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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:34 pm 
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I’m just a year or so getting back into learning and have found the V pipes have helped me massively as I can practice at any time of day or night with headphones.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:13 am 
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John Driscoll wrote:
Rory, I'm afraid to took this discussion to a far more strategic place than you intended


John, I never intend a thread to go anywhere other than where it goes,and as far as I'm concerned every post is as important as any other ,and for your considerable input, thanks.
I started the thread because I'm curious about the nature of "talent"and what others might think about how we learn to play an instrument and in this case pipes. I think the main reason my ceiling is quite low(apart from my lack of talent) is my lack of sustained practice and I sometimes think that one of the important aspects of talent is the ability to practice diligently and regularly for long periods of time . I believe the 1% inspiration 99% perspiration quote is probably very true. Its the 1% of course that sets the Masters apart from the average good piper, I'd be happy to be an average good piper but I'm lazy when its comes to practice.

RORY

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:17 am 
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rorybbellows wrote:
I believe the 1% inspiration 99% perspiration quote is probably very true.

RORY

I like that quote. It's very applicable to hours spent sweating on the bellows. Haha.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:15 pm 
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For me the quantum leap was getting hold of a decent set after years of struggling with a crappy one. Now i enjoy playing, and put a lot more time into it.
I think the Edison 99% quote is very true: work will always enhance talent, and a part of that talent is the devotion to the work in developing it. I never expected to be any great shake-of-a-piper. But now I am willing to put the time into getting as good as I can be, and that is fine. At least now when I play, it sounds what I
think UP is supposed to sound like...before, I was skating by with minimal technique because it was too much damned work to get ANYTHING out. I think that nothing will hold back progress more than struggling wiht a poor set ( or set-up). I can do backstitching now... BACKSTITCHING!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:23 am 
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Dear Rory, dear all,
I read this feed and reflected my way of learning.

I have practised only some, many years, simply only played. New ornamentations I tried a few times, rarely practised correctly. Sometimes after trying they have not turned at once. I then have not played them for 14 days but after that installed in Tunes. At some ornamentations this worked fine, at much difficult ones also not.

The only straightly successful and right way that I have got to work on an ornamentation was like a classic music pupil - slowly first so long until it has sounded good. I have first repeated it isolatedly to this for a hundreds times. This leads that the conscious movement which is steered by the brain, in which one determined fingers in a required order to move shorter or longer one after the other was deligated from the brain to the motoricity of the finger muscles. Only these ornamentations sat at once, correctly, tightly and well. One gets on specifically only in such a way. Of course one must thus always venture beyond the limits of the until-now-abilities which one up till now has not crossed.

What would be the worst, it is to play ornamentations in Tunes not quite up to the perfection, to install them in Tunes and then to play in the speed in these be played and use the ornamentations which are not quite perfect. Then one manifests and practises an improper finger muscle movement and will automate them. It will last for years to weed this out with me for some ornamentations again. I have for example taken the rolls on the a from whistle playing and the cut made with the forefinger. This is possible on the Uilleann Pipes in the lower octave already, although it sounds a little wrong/c# in a-minor and G. In the upper octave this does not work fine. The octave breaks down mostly. Cut with the middle finger has lasted for me for at least three years to retrain.

These are my experiences with studying as an autodidact. A teacher points exactly at the wrong places if he is good. One then must nevertheless practise on her or his own as above.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:07 am 
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There are different potential topics under the OP's umbrella.

One is the topic of the adult beginner. In the Highland pipe world the general feeling among teachers is that adult beginners rarely become proficient. There are teachers who won't take on adult beginners.

I have seen a few adult beginners become good pipers. They have shared these attributes:

1) prior high-level music experience (for example one was a good drummer, two were trumpet majors at university, one was a professional pianist)

2) fanatical dedication

3) excellent instruction

4) ample practice time (these people all practiced daily, some of them four to six hours a day).

