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  1. #1

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    Just wondering if anyone watches movies or videos when practicing (sometimes).

    It's been a sort of stressful week and my mind has been all over the place, but I've been binge watching a French TV show (A French Village, which is great), and practicing a lot of repetitive stuff. I definitely think my concentration is not what it would be if I was giving 100% of my attention, but I also think I have been getting a lot done and I'm a lot calmer than if I had been not watching the show.

    I've also downloaded some really long, boring videos from youtube...the best ones are train trips taken from the Engineers view. Nothing really happens, but I think it helps me settle in to work on stuff for long periods of time and gives just enough distraction to settle my mind.

    I think Itzak Pearlman said that he would practice exercises (only) while watching baseball games with the sound turned off. And Glenn Gould said something about preferring to practice with the sound of the vacuum cleaner.

    Could just be totally fooling myself though.

    Here's a good boring video for you:

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  3. #2

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    Only to comp through tunes where I'm still internalizing the functional harmony...sorta testing my ability to comp through different keys while distracting myself.. The goal being to get to where the vanilla changes are just automatic. Never single note stuff.

  4. #3

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    My first teacher said if you have a day gig or just not a lot of time to practice, try and have a guitar in your lap whenever possible, it'll become more a part of you, even if you're watching the tube [oops, I guess it's the flatscreen these days]
    He said to play along w/theme songs, commercials, whatever, although I was always doing that before I started seriously studying anyway.

    I can't watch a movie and practice, I need to concentrate on the dialogue, however I'll put on a game and turn the volume low or off.

  5. #4

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    You will turn off the TV and practice....You will turn off the TV and practice....You will turn off....


  6. #5

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    Miles said he did it, so...

  7. #6

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    Yes, sometimes I practice in front of TV. It’s pretty nice to just sit down, playing some standard tune or original composition and... watching Hawaii Five-0 !
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    Only to comp through tunes where I'm still internalizing the functional harmony...sorta testing my ability to comp through different keys while distracting myself.. The goal being to get to where the vanilla changes are just automatic. Never single note stuff.
    That sounds like an interesting method. To use TV as a distracting moment. Thanks for the advice!
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  9. #8

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    I believe Marshall McLuhan may have once referred to television as, "...a talking lamp."
    "Thanks, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" - T. Monk
    http://network.online.berklee.edu/profile/1200078

  10. #9

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    I almost never do that, because I seldom watch TV at all, and it's too much trouble to bring a guitar into the living room, then take it back. Just about the only thing I watch is baseball, and there isn't going to be much of that for a few months. I'm bummed about the post-season anyway, so I'm ready to take a break. There just isn't much on TV that can hold my interest for the length of a complete show. My wife likes to watch it, dramas and cooking shows, so we have a TV, but I could easily live without one. So I just don't use it for practice at all.

  11. #10

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    I've done a lot of passive practicing with TV, a certaing game, youtube city-walk vids etc. Not too often to learn something specific but mostly to gain the automation for only-by-ear soloing. And a few technical skills.
    It works and probably couldn't have done without those relaxing/mildly distracting aids (the hour-count was humongous) but the trick is, later I had to kinda start over for actually getting some "sense" and "meaning" into this type of soloing. That never ever happened while using TV or such. By "never" I really mean literally "neverever".
    I'm not advocating this method because the things I was after, would have taken much less time with 100% focus. Pretty sure. Nowadays I don't have too much skills left to learn this way anyway... Sometimes with football. But this is just when the game tends to be boring and wanna fill the time with something quasi-useful on guitar.

  12. #11

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    I dunno about watching tv while practicing. At least part of your brain is distracted instead of being focused on the practice. Just a thought, I don't know if it matters.

    Doug

  13. #12

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    To practice while I’m watching the news is also a helpful method to me.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  14. #13

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    Joe Pass recommended it for learning to play fingerstyle. His idea was to watch TV and your fingers would find whatever postion was most comfortable for you to play.

