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Old 04-30-2009, 10:33 AM   #1
leafarmusic
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Practise plans, goals, and exponential growth

Where can i find a good tutorial about how to set goals, come up with effective plans to achieve those goals, how to actually practise, and most importantly, how to achieve exponential growth?

Tom Hess has a video about this (exponential growth and integrating things and approaching a problem from different angles) but he doesnt go into detail very much (its all very theoretical) and i was hoping for something that i can get my teeth into and apply. Something that guides me, gets me to ask myself the right questions, and basically helps me to formulate a good practise schedule that i can use.

Ive always avoided doing this (lack of concentration, patience and discipline) but i want to do it now, and i have all the time in the world to do it.

I want something really useful.

Last edited by leafarmusic : 04-30-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
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Having a practice schedule ultimately comes down to what you want to achieve. The best kind of practice, though, is one where you're focused daily on the individual things that give you trouble.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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Have you only seen one Tom Hess video? I actually havent seen any of his videos but Ive read his articles which you can find all over the place, that should be a good starting place. If you really have all the time in the world, look into Steve Vai (or was it Paul Gilbert)'s 12 (or was it all day) hour practice days. Many of the virtuoso-y guitarists played all day for months to get amazing. Maybe you dont want that and you just want to become good enough. Breaking it down though, most of these types of things become 1 hour warm up > series of 1 hour practice sessions focusing on one particular technique > including 1 hour for note reading + composition/improv. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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Break goals down into their constituents and work towards them based on their size.

So, you might have this goal -

To master the guitar.

Ok, well, you're gonna get pretty demotivated if you try to make daily progress towards that. I mean, what is your progress compared to "MASTERING THE GUITAR?"

So, how about this month, you decide you want

To improve your fretboard knowledge.

You can certainly do that, but it's a vague goal for a months work.

How about this week, you want

To get familiar with major arpeggios.

Sounds great. You can do that.

So you sit down TODAY, and you say

I want to learn 5 positions where I can play an A major arpeggio.











You'll get those 5 positions and be motivated by your genuine success. On the other hand, if you had sat down and said "I will work towards my lifetime goal of mastering the guitar" - well, most of us would end up pretty miserable.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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Yes im working on coming up with a plan. But theres a lot of possible things to practise.

Heres what i have in mind at the moment :

First ill have a good old think about what kind of guitarist i want to be and what i need to know and become good at. I think ill have to observe my favourite guitarists and make notes on what they can do that interests me.

Im going to think about Moretti's ideas to find ways of breaking down what needs to be practised and how, and the Pareto principle (ie 80% of what i practise will be what i most need to get better at, and 20% will be for brushing up on what i already know and can do, espeially recently learned stuff).

So, the first thing ill practise is stuff that i need to improve on, and which i want to improve on. Out of those things, first ill practise the most crucial stuff, and this will be compulsory. Then, ill choose out of the rest. Overall, ill spend 80 ish % of my practise time on those two types of things.

Then, ill brush up on stuff that ive recently improved on, to maintain standards. After a while ill stop practising those things.

Each exercise will consist of small steps (in terms of incremental development).

Things that ive been pretty good at for a long time and things that im not that bothered about learning will be right at the end, if i feel like it.


Does this sound like a good idea? It seems to be, to me. Its structured, but it allows for flexibility. Is there anything i should add?
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
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I hate to burst your bubble but...exponential growth doesn't really happen on guitar, it's actually the opposite in my experience, you grow reasonably fast to begin with but as you keep going you slow down and start making slower progress physically and start making progress in more esoteric ways.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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My bubble isnt burst, my friend. Youre actually wrong there. Thats your experience. Actually its also mine, but i happen to know that i (and you) neednt make slow progress. You shouldnt be so negative. Your experince is your experience, its not the sum total of everything that possible. Google pareto's principle, Tom Hess, and any phrases relating to exponential improvement on guitar (as ive been doing all day) and youll see that theres plenty to learn about this stuff.

