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Posted by pcfive on Friday, September 28, 2012

Just plugging onward, as usual, but changed my practice routine about a month ago. I had been using backing tracks for a long time, but decided to go back to metronome. I am not sure why, maybe I am trying to really focus on precision and timing and maybe eventually get it right.

I start with the metronome at 100 and I play Bury Me Beneath the Willow over and over, and then Fireball Mail, and then FMB, and then some other song. That goes on for about 15 minutes.

Then I turn the metronome up to 110, and do the same thing. Then I turn it up to 120, same thing again. Then to 130.

About an hour has gone by after all that. Then I play for a while without the metronome. I play songs other than the three I mentioned.

Later on, after I get home, I have another, shorter, practice session. I might play along with youtube for a while. I might sing and play for a while.

If it's the weekend and I have extra time, I record myself. And sometimes play from tabs and go through instruction books.

But the main thing, these days, is the metronome and trying to focus on accurate timing and precision. And trying to get exactly the sound I want.

I feel that maybe I am finally starting to understand some of the bluegrass patterns. Even though I have been playing them for several years now, I only recently started to feel less confused by it all.

When exactly should you play what lick, or what roll? No one can really explain that to you. Even Splitting the Licks, which helped me so much, doesn't actually explain it. You play what you think sounds good, but how do you know, and why does it sound good?

Like almost everything else in life, this is another mystery. You just have to keep trying and hoping and gradually things start making sense somehow.

So I'll see how this new practice routine turns out. So far I think it's good. Very very repetitive and some would say boring, but I don't mind. I think repetition is the key to learning an instrument.


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