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Happy Practice and hard stuff

Posted by Judith511 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

like this

Well I am still having happy practice sessions. I am getting better at Devils Dream....I really like that tune...and am now working on memorizing it. It is hard to change habits of a lifetime. I have always used music or tabs chords etc from books to play by. Never bothered to memorize now I am trying to. It is hard :(

I did the first week of the Music course with Coursera but couldn't pass the first weeks test, It is hard so I signed up for the next course and will see if I can get some understanding of the concepts they are talking about before it starts. They relate everything to the piano and talk of seconds and thirds and fifths etc. Having never taken any music theory I am I will search this stuff out and see if I can get it.  I have done a number of courses on here and never had a problem with the tests so I officially have decided it is hard! :(

7 comments on “Happy Practice and hard stuff”

Boadicea Says:
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @4:29:13 PM

Everything is hard when you first start at it. That is okay. You are giving it a go, and that is great!

Be kind to yourself! Don't be hard on yourself! It will decrease your ability to learn if you are too hard on yourself!

Some people find that when they practice self-compassion, their pain actually increases at first. We call this phenomena backdraft, a firefighting term that describes what happens when a door in a burning house is opened – oxygen goes in and flames rush out. A similar process can occur when we open the door of our hearts – love goes in and old pain comes out. There are a couple sayings that describe this process: “When we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved” or “Love reveals everything unlike itself.” Fortunately, we can meet old pain with the resources of mindfulness and self-compassion and the heart will naturally begin to heal. Still, it means we have to allow ourselves to be slow learners when it comes to practicing self-compassion. And if we ever feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions, the most self-compassionate response may be to pull back temporarily – focus on the breath, the sensation of the soles of our feet on the ground, or engage in ordinary, behavioral acts of self-care such as having a cup of tea or petting the cat. By doing so we reinforce the habit of self-compassion – giving ourselves what we need in the moment – planting seeds that will eventually blossom and grow. you can download the guided audio for free from Kristin Neff's website.

Learning Self Compassion will enable you to learn more, and stop attacking and critising yourself, and when you can't stop doing that then you can do Self Compassion Breaks to be kind to yourself in that place as well. I try to teach Self Compassion to as many of my students as possible, and young people who are really struggling, and when they can be a little kinder to themselves they can manage much better at their learning. If this is not useful, then please just ignore it.

AndyW Says:
Thursday, January 25, 2018 @3:18:31 AM

Judith, keep at the memorisation. I've come to believe that getting tunes off tab is of prime importance.

As for music theory. I wouldn't worry too much about intervals etc. That's important in a scale based approach to learning usually applied to classical piano. But banjo (although you can obviously play scales) is a chord based instrument. I'd look out for a decent banjo instruction book, if you can't find one a guitar book should contain lots of relevant chordal music theory.

n1wr Says:
Thursday, January 25, 2018 @4:23:48 AM

Judith511 - I don't exactly agree with Andy. A basic understanding of music theory is important for banjo players.

I suspect the course you tried to take is geared to college students studying music. Yes, that is probably well above the level that you need.

I was advised to get the following book. It contains a practical approach for musicians like us: It is called Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. Well worth the few bucks it costs to have it in your library.

Hope this helps.

Judith511 Says:
Thursday, January 25, 2018 @7:49:06 AM

Thank you all. I will look for the book and continue with the memorization. I am not upset Boadicea about the course. I didn't expect it to be that difficult and as n1wr said I think this course was for people with some background in music. Not total beginners in music theory.

AndyW Says:
Friday, January 26, 2018 @12:19:02 AM

Wayne, maybe I put it the wrong way. Maybe what I should have said is it's easier to start with a chord based approach, and then later move onto scales etc. Then it's probably best to learn via a mixed practical/theory approach on the instrument you know and love rather than diving headlong into pure theory.

WayneConrad Says:
Friday, January 26, 2018 @10:48:35 AM

@AndyW -- Well said. I don't know how someone could learn theory without playing music at the same time. You'd end up with a lot of memorized facts but no actual understanding of how theory is applied.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, January 26, 2018 @8:35:19 PM

I think it is more difficult Wayne but they do recommend accessing a keyboard so you can play along. I was just really lost and some of the questions on the quiz didn't make it easier.

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