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  #1  
Old 01-01-2017, 06:45 PM
innocent75 innocent75 is offline
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Default Logging practice

I would like to organize my practice a bit and have heard many people suggest a practice log. What is important to track?

I jotted some notes down today of my practice.

I logged:
-Date
-Duration of practice
-What I worked on (i.e. G scale in first position 60 BPM, 80 BPM, and 120BPM),
-Quick notes about whether each was played clean, buzz, sloppy, and a rough x/10 "grade"
- At the end I just jotted a note about how I felt the practice went.

I'm not really trying to complicate things, but I want to be sure I am pushing myself to advance my practices rather than playing what I know.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:55 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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I would expect a practice log to contain details of the type of practice done. Off the top of my heaad I can think of at least three different types of practice, others on here may come up with more.

First of all there is learning something completely new. This could be a technique, a new chord shape, a new piece of music which you learn bar by bar, anything new. In doing this kind of practice you are developing muscle memory and you should never continue past a mistake. Quite often you will practice as slowly as needed to not make mistakes and only speed up if you can do so correctly.

Another form of practice is performance practice. You can start doing this as soon as you learn your first piece. In this type of practice You do NOT stop for mistakes. You go from beginning to end no matter what. You play as if you were playing to an audience and the last thing an audience wants is to hear someone start a piece badly, stop and start again. If you can't do a half reasonable performance of a piece you need to go back to the first type of practice on that piece. Its not uncommon to go back and forwards with these two types of practice on a new piece. If it's just one or two bits of a piece the always go wrong concentrate you first type of practice on those particular bits.

The third form of practice is to do with develping your ability to connect your ears and your imagination with your hands. You hear or imagine a short musical phrase or chord and then try to play it on your guitar. Although this sounds simple it can take you an awfully long way.

Keep brief notes of this stuff. The idea is to practice guitar, not writing.

I'm not a fan of practicing scales or getting too bogged down in theory too soon. Others on this forum may disagree. Good Luck.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2017, 02:15 AM
JerrysGuitarBar JerrysGuitarBar is offline
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Classical guitarist David Russell has the ultimate practice log / plan. It's a real insight into how a world-class classical player keeps repertoire fresh whilst introducing new pieces.

http://www.davidrussellguitar.com/in...for-guitarists
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2017, 07:42 AM
Ditch Ditch is offline
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I have been logging my practice since I started about 18 months or so. I first started with a spiral note book. It was more like a journal than a log. That was too hard to look over and see my troubled spots. I switched to a form I made up. I list all the exercise I want in one column, date and time practiced. Little space to write a comment if needed. Works out well for me.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:00 PM
Aintno Aintno is offline
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Stanron, this is beautiful practice advice. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2017, 12:35 PM
WSR WSR is offline
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Yes, great advice stanron.

I've been logging my practice with an IOS app since I started three years ago. It is here is you want to check it out: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/musi...325759857?mt=8
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:28 PM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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I made a Spreadsheet / Log / Form (?) on MS Excel.
Yesterday was my four year anniversary and I have basically everything I have played or practiced entered.
Something like 150+ pages in a notebook.
It may sound tedious to some but each entry really only takes seconds.
I find it interesting to go back and look at entries and see how my playing has progressed.
I made another one that is only for songs and boxes to fill in with the date that the song was played and/or practiced.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2017, 03:02 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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How can logging practice help with progress? Seems to me it's practice>progress rather than practice>logging it>progress. Is there some impetus to legitimize the time spent practicing as a measure of progress? I mean, is it necessary to account for one's time to qualify it as best spent? Practice equates to progress but logging practice does not leverage progress.

If logging is the intent of qualifying practice for gains in progress may I suggest recording all practice sessions? In those recordings the real worth of their measure of progress will be revealed in the honesty of the playing quality, which is the only thing that really counts.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2017, 05:11 PM
innocent75 innocent75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
How can logging practice help with progress? Seems to me it's practice>progress rather than practice>logging it>progress. Is there some impetus to legitimize the time spent practicing as a measure of progress? I mean, is it necessary to account for one's time to qualify it as best spent? Practice equates to progress but logging practice does not leverage progress.

If logging is the intent of qualifying practice for gains in progress may I suggest recording all practice sessions? In those recordings the real worth of their measure of progress will be revealed in the honesty of the playing quality, which is the only thing that really counts.
I do record at least one practice session a week, typically on the weekend, just for a reference point. I will go back at times and listen to one from six months ago and hear the difference.

Logging will allow me to see what I have done maybe a month or two months ago without having to sort through audio files. Just kind of something to help focus practice sessions on improving. I also divide practice from play.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2017, 06:52 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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The only time I've logged guitar play hours is when I have tested strings for Elixir or others. Otherwise, I'd rather just be playing. I'm not in a formal guitar studies program.

I've spent the past day doing end-of-year bookkeeping for my engineering company (because it is quiet today). When I was an active pilot everything had to be logged. Ditto for scuba diving. I enjoy the unfettered and informal nature of music and guitar playing. And as an engineer, I love data.

But if it helps you to log your practice, by all means go for it.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2017, 09:06 AM
darrwhit darrwhit is offline
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Default What gets measured gets improved...

I saw that saying on the wall of my gym once and thought it was actually pretty insightful.

For me, keeping a log of my practice has helped me analyze and improve upon the time I spend with the guitar. I keep a practice log on a white board right next to my exercise log. If "what gets measured gets improved" then we have to be careful about what exactly we measure. So I don't log time spent practicing. I create specific rules for myself about what constitutes a measurable learning unit. If you want to get good at shooting free throws, practice making 100 free throws instead of just shooting 100 free throws.

Every year, I tend to journal about my guitar goals around my New Years resolutions. But my practice log is simple. I use a shorthand to record what I do every day. Every month or so my white board gets wiped clean, but it helps me stay focused on the goals that I've set for myself, and modify things if necessary. If I miss a day or two, the board doesn't lie. After twenty years of relative stasis in my ability on guitar, this has really helped me in the last few years.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:49 PM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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Just thought of another good reason to write it all down- CRS Syndrome.
If you can't remember last nights dinner then how the heck can you remember what to practice?
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2017, 03:57 PM
amyFB amyFB is offline
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I find video logs to be helpful in assessing my progress, both generally as well as specific to a song or technique .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2017, 12:18 PM
Mr Fixit eh's Avatar
Mr Fixit eh Mr Fixit eh is offline
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Funny - I almost moved this thread to Open Mic, thinking what kind of redneck practices logging and then posts on a guitar forum

I don't log my practice because everything I do is practice - apart from performances - and my practice is always based on learning skills for upcoming songs. What I do monitor is 'am I putting in the practice time?" and I do that by tracking my schedule.

Happy New Year!

STeve
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2017, 03:02 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Aintno, WSR, thanks for the kind words.

I came across practice logs when teaching music performance in a pre University college. The main reason for the students keeping practice logs was to generate evidence for internal and external examining. I forget the fine detail now but the grading criteria for the performing units depended on students demonstrating activities and understandings which practice logs could verify.

The students frequently hated them and getting them completed adequately became a game that some teachers came to enjoy.

I had learned to play forty years before this and had not used practice logs in my learning. I'd not had a teacher either, although when I started to teach guitar myself, I kept lesson logs fervently.

Since retiring I got a small home recording setup and found detailed logging of my recording sessions and the results very useful.

When I was playing guitar for money I didn't keep records except for financial purposes like tax and expenses. Success or otherwise of my practice was reflected in my performances. Logging can be useful when you have no other way of measuring your progress.
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