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Beginner how long do you all practice?

flukeyluke

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Hi people,ive just finished a great sax practice session :) i learnt the f major and b major scale today as well as the minor pentatonic in c, also learnt a few bits of songs like morning has broken,,unchained melody from ghost :),,i only usually practice for 1hr a day and not at all on weekends....today though i was blowing the horn for 2hrs lol,didnt mean to be that long but it went sooooo fast and i thought i had only been playing an hour

How long a day/week do other beginners practice? and what did you learn in your last session?

Also how long do the more experienced players on here practice a day/week?

Luke :)
 
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Nick Wyver

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Practice?

Vaguely remember doing that.

Years ago I used to do 3 or 4 hours a day.

Not now.
 

PaulM

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Also how long do the more experienced players on here practice a day/week?

Luke :)

Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote an influential book called Outliers. In it he proposes a “10,000-hour rule,” he reckons that it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill like playing the violin, computer programming, etc. He gives some examples, from the Beatles to Bill Gates, and argues that the biggest factor in their success is not innate talent or luck, but rather dedication to their craft. His view is that almost anyone can succeed if they put in the time. So if Mr Gladwell is right, the more we practice, the sooner we'll clock up the hours and complete our apprenticeship.

I don't measure how long I practice. It's a few hours a day I guess and I practice almost every day, but I'm lucky as being retired at least I'm time rich. Right, enough of this, back to practice. I haven't mastered the Farandole from Bizet's second l'Arlesienne Suite yet and may never do until I'm nearer those 10k hours.
 

kernewegor

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Flukeyluke has started an interesting thread.

A person of average ability can generally gain a reasonable basic speaking, listening and writing fluency in a language by studying for half an hour a day for twelve months - say about 1300 hours. BUT... the study has to be well planned, focused and efficient. Also daily study and practice is important - a couple of two hour sessions a week allows too long between study for good memory retention and is inefficient in other ways. Taking a day or two off (and making up for it during the rest of the week) is OK, and may even be beneficial.

Music seems to take quite a lot more time.

Charlie Parker stated that during his teens he practiced for 10 to 15 hours a day (!!) over about 4 years. If we allow that he never practiced less than 10 hours a day, a seven day week and a couple of weeks off on holiday a year would give 3,500 hours a year, so four years would give 14,000 hours. (15 hours pro rata would be 21,000 hours...) Consequently his technique and the theory he had internalised gave him virtuoso ability. So 10,000 hours may be near the target for music to that sort of level. Who was it who said that genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration?

Music college students (I would guess...) might study 6 (?) hours a day 5 days a week for about 7 months a year (?) which would be 840 hours a year. Not all of this would be instrumental practice. This is not counting any practice at home and performances, nor is it counting time studying and practicing during early years before going to music college (which could be considerable). Not all of this would be instrumental practice. Over four years this amounts to 3,360 hours of study, and should give a music degree and at least basic professional skills and a reasonable amount of ensemble experience but not - in itself - ability like Parker's.

I am making some surmises here based on casual conversations and will quiz Mrs Ex in more detail when I get the chance - anyone who has done an instrumental music degree care to comment?

In my own experience half an hour a day for language learning is fine for good basic fluency in a year.

But with music I find that it is only enough to mark time and prevent erosion of repertoire and technique, so I reckon that if I do an hour day then half of that is progress... again, study needs to be focused etc.

It is important to take a break of five minutes or so every half an hour to avoid mental fatigue. Then when you start again your mind is refreshed and better progress will be made. Maintaining interest is vital - if it isn't enjoyable you won't make progress and you are liable to give up. If something becomes tedious, find ways to make it fun!

Having achieved whatever level of expertise you are happy with, performances, warming up beforehand, learning new material and so on can help maintain your skills. The long term memory stuff will all be in there (including muscle memory) and any 'rustiness' makes itself obvious. But ... anecdotes from the great and famous nearly always mention playing scales and exercises regularly... and all horn players need to keep their lips in shape...

Do these musings strike a chord (!?) with other members?
 

Targa

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Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote an influential book called Outliers. In it he proposes a “10,000-hour rule,” he reckons that it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill like playing the violin, computer programming, etc. He gives some examples, from the Beatles to Bill Gates, and argues that the biggest factor in their success is not innate talent or luck, but rather dedication to their craft. His view is that almost anyone can succeed if they put in the time. So if Mr Gladwell is right, the more we practice, the sooner we'll clock up the hours and complete our apprenticeship.

I don't measure how long I practice. It's a few hours a day I guess and I practice almost every day, but I'm lucky as being retired at least I'm time rich. Right, enough of this, back to practice. I haven't mastered the Farandole from Bizet's second l'Arlesienne Suite yet and may never do until I'm nearer those 10k hours.

I agree that might well be true to become a virtuoso musician, but computer programming?
10,000 hours would be equivalent to 40 hours a week for 5 years.
After 5 years I was correcting other peoples' software errors in four languages.
I always knew I was a genius ( if not a child prodigy).
 

