The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-30-2023, 07:45 PM
fwellers fwellers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 118
Default How many songs to practice

So my question is for learning songs.
I've finally come to a place where my choices for songs to learn is more in line with my abilities. I'm finding it easier to be able to get the songs under my fingers easier and quicker, but without any degree of mastery of them.
And I finally am beginning to realize a little more that I need to resist the temptation of speeding up until I stop making mistakes.

Because of this, and because of my intolerance for boredom, I have 4 or 5 songs in the oven right now in various stages of clumsiness.

My idea, and what I've been doing, is to play each song once or twice through, and then concentrate on the areas I suck the most at. With four songs this takes about an hour a day or so.

I think this may be a good number of songs to do at a time but thought I can ask here for thoughts or wisdom.

Noteworthy is the fact that I really haven't mastered any songs ever, in over 8 years of playing.

Thanks,
Floyd
__________________
__________________________________________
Martin 0-15s Mahogany Custom
Martin 000 Custom Sitka/EIR
Breedlove Oregon Concertina Sitka/Myrtlewood
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-30-2023, 11:14 PM
b1j's Avatar
b1j b1j is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Lafayette, CA
Posts: 1,991
Default

Iím just the opposite. I canít leave a song, or even a chord progression, until I have it down smooth. Why do we play? We each answer in our own way. It sounds like youíve found yours. Enjoy it and keep playing.
__________________
1952 Martin 0-18
1977 Gurian S3R3H with Nashville strings
2018 Martin HD-28E, Fishman Aura VT Enhance
2019 Martin D-18, LR Baggs Element VTC
2021 Gibson 50s J-45 Original, LR Baggs Element VTC
___________
1981 Ovation Magnum III bass
2012 HŲfner Ignition violin ("Beatle") bass
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-31-2023, 06:59 AM
Bob from Brooklyn Bob from Brooklyn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
Posts: 3,774
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwellers View Post
Noteworthy is the fact that I really haven't mastered any songs ever, in over 8 years of playing.
In that case I'd narrow it down to one.
__________________
Martin D18
Gibson J45
Martin 00015sm
Gibson J200
Breedlove AD25/SR Plus
Guild G212
Eastman E2OM-CD
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-01-2023, 10:20 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 554
Default

LOL like me except I have multiple instruments, steel string acoustic, harp and classical plus a piano plus I practice singing. I guess I'm not bored.

yesterday I had two practices plus an additional short session with the piano before bed. I also had a guitar lesson and singing lesson. Plus when I walk my dog for 45 minutes, I sing three songs I'm trying to memorize. Sometimes I feel that I'm practicing too many songs at a time. But more stuff got thrown on the plate after my two lessons.

Today I have a 1.5 hr piano class, and then I will have two practice sessions.
__________________
_____________________
Martin HD28 w/Dazzo 60s
Martin OM28 w/Dazzos 60s
Taylor 562CE
Taylor 214CE DLX
Amalio Burguet Vanessa
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS Plus
Timberline T60HGpc
Boss Katana-50 MK-2
Bose S1 Pro
SunnAudio MS-2
Yamaha P515
DPA 4488
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-01-2023, 10:50 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,690
Default

Well, first I'd have to ask "what does 'mastering' a song mean to you?"
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-01-2023, 06:23 PM
fwellers fwellers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Well, first I'd have to ask "what does 'mastering' a song mean to you?"
I'm thinking of being able to play the song at tempo without mistakes. Being relaxed, enjoying it, maybe even to be able to change it up or improvise on it a little.
Being able to feel the beat and phrase expressivly.
__________________
__________________________________________
Martin 0-15s Mahogany Custom
Martin 000 Custom Sitka/EIR
Breedlove Oregon Concertina Sitka/Myrtlewood
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-01-2023, 08:41 PM
jeanray1113 jeanray1113 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: California
Posts: 1,108
Default

If you havenít mastered a single song in eight years, either something is wrong with your practice or your standards are unreasonably high. Do you practice regularly, at least 5 days a week, if not daily? Are you consistently working on the same few songs until you can play them correctly at tempo? You say theyíre an appropriate level of difficulty for your skill level, but I wonder if this is the case. Have you worked with a teacher? If at all possible, I would recommend doing so, if only for a few months.
__________________
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."-John Lennon

2015 Taylor 512ce 12 fret
early 80's Ovation Ultra 1517
2011 Seagull Entourage Rustic
2011 Taylor Limited NS214ce
2010 Taylor 512c
2016 Ibanez AG75
2014 Taylor GS Mini Koa e
2018 Loar LH 301t
1998 Breedlove Fall Limited # 10 of 20 Redwood/Walnut
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-01-2023, 10:30 PM
rick-slo's Avatar
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 16,380
Default

Learning every thing you are working on and care about to a high level is the way to go to advance your playing ability. You may well not keep that tune
or song to that level down the line but at least do so at the time.
__________________
Derek Coombs
Youtube -> Website -> Music -> Tabs
Guitars by Mark Blanchard, Albert&Mueller, Paul Woolson, Collings, Composite Acoustics, and Derek Coombs

"Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Woods hands pick by eye and ear
Made to one with pride and love
To be that we hold so dear
A voice from heavens above
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-02-2023, 03:28 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,166
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwellers View Post
Noteworthy is the fact that I really haven't mastered any songs ever, in over 8 years of playing.
That's definitely noteworthy! P

So, pick the song you like best - out of all the ones you've played to some level before - and focus on getting that one "mastered".

If it happens to take so long that you get bored with it before you're done - that just means you don't like it enough. Move on to another one.

...

Now, I'm guessing that this is kind of what has always happened in those 8 years!

