how do you practice?

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wuff_miggler
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Re: how do you practice?

Post by wuff_miggler » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:19 am

i find the idea of "practising" as in "practise the piano" a bit funny.

i need to know what the knobs do - and how the ins and outs work...i read manuals - sometimes the manual will be hard to understand - i ask the manufacturer or people here.

need lots of time to develop an aural memory...as in - "oh thats right - this is the knob which i heard do this - lets try that effect here"

to learn some basics - i like synthesising famous sounds/musical tropes/naturally occuring sounds/instruments.

precise knob locations will often not help - as the amount of knobs on a synth are many...and they will not behave the same way patch to patch, general knob positions are good enough

experiment - and above all - fuck "correct" and "right" sounds....some of the best music comes from using gear wrong :D

i plug everything into anything most importantly while i have recording on!

most of my favourite music is written by teens on FL, fucking with crazy VSTs - with no clue what they're doing.

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windchill
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Re: how do you practice?

Post by windchill » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:32 am

luchog wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:36 pm
Pelsea wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:05 pm
Malcolm Gladwell (the 10,000 hours guy) makes a distinction between putting in time doing random stuff and directed practice, which is carefully structured to address problems and promote growth. When I practice my WX5, I use saxophone methods to practice the tricky octave fingerings and drill playing in all keys. I'm long past my 10,000 hours playing wind instruments, all I do right now is 20 minutes 3 times a week for maintenance.
As an aside, there is a growing body of evidence that Gladwell's strictly-regimented directed practice is in fact not very helpful at mastering a skill; at least in the initial learning phase. Undirected and diverse learning when younger or just starting out, followed by slowly increasing specialization in a particular skill, results in better outcomes in the long term. That's probably why multi-instrumentalists tend to have better-developed musical ability than musicians who focus too intensely on a particular instrument.
If you want to be taken seriously it's best to avoid quoting Malcom Gladwell.

In terms of practicing I do however set aside some time to do more than simply patch. I will dedicate a session to a specific technique or module and make a more formal study of where it can go.

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Whelm
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Re: how do you practice?

Post by Whelm » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:04 pm

Cool thread, lots of great comments.

I am but a fledgling but I have three modes:

1. Noodling around. Particularly if I'm only getting at it late in the day, which is often.

2. Trying to realize a specific patch idea or to experiment with a particular module. So like recently trying to derive melodic variation using a single sequencer with a switch and CV processing/mixing.

3. Trying to create a specific sound. This one is new to me, and I've quite enjoyed it. I wanted to record a piece that was evocative of a train on which a person is murdered. So I had to come up with a train whistle sound, with a chugga-chugga sound, a murder sound, etc. Along the way I stumbled across a telegraph sound.

I liked this approach. I definitely struggle in general with the "too-much" effect (too much patching, too many sounds, too many notes, etc). Usually coming up with stuff has just been a matter of either experimentation or abstract concept. When you're trying to make a specific sound, it's easier to avoid that tendency because you know when you've overshot the target.

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Re: how do you practice?

Post by Pelsea » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:11 pm

windchill wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:32 am
If you want to be taken seriously it's best to avoid quoting Malcom Gladwell.
I suppose. But K Anders Ericsson, the psychologist Gladwell cribbed from, has his own book called "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise". (If you are up for some heavy reading, Ericsson's and several others' papers are compiled in a book called "The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance".) In his book, Ericsson defines deliberate practice this way:

*Deliberate practice develops skills that other people have figured out how to do and for which effective training techniques have been established. Electronic music is already in trouble here, because there aren't a lot of teachers out there, and we haven't really gotten beyond advanced basic techniques. However, traditional chop building methods do apply.

*Deliberate practice takes place outside one's comfort zone and requires you to constantly try things that are just beyond your abilities. We can do that, starting with plugging the system in.

*Deliberate practice involves well defined specific goals. Teachers often set such goals, but I think we can probably handle this ourselves.

*Deliberate practice requires a person's full attention, including focus on the session goal. I think we are OK there.

*Deliberate practice requires feedback and modification of efforts in response to that feedback. This initially comes from a teacher, but eventually students can criticize themselves. I suggest you record practice sessions and then critique them.

*Deliberate practice both produces and depends on effective mental representations. Ericsson develops this idea earlier in the book--it's really just knowing how the finished product should sound, the same way a banjo player knows Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This is where a synthesist has to master the sound palette of his personal instrument.

*Deliberate practice nearly always requires building on previously acquired skills. This means proceed by small steps--work with just a few modules, then another set, then combine them and so on.

This is a very traditional approach, but it can be adapted to practically any skill. I don't entirely agree with Andersson's first rule-- none of us are in the business of playing what others have figured out. I think all we need is a good mental model of how we want our music to sound. Eventually, we'll get there.

btw: Ericsson never says any of this is fun. In fact, he emphasizes it is hard work. This kind of practice makes the fun possible.
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windchill
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Re: how do you practice?

Post by windchill » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:10 pm

Pelsea wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:11 pm
windchill wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:32 am
If you want to be taken seriously it's best to avoid quoting Malcom Gladwell.
I suppose. But K Anders Ericsson, the psychologist Gladwell cribbed from, has his own book called "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise". (If you are up for some heavy reading, Ericsson's and several others' papers are compiled in a book called "The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance".) In his book, Ericsson defines deliberate practice this way:

*Deliberate practice develops skills that other people have figured out how to do and for which effective training techniques have been established. Electronic music is already in trouble here, because there aren't a lot of teachers out there, and we haven't really gotten beyond advanced basic techniques. However, traditional chop building methods do apply.

*Deliberate practice takes place outside one's comfort zone and requires you to constantly try things that are just beyond your abilities. We can do that, starting with plugging the system in.

*Deliberate practice involves well defined specific goals. Teachers often set such goals, but I think we can probably handle this ourselves.

*Deliberate practice requires a person's full attention, including focus on the session goal. I think we are OK there.

*Deliberate practice requires feedback and modification of efforts in response to that feedback. This initially comes from a teacher, but eventually students can criticize themselves. I suggest you record practice sessions and then critique them.

*Deliberate practice both produces and depends on effective mental representations. Ericsson develops this idea earlier in the book--it's really just knowing how the finished product should sound, the same way a banjo player knows Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This is where a synthesist has to master the sound palette of his personal instrument.

*Deliberate practice nearly always requires building on previously acquired skills. This means proceed by small steps--work with just a few modules, then another set, then combine them and so on.

This is a very traditional approach, but it can be adapted to practically any skill. I don't entirely agree with Andersson's first rule-- none of us are in the business of playing what others have figured out. I think all we need is a good mental model of how we want our music to sound. Eventually, we'll get there.

btw: Ericsson never says any of this is fun. In fact, he emphasizes it is hard work. This kind of practice makes the fun possible.
Don't get me wrong. Your fundamental point was well made and I absolutely agree with the essential concept that mastery requires what we might call directed practice. I just have little time for Mr Gladwell.

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