
    Great site, one impro exercise they talk about is find a melodic line that you like that DOESN’T contain the root of the chord you’re going through, then:
    Instead of writing an exercise out in all keys, create a narrative that will help you initially think through it. For example, with our previous line it could be “Start from the 6th of the dominant chord, then move down scale-wise to the 3rd, and when I reach the 3rd, arpeggiate up to the 9th, and finally resolve to the 5th of the tonic chord.”

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    on a thread about practicing somebody always suggests reading Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" along w/ Inner Game of Music, etc

    Mandolinist Nate Lee's list: https://www.thenatelee.com/books.html

    and another: https://jamesclear.com/best-books/self-help

    (I have NOT read most of the books on the lists but they seem like good recommendations you can dig out of your local public library. You can spend a *lot* of time reading about how to practice. Sterner's Practicing book is very good, I bought it)

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    and similar thread on another tech focused site. You ask for advice on practicing, people will write thousands of words about it https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20185854
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise NM View Post
    Itzhak Perlman has played violin, at a very high level, for 70 years. He most likely practiced many, many more hours daily when younger.
    I think Louise hit it right on the head.

    In my younger days it was not unusual for me to practice 6-8 hours a day . . . and if I had a day off from work, I might practice 12 or 14 hours. (You would think that I would be a much better player by now - but that's a different story . . .) They way I always looked at it is that if somebody forces you to practice, you may not advance too far . . . but if you want to practice, that shows the kind of real desire that can lead to great things.

    In Post #6 David also pointed out something that is a truism for me . . . listening is also a very important part of learning - that's where inspirations and ideas come from. As Brian May from the band Queen once said; 'Nobody creates in a vacuum.' In my early days of mandolin playing I had a cassette tape with about 12 or 14 of my favorite mandolin songs on it that I listened to multiple times a day, for at least a couple of months. Again, I never had the talent to play anywhere close to the artists that I was listening to, but it was an invaluable learning experience nonetheless.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    create a narrative that will help you initially think through it. For example, with our previous line it could be “Start from the 6th of the dominant chord, then move down scale-wise to the 3rd, and when I reach the 3rd, arpeggiate up to the 9th, and finally resolve to the 5th of the tonic chord.”
    And to heck with narratives that start with "Call me Ishmael," or "It was the best of times," or "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life … "
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeZito View Post
    They way I always looked at it is that if somebody forces you to practice, you may not advance too far . . . but if you want to practice, that shows the kind of real desire that can lead to great things.
    I think that's true. I always wanted to practice, even as a kid. Violin lessons were 100% my idea, coming from a family of non musicians. I probably never reached my potential, but I seldom had the luxury of practicing 3 hours a day, let alone more than that. Yet oftentimes during my life, I've had to play for 3, 6, or more hours in a given day.

    Also, learning to practice "in your head", away from the instrument, is very useful.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I practice as much as I can, but nowhere near 3 hours a day. I don't see how adults with multiple responsibilities can hide away and practice that much. A kid or student, even college student, maybe. Then again, I am playing at the mandolin for fun and not to get to a point to get paid for it.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SOMorris View Post
    I practice as much as I can, but nowhere near 3 hours a day. I don't see how adults with multiple responsibilities can hide away and practice that much. A kid or student, even college student, maybe. Then again, I am playing at the mandolin for fun and not to get to a point to get paid for it.
    I dont think I could practice that much even if I had the time. Enjoyment would soon turn into drudgery and I think I would end up hating the instrument. Some good advice I got here was the break up serious practice sessions with just noodling around on the instrument and having fun. That has helped me. On a related note, I wonder how many hours a day Keith Richards practices?

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    Some good advice I got here was the break up serious practice sessions with just noodling around on the instrument and having fun. That has helped me. On a related note, I wonder how many hours a day Keith Richards practices?
    I have always considered noodling to be a part of practicing, because that is where a large portion of new ideas come from.

    From the stories that I have heard, Richards is like Hendrix - you never see him without a guitar in his hands.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SOMorris View Post
    I practice as much as I can, but nowhere near 3 hours a day. I don't see how adults with multiple responsibilities can hide away and practice that much.
    I have to admit to being extremely lucky in this regard. The landlord of the building where I work has given me free practice/rehearsal/studio space in the building for the past 23 years - so at least one hour of playing and/or recording every day is no more than a lunch break away.

  29. #22

    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    Skill on an instrument is directly related to number of hours you put in. When I played classical guitar I practiced 2-3 hours per day, but that was when I was in college. Now I try to get 1 hours per day on mandolin, but don't always get there.

  30. #23
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I think you have to have a certain amount of perspective about the advice of a professional classical violin soloist. Perlman interprets music composed by other people in the highly ritualized world of classical music. Is that what you do? Depending on the music you play, you might find yourself spending a lot more time: writing songs, practicing singing while playing, learning mic skills, working on improvisation, transposing tunes to different keys, transcribing music, etc.

    Having said that, I think three hours a day with big breaks is very good for most people (especially non-pros) and you'd have to be really careless to not make good progress with that regimen.

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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    My opinions follow.

    Lets get real. Those who are practicing 3 or more hours a day are not spending time reading this thread. Chris Thile is reported to practice and or work on music 8 hours a day. It is his day job. Dollars to donuts he is not reading this thread.

    For the rest of us, for whom the mandolin is an avocation, even a passionate one, cannot get that crazy. We have jobs, and families, and responsibilities in the community, all of which are very important, and to my mind it would be a shame to resent these activities as interrupting our practicing and holding us back, when, given the opportunity, how much are we practicing anyway?

    For most of us here is my idea. Make sure you get behind that instrument every day, for some amount of time, and do something.

    Every day that I don't have a jam session or a lesson I spend some time behind the mandolin. Sometimes it is just a half an hour before I go to bed, to keep the momentum going. Some times it is first thing in the morning for an hour because the morning sun is so delightful.

    Practicing is the perfect example of perfect being the enemy of good. The difference between not practicing, and practicing every day, is MUCH MUCH larger than practicing the optimum amount with the best diversity of exercises compared to just doing it. What I mean is for most of us the increment of improvement of the perfect practice over getting some practice in regularly, is not much, compared to the benefits of practicing something over not practicing anything.

    Or putting it another way, first get into the habit of a half an hour every darn day, and then when you have that down, see how you can improve your practice.

    What Itzhak Perlman may recommend has nothing to do with most of us, and those to whom it applies are not on line reading this thread, they are practicing.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 hours of practice a day?

    I know quite a few folks who see practice has hard and cop out by saying "I don't really need to get that good" or worse, "I am never going to get that good."

    But its like magic, just playing every day you will likely get much better than you every imagined.

    You can always ratchet things up later. But if you cannot manage playing something every day, who cares that it is three (50 min) hours a day of scales, etudes, and repertoire you are not practicing.

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