The Two Minute Practice Method



  • casscass Pennsylvania New AJL XO, DuPont MD100, Gitane DG255
    edited October 2022 Posts: 18

    Much of this reminds me of a book I read in the 60’s. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. It enforces art of positive thinking! In performance it’s possible your mind can work against you with distractions and possibly an intimidating audience. I try practicing in different settings: inside, outside where people in the neighborhood walk by and can add distractions, in front of the tv turned up to add distractions etc. I’ll even try to imagine Stochelo or Bireli are listening to add a little pressure! 🥺 But, the whole idea is to imagine yourself performing in a positive situation to increase confidence.

  • Posts: 4,777

    According to many who had to cure nerves in different life situations, visualization can be a lifesaver. I went busking by myself a few times and during the next gig I felt relaxed more than usual. I think this is the easiest solution and while I can't be positive yet that the two are related, seems to work.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • edited March 2023 Posts: 4,777

    Another addendum to this evolving material is something I came across recently. I subscribe to Noa Kageyama's newsletter and one of the recent ones was especially interesting to me. It's the interview with Hans Jensen who is a classical cellist, educator, university professor etc...

    Several extremely interesting points he made are in there, stuff I really subscribe to. He talks about how there are no limits when it comes to playing the instrument, everything can be developed (7m), says how when he was younger he thought differently and that he was wrong. Says to play fast, you have to practice fast (12:24) but to do it in short bursts. Talks about nerves (16:15) and what to do about it. Practicing (22:00), sense of timing (34:00) and technique and how they go hand in hand. When you're practicing slow you should still play in time (39:20). And much more

    If you followed this thread and read my "two mintes" thing, you know that I don't subscribe to incremental tempo increase. I go to fast immediately approach, spending time in the slow zone mostly to solidify fingering and very little in between*. Mr. Jensen thinks so as well but there is another classical musician, trombonist, Jason Sulliman who is against incremental tempo increase as well, only he says you should almost never practice slow. The only exception he makes is when you're making a physical change in your playing and/or technique. He actually has master's in kinesiology and motor learning which I understand he went to study because he was curious to learn more about this process because of his own practice.

    I believe slow practice has its place and for me the biggest benefit is that it's so much stress and headache free. But we're on the same page when it comes to practicing to play something really fast. You take very small chunks and build. He also said as small as two notes, which I wrote about in my article too. Great interview and other interesting links around the page too.

    *this is when I'm learning something written, waltz piece, someone's solo, new lick etc...I love improvising in the slow zone, especially over unfamiliar tunes.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 4,777

    A little update here, something interesting I heard the other day...a few days ago I went skiing and was on the chair with a couple of other guys as the ski lift was moving over this double-black run. We saw somebody that was trying to get down it. It wasn't really skiing, it was a struggle to stay on their feet and get down safe, in one piece and uninjured

    That's when one of the guys on the chair said out of the blue "there's no learning there".

    I said, man, that's a great point, there's no learning when you struggle. Then I realized it's the same when you're playing the instrument. Especially improvising. If you're trying to get better at it playing over a song at tempo and you are constantly struggling, then you're not learning. You have to slow down enough where you have control over the situation but feel a challenge.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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