For the first few years of playing i made lots of progress. Then i became complacent and thought that it was going to be a smooth ride to becoming a great player and that all i needed to do was do the same things and over time id automatically just be better at other things. Ive learned that i was wrong, and i regret wasting so much time sitting on my ass thinking that im a star.

Thats why im so interested in learning about things that result in real improvement, if anyone can help with this. Im talking methods that boost skills and knowledge quickly. There are so many great guitarists around iand i want to know how they got so good so fast, even if they themselves dont know.

And im not interested in "practise". Theres more to it than that, and its time to get smart, and specific.

So if anyone can help me in a real way id appreciate it. Theres even cookies in it for anyone who can give me some killer advice or lead me to somewhere extremely useful.

Yes, cookies.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafarmusic
Tom Hess has a video about this (exponential growth and integrating things and approaching a problem from different angles)

Presumably the video is called something like "I have no idea what 'Exponential Growth' means"....
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafarmusic
My bubble isnt burst, my friend. Youre actually wrong there. Thats your experience. Actually its also mine, but i happen to know that i (and you) neednt make slow progress. You shouldnt be so negative. Your experince is your experience, its not the sum total of everything that possible. Google pareto's principle, Tom Hess, and any phrases relating to exponential improvement on guitar (as ive been doing all day) and youll see that theres plenty to learn about this stuff.

For the first few years of playing i made lots of progress. Then i became complacent and thought that it was going to be a smooth ride to becoming a great player and that all i needed to do was do the same things and over time id automatically just be better at other things. Ive learned that i was wrong, and i regret wasting so much time sitting on my ass thinking that im a star.

Thats why im so interested in learning about things that result in real improvement, if anyone can help with this. Im talking methods that boost skills and knowledge quickly. There are so many great guitarists around iand i want to know how they got so good so fast, even if they themselves dont know.

And im not interested in "practise". Theres more to it than that, and its time to get smart, and specific.

So if anyone can help me in a real way id appreciate it. Theres even cookies in it for anyone who can give me some killer advice or lead me to somewhere extremely useful.

Yes, cookies.


The Pareto principle is a theory that is applied to mathematically measurable data spread across many participants, not practice. It has no application to the individual doing only one task.

Secondly I really don't think you understand the implication of "exponential growth". If something is exponential it means that it grows more as time goes on, meaning that the longer you have played and learnt, the faster you learn.

What you seem to be talking about it practicing well so that you continue to learn and improve all the time, rather than reaching a plateux and not growning at all beyond a certain point.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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Why doesnt Pareto's principle apply to a person doing one thing? And why do people say that it does? I dont think theyre mistaken.

I do understand exponential growth. Im not equating it with paretos principle. Im interested in both.

Im interested in growth, regardless of whether or not it eventually ends (which i dont believe it does, its just down to us to find ways to make it apply to bigger and better things). Its all good.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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Things that have helped me grow or that I know to have helped others grow -

Pay more attention.
Listen more.
Listen BETTER.
Try less, do more.
Make time, don't wait for it to come along.
Practice usefully. I've learnt dozens of licks I could never use in a song situation. Result? Nothing.
Learn about chords and find as many ways to play them as possible.
Learn to read music.
Learn music for other instruments.
Learn music by ear.
Compose music that YOU love.
Compose music.
Challenge yourself.
Play a new instrument.
Learn to sing.
Read every ****ing guitar, jazz, music and psychology book out there. (I strongly recommend the Natural Classical Guitar. The BEST book on playing guitar mentally and physically that I have EVER read.)
Do grades/diplomas - become qualified!
Play in a band.
Gig.
Teach a complete beginner.
Swap licks with someone better than you.
Find musicians you like.
Learn to embrace music - not FOR anything or BECAUSE of anything.
Become a better human being.
LISTEN TO YOURSELF. Do you like it?
Play things at half speed and double speed and see what it sounds like.
Swing things that shouldn't be swung.
Play something polymetric.
Compose something in a restrictive manner.
Compose music for a painting (or game or cloud or natural disaster).
Try and make ugly noises.
Try out ideas.
Learn all the extended techniques for your instrument.
Use pure mathematics to decide note choice.
Improve your vibrato.
Play drums and sing at the same time.
Relax.
Breath properly.
Spend less time on UG.
Spend more time on UG.
Try things out for yourself.

