This is the final installment of Jamie's contribution to Datamusicata. Next week I'll be back with some of my tips and my experiences in Seldovia Alaska where I am hosting the Seldovia Music Festival.
In the meantime...
Practicing One Thing Is Practicing Everything - Part Three
The Meaning Of "Practicing One Thing Is Practicing Everything"
By Jamie Andreas
Now, let me explain the "practicing one thing is practicing everything" concept.
Many people, when told what real, correct practice is, still don't do it because they feel that it would take too long, they would never learn to play all the music they want to learn, and so forth. Of course, the truth is the exact opposite. If you don't do this slow, careful, and methodical approach that you think takes so long, then, you will never learn all that music. You will just convince yourself that you have learned it. But, it will be hard to convince other people if you happen to play for them!
It became clear to the workshop attendees who sat and watched me do real practice that my fingers were benefiting far beyond that particular passage. In fact, it became clear to them that my practice did not involve merely training my fingers, but rather, I was training my whole body. It became clear that this training would show itself in many other things I would attempt to play that had the same difficulties that I overcame here in this passage.
It became clear that my entire "playing mechanism" was being up-graded by the practice I was doing. And that is exactly right. That is why I get better all the time. That is why anyone who practices like this gets better all the time.
In fact, at an earlier time in my development, I would have had to work on that passage for maybe a year in order to get it. Actually, at earlier times in my life, I probably wouldn't have gotten it at all, no matter how much I practiced.
It is only because of the level of playing ability that I presently enjoy because of years of correct practice that I got it so reliably in just two weeks, working on it about 15 minutes a day. The rest of the piece came rather easily, although at another time, I would have found it difficult to impossible, but again, because of years of correct practice, it came easily and did not offer me resistance.
So, if this is the way it is for you, there isn't much use, from the point of view of technique, to practicing a ton of scales. It would be a much better use of your time to pick one scale and examine it minutely, and practice it correctly and intensely until you begin to get it clean. Then, you will see ALL your scales improve.
This is the meaning of "practicing one thing is practicing everything". Correct practice opens the door, slowly, one inch at a time to the world of music you want to play. Please realize that the opposite is true as well. Bad practice closes the door, slowly, one inch at a time, to the world of music you want to play.
Copyright 2010 Jamie Andreas. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Begin YOUR journey to guitar excellence - find out more about "The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar". Visit www.guitarprinciples.com