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#1118176 - 09/03/06 11:30 PM Should I have a practice Routine?  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
-Phantom- Offline
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Modesto
I always thought that I should make a practice routine but a would only follw it for a week or so until I get so sick of spending an hour on chords, scales, sight reading, and so on. Then I stop playing for a while know all i do is work on song because i dont like exercises. Do I really need to do them and for how long?

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#1118177 - 09/04/06 12:02 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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Bernard Offline
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Based solely on what you've said there I'd say work just on songs, BUT when you get to a point where something in a song isn't working see if you can figure out what kind of exercise would help you work it out. That way the exercises you do will have meaning, and will apply to your love of music.


"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown
#1118178 - 09/04/06 09:26 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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ShiroKuro Offline
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Yes! You should definitely have a practice routine, everyone should have a routine, and preferably it should be written out and re-done/adjusted monthly.

However, what goes into your practice routine depends on what you want to play, what your pianistic goals are etc. And having a practice routine does not necessarily mean you play only scales etc.

If you didn't stick with your routine in the past, that's probably because the routine didn't fit you, or didn't offer the right balance between exercises and pieces.

Having a practice routine simply means that you decide what you're going to work on, and you do that decision making in advance. Then when you sit down to practice, you follow the routine you've set for yourself.

If you feel like you need to work on scales, chords and other exercises, write out the things you want to work on. Also write out the songs/pieces you want to work on. Then, when you practice, spend a little bit of time on the exercises and a lot of time on the songs. If you don't have enough time to practice every part of your practice routine every day, write the date next to each thing you play and practice the exercises on a rotating schedule (today play exercise one, tomorrow exercise two, the next day exercise one etc)

The most important thing is that you set yourself up with a system that's sustainable. You might have the best practice routine in the world, but if you hate it and stop playing then it's meaningless. If you have a practice routine that fits your needs and interests, and you're able to continue practicing and following that routine on a regular basis, and over the long term, then you're going to make good progress.

Good luck!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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#1118179 - 09/04/06 09:43 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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Quote
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
Yes! You should definitely have a practice routine, everyone should have a routine, and preferably it should be written out and re-done/adjusted monthly.
Great answer ShiroKuro, I agree.


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#1118180 - 09/04/06 09:52 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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One routine that you ought to develop is that you practice at the same time every day, so that piano time becomes a part of your biological clock and is much less likely to get set aside when you "feel" like doing just about anything else!


Everyone is musical. No exceptions. www.PlayPianoNow.info
#1118181 - 09/04/06 12:59 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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Take it from one who always practiced helter skelter and gotten nowhere, that a set routine is an absolute necessity. I finally,and only recently, after years of fruitless "practicing" and making no progress realized the importance of a regular routine. This is especially true if one is working without a teacher.

It was in going through all the posts on PW forum that I finally recognized that unless I set regular goals, times, and objectivies for myself, I would be stuck in the mire of just piddling around, and would never would learn a darn thing.

You should memorize the excellent advice ShiroKuro has been so kind to spell out for you, and follow it. Thanks for the great Advice ShiroKuro. Gaby Tu

#1118182 - 09/04/06 01:07 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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IrishMak Offline
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I agree wholeheartedly with you, Gaby. I do have a teacher, but still found myself floundering about when I sat down to practice, and not getting nearly as much accomplished as I would have liked. UNTIL I sat myself down and worked out a practice routine/schedule. Now, I know what I am doing each time I sit down to practice, I have a much clearer idea of how to approach what I want/need to work on and I do think I am using my practice time much more efficiently.


-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
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#1118183 - 09/04/06 02:26 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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I've never had a practice routine (for any instrument), and I've never really felt like I needed one. With all of you agreeing it seems like something I should look into.

Can you guys give an example of your practice routine?

