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Roberto Capocchi, guitarist: Blog

The Thousand-Hour Challenge

Posted on January 4, 2011 with 9 comments
Join this challenge and commit to practicing for one thousand hours on your instrument before the end of the year.
Sign up by leaving a comment. But more importantly, leave comments as you go, with updates on your progress, support to others, and helpful practice hints.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.douglasniedt.com/Tech_Tip_How_To_Give_A_Performance.html I love his insight on the fight or flight reflex.

These are guidelines for music majors. If you play as an amateur, you have more freedom, although some of my amateur students have been very inspiring to me over the years regarding their dedication.  Remember - devotion to your music looks like discipline...
 
First, the basic stuff – things that will get you fired in the real world if you forget them:
Show up. Sober, alert, and focused.
Have all your materials: music, instrument, practice sheet, pencil, etc.
Be prepared. Your lessons aren't random. They are part of a well planned curriculum, and we build on previous lessons. If you play a lot between lessons, but don't do your assignments, you will miss out on the whole process. Being unprepared is as bad as not showing up.
 
Now some less obvious ideas:
Save your practice sheets.
Record your lessons: this helps so much, I believe it should be mandatory. Soon after your lesson, review the recording and take notes. I suggest adding instructions and details [...]
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Thanks to Guilherme Vincenz for finding this!
What can we learn from it?
"The fame of Andrés Segovia, the Spanish guitarist whose name has been a prominent one of late years in capitals of Europe, had preceded him. An audience including many Spaniards and many more of the musical connoisseurs of the city greeted him when he made his first appearance yesterday afternoon in Town Hall. But the appearance of Mr. Segovia is not that of the trumpeted virtuoso. He is rather the dreamer or scholar in bearing, long hair, eyeglasses, a black frock coat and neckwear of an earlier generation. He seats himself, thoughtfully, places his left foot on its rest, strikes a soft chord, then bends over his guitar and proceeds to play like the poet and master he is of the instrument.Granting a knowledge far greater than this reviewer possesses of the technics of the matter, it would not avail to describe Mr. Segovia’s performance in technical terms. He belongs to the very small group of musicians [...]
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Seven Habits of Excellence

Posted on July 6, 2010 with 12 comments
Try keeping these seven qualities in mind as you practice.  I borrowed these from Gerald Klickstein's 'Musician's Way"
He has a short article about them at: http://musiciansway.com/blog/?p=1137 1) Ease
2) Expressiveness
3) Accuracy
4) Rhythmic vitality
5) Beautiful tone
6) Focused attention
7) Positive attitude
I like thinking of these as "improvable" rather than having a pass/fail attitude.  This means a practice session can be fulfilling and successful if you end up playing more accurately than before - even if it's not perfect.  You can make your tone more beautiful than before, even if it's not yet the best tone you'll ever have, etc.  Excellence, in this sense, is to continually, and happily, improve from where we are.  This does not mean settling for a lesser result, but rather keeping in mind that your practice is an ongoing, lifelong process.
How do we invite each one of these qualities into each practice session?


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