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Procrastination: The Enemy


MIDIdiot

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Play some piano music that is inspiring to you,

 

Then make sure you have no distractions when you sit down at the piano.

 

after you play piano, go out and reward yourself, with coffee ( drink of choice) or a trip to a book store

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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ooooh...

 

I am the victim of self-imposed inner-dynamic-procrastination.

 

I have gotten to the point where I can carve some time for practicing or composing, but often when I sit down, I get distracted by the shiny bits and forget about the meat-and-potatos.

 

I recorded a song improvisation with a buddy over the weekend and my task was to pick out usable bits and slice 'n' dice them to work as a song. For 30 minutes, I added 'verbs, compressed and added tape delay plugins to the guitar, etc., but by the time I started to hammer the drum track or put the usable vocal bits on a timeline, it was time for bed.

 

I have to remember to be a little bit more specific about my self-direction.

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my solution...

 

find a time when you won't be distracted, pull the blinds, turn out the lights, sit down at the piano, (smoke a spliff, if it helps, ;) ) and just play whatever you feel like playing...even if its just soloing in one key for 2 hours. I find there is so much of that in me that I have to drain out before I can work freely and constructively towards a real piece of work.

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Agreed, with the power of a DAW / modern home studio, it's easy to get lured into messing with the effects until a little section is seemingly "perfect"... it's a bit like working on a tiny section of a painting with excessive details, when you should be working with broad brush strokes on the entire canvas.

 

Maybe you need to think of your projects like getting a quick scratch demo track on tape - just get the basic tracks down, and promise yourself you aren't going to mess with the effects and other mix parameters until the tracking phase is fully complete.

 

Alternatively, set a reasonable goal for each work period. Tell yourself, "OK, I'm only go to work on (insert part name) tonight, and I'm not going to move on until this is done", and stick to it.

 

Good luck with your project....keep us posted.

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Sometimes you just need to say "I'm doing it, now". I took a break from working or even playing around with anything for a few months so I can begin with a clearer mind, a clean slate in a sense. And with Autumn here I'm even more motivated, and I was thinking the other day I just need to go and do it soon before I let my "vacation" go on forever :D
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Originally posted by marino:

Just listen to your favorite pianist for a while. If you're honest, you'll realize how much practice you need to get there, and the need for starting right now.

One of the best forms of inspiration.
Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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Ask yourself how much time realistically you are willing to spend behind a piano every week. Buy a stop watch and simply time yourself as you are playing. I aim for 15 hours of actual playing/practicing per week (not counting jobs). For me that comes down to roughly three hours per day with a bit of extra breathing room for those days where I practice less or take a day off.

 

Aim for 9 hours a week, that should reasonable. That's 90 minutes per day (for a week) with a little extra breathing room.

 

I have also found (from personal experience) that we tend to over inflate the time we say we practice. For that reason I bought a stop watch and time myself _only_ when I am playing. If I stop to take a sip of tea or coffee, the clock stops as well.

 

You also might make your practice time more interesting by reading magazines while you do your warm ups. I always have a Time magazine on the piano and get a fair amount of reading done while I play.

 

I would also get more practicing done if I spent less time here and less time playing FreeCell.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I have also found (from personal experience) that we tend to over inflate the time we say we practice. For that reason I bought a stop watch and time myself _only_ when I am playing. If I stop to take a sip of tea or coffee, the clock stops as well.

 

You also might make your practice time more interesting by reading magazines while you do your warm ups. I always have a Time magazine on the piano and get a fair amount of reading done while I play.

Do you let the stopwatch run at full speed when you're playing and reading at the same time? I think that to be fair, you should get a variable-rate stop watch, and set it to 63% speed (or whatever rate seems fair to you) while reading.

 

I kid.

 

:D:P

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Sometime back in the nineties, I saw an interview with Bruce Hornsby on Larry King. They had listener call-in's with questions and one caller ask Bruce "What do you owe your great techique too?". Bruce told him he practiced 8 hours day, 365 days a year, AND that included X-mas, other holidays, your wife's birthday, EVERYDAY. Now there's a commitment to practice. :)

 

When I was playing full time, I'd say I practiced 3-4 hours a day, ALMOST everyday (sure needed it) and somedays spent 10-12 hours in my music room transcribing tunes, creating/editing sequences, etc. I got to a point that my meeger talent, along with a heavy practice regiment, made my playing almost acceptable.