#1118184 - 09/04/06 02:38 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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funburger Offline
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i am sure you guys are right routine would be great. but if i said i would work on scales for 20 mins then this piece for so many minutes i think it would suck the fun right out of it. i dont time anything i practice till i feel confident in it, then move on to something else, if i cant fit something in one day that i wanted because its late, i will fit it in the next. routines and daily written out will work for some but for others like me more free spirited it would never work. so i may never be a great pianist because i have no set routine, or because i dont set things out, i really dont care as long as the ride is fun and spontaneous. just my 2 cents. i am sure the routine is probably the way to go but just not for me:)


If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)
#1118185 - 09/04/06 02:46 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
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Lexington, Kentucky
Quote
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
The most important thing is that you set yourself up with a system that's sustainable. You might have the best practice routine in the world, but if you hate it and stop playing then it's meaningless.
I think these are very wise words.

And I think the overall tenor of the thread is that the best routine is the one that works for you. Some people are very organized and systematic, and a written practice schedule where they enter their goals and set mini-assignments for themselves works wonderfully. Others are free spirits and want only to play what appeals to them at that very moment. Still others fall somewhere in between.

I'm probably in that in-between category. I don't have the time or self-discipline to create a written practice schedule, but I do have a routine that I follow, e.g., one or two easy, slow memorized pieces as a warm-up, then about half an hour or so working on new pieces that require a bit of concentration, then review of existing repertoire, including fast pieces that will sound better with warmed-up fingers.

Notice that scales or Hanon are nowhere in my practice routine. wink

If you are happy with the progress you're making and your skill level, then I'd say not to change a darned thing. But if you're NOT happy with where you are or where you're going, then a little introspection and systematic practice planning could help a great deal.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1118186 - 09/04/06 04:01 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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IrishMak Offline
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Well, ShiroKuro's practice regimen is much more detailed than mine. There is a thread here somewhere where she outlines what she does, with a sample of her menu....... ShiroKuro\'s Practice Menu

I'm a little less detailed. I have a notebook, and I just note each week what I intend to work on and how much time I want to spend working on each one. And I do include some time for scales and such. It might be, oh, say, 10 minutes on one thing, and 15 on something else that is newer or has some tricky stuff in it, and just a note to "play through" some of the closer to finished pieces a few times. But it does work for me.... and, as noted, that is the important thing. You have to land on what works for you and what you will stick with for the long run.


-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.
#1118187 - 09/04/06 09:47 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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I have to have a routine. I come home after my lesson and write out everything I need to cover in the next week before the lesson. I break the focus up along the 7 days, spreading out days and tasks so that everyday I have a set schedule of items I need to cover. If I have more time, I cover more. If not, I know I will get everything covered.

Practicing at the same time everyday helps. But, if you avoid the routine, or skip out on your plans, then it doesn't work. I agree with what was said here....do what works for you.

#1118188 - 09/05/06 06:57 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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ShiroKuro Offline
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And it's just like what people say about dieting etc. If you skip a day or miss one element of your routine/plan, that doesn't mean you have to throw the whole thing out and give up. Be forgiving with yourself, and that makes it a lot easier to get back on track after being off for a day, or a while.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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#1118189 - 09/05/06 07:42 AM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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The practice routine I insist upon with my students is this: They set aside a time of day for piano that is always the same time, M-F, and weekends are flexible. They learn to use a spreadsheet with the name of every song and project currently being learned and/or maintained in the left hand column, and then they simply check off each day the project/song that they practice. What they didn't do Monday, they do Tuesday, so that everything is practiced before starting back at the top of the list. I will say, though, that they are usually maintaining a repertoire of an average of 30 songs plus projects, so the playlist is a necessity.


Everyone is musical. No exceptions. www.PlayPianoNow.info
#1118190 - 09/05/06 11:48 PM Re: Should I have a practice Routine?  
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I definitely have to rotate what I practice from day to day to (a) keep my interest and (b) not get bogged down on one or two pieces. One thing I try to do is think carefully about what I want to work on and why before I choose a new piece, and then keep working on it until I've learned it. That is, I am trying not to work on something for a day or two and then give up on it, or just sight-read stuff all the time. I do usually practice at the same time of day (after dinner). I've started writing the date I begin a piece at the top of the score.

Even if you do the scales and exercises, I'd suggest you don't always start with them. Try starting with a piece, then do scales, then another piece, then exercises.

The main thing is to keep playing and to try to play every day. It's better to play just about anything than not to practice at all.


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