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  #1  
Old 02-15-2010, 06:18 PM
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Default Practice makes it worse.

Am I the only player on here that suffers from this sometimes? I don't practice a lot, only when I have something specific to work on. Mostly, this works out just fine, but sometimes, the more I practice the worse it gets. I'm interested to see if anyone can pinpoint the reason for this. Is it a certain mindset? Maybe some things benefit from being fresh, instinctive, spare of the moment or organic. Anyone with similar experiences, please let me know about them. Thanks, KIS.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

For sure this happens to me as well. That's when it's time to stop and work on something else, or just have fun, or take a drum break. One thing I count on when I practice....after I'm done practicing I know that subconsciously, my mind is still working on whatever it was I was trying to do. So take a break, come back a little later, and all of a sudden, you are playing it at a higher level. That's one of the great things about your mind. It keeps trying to crack the nut without you even knowing it. But in those situations where you are going backwards (it seems), I think it's best to switch gears and come back to it later.

I'll bet this is a common occurrance among people who practice regularly. What really bugs me is, while practicing and I come up with a groove I really like, and think I will be able to recreate, I can't replicate it the next day. I need to start writing those little gems down or something. I've lost so many cool grooves that way.

I think you've answered your question with your ob about things benefitting from being fresh, instinctive etc. Kinda like sex.

Last edited by larryace; 02-15-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:38 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

This isn't the disagree thread, I suppose?

Well, I know what you mean, Andy. Its when stuff you are working on sounds mechanical and pedantic. But usually thats because you are trying to internalize something that you are yet to be comfortable with. I hit a lot of plateaus when I'm working things out and even slide backwards sometimes, but eventually when the concepts are understood and the muscle memory takes over the brain function, then its comes together better, tighter, more musical,,,, mostly.

Also practice is not playing. ( It should be. )


...
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
For sure this happens to me as well. That's when it's time to stop and work on something else, or just have fun, or take a drum break. One thing I count on when I practice....after I'm done practicing I know that subconsciously, my mind is still working on whatever it was I was trying to do. So take a break, come back a little later, and all of a sudden, you are playing it at a higher level. That's one of the great things about your mind. It keeps trying to crack the nut without you even knowing it. But in those situations where you are going backwards (it seems), I think it's best to switch gears and come back to it later.

I'll bet this is a common occurrance among people who practice regularly. What really bugs me is, while practicing and I come up with a groove I really like, and think I will be able to recreate, I can't replicate it the next day. I need to start writing those little gems down or something. I've lost so many cool grooves that way.

I think you've answered your question with your ob about things benefitting from being fresh, instinctive etc. Kinda like sex.
Ditto, I think you nailed it right here Larry.

I've worked on something for days and it doesn't come, take a few days off and it just sinks in. You comer back to it fresh and all that work has payed off.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Kinda like sex.
Thanks Larry. Sometimes my practice goes from nearly getting it first time to almost brain fart in 5 minutes. Maybe I need to get checked out. Anyhow, what is this sex thing you refer to?
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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This isn't the disagree thread, I suppose?
I hit a lot of plateaus...
Plateaus aren't the issue, it's the winter Olympic class downhill reversal that catches me. Disagree, who, me? I know not of that you speak. I guess Berhard was having too much fun (wink).
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

Re: kinda like sex...
You know, doing the same thing, in the same way, night in night out. It gets stale and you need to change it up regularly, so when you go back to the tried and true, it's not stale anymore (hopefully!)
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Re: kinda like sex...
You know, doing the same thing, in the same way, night in night out. It gets stale and you need to change it up regularly, so when you go back to the tried and true, it's not stale anymore (hopefully!)
Now I get the idea, rather like variety in your diet, trying new foods, that sort of thing. I still don't get the sex thing though. Can I buy this new idea at my local music shop? Is there an instructional video?
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2010, 07:35 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

Does Victoria's Secret make drumheads?

...
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

I like analogys. I was likening my "sex" comment to practicing the same thing over and over, and losing ground. Time to switch gears for the greater good. Like Pollys analogy of being single vs being married to someone you detest as related to my thread about choosing to listening to no music all vs listening to music you hate.
I'm a big analogy dude.

Admit it you just want to talk about sex Andy.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Does Victoria's Secret make drumheads?

