View Full Version : The "Practising-Space"

09-27-2002, 10:41 AM
Bongo Boys advice to Sliknick about setting up a place to practise, with a stool or chair, and a music stand, made me think of something Joe Diorio once wrote.
I donīt recall whether I mentioned this at the forum before. Joe used to write a column about music and the guitar, but instead of mere technical stuff he talked about philosophy etc.
He i.e. mentioned that it is quite important psychologically to set up a certain place for your practising-sessions.
A place where you feel comfortable, where you can just sit down ( it should be one regular place where you always go to practise ), and can focus on your practising.
He said that he i.e. has some pictures of his role-models and favorite musicians at that place. All that is meant to make him feel comfortable and get him into "practising-mode".
And I definitely can see that... I do have my room where I have a comfortable chair, my music stand, my amp, the sequencer ( for metronome and background sounds ) etc.
Itīs close to my desk, and above that desk, on the wall, I have lots and lots of pictures... pictures of good friends of mine, pictures of some of the players I enjoy listening to, pictures of places Iīve been to and that I like, pictures from shows...
And I noticed that it is very easy for me to sit down on that chair and just drift off into "practising mode". I am in a very familiar surrounding, a place that is set up for me to practise and work there. It was quite interesting to analyze myself and notice that.

And by the way, Joe is a great guitarist and wrote some wonderful tunes. He still is performing over in CA. If you wanna check out some of his music, hereīs a link to his MP3.com-site (http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/192/joe_diorio.html) , where you can download some of his tunes...

09-27-2002, 12:18 PM
Diorio's free improv is very unique and cool.

09-27-2002, 09:48 PM
And get far away from the computer when setting up your practice space.... it's such a distraction - coming in emails, instant messaging, ......

or get a second computer that is set up just for your music tasks.


09-28-2002, 12:58 AM
Yeah, I definitely agree as long as it is about STRICT PRACTISING... Focussed work.
I do have a guitar to the computer though, and whenver I read stuff on the web ( like the news or whatever ) or watch a movie ( DVD ) , I have a guitar in my hand.
I just love to play all day long. Of course that is not really practising, itīs strict "noodling"... but itīs nice to learn mechanical processes... back when I worked on picking, I sat in front of the TV and played stuff like the PG-lick for hours... same goes for the legato-stuff.
Of course I needed to go back to regular, focussed practising to check my timing and all that, but the noodling in front of the TV sure helped to get my hands used to new stuff without "burning out" ( "burning out" meaning the problems with your attention span when you practise and work on a lick way too long, to the point where it actually gets worse, not better )...

Bongo Boy
10-11-2002, 05:39 PM
I've known that I've needed glasses for reading for about 3 years now, and just yesterday finally got that taken care of.

An important part of your practice space is the readiness of the player..being able to look across the strings and distinguish between them seems to be fairly important :).

Now that I can actually see my 'target' string as a discrete object, rather than as a blurry mass of shiny, it seems to help with articulation.

10-11-2002, 09:20 PM
Another thing to add:

Steve Morse said that he likes to keep his guitars where he can see them, like close to the places where he usually spends time around his home.
Meaning that, if you i.e. get up, walk out of your bedroom, there should be a guitar right there. Or, if you work on a desk, there should be one close.
So you always see it, it always reminds you that itīs there, which will usually cause you to pick it up more often...

I have my favorite guitar at my practising space ( which also is the space where I have my files, my phone etc. )
So whenever I i.e. am on the phone, I constantly look at the guitar. And whenever I find the time I pick it up. It would be different if Iīd have it stored in a guitar case somewhere in the house, I guess...

I tried to keep myself from playing while I am talking to people on the phone... some of them thought of that as annoying, one person even was quite insulted... :)

Warm regards

Bongo Boy
10-26-2002, 05:26 AM
Originally posted by EricV
And by the way, Joe is a great guitarist and wrote some wonderful tunes. He still is performing over in CA. If you wanna check out some of his music, hereīs a link to his MP3.com-site (http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/192/joe_diorio.html) , where you can download some of his tunes...

I JUST noticed this part of your post--thanks so much. Joe indeed does a job...very, very nice. Thanks again for pointing us to this guy. Where in CA in particular, do you happen to know?

