It is currently Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:15 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Practice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 189
I'm a nascent whistle player. I'd be glad for advice on creating effective and productive practice time. Warm ups, exercises? Just playing tunes?

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 809
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Personally, I just play tunes. :D

Start out with a tune you know well from listening to it, play it slowly at first, then speed it up to tempo, when you have it down OK. :)

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:33 pm
Posts: 77
Location: North America. Way north.
1) To practice skills properly, practice them slowly and speed them up later. You need to get the muscle control right.

2) To create inspired music properly, play it as you create it spontaneously at full speed and fix the mistakes, gaps and upgrade ideas later. You need to capture the spirit of the music right, the raw materials, the content, and do the left-brain editing MUCH later, if ever.

3) I don't expect to make much progress in practicing before I've been playing at least 5 minutes, and then some kind of inner switch gets turned on and the music tends to flow much more fluidly, both in playing the instrument and in feeling the music. The music needs to harmonize with the mind, heart, body, fingers and instrument.

4) I practice a variety of things; the physical use of the instrument and all those possibilities, some particular music I'm trying to create, and favorite or simple musical riffs to get warmed up. Camptown Races, anyone?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 6:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4540
Location: WV to the OC
Michael w6 wrote:
I'm a nascent whistle player. I'd be glad for advice on creating effective and productive practice time. Warm ups, exercises? Just playing tunes?


First, kudos to you for busting out 'nascent'. (I'll match your nascent and throw in inchoate.)

I grew up a trad player but have been around legit/classical/orchestral/uni players most of my life and I've long found it interesting how the two worlds use quite different practice strategies. Both approaches are successfully used by good players.

Nearly all trad players advocate "just playing tunes". Makes sense, because the end goal is to "learn tunes" and "know tunes" at least in the traditional Irish session world, where the more tunes you know, the more fully you can participate.

For "legit" players (by which they mean sightreaders) there is no purpose in learning/knowing tunes. At a gig their job is to play at sight music they've not seen before and will never see again. Rather than practicing tunes, they practice the skills needed to generate tunes in the future. They practice scales and intervals and clumsy complex note-clusters so that when they're sightreading at full speed at a gig next week they'll not be confronted with anything they've not already worked on.

In short, I think it makes sense to use the sort of practice that's suited to your end purpose.

And I'll add a third practice approach to consider: practicing the improving of your ear, and your ability to pick up tunes on the fly.

When I was doing a lot of teaching I would often have people wanting to get into ITM who were coming from the sightreading world. Sometimes these people had excellent ears and were great at picking up tunes, sometimes these people were intrenched in sheet music and had little or no experience in ear-learning.

I believe that ear-learning is vitally important in ITM so with these people I wouldn't give them any sheet music and force them to use their ear exclusively. I would teach them strategies for picking up Irish reels and jigs by ear at full speed (by recognizing patterns). I would put on a CD of reels neither of us knew and we would play along.

Because if your end goal is to be able to quickly pick up tunes by ear there's no point in practicing tunes off sheet music.

About warm-ups yes I think they're valuable with flute, but not with whistle.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 529
Michael w6 wrote:
I'm a nascent whistle player. I'd be glad for advice on creating effective and productive practice time. Warm ups, exercises? Just playing tunes?



My questions are: how nascent, what style do you want to play, and do you have a tutor.

Encouraging speed is all well and good, but you may be in the stage where you are still trying to get the fingers to cover the holes. In which case, toss out the idea of speed, work on the basics and speed will come later.

I spent quite a bit of time wishing I could learn to play Irish Traditional music on the whistle and sort of flailed about without a teacher or clear written instructions for over a decade. Since I was never getting anywhere I put my energy elsewhere but always had the desire to learn the whistle. That was when the earth was new in the 70s. I didn't know anyone who played whistle and listened to the recordings I could find, but couldn't put my finger on those ornaments I was hearing. Late in the 80s I ran into a young whistle teacher, Shannon Heaton. Her clear instruction got me started on a journey I have never stopped. If you are a total newbie Shannon's YouTube videos may be of interest to you eventually, though she does focus her online instruction to the flute,

If you do not have access to a teacher you likely have access to the internet and there are many good books out there with written instruction and CDs to train your ear as well as online classes for pay or for free.

If you have a teacher or a tutor book or try an online course such as the Online Academy of Irish Music you will have building blocks to structure your practice. The Irish Traditional whistling style is very specific with ornamentation that are best built in as you go if possible. There are a number of good online courses so you could cast out a query on that one. Some are better than others. The only online course I've looked through is the Online Academy of Irish Music. They built up skills very systematically from total beginning to highly skilled playing. But there are others out there as well. Some free stuff online is good, some not so good.

If you are just trying to play songs or tunes on a whistle you may not be interested in the Irish Traditional ornaments, and just want to play notes. So some of my experience may be irrelevant.

When I was first learning from Shannon she would teach me a part of a tune complete with ornamentation first by ear, then send me home with a recording and a sheet of staff paper we wrote out together with the ornaments and breathing spots marked. This process was invaluable to me. I learned to listen and play back what I heard, I learned to write down what I heard, and I could practice the week's tune bit complete with ornaments and breathing spaces as slowly as I needed to. By the time we'd go through the whole tune it fell into place as a seamless detailed whole. Each week built on the next.

Eventually I worked on speed. But speed without the foundations of where to breath and how to ornament would not have gotten me to my goal. My goal was to be be able to play tunes and to develop the capacity learn a tune "on the fly," be able to hear and replicate the ornamentation of a player, just by listening.

So advising you is complicated. Should you do a series of rolls up the scale every day or practice breath control or switching octaves, or focus on playing notes in tune? We can't really tell you since we don't know where you are on the journey.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 7:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 189
@Richard - Well, we both like words.

