7 hours a day.

A place where discuss about secrets, tips and suggestions for practicing on congas and to improve your skill and technique ...

7 hours a day.

Postby bongosnotbombs » Sun May 16, 2010 5:08 pm

I was talking with a pianist I play with the other day and he mentioned something one of his old teachers said regarding practice time.
It went something like this
"If you only practice three hours a day, your going to get worse, if you do 5 hours a day you wil get a little better, to really get good and improve you need to 7 hours a day."


Sounds pretty extreme to me, it reminds me of something I read about tabla playing, a ritual called the chilla katna, where the musician isolates themselves and practice for 10-12 hours a day for 40 days.

In regards to congas, no way could I practice 7 hours straight, the most I've pulled of was 3 hours consecutively. But I think I've played/practiced 5 hours spread out throughout the day. Never 7 though.
Last edited by bongosnotbombs on Mon May 17, 2010 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
bongosnotbombs
 
Posts: 2869
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:17 am
Location: San Francisco, Ca

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby Jibaro » Sun May 16, 2010 6:13 pm

Not 7 hours a day... 10,000 hours total, which is 4 hours per day for 7 years.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 969415.ece

It is practice, however, that makes perfect, according to the sociologist whose books have become required reading within the Conservative party. The best way to achieve international stardom is to spend 10,000 hours honing your skills, says the new book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-selling The Tipping Point.

“What’s really interesting about this 10,000-hour rule is that it applies virtually everywhere,” Gladwell told a conference held by The New Yorker magazine. “You can’t become a chess grand master unless you spend 10,000 hours on practice.


Three hours is about my max, and then not at all the next day.
.

.

R
.
.
User avatar
Jibaro
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:23 pm
Location: NorCal

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby Anonimo » Sun May 16, 2010 6:22 pm

POST REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR
Anonimo
 

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby vasikgreif » Sun May 16, 2010 10:38 pm

leedy2 wrote:45 min a day is good practice on any instrument excessive practice just going to hurt hands.


No way. 45 minutes a day is far too little time to spent with an instrument. All the greatest musicians practiced all the time - I'm not able to tell an example from percussionist world, but John Coltrane practiced in the breaks on concert and even in the airplane, Charlie Parker practiced 14 hours a day for a long time, Michael Brecker practiced at least 3 hours a day - not to mention those people played all the time on rehearsals or concerts...
User avatar
vasikgreif
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:24 pm
Location: Czech republic, Stod

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby Anonimo » Mon May 17, 2010 12:43 am

POST REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR
Anonimo
 

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby OLSONGO » Mon May 17, 2010 2:14 am

I usually practice my 2 to 3 sets of music, (45 to 60 mins a set .) every other day and with the band I rehearse the whole show non stop, usually 2 days before the show . But i am usually listening and thinking the show. On hurting your hands only if you don't know the correct technique and you can look at my old post in how i approach it more with a martial arts way of thinking and it does not happen over night. Mind over matter.

Peace
Olsongo
User avatar
OLSONGO
 
Posts: 874
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:39 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby ABAKUA » Mon May 17, 2010 2:32 am

6 - 8 hours a day is standard practice time in Cuba for serious players. This includes time during formal education as well as after school time. I've had this discussion with Anga, Papiosco (former Klimax & Cubanismo conguero), Betun (Timbalero for OPUS 13), Daniel Lopez (conguero/percussionist for Albita Rodriguez, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin).
Aso, during my time with Egui Castrillo, he also often mentioned spending up to 8 hours a day pactising & jamming with Giovanni and several others.

Myself, when I had just finished school back in 1992/93 with a group of rumberos, we would practice and rumba together for up to 6 hours a day at least 4 days a week, this went on for almost 3 years before we started seperating due to employment, study, tours etc.
Nowadays, I put in about 1 - 2 hours daily still.
User avatar
ABAKUA
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3171
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: Earth

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby congamyk » Mon May 17, 2010 3:58 am

RE: 10,000 hours.
I think it's safe to say that studying chess to become a Grand Master or acquiring a PHD is physically different than playing congas for 10,000 hours.