If so, you have to develop a different attitude. Listen more closely and deeply to what you are doing. Don't get distracted from what's happening in the present moment as you play. Listen to every chord, every note. If you are singing, feel your way into the vocal, making it your own. Try chanh=ging the key if it helps the vocal feel more "you".

IWO, you have to immerse yourself in the process. You have to love the song, of course, but there will be depths to it you haven't noticed before, that will keep you obsessed with it until you've got it.
__________________
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:05 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,690
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwellers View Post
I'm thinking of being able to play the song at tempo without mistakes. Being relaxed, enjoying it, maybe even to be able to change it up or improvise on it a little.
Being able to feel the beat and phrase expressivly.
That's a reasonable definition. I think you should pick a song or two and work towards getting there. This type of mastery is, well...playing music.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:21 AM
gerhardp gerhardp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Dominican Republic
Posts: 182
Default

Looks like you're on the right track.
Just focus on the one song you are closest to playing complete, but keep also trying to progress little by little with the others.

Persistance is the key.
__________________
Some Nylon String Guitar with pick-up, all good.

Youtubechannel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-M...Vbk1XI5Cy4NA7g
My goal: 3-4 paid gigs per week.
I'm halfway there.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:30 AM
TBman's Avatar
TBman TBman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 34,167
Default

I start out with about 4, then I find a few more which makes me prune it back down. Then I find that there are 1 or 2 I really enjoy so I concentrate on those and return to the others after the 1st two are recorded or I get bored with them.

Just a note though, that if I feel I want to record something I will concentrate on that one over others for a while.
__________________
Barry
Signature below this line
──►



Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
Furch Yellow
McIlroy A20
Pellerin SJ CW

Cordoba C5|Cordoba Fusion 12 Ochestra CE
and a few others

My Celtic playlist
My nylon playlist
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-02-2023, 10:44 AM
Tahitijack Tahitijack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: San Clemente CA
Posts: 3,433
Default

When I started learning to play guitar I was driving my teacher crazy wanting to learn a new song every couple of weeks. He finally offered me great advice....it's better to play a few songs really well than play a dozen so so.
__________________
Happy Sunsets
Taylor 514ce (1999)
Taylor K22ce - all Koa (2001)
Taylor 612ce (2001)
Taylor T5-C2 Koa (2007)
Ovation CS28P KOAB - Koa Burst (2017)
Paul Reed Smith 305 - Sunburst (2012)
Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 - Autumn Sky (2013)
Fender Classic Player 60s Strat - Sonic Blue (2012)
Roland Juno DS76 (2020)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-02-2023, 01:48 PM
fwellers fwellers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 118
Default

Some really insightful responses here. Thank you!
Nothing I haven't heard or thought of before, but hearing it echoed by other more advanced players is helpful.

The two biggest takeaways for me, a couple of people here said is :

Concentrate the most on one song until it's mastered. Keep the others in play but most effort in one at a time. At least for me for now.
Develop an attitude, whatever I need to keep grunting through it. If needed.

This one was said in other words by someone, but my take of it is that I need to get down and more present and focused in my practice. Here more of what I'm doing.

I have been very recently been more aware of that aspect in my practice. And it's good. It forces me to keep slowing down and playing more deliberately and cleanly.
Some of the passages and phrases won't sound right at that slow deliberate speed, but no use even worrying about that until I can play cleanly.

I guess these kinds of things eventually get learned by each of us. It's just taking me a long time. But to be honest and fair, it's only recently that I try to Never miss a day and to really be focused on what I'm doing while practicing.

Thanks a lot for sharing your advice with me.
Please keep them coming if anyone has more useful answers. It's very appreciated.

Thanks,
Floyd
__________________
__________________________________________
Martin 0-15s Mahogany Custom
Martin 000 Custom Sitka/EIR
Breedlove Oregon Concertina Sitka/Myrtlewood
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-02-2023, 04:49 PM
TBman's Avatar
TBman TBman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 34,167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwellers View Post
Some really insightful responses here. Thank you!
Nothing I haven't heard or thought of before, but hearing it echoed by other more advanced players is helpful.

The two biggest takeaways for me, a couple of people here said is :

Concentrate the most on one song until it's mastered. Keep the others in play but most effort in one at a time. At least for me for now.
Develop an attitude, whatever I need to keep grunting through it. If needed.

This one was said in other words by someone, but my take of it is that I need to get down and more present and focused in my practice. Here more of what I'm doing.

I have been very recently been more aware of that aspect in my practice. And it's good. It forces me to keep slowing down and playing more deliberately and cleanly.
Some of the passages and phrases won't sound right at that slow deliberate speed, but no use even worrying about that until I can play cleanly.

I guess these kinds of things eventually get learned by each of us. It's just taking me a long time. But to be honest and fair, it's only recently that I try to Never miss a day and to really be focused on what I'm doing while practicing.

Thanks a lot for sharing your advice with me.
Please keep them coming if anyone has more useful answers. It's very appreciated.

Thanks,
Floyd
When work on a tune I have two tools that I used. The first is "4k Video Downloader" which enables me to download youtube videos. The second, which works with videos and sound files, is Transcribe! which allows the user to playback tunes at different speeds, raise or lower the pitch (capo) and loop sections (or the whole tune) over and over. To be able to see videos with Transcribe! you just have to download and install "Gstream."

Videos can be helpful because every once in a while my idea of how to grab a position can be different than that of a professional. Sometimes I just goof and see that I have to use the professional's approach and sometimes I'll try the professionals formation, but for me it doesn't work and I have to find one that does for my fat fingers.
__________________
Barry
Signature below this line
──►



Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
Furch Yellow
McIlroy A20
Pellerin SJ CW

Cordoba C5|Cordoba Fusion 12 Ochestra CE
and a few others

My Celtic playlist
My nylon playlist
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=