10-26-2002, 10:14 AM
Hey Bongo,

well, Joe used to teach at the GIT, and currently is teaching at the University Of Southern California, so I guess he is gigging in that area... Hollywood, LA...
I also heard about a few performances at the Steamers Cafe in Fullerton / CA...
Unfortunately, his site isnīt very up-to-date, and currently, there are no dates listed there...

Hope this helps

Bongo Boy
10-26-2002, 03:52 PM
Joe was one "of the three original instructors [of GIT]" actually, according to the (Musician's Institute) site. That's kinda cool.

Back on topic--currently the most annoying aspect of my practice area is that my music stand is the only place I have to keep materials that I've printed out from the internet (e.g., iBreathe). The picking lessons, for example, comprise a dozen or so loose sheets of paper--and they tend to lay around, get on the floor.

I find that clutter is hugely distracting and a big drain on mental energy--so I guess even if you're not a professional musician, a place to organize instructional stuff (books, leadsheets, notes) is a great idea. This is a big challenge for some of us: I'm a messy-desk person, always have been.

01-04-2003, 04:03 PM
About keeping things organized, I highly recommend John Petruccisī "folder method", it helped me so much! What you do is you make folders, and divide those folders in categories like technique, music skills and creativity, then you divide those folders in sub-categories. For instance, the "technique" folder might have the following categores: scales, arpeggios, legato, sweep, string-skipping etc. Then, whenever you come across an exercise or lick, say a legato lick, you simply put it in the right folder. When itīs time to practice, you have a bunch of different exercises in one folder that focuses on the same technique, that way you never get bored from working on the same thing over and over. Plus you donīt have to waste mental energy looking for lost papers. Practicing itself is demanding enough...

01-04-2003, 04:08 PM
The computer and powertab really make this easy!

01-04-2003, 04:10 PM
Yes, especially if you have a laptop so you take it with you. By the way, szulc, do you happen to know where I can find powertab??

01-04-2003, 04:16 PM

01-04-2003, 04:20 PM
Thank you.

01-04-2003, 04:28 PM

01-04-2003, 04:29 PM
Hey there,

good suggestion ! ( regarding Petrucciīs folder-method ).
I do have the same system going on. I have a few folders with workshops and exercises, organized by techniques ( I.e. "Arps", "Legato", "Picking", "String-Skipping", "Sweeping", "Chords" etc. )

I have several approaches... if I wanna work on one certain technique, I go to the folder section with exercises for that technique. Sometimes, during practising-sessions, I also page through the folders and do random exercises from different techniques to keep it interesting...
Itīs fun, cuz there are a bunch of techniques and exercises, so thereīs always something new...

01-04-2003, 04:51 PM
Yeah, itīs nice to work on something new every day, it keeps the mind sharp. Itīs much more fun, too! I usually go back, however, and review old exercises once in a while, just to see that I made improvement. I note the metronome speed next to the exercise with a pen. That way, I can SEE that I played it faster, even if I canīt always hear it.

01-04-2003, 05:02 PM
I keep an excel spreadshet for the diary part.

01-04-2003, 05:12 PM
Yeah, Itīs very important to keep a diary. I still use the old "paper and pen" version of the notes and exercises. I would like to get a laptop, though, it would be nice to have a "Personal Guitar Computer" with strictly guitar related things in it, plus the only one who will be allowed to use it is me. Me! MEE!!!

01-04-2003, 05:15 PM
Is your pickture a Dunlop Jazz III?
These are very durable picks but hard to break in, they require a lot of filing for me.

01-04-2003, 05:32 PM
Yes. I actually use the black ones, they are abit more solid than the red one IMHO. It gives me a better grip, and I like the sharp point on it, I get a nice, clear sound when working on fast lines. It took me awhile to get used to these little thingies, especially when strumming, but now a standard fender pick feels like a huge space ship in my hand. It happens that I sometimes use the upper corner of the pick when doing strictly strumming, like sixteenth note funk grooves, itīs like using a jazz I, but this way I donīt have to change picks.

01-04-2003, 06:54 PM
I like the small purple tolex ones but only after filing them.

01-04-2003, 09:16 PM
Go to this link, GW Lessons (Go to Petrucci) (http://www.guitarworld.com/0100/framesets/lessons.html) then go to the lessons by John Petrucci and look for his articles on practice. They were very helpful for me.

01-05-2003, 02:48 AM
Yeah, I read those articles in the "Petruccisī wild stringdom" book, it contains his articles from GW, an excellent book IMHO. Itīs reviewed by Eric on this site, as a matter of fact.