Just as studying sax and piano are different physically.

I recently started studying flute.... I'll be back to see you all in 10,000 hours!
User avatar
congamyk
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2001 6:59 pm
Location: Kansas City Missouri

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby alabubba » Mon May 17, 2010 5:04 pm

bongosnotbombs wrote:
In regards to congas, no way could I practice 7 hours straight, the most I've pulled of was 3 hours consecutively. But I think I've played/practiced 5 hours spread out throughout the day. Never 7 though.


I break for 10 minutes about every 45 minutes or so when I practice. I don't think I could physically do 7 hours (maybe, but I would have to grow into that possibly after I retire from my day job), but 3 to 4 hour practices happen all the time, not because of watching the clock, but because I enjoy my practice time and always have a list of things on my music stand that I want to learn, improve, or just refresh and make sure I don't forget.

When my band plays (3-4 times a week lately), we take a 15 minute break after every 45 minute set, so that's about the time period after which my body tells me to get up, walk around, stretch, get a drink, etc.
Bob

vids
User avatar
alabubba
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:41 am
Location: Alabama

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby pavloconga » Tue May 18, 2010 9:49 am

I believe 45 minutes a day is not enough time to develop, though if you already are an experienced player it might be enough just for skills maintenance.

To really develop and get to new levels in playing, I believe it's as much about the quality of practise, as well as being pushed, or pushing yourself to learn new things.
When I studied in Cuba under Sandalio 'Macho' Calderon*, lessons were open ended, sometimes lasting as long as 8 hours. With him I was always being pushed physically and mentally.
If I slackened off he would yell at me to 'remain strong!' :) On top of that he always encouraged me by saying that I could learn to play what he plays.
So my point really is the quality of practice.
(6-8 hours a day 5 days a week for several months with a master conguero took my playing to a new level.
Even if I did the same here on my own, I'm not going to learn even half as much as I would studying under a master's direction).

These days in Australia, no way can I practice 6-8 hours a day (maybe 1-2 ) but I try and fit in as much as I can into a busy life.

*"Macho" features in the trailer for the new documentary "The Black Roots of Salsa"
see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HywjkqmxjRo
You'll hear is voice in the opening credits and he appears at 1'35" and a few other spots.
User avatar
pavloconga
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:41 am
Location: Australia

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby OLSONGO » Tue May 18, 2010 9:47 pm

When i first started on congas at about 20 yrs of age (already had some rudiment knowledge from playing drums since 13 ) .. yes , there where time when it was a whole day thing, and fortunate to say that my instructor was also my room mate at the time. And those 8 - 10 hour days went by flying, due to the enthusiasm to learn something new every day and wanting to sound like the pros. And the learning wasn't only dedicated to congas thoug it was the main instrument, there where also the bongos, timbales, djembe, all of the Brazilian battery , Pandeiro ( play and juggle ), surdo, tamborim, cuica, berimbau, agogos etc. So after having spent many hours of learning the technique with a martial arts mentality and all of the many rhythms at grasp...you hit the streets to play with the cats and what you find out is that the guitarist, sax players, set drummers DON'T know half the s--t you know. So you end up playing the most basic of tumbaos, sambas ,bossas, and what most are playing.. any rhythm in 4/4, To most clave is the 2 rosewood sticks. Today I rehearse only what is needed. The good paying gigs sad to say the smooth jazz and pop gigs,( what is selling ) do not require half of the virtuosity and work that the real music does.But all those hours do come in handy for that killer solo and the youtube video.
User avatar
OLSONGO
 
Posts: 874
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:39 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby joaozinho » Tue May 18, 2010 9:49 pm

leedy2 wrote:45 min a day is good practice on any instrument excessive practice just going to hurt hands.