As to music, what I want to do is learn and play tunes. So that is what I do when I practice. I can read music, but with a new tune I have to wade through it somewhat slowly. I'm certainly cannot sight-read and play in the same fashion I can read an unfamiliar book, thoughin the time I've been dabbling in dots my read and play has developed.

I've often heard the advice of learning by ear. This strikes me as cumbersome, maybe because I don't have the ear or the experience. When I have the dots for a tune I've heard and wish to learn I can hear when I'm playing it wrong, or at least differently than the recording I heard. So mayhaps the by ear is a skill that will develop as I gain proficiency.

Thanks for the response.

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 7:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 189
@Buster - Thanks for the response. Tunes I can play without dots: Amazing Grace, Shee Beag, Shee Mor, Patty's Leather Breeches. I can fairly well get through several other jigs, a few reels and some songs with the dots as a reference. My main goal is to play well enough to enjoy myself and hopefully that others might enjoy listening. I like the ITM but make no commitment to learning a strict Irish style. I also very much like Renaissance and Breton tunes and have been working on several.

My learning resources are three tutorial books by Grey Larson, Mary Bergin's tutorial and one or two others who's names eludes me. I subscribe to The Whistletutor and Ryan Duns on YT. Just this week I discovered Shannon's postings. I'm aware of OAIM but have not enrolled yet.

I have not pursued an in person tutor. With limited funds and no car that would prove difficult. And I think the self tutelage will work quiet well were I more focused and less lazy. There are times when I'm enthuastic and make noticeable progress. There are other times when the workday leaves me feeling, "meh."

My current hope is to put together a set of tunes for St. Pat's and ask to play in a local brewery. That's 11 months. I think it is manageable.

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 5:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4540
Location: WV to the OC
Michael w6 wrote:

I've often heard the advice of learning by ear. This strikes me as cumbersome, maybe because I don't have the ear or the experience.


I think it's like any other skill, facility with it comes through repetition/practice.

For sure there's something comforting about having the dots, and learning a new tune purely by ear can feel like flying blind.

In truth, in ITM there's no such thing as the correct setting of a tune, which frees us from worrying if we have every note exactly the same as our source. Instead we can focus on grasping the gist of the tune.

You mention a hymn-tune and a Carolan piece, and of course these fall outside the realm of ITM per se.

I've played a zillion church gigs over the years and with them you have to have every note of the tune right, or you'll clash with the choir and organ. But Irish Traditional Music, the jigs and reels and airs, are much more free.

Now pardon me for a moment while I put on my Church Music Pedant Hat, but I should point out that there's no tune "Amazing Grace".

Amazing Grace is a set of words, and while it is nowadays usually sung to NEW BRITAIN, it is also sung to a number of other tunes including KINGSFOLD and FIDUCIA among others. (I'm not shouting, it's customary to render hymn-tune names in all caps.)

Personally I prefer the latter tunes over NEW BRITAIN.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 6:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 189
Whoa! I always assumed that "Amazing Grace" was composed as an independent piece of music and lyrics. That the words were set to a pre-existing tune is good to know! Thanks. I was going to post a question about this in reference to "John Barleycorn." I know R. Burns has a poem "John Barleycorn" Was the poem originally recited and later set to the now popular tune?

As to dots v. ear. It seems to me the goal is plying music regardless of how one gets there.

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 6:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 529
Michael w6 wrote:


My learning resources are three tutorial books by Grey Larson, Mary Bergin's tutorial and one or two others who's names eludes me. I subscribe to The Whistletutor and Ryan Duns on YT. Just this week I discovered Shannon's postings. I'm aware of OAIM but have not enrolled yet.



It sounds like you have some good resources there. Enjoy them. They will serve you well. At some point you can check out some of the online videos that lean towards teaching by ear. And the CDs with the books will help you with that.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 7:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4540
Location: WV to the OC
Michael w6 wrote:
I always assumed that "Amazing Grace" was composed as an independent piece of music and lyrics. That the words were set to a pre-existing tune is good to know!


That was common with the old hymns. When the Reformation happened people said "let's all sing songs in church!" so Bible-texts were set to current tunes, the "pop music" of that time. It would be like, today, people singing Bible-texts to Beatles tunes in church.

So in traditional hymnody "hymns" are sets of words, like poems, and they are sung to "tunes". A choir could sing the same hymn a dozen weeks in a row, to a different tune every week.

And it's still like that, even though we nowadays are used to lyrics and melodies being composed together, like in Hollywood musicals and modern pop music.

Anyhow here is the hymn Amazing Grace being sung the tune KINGSFOLD, a very common old tune, used in England for at least one old Christmas carol and in Ireland for the folk-song The Star Of The County Down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCBrdCK7u9c

The hymn Amazing Grace, in 19th century books, was often given with the tune FIDUCIA, my personal favourite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFKZmcGAW0

Michael w6 wrote:
As to dots v. ear...the goal is plying music regardless of how one gets there.


Thing is, it depends on which "there" one wants to get to.

My point, which probably wasn't well expressed, is that if the "there" one wants to get to is performing from the dots (sightreading sheet music as orchestral and studio musicians do) then practicing from the dots is the most effective way.

But if the "there" is performing music without the dots in front of you then the most effective way to arrive at that goal is probably to practice without the dots.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 1:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 189
Thanks for sharing these clips. I was surprised how jarring it was to hear the song set to a tune other than the familiar one.

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 2:24 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13164
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
That Tim Eriksen version is lovely, Richard. :thumbsup: :)

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 2:34 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13164
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
OK. I've just had to listen to that Tim Eriksen version three times in a row. It's absolutely beautiful. Amazing.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Practice
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 pm
Posts: 2639
Location: Seashore
Another version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EN_Hmq534


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.126s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)