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How much do you practice?

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,661
That's an interesting article Kev, the thing with me is I don't really practice. I never play scales, I don't do long tones and I've given up trying to read music. However, I do play along to backing or karaoke tracks quite a lot. When the sun shines (which isn't a lot at the moment) I can be found on the streets busking, where I may stay for four or five hours.
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
203
There is a great anecdote told by the famous classical guitarist Julian Bream. When he enrolled in the army he thought his musical career was over because he could only practice 15-20 minutes a day. He was completely astonished when he actually got much better. He evidently used those 15-20 minutes more efficiently than he ever had before.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Kev

This is a great article. This is something I sometimes think about. I have found that as the pieces I learn and play get more difficult, it gets harder to maintain the concentration. I used to do three-hour sessions, but I have now broken them up into two+one.

Also, I now divide my time into practice and playing. In the practice part I do tech work, new pieces, etc. In the playing section I simply play the pieces I know.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Good article. I do 40mins in the afternoon and up to one hour in the evening, usually more like 40mins. There isnt much more time. But my afternoon practice is the slog. I do long notes and that horrible first excercise from Petes book. A couple of weeks and I havent even got past that one. Evening is more for fun, exploring and hopefully getting more agile. I know from guitar that its possible to sit for an hour and practice and come out no better than you went in. The article is good for pointing this out, self deceit is easy when its the easy option. I'd like to be more laid back about it like Taz, but it just isnt me. I worry too much about almost everything.
Mike
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
That's an interesting article Kev, the thing with me is I don't really practice. I never play scales, I don't do long tones and I've given up trying to read music. However, I do play along to backing or karaoke tracks quite a lot. When the sun shines (which isn't a lot at the moment) I can be found on the streets busking, where I may stay for four or five hours.
That's about it for me too Taz, I've not read the dots since '57. The four bands I work with don't tell me the number, or even the key. I just turn the mic. volume down, stick one finger in my ear to find the key, and get on with it.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
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3,552
I try to do about 3 x 30 mins a day. On one of those its excercises - scales, arpeggios, long notes, nothing "formal" just what I fancy at the time. One will usually be my repertoire - I am trying to get a set together that I can play easily and enjoy playing. And the third is spent practicing band pieces. But much of this is based around building the strength of my embouchure.
I try to play every day, but don't always manage it. Mind you, for me, playing sax is "me" time away from my kids and hubby and it's probably the only time that I wind down and relax. No matter what else is going on in my life, playing my sax is really theraputic.

Interestingly, my oldest daughter (who shot archery for GB juniors last year) was told to always have a planned day off a week. I'm guessing for her it was not so much having a rest from training, but having a "normal" teenager life one day a week, instead of getting up to train for an hour before school and then an hour after every day of the week and squeezing in study and revision around that.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
I'm just waiting for the practice king, Mr Inglis to comment. Should be interesting.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Just to make him look even more extreme, nothing at the moment.
We wait with baited breath ;}

Mandy, Archery is one of my hobbies too, I've spent many an hour in 'Quicks', Waterlooville, with a bad attack of 'GAS'.
Well done to your daughter, I hope she goes from strenght to strength :welldone:welldone

John.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I'm just waiting for the practice king, Mr Inglis to comment. Should be interesting.
Paul used to practice 6 hours a day until he passed away quite recently..........His parents subsequently bought a Fozzie Bear Lookalike which does not practice at all, not that his sax teacher has noticed any difference in lessons...........................:shocked::w00t:;}

The sobering thought is that if you practice for more than 4 hours a day you'll end up like John Coltrane - unable to play an actual tune, and subsequently playing several scales at once, and losing rhythm and timing, as Thelonius Monk can testify! Who do you think was the inspiration for his classic - "Nutty" ;}

C'mon Paul, its time to wake up to practice - are you still in the Green Room with Candy Dulfer and JohnBoy?
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Paul used to practice 6 hours a day until he passed away quite recently..........His parents subsequently bought a Fozzie Bear Lookalike which does not practice at all, not that his sax teacher has noticed any difference in lessons...........................:shocked::w00t:;}

The sobering thought is that if you practice for more than 4 hours a day you'll end up like John Coltrane - unable to play an actual tune, and subsequently playing several scales at once, and losing rhythm and timing, as Thelonius Monk can testify! Who do you think was the inspiration for his classic - "Nutty" ;}

C'mon Paul, its time to wake up to practice - are you still in the Green Room with Candy Dulfer and JohnBoy?
I've decide that with all you handsome? 'YOUNG' men around, my chances with Candy are non-existant, so have switched my attention to the beautiful Melody Gardot. Ooooooooooooooooooh :rolleyes:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
To be fair he has been at lessons, most of the day, as it's Tuesday. When he is back, you will probably know.................:)))
 

Chris

Well Known
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3,821
It's nice to see so many people practicing in many ways to do the same thing play the sax better:welldone.I normally play for about 3/4 hrs a day.90mins after lunch, a break, then 90mins before tea. Then about an hour after tea. I always try and play new tune a day as I find it helps with the sight reading. Plus playing along with backing tracks. Also playing tunes I like( that one stops me getting bored).

Chris
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Well, I've got a pretty busy life - up at 6am every morning, out to work all day, back some time between six and seven. Two young kids to distract me when I get home, and I also need to find time to eat, sleep, wash and even occasionally talk to the Mrs F. In all this I somehow squeeze in a bit of playing time every day. I usually manage thirty minutes, although I'm not sure it's really practising. Maybe two minutes on scales, a spot of aimless noodling and then playing tunes for a bit. That's all. But I enjoy it, and apart from holidays away, I miss my daily blow maybe two or three days in a year.
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
We wait with baited breath ;}

Mandy, Archery is one of my hobbies too, I've spent many an hour in 'Quicks', Waterlooville, with a bad attack of 'GAS'.
Well done to your daughter, I hope she goes from strenght to strength :welldone:welldone

John.
Hey John didn't know you were an Archer mate, me also hence the name Compound.
Rob.
 
Messages
509
I wish i could practice!, i always tell my wife that if Charlie Parker was married to her he would never have left Chicago.
as soon as i start trying any thing which might not be obviously tuneful my wife say " i wish you'd play a song "
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I wish i could practice!, i always tell my wife that if Charlie Parker was married to her he would never have left Chicago.
as soon as i start trying any thing which might not be obviously tuneful my wife say " i wish you'd play a song "
Next time she say's that, play her favourite tune, but really badly. Then proudly say "And that my dear, is why we need practice!" :mrcool


Oh, I almost forgot to add....... then duck and run! :)))
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
I've been trying to be more organised with my own practice lately (even started a practice diary at my teacher's instigation---how nerdy is that?). I think the key is to set achievable (ie not too far from where you are now) goals. I practice just about every day I don't have band practice. Maximum I can fit in is 2 hours, usually more like 1. Most days I come away feeling that I'm doing something a bit better than before I started, and wishing I had time for more.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I find that I practice longer and more effectively when I have a clear agenda. Things to work on/get right. And I also find that I can achieve a lot, even without a sax, by practicing in my head.
 
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