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Hardbopjazz

Practicing. How many hours a day?

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For all the musicians here, excluding gigs, how many hours a day do you devote to praticing?

When I played, it varied. I tried to pratice at least 2 hours a day.

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I try to get in a couple hours per day on my axe. I also am currently doing a lot of writing/arranging and that probably ranges from 2-4 hours per day. I teach about 8 hours per week. Any "idle time" (in the car, at the gym, walking the dog etc.) is spent THINKING about the above as well as listening to music.

This "idle" time is often some of the most productive, especially in regard to writing/arranging. Without the horn or piano (which can often end up being obstacles to the creative process) I "hear" the music only in my head and frequently find solutions reveal themselves more readily; it's easy to get caught up in voicings/theory/technique and overlook musical/melodic/rhythmic issues.

I've read about this and have heard it referred as "creative visualization". It also ties in with some aspects of Zen, which are detailed in some of the "Inner Game" books (The Inner Game of Tennis is not about music, but the concepts relate directly to music and it was one of the most helpful books I've ever read).

My instrumental practice time is sacred because I get to focus on playing and hopefully shut out the distractions for awhile. This is sometimes hard to do, but it's a good exercise in itself. It teaches you to be able to "turn on" the process of concentration quickly.

One can practice for 12 hours a day and get less out of it than one who practices 2 hours a day- quantity does not guarantee quality.

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For the last year I've been trying to practice for 3 to 4 hours a day five days a week. If I'm enjoying myself I'll play for longer; if I'm not (and there are occasional bad days) I won't force it and quit after an hour. I feel it's better to find something else to do than labour over it when your heart isn't in it (fortunately, this doesn't happen often). It is important to enjoy practicing regardless of how much time you put in. I also try and do some kind of theory work for an hour or so every day.

Free for All's post is right on the money. Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying my hand at arranging some tunes for a jazz workshop I'm involved in. I've never done any arranging before but I'm enjoying the challenge. Whenever I get stuck- which is about every other bar :P - I find it more helpful to 'hear' what I want in my head and work it out after.

FYI, Barry Green and Timothy Galway have adapted the earlier 'Inner Game' books specifically to cover music and their 'Inner Game of Music' is one of my most well-thumbed sources of inspiration along with Paul F. Berliner's 'Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation'. Both highly recommended.

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FYI, Barry Green and Timothy Galway have adapted the earlier 'Inner Game' books specifically to cover music and their 'Inner Game of Music' is one of my most well-thumbed sources of inspiration along with Paul F. Berliner's 'Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation'. Both highly recommended.

Yes, both very good books. For some reason I connected more with the Inner Game tennis book more than the music version. Not sure why- I do play tennis, but I don't think that's at all a prerequisite to benefitting from the book.

Check 'em both out.

Kenny Werner's Effortless Mastery is also a good read along similar lines.

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In my case, not enough, and not regularly enough. Thanks for reminding me. :huh:

Following a regular pattern is hard for me, because my motivation and inspiration really ebbs and flows. I can't stand "practicing" when it doesn't feel good, and unfortunately, there are too many days when it doesn't feel (or sound) good. I really respect (but don't necessarily envy) musicians who perform 350 days a year.

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The main reason I play nearly every day is that as a brass player I can't lay off very long before the "chops" start to deteriorate. What takes weeks or months to build up can disappear in days, so a lot of my practice is what I refer to as "maintenance"- exercises to build up the chops and work on technique. I frequently do this practicing while watching sports(or something) w/the sound off (like watching TV at the gym while doing cardio stuff). The practicing I do beyond that is when I need to really concentrate (TV off!) and focus.

Like I said before, more is not necessarily better- whatever keeps you within sight of your goals. Everyone here who plays knows how long they can lay off before it starts to affect their playing.

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I pratice every chance I can, even after all these years.

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Since I've had a kid, it is very hard for me to find the time to practice. I've been trying to get more sleep at night, so I can practice while she's sleeping during the day, rather than taking naps. But it is hard, especially getting up at 6:30am or 7am after gigging the previous night (and not getting to bed until 4am!)

One thing that has suffered for me is writing... I just don't have time to do it and when I do, I too tired to think of anything cool.

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Since I've had a kid, it is very hard for me to find the time to practice.  I've been trying to get more sleep at night, so I can practice while she's sleeping during the day, rather than taking naps.  But it is hard, especially getting up at 6:30am or 7am after gigging the previous night (and not getting to bed until 4am!)

One thing that has suffered for me is writing... I just don't have time to do it and when I do, I too tired to think of anything cool.

"One thing that has suffered for me is writing... "

dude, sleep deprivation is awesome for creativity. some writers deliberately wear themselves out for want of the muse. :)

now 'practicing' on the other, is very hard when tired.

anyhow, check this,

O' Jimmy, Jimmy man

o' plenty

you've got enough stuff in the can

cuz you da man

and... uh... er...

Oh crap I shouldn't have taken that nap

better go practice :w

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o.k. serious answer

I used to practice a lot more. But with two little ones running around, I usually just get to grab the guitar and noodle a bit. The last/present studio project was like practice though. As the playbacks had me subsequently working on issues of technique.

20 focused minutes does more for me than hours of noodling though. Usually...

as a general rule, I aim for 2 hours a day.

g

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When I really try and hit the shed, I might be practicing about 4 hours a day. But between classes, rehearsals, numerous other time-takers, that's almost all my free time! There just ain't enough hours in the day.

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Didn't we have a lot of conversations about this? Anyway, I play at least a couple hours a day.

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We did have a conversation about what people practice. This is the first I remember regarding how long.

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Joe, you could practice a lot less if you'd just spend more time working out with one of these:

PlanetWaves-Gripmaster-r.jpg

:g

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Yes well, if in fact I practiced "a lot", then perhaps I could consider practicing "a lot less". :blink:

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Yes well, if in fact I practiced "a lot", then perhaps I could consider practicing "a lot less".  :blink:

take the blue-version.....more medium, light tension.....

seriously....NO Gripmaster! :P

...i'm practicing not that much....i know, shame shame....about 1/2 - 1h per day.... :w:mellow:

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seriously....NO Gripmaster! :P

You're just jealous 'cause you can't squeeze the neck of your guitar so hard that it cracks. :crazy:

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Y'all practise for hours, every day?! No wonder my playing sux, I'm lucky if I get in 20-30 minutes 5/6 times a week...

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I do 1 hour of focussed practice, not counting playing/jamming.

Though I am sure I wasted years by having poor practice sessions. If a teacher can do anything right, it is to impart a good practice routine for life.

In the last year I've been following a concise plan for warming up - finger patterns, scales, chords and arpeggios.

I am going to Barry Harris' bebop workshop this weekend, and I found his book very helpful in terms of "what" to practice. I'll report on the Workshop later.

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I do 1 hour of focussed practice, not counting playing/jamming.

Though I am sure I wasted years by having poor practice sessions. If a teacher can do anything right, it is to impart a good practice routine for life.

In the last year I've been following a concise plan for warming up - finger patterns, scales, chords and arpeggios.

I am going to Barry Harris' bebop workshop this weekend, and I found his book very helpful in terms of "what" to practice. I'll report on the Workshop later.

How was the Barry Harris workshop?

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