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Mid-Term Grades Are In!!!

Posted by Stev187 on Thursday, June 21, 2007


Okay, I could get silly with this, but I won't.  I do want to provide myself with a little self assessment about how I am doing with my goals.  This is the 6-month mark, so I want to check in.  I'll do this again just before Christmas.

For this self assessment, I will use the following scale:

5 = Exceeds anticipated/desired progress
4 = Meets anticipated/desired progress
3 = Adequate progress but more is desired
2 = Not enough progress made
1 = Limited to no progress

The scale is based on "desired progress," not a benchmark of where I'd like to be with a particular goal in the future.  For example, rating myself a "4" on 3(a) Drop Thumb Playing doesn't mean that my drop playing is adequate.  It means that I have made adequate progress toward the goal.

GOAL #1: Play Well (and Often) With Others  3.3

1(a): Fiddle duets. 

Rating: 5
Finding Bob and playing regularly happened much sooner than I anticipated, thanks in large part to the web site Sugar in the Gourd.  Bob and I share the same goals, we have about the same interest and skill level, and it's a great match.  There was a reason this was the first objective--it was the most important to me.  I am very happy with the progress here.

1(b): Regular jams.

Rating: 2
Once I began playing with Bob, my interest in attending jams dropped considerably.  There are only so many times in a month to play, and I wanted to focus on playing with Bob.  After MBC, however, I became aware of other old-time players in driving distance, and it might be fun to play at organized jams.  This is a less important goal now, though.

1(c): Festivals/Camps.   

Rating: 3
Being a "Muso" at MBC was a great experience; I think that I can count on doing this every year, as bass players are in-demand.  I also think that I will make it to Clifftop this year.  That might be my entire Festival/Camp program for a year; we'll see.  Actually, that might be enough.  Perhaps I should have rated this higher, but I've only been to MBC as of now.

GOAL #2: Learn More Tunes  3.67

2(a): Learn Bob's tune list. 

Rating: 3
During the half dozen times Bob and I have practiced together, we have played a number of tunes on his list.  But I have been much less concerned about the "list" than I was at the beginning.  When we play, I prefer to play tunes that we've played before so we can continue to learn each other's styles.  That said, I want to continue learning tunes that Bob plays.

2(b): Learn tunes from the DVDs.  4

Rating: 4
I've done this and found it quite helpful.  Bob Carlin's NC DVDs have been nice for this.  The idea is to really break down a tune and try to play it exactly as someone else did.  I think this is a great exercise, but nothing you'd want to do all the time.  For me, it's a great way to learn stylistic things in context.  I've been using the videos.

2(c): Keep your ears open.  4

GOAL #3: Get Better (Improve Technique)  2.3

3(a): Drop thumb playing.&nbs

2 comments on “Mid-Term Grades Are In!!!”

PruchaLegend Says:
Friday, June 22, 2007 @12:57:36 AM

Sounds good to me. I like your ability to objectively view your  actions and quantize your progress. I wish I had the same discipline. I believe that is very important. I just don't seem to be able to do it.  Good job!!

fretless Says:
Monday, June 25, 2007 @11:15:20 AM

If you want to add a festival, the Hiawatha festival in Marquette is a good one. It's July 20 - 22 this year.


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