In the uilleann world a prime example is Eric Rigler, who took up the uilleann pipes as an adult. However he had been playing Highland pipes since a youngster and had achieved a very high level on that instrument. Upon taking up the uilleann pipes he spent tremendous amounts of time practicing and was taking high-level instruction. Within a couple years he was a professional-level uilleann piper.

Then there's the topic of the role of talent v work ethic. As with adult beginners, the people in general who excel have both the talent and the work ethic.

The professional flutist James Galway has often spoken of this, saying that early on he became aware that he had been given the gift of unusual talent for the flute, and that he felt that it was his duty to do his part and put in the work to develop that gift to its fullest.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:42 pm 
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Quote:
I'd be happy to be an average good piper but I'm lazy when its comes to practice.

RORY


Honestly, that was my problem as a musician for many years. I had a lot of natural talent, and could pick things up very very quickly. However my ability to focus during a practice session was terrible, and I would only find the inspiration to actually pick up my instrument once or twice a week. This was before conservatory, of course, but even then diligence and focus were my greatest weaknesses.

The 25-minutes with a timer (also known as the Pomodoro Technique) was transformational for me. As long as I made sure to practice the same tune and technique each time I played for a week or two, the progress was shockingly good.

To Richard's point, I wonder how many adult learners fail to reach their full potential simply because they never learned how to practice effectively? There is woefully little literature out there on the art of practicing, and most experts came by it because of the coincidence of the right elements: focus, diligence, natural talent, environment, mentors.

I just see adult learners give up after a few years, truly believing that they don't have enough talent, and it's heartbreaking really. In all my years of study, through dozens of teachers, none of them ever taught me how to practice, set goals, and make plans to achieve them. They just focused on critiquing my playing and introducing new repertoire. If someone sat me down when I was 10, or 25 for that matter, and showed me that effective practice doesn't take hours and hours a day, I'd be a different player. The problem was I compared myself to really really good players, and just imagined that they lived a life I never could: slaves to their instruments, deeply passionate and focused, and having no other hobbies or life outside of the one instrument. Now I know that archetype is a total myth.

So my question for you, Rory: Are you ok with your current ability as a piper? If not, as you indicated in your last comment, what would need to change in order for you to get better?

Or to paraphrase Mr. Gumby has he aptly described it in several conversations in the archives: Get an impression in your head of what you wish you could sound like. What would need to happen for you to get there as a player? I contest that it doesn't take 10,000 hours to become a decent player.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:45 pm 
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John Driscoll wrote:
So my question for you, Rory: Are you ok with your current ability as a piper? If not, as you indicated in your last comment, what would need to change in order for you to get better?.


I think that over the years my commitment has probably waned a little so although I know I should be practicing more, I now don't have the incentive to knuckle down and do it. It could be that subconsciously I have resigned to the fact that my ceiling is lower than I'd like and now should just enjoy my playing for where it is.

RORY

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:31 am 
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Hello altogether,
I've another thing in my mind which could bring a little light. Classical players sometimes say by experience that it is needed to practise about 10.000 hrs to be close to a pro. If we for a moment ignore the fix figure of 10.000 hrs I would guess that between 3 and 5000 hrs is the minimum to play reasonable good. That means if you play about one hour per day and five days a week you need about 20 years - and I mean hard playing and practising ornaments, not playing airs without effort.
You only get forward when you work at the edge of your ability.
But that should not mean if you don't have enought life time to play 10.000 hrs to lay down your set. Play what you can, enjoy and work so hard as you want to, enjoy again.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:28 am 
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Here's another perspective from Josh Kaufman:

The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:17 am 
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Excellent and entertaining talk and I'm sure there a lot of truth in what he's saying. I think if you were a very beginner with an instructor who you could go through the first twenty hours in the way put forth by Josh it would be an excellent start , or is he over simplifying the learning process. I've never given lessons, any instructors on the board have first hand experience and an opinion on the learning process with pipes.

RORY

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