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  #16  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:18 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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Between work and commuting, I have a 15 hour workday so two hours just isn't in the cards. I'll join in spirit on my days off and play at least two hours with you all. I have a few songs I'm working on and a couple of books to progress in. Nice challenge idea!
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2013, 07:25 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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You guys definitely don't have to practice two hours to join the challenge. Feel free to set your own goals.

And BTW I'm not retired. I have a wife, two kids, one job. I just practice after everyone has gone to bed and survive on less sleep!
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  #18  
Old 04-06-2013, 01:47 AM
delb0y delb0y is offline
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I looked in my little black book and there are numerous unfinished pieces I'm working on, so as is my way I've decided to start something totally new for this challenge! I've been focused on finger-picking and slide for a while now and the thread on flatpickers has reminded me of how much fun a flatpick can be, so I've decided to keep things simple...

My Goal: To learn the Beginners / Intermediate / Advanced versions of Steve Kaufman's arrangement of Ragtime Annie; to be able to perform this at a speed (to be determined) and to post a finished version up for you good folks here.

Sub-goal - to improve right hand technique and co-ordination between left and right hands. When I last posted a flat-picking piece much of the discussion centred around my right hand being too stiff, and playing from the fingers rather than the wrist, so I will try and improve in this area whilst working on this goal.

I'll aim to do an hour a day minimum on this. I've done 45 mins so far, but it's early so they've been done on an unplugged Tele rather than an acoustic so as not to wake anyone.

Progress - basic chord sequence memorised and A section of the beginner's chorus memorised and playable at moderate speed.

I know from experience with Steve's material that I'll need to address the intermediate and advanced stuff a bar at a time, sometimes over a couple of days, so I need to push on with the beginner's chorus to get some skin in the game

Kind regards
Derek
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  #19  
Old 04-06-2013, 03:38 PM
WaveSlider WaveSlider is offline
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I like this plan! I practice everyday, but on working days it's rarely for 2 hours as I often find I'm too knackered to persevere. This ought to get me motivated.

Goals?? Write a load of songs! ...I'll post them up once I get them written and recorded.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2013, 05:09 PM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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i've been not playing so much ever since i had a really bad case of influenza in feb-march. if i cut down on agf activity (plus tv at night) and break it into sections like 40-60 minutes in the morning and 60 minutes at night then i could do it. i know my playing would benefit greatly. i find it very difficult to play for 2 hours straight, so breaking it into pieces will work the best for me. i may use a notebook to track my time and what i am focusing on. also, i may shoot for 10-15 hours per week, as opposed to a daily quota.

i have a number (like 3-10) of transcriptions of schumann i have created, some very easy, some a little tougher that i would like to record on the classical guitar.

i also have a couple of other songs i have been working on that i would like to record, but need some more work and recording time.

finally, i purchased a tiny amp for use with my electric guitars, so i may spend some time working on various arpeggios, like maj 7, min 7, maj 6, etc in different positions up and down the neck. i know them but not well enough to play them over chord changes, which seems like a useful skill to have.

so i will split my time between:
- bringing 5-10 tunes up to the point where i can record them.
- recording the tunes.
- learning/practicing my arpeggios for all the major chord forms in all positions.

i will start tomorrow! i will also check in regularly.

p.s. porkpieguy, that was a funny graphic.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2013, 02:05 AM
delb0y delb0y is offline
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Another progress update on my 40 day "Ragtime Annie" challenge.

Day 2 - Pushing on with learning beginner's version A & B sections. Figured it was going to be hard to get my time in yesterday on account of I was out all day at a motorcycle meeting, but I did manage to sit quietly in the evening for an hour with the Telecaster unplugged and continue to work through the early stages of learning this tune. I've now memorised the Beginners version and the first go-through of the A section of the Intermediate version.

Day 3 - Today. Had half an hour before work and recapped on what I've learned so far, plus pushed forward a few more bars on the Intermediate chorus. Not sure how much of this morning's work has 'stuck' but another hour tonight should see it retained.