Colin the Bear

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I don't practice, never have. I play 6 hours some days, some days 2. Occasionally not at all but only rarely
 

old git

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Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote an influential book called Outliers. In it he proposes a “10,000-hour rule,” he reckons that it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill like playing the violin, computer programming, etc. He gives some examples, from the Beatles to Bill Gates, and argues that the biggest factor in their success is not innate talent or luck, but rather dedication to their craft. His view is that almost anyone can succeed if they put in the time. So if Mr Gladwell is right, the more we practice, the sooner we'll clock up the hours and complete our apprenticeship..

That raises interesting questions,

1) Did Malcolm Gladwell spend 10,000 hours developing and analysing his theories?

2) Did Malcolm Gladwell spend 10,000 hours practising writing books?
 

kevgermany

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I think Gladwell was right when he said that it takes a lot of time to master technical skills - be they motor skills for instrument playing, or thinking skills for other tasks.

But where I don't agree is that talent or luck are less important. It's very clear in the fileds that I've gone into deeply, that talent and luck are as important. A lifetime of hard work on the sax wouldn't make me into Stan Getz or Canonball Adderly. Neither would it make me into James Hunt, Nigel Mansell or Stirlling Moss.

What counts for a lot it business sense, dedication and the ability (and confidence) to sell yourself. But to be at the top of the game native talent is critical.
 

Targa

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A lifetime of hard work on the sax wouldn't make me into Stan Getz or Canonball Adderly. Neither would it make me into James Hunt, Nigel Mansell or Stirlling Moss.

In the latter sentence I assume you meant to say work on your driving ability.
However don't be disheartened, if you really put in the effort one day you might be almost as good as I am at either.
 

BigMartin

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I think Gladwell was right when he said that it takes a lot of time to master technical skills - be they motor skills for instrument playing, or thinking skills for other tasks.

But where I don't agree is that talent or luck are less important. It's very clear in the fileds that I've gone into deeply, that talent and luck are as important. A lifetime of hard work on the sax wouldn't make me into Stan Getz or Canonball Adderly. Neither would it make me into James Hunt, Nigel Mansell or Stirlling Moss.
I think that's probably true at the highest levels, but I think passion and application will get you to a level of professional competence in most fields, including music. I don't mean you can necessarily make a living, that depends on all sorts of external factors, but you can be what I think of as a "real player" (and no, I have no intention of offering a definition. I know one when I hear one, usually within a few seconds. I am not one - yet! :)). But it takes a lot of "work". Not that it feels like work if you have the passion. I love practising, and wish I could make more time in my life for it. (Currently about 90 mins a day, 5-6 days a week.. Could happily do 3-4 hours.)
What counts for a lot it business sense, dedication and the ability (and confidence) to sell yourself. But to be at the top of the game native talent is critical.
I'll never have the time for a career, and I'm too old now anyway. I just want to be able to make some real music.
 
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Jamesmac

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Slightly off subject. Probably for those interested in practicing when they happen too feel like practicing/ playing Music even, when it's an unsociable hour of the day or night. Or playing in hotel rooms as a recent post mentioned. I happened on the price of those practice covers. Nearly £400. For Alto >:) I have started to make my own, for Tenor I guess about £20 plus time. And I have some of the main parts It won't be very transport friendly, so not for our hotel guy, watch this space.
 

dubrosa22

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I try to play/practise an hour every single day. Doesn't always work out that way with work & a toddler to contend with but I try to make the lost practise time on the weekends but it's always best to have a regular daily routine.

Any less than an hour and you barely get to warm up the embouchure, lungs, fingers and brain IMO.

V
 

TimboSax

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Slightly off subject. Probably for those interested in practicing when they happen too feel like practicing/ playing Music even, when it's an unsociable hour of the day or night. Or playing in hotel rooms as a recent post mentioned. I happened on the price of those practice covers. Nearly £400. For Alto >:) I have started to make my own, for Tenor I guess about £20 plus time. And I have some of the main parts It won't be very transport friendly, so not for our hotel guy, watch this space.

When I bought the new sax I treated everyone in the family to their very own set of these:

41QtQZsWjUL.jpg


Huh, didnt get no thanks or nuffink.
 

Jamesmac

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It's back to the drawing board as my initial idea was to use the frame of a couple of lampshades from the charity shop, but not going too well. >:)
 

Melissa

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For me it is not enough, I would ideally like to practice every day but do not always have the opportunity, some days I am just too dispondent to even contemplate picking it up and others I just can't stop.. guess i'm a bit potty.
 

Jeanette

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For me it is not enough, I would ideally like to practice every day but do not always have the opportunity, some days I am just too dispondent to even contemplate picking it up and others I just can't stop.. guess i'm a bit potty.

I've had days like that but find if I can pick it up and go easy it lifts my mood :)

Jx
 

flukeyluke

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lol im a bit on the potty side too :) i have days like that as well but like jeanette if i manage to pick the sax up and start playing it lifts my mood.

only practiced for 1hr today,didnt really learn anything new i just spent most of the time playing the few scales i know and trying to do a bit of improv with them
 

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