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  1. #1

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    Hi

    I had a few questions about William Leavitt's guitar method books:


    1. Are the pieces meant to be learnt, or sight read?
    2. Can anyone recommend some sort of system for scheduling reviews of previously played pieces? Or do you just play each one until mastered and then move on and never look at it again?


    Many thanks

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Review every so often is the recommendation of the author in the book. It makes sense.

    There's a fundamental difference between learning to read and "sightreading". Leavitt makes this distinction as well by including separate "sightreading exercises" in the book, with instructions to NOT stop, bolt review and not practice them.

    When learning to read, there is constant practice, review, breaking things down , repeating them, practicing them "out of time" etc. etc. If you never did school band or orchestra class, it's probably worth finding video somewhere of band directors working through these things with beginner music students in sixth grade for 50 minutes etc. It's very mundane, rote work and is nothing like what adult students (who have never experienced this) assume that it is. At least that's the impression I get, reading comments here.

    Absolutely crucial elements that most self-taught adults DON'T get at home and don't know to do: Count out loud. Say letter names out loud. Say fingerings out loud. Clap and work out rhythms out loud etc. etc. This is fundamental, basic music pedagogy for hundreds of years across all instruments for learning to read and count basic music notation.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy
    Are the pieces meant to be learnt, or sight read?
    Disclaimer: I'm a beginner guitar player and I picked the Leavitt method about a month ago, I'm at page 40 of the first book.
    I try not to memorize the exercises by always reading them but sometimes I have to practice them for so many hours that I just can't help memorize phrases. I still need the sheet music under my eyes but the more I practice the less I need to read single notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy
    Can anyone recommend some sort of system for scheduling reviews of previously played pieces? Or do you just play each one until mastered and then move on and never look at it again?
    This is how I try to do every exercise: listen to the track just to get the target BPM. Not all the track, you don't want to memorize anything. Leavitt made the exercises from scratch so the students couldn't rely on their memory when executing them. After this I put the metronome on some "entrypoint" bpm, usually 60bpm. When I can get the whole exercise without errors I push some more speed, usually I add 5bpm every time. When I reach the tempo of the recording I listen to it and I try to copy the dynamics, playing at the same time.
    Depending on how longer I need to get the entrypoint tempo without errors I may decide to get back on the exercise at a later time. As far as I can tell doing some of the following exercises will help to get back at the previous more easily.

    When required before attempting an exercise I break / analyze it with solfege and conducting.

  5. #4
    Thanks for your answers guys.

    As far as review goes, do you have any sort of system for scheduling review of old pieces from the book, and making sure that they all get reviewed enough, or do you just pick what you feel like reviewing every now and again?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy

    As far as review goes, do you have any sort of system for scheduling review of old pieces from the book, and making sure that they all get reviewed enough, or do you just pick what you feel like reviewing every now and again?
    A teacher of mine had a good system for reviewing certain topics in the Leavitt books.

    For example: Let's say you wanted to review all the first position major scale fingerings daily for awhile until you have a better handle on them.

    Start on page 4 of Modern Method Vol. 1., First position C major scale. Just play page 4. You're only focusing on reviewing the scale positions for now.

    The next set are up an octave on page 8. Write the number '8' in the upper corner on page 4. That way when you're done playing page 4 you can skip to page 8 without referring back to the table of contents.

    Then just continue. On page 8 write '12' so you can skip to page 12 after playing page 8.

    After page 12 the next scale fingering is in the key of G on page 30. Write '30' in the upper corner of page 12.

    On page 30 write '35' in the upper right, etc.

    This way you can skip through the book reviewing particular topics without having to look them up each time.

    This idea came from Steve Carter. Frogstory Records - Jazz Guitarist Steve Carter.
    Last edited by Dana; 09-03-2020 at 02:18 PM.

  7. #6
    Just in case people are interested, this was the sort of thing I was looking for in terms of a system for scheduling reviews:

    The Leitner System - a randomization strategy for efficient and effective practice

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy
    Just in case people are interested, this was the sort of thing I was looking for in terms of a system for scheduling reviews:

    The Leitner System - a randomization strategy for efficient and effective practice
    If you like that, you might like Anki. I use it in my teaching/practicing with great results.