I've also scoped out the rest of the tune and, unlike the few other pieces from this book (Parking Lot Pickers vol 1) that I've worked on there doesn't appear to be anything too difficult in the rest of Ragtime Annie, no syncopated cross-picking moments or difficult runs, so it definitely feels do-able.

Haven't ascertained what BPM I'm aiming for yet. Maybe it's irrelevant - the key thing I want to get out of this exercise is to improve the feel in my flat-picking. My playing always feels heavy-handed and dull compared to other flatpickers who appear to dance across the strings with a lightness of touch and a spring in their step! That's where I want to get to in my playing. I think it's partly around right hand technique, but more about getting the right and left hands perfectly in synch. I'm like a car who's timing is just a little out at the moment - it goes along okay and gets you where you want to go but there's just something not right.

Anyway, for now, learning this piece is simply a memory task, and will be for a couple of weeks. I shan't post every day - but unless I have something to keep me focussed the tune will probably slip off and join all the other pieces on that unfinished pile, so it's nice to have something to keep me on track.

Kind regards
Derek
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My acoustics:
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  • 2006 Martin 000-15
  • Tanglewood TW-40

Last edited by delb0y; 04-08-2013 at 02:10 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:30 PM
DaddyRabbit DaddyRabbit is offline
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Well I missed Day one. I need to adjust my goals becaus I DJ a live show on an independent music site so Saturdays are out for practice.

Day two, only worked on lyrics for one of the new DADGAD tunes but made some good progress.

Day three (today), going to practice right now for an hour (on the above mentioned tune).

Day four (tomorrow) will be NGD for the new Breed Voice Concert, pretty sure I will be making up for lost time!
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:27 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Day one: I got off to a rough start on Sat. My son still likes to cuddle Mom or Dad at bed time so I totally crashed with him. My wife woke me up and I was out of it. I just sat on the couch in a daze for a while before practice. I did practice for two hours. But I was up until 1 am doing it though! Thank goodness I get to sleep in a bit on Sunday.

Day two: It wasn't my night to put my son to bed (my wife and I alternate) so I got started on practice early ~9 pm. Good practice all around. I listened to the new song I'm learning (this time it's a ragtime fingerpicking piece) and tried to get it into my head.

Day three: I didn't fall asleep with my son (must be getting better at this) so I got another early start. Practice felt and sounded good. My current practice routine is repertorie based where I play all of the pieces I know in a row. After that I work on new material. I spend some time with the DVD and the guitar on my lap and worked out the first few bars of the new song. So some nice progress.

Looking forward to day four!
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2013, 07:41 PM
DaddyRabbit DaddyRabbit is offline
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Yup day 4, also NGD!

Played almost 3 hours so far and will probably get another in when the pain subsides

Figured out another scrap of a piece in DADGAD so making my 5 tune goal is only short 1 tune now (at least the starter bits).
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  #25  
Old 04-10-2013, 01:25 AM
delb0y delb0y is offline
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Nice to see the updates starting to flow!

Day 4 (yesterday) and Day 5 (today) - it's still a memory thing for me at the moment with Ragtime Annie. I'm like an actor learning his words. Until that's done I can't worry (too much) about how I'm going to deliver them.

I now have the beginner and the intermediate arrangements memorised and this morning had half an hour on the first few bars of the advanced version. That said none of it is so ingrained yet that I don't have to think, which is where I need to get to before I can move on the actual playing.

Listened to one version of this last night and it was fast! Lots of work to do over the next 35 days!
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  #26  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:23 AM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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day 1: i dug out and selected about 10 fingerstyle/classical tunes to work on. many are my own arrangement. i played through some, and realized that there were some corrections to be made. so i spent about 1.25 hours playing and 1.25 hours correcting them.

day 2: i got my 2 hours in today. one of the easy tunes i'm working on is bill tyer's arrangement of tennessee waltz. i realized i had a sound recording of him playing it as well, so i listened to it and immediately realized he plays it differently than his arrangement, and i like the way he plays it better. after trying to mark up his arrangement, it got too messy, so i decided i need to rewrite it. spent another hour working on that and it's still not done.

i find the arranging and analyzing the playing of others useful, but i really need pure playing practice time. i have used a few 10-15 minute gaps in my day to play, so i feel pretty good about that.

i have a few minutes now and i better not waste them on the computer.