I want some cookies old man.

Have you watched my youtube vids and shez? Obviously I recommend them. I also have a playlist of every good lesson I've found on youtube and another of all the great musicians I've really enjoyed.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafarmusic
Why doesnt Pareto's principle apply to a person doing one thing? And why do people say that it does? I dont think theyre mistaken.

I do understand exponential growth. Im not equating it with paretos principle. Im interested in both.

Im interested in growth, regardless of whether or not it eventually ends (which i dont believe it does, its just down to us to find ways to make it apply to bigger and better things). Its all good.


The key point is actually that it's applied to mathematically measurable outcomes but stating that 80% of the effects coming from 20% of the causes does not neccesarily apply to this kind of thing; 80% of your technique may come from 20% of the things you practice but that won't be 20% of the time you spend practicing. Also it's not "Pareto's Principle" but "The Pareto Principle".

Exponential growth cannot exist with regards to guitar anyway; again "exponential" is a mathematical term that applies to measurable phenomena and, obviously, guitar has no real measurable outcomes (aside from pure NPS speed which is useless anyway). I state again: continual growth and exponential growth are not the same thing, I really don't think you do understand that.



Edit: Freep just won...but you will notice that NOTHING of that actually produces a measurable outcome.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freepower
Another flawless victory for Zaph!




Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr : 04-30-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:38 PM   #13
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Freepower :

All of that is going in my list. Ive watched a couple of your videos and i intend to watch more. The cookies are in the post.

By the way, what do you know about paretos principle? Ive known about it for a long time but im getting confused. If you focus 80% of your practise time and effort on the most useful stuff, wont that result in it only making 20% of your progress (which doesnt make sense, as the more you practise something , the better youll get? Or, does it just mean, make sure that that 20% is as useful as poss?
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #14
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Woot! Cookies!

I am seriously mad for those things.

I am not mad for all this 80% 20% nonsense. I suggest we strive to add to my list so that I can archive this thread in good faith.

That said, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle - doesn't really apply hear. I'd suggest you spend 80% of the time practicing useful things and then spend 20% of the time sweep tapping because it sounds really neat or something.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafarmusic
Freepower :

All of that is going in my list. Ive watched a couple of your videos and i intend to watch more. The cookies are in the post.

By the way, what do you know about paretos principle? Ive known about it for a long time but im getting confused. If you focus 80% of your practise time and effort on the most useful stuff, wont that result in it only making 20% of your progress (which doesnt make sense, as the more you practise something , the better youll get? Or, does it just mean, make sure that that 20% is as useful as poss?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

It's not really about progress but again: you can't really apply it to guitar, progress is not measurable.

Edit: Dammit FP, typing ninja bastard <.<

I would also add that I'm not mad about Hess either, most of his ideas are just what I would call common sense and internet lesson bashing. That and I find him musically dull beyond all belief.
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Originally Posted by steven seagull
Zaphod wins...flawless victory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freepower
Another flawless victory for Zaph!




Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr : 04-30-2009 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:47 PM   #16
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Zaphod :

It obviously means a lot to you to show everyone how clever you are, so ill leave you to pursue that. Actually, i quite like calling it Pareto's Principle. It has a nice ring to it. Yeah, Pareto's Principle, i like it. Its snappy.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:14 PM   #17
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*List of helpful thing to follow for the rest of your life*

I'm making a damn wallpaper out of this.
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