...
I was sooooo close to posting a reply but thought better of it. Still laughing at my reply though. Pity you don't know what it is!
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2010, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I like analogys. I was likening my "sex" comment to practicing the same thing over and over, and losing ground. Time to switch gears for the greater good. Like Pollys analogy of being single vs being married to someone you detest as related to my thread about choosing to listening to no music all vs listening to music you hate.
I'm a big analogy dude.

Admit it you just want to talk about sex Andy.
Sorry Larry, I was pulling your string but you didn't bite. I hate talking about sex. So depressing!!

Anyhow, back to the OP. The reverse benefit practice doesn't happen to me very often, but it's profound when it does. I genuinely believe there's more to this than just banging away at it for too long (whoops, nearly replied to Abe's post there). I get moments of inspiration. When I'm in that zone, I can play almost anything that comes into my head. Try to formalise the same thing later on and I just can't get it even close. If I go on to practice further, it just gets worse. Ok, a few days on I can go back to it and start to get it right again but it may take a few short sessions to get back to the point I started from. How can that be?
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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...Ok, a few days on I can go back to it and start to get it right again but it may take a few short sessions to get back to the point I started from. How can that be?
More proof that you're human and not an android.
It's maddening, and I can totally relate to what you're saying. How can I absolutely schpank it one day, and be a blithering idiot the next? If you get the answer to that, clue me in, OK? The end result is you have good days, you have bad days.

It's just a matter of realizing your limits. The minute it starts deteriorating, perhaps just drop it and do something different. Accept yourself, and surrender to the (possible) fact that endless repetition may not be the best tactic for your practices.

Sorry I didn't get your string pulling. I hate that when I miss stuff like that. But I started a whole new thread, which you may or may not participate in, based on your comment how depressing sex is to talk about for you, ha ha.


Edit: The thread I just mentioned got deleted within 5 minutes of posting. I must have broken rules, either that or my Dad became one of the mods.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I started a whole new thread, which you may or may not participate in, based on your comment how depressing sex is to talk about for you, ha ha.


Edit: The thread I just mentioned got deleted within 5 minutes of posting. I must have broken rules, either that or my Dad became one of the mods.
Did you post it in the technique section?
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

Break it down into smaller sections. Practice one at a time until it is close. When they are all close put a few together until the entire piece sounds right. It is less frustrating working on smaller pieces.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

No Andy, I put it in the off topic section. I named it "the sex thread" Fastest deletion in DW history I'd bet.
Too bad. I was really looking forward to that one.
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  #17  
Old 02-16-2010, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

I'm so very glad to see the conversation has been split into drumming and threads about depressing sex-talk.

I think it's just a matter of over-playing. You have to let everything rest once in a while, and some days you're just off. Taking a break is an easy way to replenish whatever is missing.

Either that or you could force it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Break it down into smaller sections. Practice one at a time until it is close. When they are all close put a few together until the entire piece sounds right. It is less frustrating working on smaller pieces.
Sage advice. Breaking problems into small sections is something I do as a matter of course in life. This getting rapidly worse episode thing applies to even the little things. It's like a missing mojo. Never happens in gigs though, only when trying to nail something in practice, and even then only occasionally. I don't actually practice enough for it to be a big issue, but I am curious as to why it happens because it's so profound when it does.

Cheers for chipping in, oh finger of wisdom.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

you gotta take it slow first. make sure you can consistently get it slow. otherwise, if you do it fast and keep making the same mistake, you're literally practicing and getting better at making that mistake. practicing mistakes makes it worse, but practicing well doesn't.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Practice makes it worse.

I know this feeling so well. The sex analogy is good (and Larry you are very good at being an analogy kinda guy). As with playing music (or playing sport), sex is a very in-the-moment activity where magic can happen when we are in the zone. Think Zen, alpha brain waves, etc.

I like the advice about chunking, slowing down and practising playing something right rather than wrong - adding to your muscle memory repertoire. Sometimes you might find that the reason a pattern you want to play isn't working is because there's a gap in a basic technique, in which case practising a related rudiment (or made-up rudiment) will help you play both the pattern and related patterns, and without any distracting emotional investment.

Of course, if you're like me and have limited patience for bland exercises on rubber pads, then letting it go for something you execute more naturally is an option :)
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