Last edited by mc1; 04-10-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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  #27  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:55 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Day 4: Good practice all around. Got a nice early start. Worked on my new song after my repertorie and I'm nailing the first section. Need to dig out the DVD and move on.

Day 5: Totally crashed. Woke up at 12 am. Crawled downstairs and got to practicing. Finished at 2 am. Went surprising well even though I didn't really stop and concentrate on redoing areas with mistakes. I usually do though. No progress on the new song, too tired. Just a quick play through to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.

Goal tonight: practice and then record a song.
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Guitar player of variable quality for 34 years
2003 Martin 000-18MC | 2008 Martin 000-28VS | 2012 Gibson J-45 Standard | 2015 Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute | 2016 Fender Acoustic SFX | L.R. Baggs Para DI Acoustic | and a closet of related gear

Last edited by J-Doug; 04-11-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:29 PM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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For this to work as a group thing would we not need a common place to check in, so as to cross off another day?
I made a chart on Excel many months ago that breaks practice into 10 min sections. It is easy to keep long term track of practice items and easy to say " well it is only another 10 min to spend, so get it done". By the end of each day, I should have at least 6 entries. Always hope for twelve. So at least we are thinking alike
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  #29  
Old 04-11-2013, 10:12 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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Day five. I think. Been pretty hectic here this week. Still managing to get in 30 minutes on work nights. Making good progress on one fingerstyle song getting some of the rapid fire chord changes in one part down more fluidly, and working on Norwegian Wood on the twelve string alternating chords with picking out the sitar parts in between. Made some flash cards with a fretboard note (string and fret number) on one side and note name on the other to review when I have a few minutes. Tomorrow I start a few days off work so I can get in some good long sessions in.
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"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." -Zig Ziglar

Acoustics
2013 Guild F30 Standard
2012 Yamaha LL16
2007 Seagull S12
1991 Yairi DY 50

Electrics
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Fender Am. Standard Telecaster
Gibson ES-335
Gibson Firebird
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  #30  
Old 04-12-2013, 01:57 AM
delb0y delb0y is offline
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Day 6 was one of those days when it felt like all the work done on days 1 - 5 just vanished. I could remember the beginne'rs version of Ragtime Annie but the intermediate, and the little I'd learned of the advanced, were ether gone from my memory or were all mixed up.

Today, day 7, was a little better with my morning 30 mins. I think I just need to play the thing about a zillion times more to get it my head.

On thing I did today was to try and work out the BPM of Steve Kaufman's version - I reckon it's in excess of 210 bpm. It's fast for sure. I wondered if perhaps I was counting two beats on my metronome for every one that Steve was playing, but no, on a couple of bars where he's playing quarter notes they're going by at over 210 bpm.

I can just about play the beginner's chorus at 200bpm, but it leaves no time for thinking or articulation or trying to get the feel that this whole exercise is about. I can't play the intermediate version at anything like 200bpm because I simply haven't got it memorised that well yet. So I'm going to aim for being able to play the whole thing at 180bpm as base target. I think I should be able to do some jiggery pokery with Transcribe and slow down SK's version to this speed and then export this onto my little Tascam DP004 and (once I've got it memorised - I'm guessing around day 20!) be able to record my self playing along to SK and from there start to see where I'm making mistakes, not swinging, sounding too stiff, etc etc

Finally, last night I also listened to several other versions of this tune. Once I've got this basic arrangement up together I think I shall start cutting and pasting and creating and come up with a version all of my own. But that's for another 40 days...

Kind regards
Derek
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My acoustics:
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  • 2006 Martin 000-15
  • Tanglewood TW-40
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