Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

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sw1tch73ch
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by sw1tch73ch » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:50 pm

I reached a milestone today and thought this would be a good time for a peer review report of sorts.

During my practice of the Rookie Bootcamp "Coldplay - Clocks" lessons I reached level 21.

After I completed the final challenge for "Clocks" I thought about my progress and felt like sharing some ideas.

One, for this particular set, I needed to use a very slow tempo as I stepped up to the next set in the lessons, as either notes were added or the hands were combined. Normally I set the low tempo offered on the two "clocks" - in this case they'd be 76 bpm for slow and 112 bpm for full speed. Today I set the starting speed to 48 bpm with metronome for each level of the lesson. I wanted something slow because I was counting One And Two And Three And Four And.... because many of the notes are played on the "And" which I wanted to fully experience and practice. I randomly chose 48 bpm.

I learned something interesting. With the tempo that slow I found I was waiting for the beat to catch up to me and it really impressed on me the rhythmic pattern as I worked my way faster, to the point where I was just keeping up with the tempo and then working hard to keep up at full speed. But by starting extra slow and emphasizing playing those notes that belonged to the "And" counts I was able to keep that in mind all the way to full speed. I don't know that I needed to start quite that slow, but the practice of waiting to play the note at the correct time was eye opening or ear opening.... or some temporal sense opening.

I should note that tempo is one of my really weak points, so I do put a good deal more practice into tempo work, using different tempos to get the "feel" for it. Perhaps you don't have trouble playing notes on the off beats, but it's a struggle for me. Going so slow actually helped with this for me.

Even if you don't have troubles keeping up with the full speed tempo, you should work with different tempo settings to get a feel for the rhythmic pattern at different rates. I have found that working my way up makes the full speed play through that much more successful and rewarding.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by sw1tch73ch » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:21 pm

I guess I forgot to add the couple other items I thought about while reflecting on my milestone - hitting level 21.

The second thought is don't be in a rush to complete each lesson. Take the time to explore the facets of the lesson, in this case, playing notes on the off beat, on the "And" and let the lesson sink in. Maybe take a break part way through a lesson set, just for a few minutes, just to let things sink in. This is especially true if you've hit a road block on your progress. Taking a short break, to get a glass of water, or stretch, or just be away from the keys for a moment will let what you've learned actually sink in. I find that when I get back things will have changed in my mind or my muscles that let me move past what was moments before was a complete road block.

The third thought is related to not rushing. The program rewards you for practicing. You don't get as many points for rehashing parts you've mastered, but you still get credit. If the software says you've mastered the thing, but you still aren't comfortable, a few more passes through the section might help you grasp what it is you've accomplished. I completed the "Clocks" final challenge, but didn't feel like I was really hitting the timing the way I should, even if the computer couldn't tell. After a few more practice sessions on that final challenge, I felt I'd reached the point the computer had told me I'd already reached. You are the final arbiter of whether you've reached the proficiency you're working toward, not the software. It's your guide, not your master.

Whether you want 100% on each segment, or are happy with 80 or 90, is up to you. Enjoy it and remember.... keep on playing!
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

davidsides
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Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by davidsides » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:36 pm

Congratulations on reaching level 21! And your insight and tips are gold!

Slowing the music down is the best way to work through the hard sections or the things that can use a little improving. Working on timing is one of the more challenging elements of playing music, for many people. It's good that you're aware of your strengths and weaknesses and are able to zero in on a way to work on the things that give you troubles.

We're all looking forward to hearing more about your improvements and milestones. Keep it up! :)

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by sw1tch73ch » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:35 pm

A quick update. Only because our hands have five fingers... I just made level 25. I like numbers that end in 5 and 0 for use as milestones. I've been going through completed lessons, refreshing the things we learn from them. I was especially inspired by all the updates to the videos and some of the challenges playing them, so I did a fresh install and am working through the previous lessons to see if therected is any new information. I have found anything yet. :)

I got the tips for using Playground Sessions, I didn't remember those but that may be because I saw them last September when I did the first install. Or they might be new... Treat your memory well people, one day it might try to leave you if you don't. ;)
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

Aplaca
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 5:45 pm

Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by Aplaca » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:40 pm

Hey Sw1tch,

How are you progressing these days?

I'm finding it motivating to read up on peoples beginnings and progress so far :geek: .

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by sw1tch73ch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi Aplaca!

Good idea on the update! So here goes:

I've reached Level 40, still in the Rookie Bootcamp. I just finished Rookie Bootcamp Lesson 67. Before I continue on to Lesson 68, I'm working on "O Holy Night" which I figure if I start now, I'll have it completed by Christmas. :D My first "Three Star" song was "Lean On Me" which I believe comes with Playground Sessions. Along the way I conquered the challenging lesson from "The Game of Thrones" (Lesson 44) and Dvorak's beautiful "New World Symphony" (Lessons 64 and 65), as well as one I was nearly convinced would defeat me - "Story Of My Life" by One Direction (Lesson 66) - but it didn't defeat me. :o

There are two "normal" lessons left in Rookie Bootcamp for me, and several "Final Review" lessons to complete and then I'll work on a few more songs: "Daydream Believer" from the Monkees, "Primavera" by Ludovico Einaudi, and "Viva La Vida" by Cold Play. I expect that once into the Intermediate Bootcamp that I will be looking for some Intermediate songs to add to my library. Then, at some point I will have completed Intermediate and moved onto Advanced and will buy a lot of songs then. I'm happy with my progress, slow as it may be, because I am making progress! 8-)

One thing that you might check out is the Playground Sessions Community on Facebook. We post of lot of videos of our performing lessons and songs. We have a number of talented students there, many I find especially inspiring. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/playgroundsessions/ - you'll need to request membership to the community (and create a Facebook account if you don't already have that), but it is well worth it. :idea:
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Progress Report! Sw1tch73ch

Post by sw1tch73ch » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:19 pm

Today seems like a good day for a Progress Update...


I am nearing the end of the Rookie Bootcamp: Working on Lesson 76 - Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo. I hit two milestones during this lesson.

One: I reached Level 43. My last update was at Level 40, so not that big a change. But still, the levels are harder to reach as the points required for each level increases as you go up. Level 43 required 2100 points.

Two: I just passed 4 Full Days of practice (that is 96 hours!). This is only the count of the hours that the program tracks. So who knows how much I've really done? (Rhetorical Question, don't try to answer... :lol: )

I've also added four new songs to my Rookie Songs list. I'm working on 'O Holy Night' to be "just in time" for Christmas. And at the rate I'm going on it, it might be JUST in time... :shock:

My current song list, alphabetically:

Daydream Believer (The Monkees) [Rookie - Moderate]
Game of Thrones Main Theme (Ramin Djawadi) [Rookie - Hard]
He's A Pirate (Klaus Badelt) [Rookie - Hard]
Lean On Me (Bill Withers) [Rookie - Moderate] -- My first 3 Star song completed on 2017-05-28
New World Symphony (A. Dvorak) [Rookie - Moderate]
O Holy Night (Traditional) [Rookie - Moderate] -- The current song I'm working on
Primavera (Ludovico Einaudi) [Rookie - Moderate]
Silent Night (Traditional) [Rookie - Moderate] -- Probably the next song I'll work on and hopefully I'll finish it before Christmas, too
Viva La Vida (Coldplay) [Rookie - Moderate]
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

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