  9. #8
    I use anki for language learning, but I was never quite sure how to put it to use for musical things. How do you use it?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy
    I use anki for language learning, but I was never quite sure how to put it to use for musical things. How do you use it?
    I use it both for teaching as well as practice.

    For teaching:

    A majority of my students are intermediate players that want to get a handle on the basics. For this purpose I've created Anki decks for the following subjects.

    - Memorizing notes on each string
    - Simple and compound intervals
    - Memorizing major scales
    - Memorizing chords

    For my own personal learning. I've created decks for various subjects. Currently I'm working through Jerry Bergonzi's book 'Jazz Line' which describes how to play different bebop scales using various starting notes. Anki is helpful for that.

    Another was a deck for learning to play chord scales in every key from every degree and finger. I entered all 12 keys, 19 different scales, 4 fingers, and directions.

    Anki then creates a card like this:

    Ab Lydian b7
    3rd Degree
    3rd Finger
    Descending

    Often times I don't bother including the answer since I'm working it out on the guitar. I'll just use it for the spaced repetition of the questions.

    Works great!

  11. #10
    Sounds great!

    Do you try to do all of the "due" cards every day, or do you not worry about that?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy
    Sounds great!

    Do you try to do all of the "due" cards every day, or do you not worry about that?
    I tend to work in 20 minute increments. I use a timer (iphone, Google) and set it for 20 minutes. Then I work though as many cards as I can (but I don't rush). When the 20 minutes is up I take a quick break. Then I either go another 20 minutes or move on to another topic. It depends on the difficulty of the particular topic and how much time I have available for practice on that particular day.

    I think there's an option in Anki to lower the number of 'new' cards each day. So that's another possibility.

    Hope that helps. And yes, I am a bit mental when it comes to practice.
    Last edited by Dana; 09-06-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  13. #12

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    If serious about it, you should have a schedule, like 4 pages per week etc.
    Keep track of were you are.
    Don't "perfect" the material before moving on, but make sure you can handle it.
    Constant review is just that - every day.
    If you're on page 40 then play through pages 1-20 today, and 21-39 tomorrow while working on pages 40-44 every day, and so on
    If that's too much, then break the review into10-page sections

    It's the constant review that will get you closer to "mastering" the material.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    If serious about it, you should have a schedule, like 4 pages per week etc.
    Keep track of were you are.
    Don't "perfect" the material before moving on, but make sure you can handle it.
    Constant review is just that - every day.
    If you're on page 40 then play through pages 1-20 today, and 21-39 tomorrow while working on pages 40-44 every day, and so on
    If that's too much, then break the review into10-page sections

    It's the constant review that will get you closer to "mastering" the material.
    Baione says the same thing in the DVD lessons about perfecting the material but how good is good enough to move on? Sometimes I need a lot of times just to play the exercises at 60bpm without playing bad notes, the longer the exercise (duets with repetitions for example) the more time I require to play it whole without doing errors. I would say "perfect" could be the same tempo of the audio or DVD track with a decent imitation of the dynamics. But should you move to the next exercise if you are still playing wrong notes?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by esistgut
    Baione says the same thing in the DVD lessons about perfecting the material but how good is good enough to move on? Sometimes I need a lot of times just to play the exercises at 60bpm without playing bad notes, the longer the exercise (duets with repetitions for example) the more time I require to play it whole without doing errors. I would say "perfect" could be the same tempo of the audio or DVD track with a decent imitation of the dynamics. But should you move to the next exercise if you are still playing wrong notes?
    Well are you covering one exercise or study at a time or one section at a time? I hope it’s a few pages at a time.

    But to answer your question, if you’re playing wrong notes every time you should fix it. You want to be playing mistake free at least 85% of the time ( I admit that I just made that up). The book does get harder as you go of course, so moving ahead if you’re struggling won’t work very well, generally speaking.