Guitar Classes Bowie MD
Silver Spring, MD
Violin, Songwriting, Guitar, Music Theory, Music Performance, Singing
5 to 99
I teach classical violin using the Strictly Strings Music Book with improvisational violin and creative composition, as well as some Suzuki methods. I also teach rock violin. I teach folk guitar and singing, playing chords and note reading, composition, music theory, history and appreciation.
Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico - Business Administration - 1996-1998 (Master's degree received) University of Virginia - Music - 1976-1980 (Bachelor's degree received)
TakeLessons Music Teacher
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The Art Of Practicing
The Art Of Practicing
By Chris Standring ( www.chrisstandring.com )
I have always believed that success, in practically any subject you can think of, is a direct result of "clear thinking". That is, the ability to understand very clearly what needs to be achieved and the action to set about surmounting very necessary hurdles in order to reach those goals. Less than successful people are either not clear in their goals or for one reason or another give up along the way. It's leveling that rough terrain, along with a clearly defined end result in mind that will get you there in the end. The success roadmap might go something like this:
Visualize goal => Surmount problems => Score
Sounds simple doesn't it? However, this clear thinking is all very well but it's usually the thought required before step 1 (visualization) that causes problems. Very often the goal does not manifest in mind because the process is so overwhelming.
And so it is with practicing the guitar, or any instrument for that matter. In more laymen's terms it's more like "What the hell should I be practicing?".
Practice is a constant struggle for many people. There is so much to learn and often so little time to allocate to it. For the jazz musician, clear thinking can be as simple as "I really like that Charlie Parker 2, 5 - how does he do that?". Then transcribing the line, practicing it in all keys and working the phrase into your own vocabulary. The 'score' as I like to call it is the ability to work it in to your own playing. I want to talk a little about that in a minute.
First, I think the most important thing to talk about is how to make best use of your practice time. There was a time when I started playing where I used to sit in my room and allocate 15 minutes to practicing scales and arpeggios, 10 minutes on technique exercises, 20 minutes on sight reading and 1/2 an hour on practicing my classical guitar repertoire. Why? because my teacher told me I had to. Years later once I started to study jazz guitar on my own I didn't feel the need to be practicing this way. It wasn't really benefiting me fully. I started to have my own goals in mind that I wanted to reach. I wanted to learn to play like one or two of my heroes, but more importantly because I liked what they played. Even more under the microscope were certain melodic lines and licks that tweaked my ear and fueled me to transcribe or simply copy the way they phrased or 'felt' a phrase. Once I clearly had in mind what I wanted to achieve I could go about achieving it - I knew what I had to do.
It's important to sit down to practice and be really clear about what you are going to do during that practice time. Now, one thing that helped me tremendously was when I made a huge commitment to scheduled practicing. In other words, deciding that every single day, no matter what, I would sit down and dedicate exactly one hour...
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