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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderators: blast, WaltTrombone) To Perform With Less Effort, Practice Beyond Perfection
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Andrew Meronek

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« on: Feb 11, 2012, 08:20PM »

Take heed!

To Perform With Less Effort, Practice Beyond Perfection

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Whether you are an athlete, a musician or a stroke patient learning to walk again, practice can make perfect, but more practice may make you more efficient, according to a surprising new University of Colorado Boulder study.

A great reason to keep working on those skills, even if you have them mastered.
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 2012, 01:20AM »

Now that's a real comfort. Many of us feel that if we had the efficiency we have now at the age of 25, we could have done much more.... but it may be that we need to do all these years of work to get to that stage of efficiency.

Chris Stearn
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chriss
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 2012, 09:32AM »

Reminds me of the oft-quoted saying, "Amateurs practice til they get it right.  Pro's practice til they can't get it wrong."  I've heard that one attributed to Tiger Woods but I can't be certain of that.

Setting that aside, my own work with the horn lately has reinforced and demonstrate again to me, that memorizing the music, and playing it enuf that I don't have to think about the melody or the chord structure, is crucial to really playing music.  It frees my mind to think about what I want it to sound like, rather than just getting thru it.

Another quote in the same general direction- you master the instrument, then you master the music, then you forget all that and just play.  Dunno who said that but so true.
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 2012, 01:04PM »

Reminds me of an experience I had while living in South America and playing with several Americans in a major orchestra. (I won't name the country or city, to protect the innocent). The 2 dozen or so Americans were brought in to augment the mostly local musicians. It was obvious that the foreigners had a higher work ethic and dedication to practice than the locals.

In a private meeting with the conductor, we asked the obvious, "Why do these guys have a job? They don't work on anything, they just show up and play badly."

The conductor explained, the musicians were the cream of the crop of the youth musicians (strong state-supported youth orchestras). They were sent to European and American conservatories and turned into fantastic musicians. They came back and essentially were given lifetime jobs with orchestras that were basically government supported.

He summed it up this way, "For all their life they were prospecting for success like gold miners. Once they 'struck it rich', they basically retire to their hammock or chair by the pool and enjoy the wealth of a lifetime job, no more work required."

The Americans were incredulous, we had been taught that to become a life-long pro musician carried with it the continued commitment to constantly improve.

Not them, they hit it rich, time to sit back and enjoy the riches.

Maybe this is also a statement of how bureaucracy corrupts the human drive to better oneself.  ;-)
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Paul Martin
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 12, 2012, 02:04PM »

Reminds me of an experience I had while living in South America and playing with several Americans in a major orchestra. (I won't name the country or city, to protect the innocent). The 2 dozen or so Americans were brought in to augment the mostly local musicians. It was obvious that the foreigners had a higher work ethic and dedication to practice than the locals.

In a private meeting with the conductor, we asked the obvious, "Why do these guys have a job? They don't work on anything, they just show up and play badly."

The conductor explained, the musicians were the cream of the crop of the youth musicians (strong state-supported youth orchestras). They were sent to European and American conservatories and turned into fantastic musicians. They came back and essentially were given lifetime jobs with orchestras that were basically government supported.

He summed it up this way, "For all their life they were prospecting for success like gold miners. Once they 'struck it rich', they basically retire to their hammock or chair by the pool and enjoy the wealth of a lifetime job, no more work required."

The Americans were incredulous, we had been taught that to become a life-long pro musician carried with it the continued commitment to constantly improve.

Not them, they hit it rich, time to sit back and enjoy the riches.

Maybe this is also a statement of how bureaucracy corrupts the human drive to better oneself.  ;-)


I have noted what you mention in American orchestral musicians as well, perhaps for much the same reasons.
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johntarr

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« Reply #5 on: Feb 13, 2012, 02:20PM »

The posts about the orchestra in S. America have no relevance to the study mentioned above. Sorry to be a stickler, but that topic, as tragic as it is deserves another post.

Here's another take on the study that might have more relevance for trombonists.

http://www.bettermovement.org/2012/study-movement-efficiency-brain/

The study not only mentioned muscle exertion but O2 and co2 outputs. As the subjects became more efficient, the muscle efficiency plateaued but with continued pratice, the subjects required less o2. This could mean that as we become more efficient in playing, we might need less air and have more air for longer phrases, musicality or whatever.

I had the privilege of attending a master class with Mr. Joe Alessi this past weekend and his efficiency was astonishing. He admonished us to continue with the basics. Maybe that study provides some insight into his success?

Remington again, and again and again, John
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sabutin

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« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2012, 09:13AM »

Now that's a real comfort. Many of us feel that if we had the efficiency we have now at the age of 25, we could have done much more.... but it may be that we need to do all these years of work to get to that stage of efficiency.

Chris Stearn

If I had the "efficiency" that I had at 25 I'd probably be in jail or dead.

I was efficient, but at all the wrong things. :-0 :-0 :-0  Amazed Way cool Clever CleverClever

Just sayin'...

You know how people like Dizzy Gillespie and many others have said that it takes a lifetime to know what to leave out as an improviser or composer?

Yup.

As above, so below.

It takes time to learn how to use that time.

Bet on it.

S.
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TromboneMonkey

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« Reply #7 on: Feb 14, 2012, 12:37PM »

I think a lot of jazz improvisers do this kind of thing somewhat intuitively. 

I know personally that, when practicing a transcription, the language/style stuff doesn't start appearing in my improvisations for about 6 months of regularly playing it, even after 'perfecting' it. 
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-John
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 06, 2012, 05:30PM »

Wait, so if I practice more I'll be better?  I never would have thought of that.
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chriss
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 06, 2012, 08:26PM »

I know personally that, when practicing a transcription, the language/style stuff doesn't start appearing in my improvisations for about 6 months of regularly playing it, even after 'perfecting' it. 

now THAT is an observation that's worth keeping front-of-mind.
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J Walker
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 11, 2012, 08:20AM »

I will add a quote from Reginald Fink.  "Amateurs waste more energy than professionals use to play."  I agree and try become more efficient.  I emphasize the word try.  Difference in efficiency is how I explain the vast difference in playing ability.  Some naturally are more efficient and others like myself have to spend years getting there if at all.  BTW I took lessons from Reginald for several years while he was in Oklahoma City playing in the symphony orchestra. It was a great experience hearing him demonstrate how exercises should be played and enjoying his personality.
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Jim Walker
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