    I used to watch some TV series on DVD while doing technique exercises. One need not think about them, just do them. Over and over. I don't do that anymore but it wouldn't surprise me if some found it helpful.

    From a wholly different angle, if you're just noodling while the TV is on----not practicing or performing, just noodling while the TV plays---you might play something nifty you otherwise wouldn't. Maybe the soundtrack will inspire a nice melodic line that you can use in a tune later. As the old song says, "It could happen to you."
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  15. #14

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    Sports is always good. Basketball for the fast stuff, baseball for the SLOW ballads.

    When I lived in Germany, the local TV stations would start their day with a video of a guy driving through the local country on small, scenic roads, with some relaxing music. I miss that.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  16. #15

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    "Sports is always good. Basketball for the fast stuff, baseball for the SLOW ballads"

    What about Nascar (you know, never ending left turns) or drag racing?

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    "Sports is always good. Basketball for the fast stuff, baseball for the SLOW ballads"

    What about Nascar (you know, never ending left turns) or drag racing?
    Circle of 5ths workout? ...

  18. #17

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  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post

    [Little girl's voice] "They're here...."
    Best regards, k

  20. #19

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    My wife has almost never watched a TV show that didn't have a guitar accompaniment.

    Danny W.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
    ...
    I've also downloaded some really long, boring videos from youtube...the best ones are train trips taken from the Engineers view. Nothing really happens ...
    For boring clips, where nothing really happens, please feel free to visit any of my YT channels. Only, usually they are not too long and are from the driver's view (car vs. train).

    Sent from My Blog Page
    ^ ^ ^
    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  22. #21

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    Heh. Watching TV while playing can be used to understand what is the difference between practicing with max focus and min focus
    I mean, practice a scale for 10 minutes, just letting the fingers go do something..
    ..and then 10 minutes singing along and spelling out the degree of each notes played. Or note names.
    Then that 10 minutes with TV seems kinda wasteful. There are so much more such useful routines that require full attention.

  23. #22

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    I have a guitar on me every moment I feasibly can. It's good to practice both focused and with distractions.

    My life provides plenty of distractions
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  24. #23

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    Haven't watched TV in decades, but you can distract yourself just fine with YouTube or other internet videos. I consider it a very bad habit, way i see it it severely cuts the efficiency of your practicing.

    Even if it is scales, strumming or whatever, it makes a huge difference being concentrated. And the habits and daily routine you build become the way you practice, so I try my best to build the right ones.

  25. #24
    I just got sucked in to watching a french TV show called A French Village. I'm between jobs right now. I did 32 hours of practice last week, mostly while watching this show.

    I was drilling really basic stuff the whole time, triads and arpeggios.

    Anyway, I played a jam last night and played better than I ever have. The stuff I was working on was definitely available to me.

    I don't actually watch TV much but got drawn into this show. I wouldn't want to make this the only way I practice but it kinda worked for this week.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
    I just got sucked in to watching a french TV show called A French Village. I'm between jobs right now. I did 32 hours of practice last week, mostly while watching this show.

    I was drilling really basic stuff the whole time, triads and arpeggios.

    Anyway, I played a jam last night and played better than I ever have. The stuff I was working on was definitely available to me.

    I don't actually watch TV much but got drawn into this show. I wouldn't want to make this the only way I practice but it kinda worked for this week.
    I use TV as distraction practice. It prepares you for gigging. If you can maintain tempo, find the right frets, pick evenly, remember lyrics, and generally maintain your poise while being exposed to inane dialog, salacious imagery, graphic violence and general mayhem; you'll be fine in the clubs. That drunk guy who insists on screaming in your ear during your solo? No problem. That attractive lady who has had a couple too many and has been giving you The Eye for an hour, the one with the armed psychopathic boyfriend/stalker who is even now evidencing a dim view of your tone, your diction, and your existence? Another Saturday night.

    Pro tip: Avoid eye contact. Shades help. Also: have an escape plan.

    Remember - you can always buy new stuff.
    Best regards, k