45m is good to warm your hands and skin.My opinion is that for a professional level you need 5 to 8 hours everyday,of cours if you're not a professional and have to hearn your live in another way its more complicated,but to see some improve less then 2hours day is not enough.
joaozinho
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:16 pm
Location: France

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby pavloconga » Wed May 19, 2010 12:38 am

OLSONGO wrote: And the learning wasn't only dedicated to congas thoug it was the main instrument, there where also the bongos, timbales, djembe, all of the Brazilian battery , Pandeiro ( play and juggle ), surdo, tamborim, cuica, berimbau, agogos etc. So after having spent many hours of learning the technique with a martial arts mentality and all of the many rhythms at grasp...you hit the streets to play with the cats and what you find out is that the guitarist, sax players, set drummers DON'T know half the s--t you know. So you end up playing the most basic of tumbaos, sambas ,bossas, and what most are playing.. any rhythm in 4/4, To most clave is the 2 rosewood sticks. Today I rehearse only what is needed. The good paying gigs sad to say the smooth jazz and pop gigs,( what is selling ) do not require half of the virtuosity and work that the real music does.But all those hours do come in handy for that killer solo and the youtube video.


Hey, I love the sound of what you learned and all the different instruments.
Exactly, and all those skills you learned will come in handy when you need them.
It's like having a bank account with a lot of money - it's there when you need it and you can draw on it.
User avatar
pavloconga
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:41 am
Location: Australia

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby jorge » Wed May 19, 2010 1:24 am

I don't think 7 hours a day is unreasonable at all, if you want to be a professional conga player, a working batalero, or a respected rumbero. It may not even be enough if you want to be an all around percussionist on many different instruments in different styles. Leedy, you don't need to hit hard most of that time, so you can still play many hours and save your hands. Once you are gigging regularly, playing time counts as practice time, so if you are playing 4 hours a night, or 6 if you have 2 or 3 gigs, you may actually find that to really create and learn new stuff, 2 or 3 more hours a day in addition to your gig time is not even enough. There are Cuban bataleros who can play Iya and sing Apkwon for 6 hours without a break. I once played in a rumba with Charlie Jones, bongocero with Ocho, where he played quinto for 5 hours straight in the hot sun, stopping for a minute or two between songs while the rest of us switched off on the other parts. Back in the days when pissing blood was considered a status symbol not a warning sign.
At the other extreme, for those of us who don't make a living from the drum but who have mastered a particular style, playing an hour or so a few days a week could be enough to make slow but noticeable progress on one instrument if you focus very narrowly on one part. For example, you could mainly focus on rumba tres dos, to the exclusion of quinto and tumbador. Play tres dos every day and in every rumba, never play anything else. Or just play bongos, no tumbadora, timbales, or anything else. Or just play tumbador, no tres dos, no quinto. A lot of rumberos in Cuba are known for one part and only one part, they don't switch around, but they kill that part and never go off time, while singing coro or lead. A friend of mine, ex-tumbador for Machito's band, told me when he was starting out he spent an entire year playing nothing but tumbao for hours every day before he dared play in public. He went on to play with Machito. Now, 30 some years later, without practicing much recently, he still has a killer tumbao, and still plays a mean rumba quinto, but has not learned guarapachangueo style rumba.
jorge
 
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:47 am
Location: Teaneck, NJ

Re: 7 hours a day.

Postby niallgregory » Wed May 19, 2010 2:58 pm

joaozinho wrote:
leedy2 wrote:45 min a day is good practice on any instrument excessive practice just going to hurt hands.


45m is good to warm your hands and skin.My opinion is that for a professional level you need 5 to 8 hours everyday,of cours if you're not a professional and have to hearn your live in another way its more complicated,but to see some improve less then 2hours day is not enough.


Bit of a catch 22 thing here .I make a living from drumming , sometimes a good living sometimes a pretty crap one .But i would find it almost impossible to put anywhere near 5 hours a day into the drum . Even if you are on tour its next to impossible to play that length of time .The newer practice congas have made life easier as you can have one with you almost all the time . I admire and envy anyone who puts in thoses kind of hours all the time !
niall gregory
niallgregory
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 2:09 am
Location: ireland

Next

Return to Congas Technique, Rhythms and Exercises

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests