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Thread: Practice Regiment Questions

  1. #1
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Practice Regiment Questions

    I practiced the open and closed versions of the G, C, and D chords first, so I could go to the bluegrass jams right away, and not stink up the place too bad.

    I thought this would be a much better starting strategy than just sitting at home practicing on my own without any real regimented productive practice other than scales, chords, and backup chucking to songs.

    This strategy has been working better than I could have ever expected! I have been getting out and meeting the other bluegrass pickers in my area each weekend. I am having the time of my life trying keep up with the chord/key changes, and learning all these new songs I never knew how to play before.

    Anyway, I really want to get a good practice regiment going, so I can start doing breaks someday.

    Right now I practice all my major and minor chords.
    All of my major 7th chords.
    I practice a few different boom-chuck strum patterns getting to and from the chords.
    I practice the G scale, and I am starting to incorporate the other keys in.
    I practice a finger stretching scale.
    I boom-chuck with recorded tunes on youtube a little.
    I go to jams each weekend. At least two, sometimes 3 or 4.

    So how do I turn all of this stuff into a productive practice regiment?
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

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  3. #2
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Sounds like you have a good set of mechanics going. I'd suggest learning as many standard fiddle tunes as you can. At MandoLessons.com, Baron has tons of lesson vids, where he breaks each one down into sections and walks you through it. Then there's tabs and play-along tracks (fast and slow) for each one. I've learned a bunch of fiddle tunes from his site. Lessons are free, but I think you'll get enough value from the site that you'll want to contribute. Baron is a fantastic resource for the online learning community.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Fiddle tunes are a classic way of learning melodies and lead licks, but some folks can find them frustrating (personally, I love them). One of the most common complaints of aspiring BG lead players is "I've learned these tunes, but they never play them at the jams". So you might want to make a list of the tunes and instrumentals that get played at your local jams, and start with those. Another approach is to try to pick out the vocal melody to songs that you know well (harder for non-singers). But definitely take advantage of the resources available on the web. Lots of lessons and tabs out there.
    Mitch Russell

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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    First off, it's regimen.

    From post above

    I'd suggest learning as many standard fiddle tunes as you can.

    This is good advice. You'll learn to play in different keys and will be able to apply licks and lines from one tune to another, thereby increasing your musical scope and skill.

    Everything you list as doing now is all good.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    First off, it's regimen.

    From post above

    I'd suggest learning as many standard fiddle tunes as you can.

    This is good advice. You'll learn to play in different keys and will be able to apply licks and lines from one tune to another, thereby increasing your musical scope and skill.

    Everything you list as doing now is all good.
    No dude,,it's "regiment: 1.to organize according to a strict pattern". Regimen: prescribed course of medical treatment"..

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Well, blow me down and hit me upside the head. Regiment it is.

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Merriam Webster:

    'Regimen might make you think of medicine or exercise. Generally speaking, a regimen is a systematic plan or course of action. It is often specifically applied to a plan for, say, administering medication, following a diet, or taking care of something pertaining to the self'

    Seems your regimented practice would involve a practice regime:-)
    Play it like you mean it.

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  12. #8
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    The main thing is that your practice be fun, and something you can do regularly. Doing regular practice is magical in its effect.

    The difference between practicing something regularly and not practicing regularly is GIGANTIC.

    The difference between practicing the perfect regimen versus an ok regimen is small. And compared to not practicing at all is almost invisible.

    Not practicing regularly a regime that is wonderful is a waste of time IMO.


    The bottom line is do something regularly, and fine tune it once you are in the habit of practicing.
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  13. #9
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The main thing is that your practice be fun, and something you can do regularly. Doing regular practice is magical in its effect.

    The difference between practicing something regularly and not practicing regularly is GIGANTIC.

    The difference between practicing the perfect regimen versus an ok regimen is small. And compared to not practicing at all is almost invisible.

    Not practicing regularly a regime that is wonderful is a waste of time IMO.


    The bottom line is do something regularly, and fine tune it once you are in the habit of practicing.
    Ain't that the truth! Skip a day... Take 3 steps backwards!

    Thank you all for your valuable input.
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

  14. #10
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Yeah much good advice here. Fiddle tunes are a great way to get those fingers moving.... Learning the changes of the I IV V and VIm chords in the common keys you hear songs at jams played in You mentioned G C and D add Em to that and you have a handle on the key of G … those keys would be would be A G C and D. E F B and Bd would likely be the next grouping to work on. Ofcourse when faced with a capo wielding guitar playing singes all bets are off. Don't be afraid to sit a song or tune out. Licks , especially closed position licks.... short , less then one measure combinations or tones can be moved around from song to song and used as fill when the singer is between lines. Partial scales in the key and chord pentatonic, five tone scales with flatted or natural tones travel well. Example the G five tone scale can be played over a G chord or a G key song. The C and D five tone scales can be played over those chords when playing in the key of G...… Learn Dominant 7th not major 7th chords for Bluegrass. THat 7th tone needs to be flatted. Lastly take a recorder of by an app and record the songs folks are playing...… R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  15. #11

    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Practice doing the thing you want to get better at. Some jams are everyone more or less playing the melody. At other jams people take turns improvising. If you want to get better at improvising, practice improvising. Scales, fiddle tunes, other people’s solos, etc. are not improvising. Improvising is you creating.

    Use The iRealB app. Slow things down. Work on small sections of music. Focus on small sections of the fretboard. Gradually increase difficulty. Create.
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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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  17. #13
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Thanks again, you guys. This stuff is great. I am studying the FFcP stuff now as well. I have also decided to never play a single note ever again. They will always be a double stop single note from now on! Lol!!!!
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

  18. #14

    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    Thanks again, you guys. This stuff is great. I am studying the FFcP stuff now as well. I have also decided to never play a single note ever again. They will always be a double stop single note from now on! Lol!!!!
    I recommend the book, Pentatonic Mandolin by Niles H. You'll be improvising in jam breaks in no time.

  19. #15
    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Winn View Post
    Sounds like you have a good set of mechanics going. I'd suggest learning as many standard fiddle tunes as you can. At MandoLessons.com, Baron has tons of lesson vids, where he breaks each one down into sections and walks you through it. Then there's tabs and play-along tracks (fast and slow) for each one. I've learned a bunch of fiddle tunes from his site. Lessons are free, but I think you'll get enough value from the site that you'll want to contribute. Baron is a fantastic resource for the online learning community.
    He's posting lessons weekly, and the latest was yesterday. It has over 1,000 views! You can watch weekly lessons (from him) on youtube, or visit his website. There's lots of beginner resources on his website that will make it worth your time.
    Kentucky KM-380

  20. #16
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Regiment Questions

    A friend of mine who I was encouraging on her musical adventure asked me what is the second thing. Another words, if you have already reconstructed your life so that you can get behind the instrument every day, if regular practice is no biggy, what is the next thing?

    I would say the second priority is knowing what you want to sound like. And the word "better" is not a good answer. I mean, when I practice a tune, how do I want it to sound. How do I want to sound playing it. Not just how does it go, but in detail, how "should" it sound.

    I play a lot of exercises and stuff. I liken it to lifting weights. Lifting weights or doing sit ups (ahhhhh) is not what you want to do, but it makes/keeps your body ready to do what you want to do, be it football, or golfing, or cycling or rowing, fly fishing or whatever.

    But even with the exercises, scales, arpeggios, etc., before I even start I need to have a clear vision in my head as to what being good at this will sound like.

    For emphasis, having a clear vision as to what success will be is, to my mind, more important than choosing how many minutes to chase after this or that technique. But... having a clear vision is not nearly as important as getting behind that instrument every darn day you are sucking wind on this planet. (Or whatever "regularly" means to you. )
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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