 

When I went back into working in the tech industry in order to pay the bills, obviously, that schedule went out the window. The pay is better, but it's not as much fun. :(

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Bruce told him he practiced 8 hours day, 365 days a year, AND that included X-mas, other holidays, your wife's birthday, EVERYDAY
Yeah, right.

 

I could believe he spent 8 hours a day practicing, composing, and playing. Or 8 hours a day just composing is not out of the ordinary. But 8 hours *really practicing* 7/365 is overkill burnout.

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Book yourself a gig. Nothing like the fear of complete failure and looking like an idiot to get you into the mood to work! Even freebie/charity gigs can be fun and motivating.

 

Also, build a reward system around your practice and your music. Your body is like a child and it responds to rewards, but as an adult those rewards can come without serious effort, so link them together. Deny yourself treats (beer/alchohol, joint, sex, sweets, movies, a night out, whatever turns you on...) until you've completed a set task, then indulge. But stick to the rules - no work or no completion of task then no treat. Once you get into a routine then your body will respond with more enthusiasm.

 

Last thing: exercise before you sit down to practice... you can't expect to get motivated for anything except a nap with all of your blood pooled around your butt and ankles. :D

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Originally posted by InTheDark:

Has anyone ever been able to overcome this? I have not been able to sit myself down at the piano in quite some time :mad:

Two things bring it on for me.

 

1. Not being able to get the song in my head onto the computer. It may be from not being able to figure out the chord in my head, or it may be from trying to get a specific sound out of a synth. After a few tries I find myself backing away from my music for a while. Maybe because this changes music from a fulfilling, enjoyable experience to a source of frustration.

 

2. The realization that my future is not based on music. It is hard to practice four hours a day, or even one hour when work, family and other things come first. At this point you just have to decide how good you want to be and go for it.

 

How do I get past it? I try to make sure everything I do with music is enjoyable. I may not enjoy practicing scales, but I do enjoy nailing a good run in a solo. So I practice towards that solo, not scale proficiency. And even better, a trip to the music store where some young punk with poor skills is trying to show off. Nothing inspires me more than someone trying to show me up. THAT makes me want to practice. :D

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Deny yourself treats (beer/alchohol, joint, sex, sweets, movies, a night out, whatever turns you on...) until you've completed a set task, then indulge.
I'll go with the no sex until task complete.

 

Markyboard's Task:

 

Task 1. Play any note using right hand while guzzling a 12 ounce beer. Reward: Sex

 

Task 2. Play any note using left hand while smoking a joint

Reward: Sex

 

Task 4: One note on B3 foot pedals using left foot while guzzling a joint and smoking a beer. Reward Sex

 

Task 56: Left foot on wife's grilfriend smoking a B3 and a guzzling...

 

Aww never mind - my girlfriend knows I cant play foot pedals to save my wife. Hicup! :freak:

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Make a patch.

as in program a sound on your synth.- that usually inspires me and invokes the creative spark.

next thing you know..you're playing.

 

If you're just on the piano- go exploring for interesting chords and inversions. Play a chord with more than 3 notes in it (with your right hand) and let it ring. Repeat. now play a different chord repeat. If you're not inspired after 10 minutes come back and try agaion tomorrow.

 

- I also like the "book a gig" approach, makes you work, the downside is it creates anxiety.

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Originally posted by Markyboard:

Markyboard's Task:

 

Task 1. Play any note using right hand while guzzling a 12 ounce beer. Reward: Sex

 

Task 2. Play any note using left hand while smoking a joint

Reward: Sex

 

Task 4: One note on B3 foot pedals using left foot while guzzling a joint and smoking a beer. Reward Sex

 

Task 56: Left foot on wife's grilfriend smoking a B3 and a guzzling...

 

Aww never mind - my girlfriend knows I cant play foot pedals to save my wife. Hicup! :freak:

Ha ha ha! Very good. What about tasks 5 to 55? :D:D:D
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Sorry... I noticed this post a couple days ago, but I'm only getting around to reading it now. Maybe I'll have some suggestions for you in a few days.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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