Progress charts

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Progress charts

Post by Ianuarius on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:18 am

What I usually tell MY students is that they shouldn't take anything I tell them as a face value but that they should take it for validating. I tell them that Progress charts can be very counterproductive, but they should use them if they feel like they make a difference for them. Like I say in this blog post of mine:
I don’t really follow my progress by any charts (like the ones where you mark your BPM each day) and those might help if they weren’t such a huge project to work with. I feel that they are locking me down.
...That’s the other thing I don’t care about marking down your BPM for the day. You don’t have to practice stuff fast. Practicing fast if anything is counterproductive. Now, I can hear you screaming: “But I’ve always practiced fast and got great results!” Yes, I understand. I’m not saying you can’t get great results with that. I’m just saying that you can get the same results more easily.

If you practice fast there’s no time to pay attention to those three key elements: laxity, accuracy and right motion. In worst case scenario you start playing the lick wrong and before you know it you’ve played it like that 300 times and then your brain already thinks that’s the way the lick should be played.

Also if you’ve played the lick 300 times and still don’t get the results you want it’s gonna be depressing. At least that’s how I feel.
To me playing guitar isn't just PROGRESS -- PROGRESS -- PROGRESS. It's having a good time. And you can have good time even if you don't know how to play. Check out Guthrie Govan. For the longest time he said he was happy just playing the very basic blues progression. Now, of course, I understand that you're all thriving for those fast licks, but then again he never used any progress charts. He just started playing fast... in few weeks.

Again -- Progress charts aren't BAD. They can, however, lock you down, if you don't know what you're doing. In all playing/practicing it's the attitude that makes all the difference.
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Ianuarius

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Re: Progress charts

Post by Ianuarius on Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:53 pm

When I saw that metronome image in the forum main page that got me thinking...

I'm not actually even using metronome when I practice. That's got a lot to do with the fact that I played drums about 10 years before I picked up the guitar. I hear when I'm out of time and I'm not really striving for bigger and bigger BPM's.

Guthrie is a great teacher in my opinion becase for one he's an amazing guitar player and second he seems very different from everyone else in the guitar circles. He said that you just gotta play clean and relaxed and trust that when you need that extra burst of speed the skill's gonna be there.
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