The Scratchy Violinyst: Hundreds

11 July 02017 (2 weeks ago)2 minutes of your time

Day: 302
Practice Logged: 176 hours + 30 minutes
Feeling: Focused

I lately stumbled across an interesting practice idea on one of the violin/fiddle forums I’ve been frequenting.

It’s not a complex or revolutionary idea. But sometimes the simplest things work the best. (Sometimes they utterly flop, but that’s a different post.)

One of the other noob violists on there was explaining how s/he had drawn up some practice cards. They had made up little index cards with a ten-by-ten grid sketched on it. Each square on the grid represented one play-through of a song they were attempting to learn. When they filled the grid (with 100 play-throughs) that was considered… well, they didn’t really elaborate on that part. The goal was 100. What they did after that was unclear. Played it proficiently, I suppose.

I copied the idea, but then in regular crazy-obsessive style put my own spin on it.

First, I skipped the whole index card thing and used my design skills to make a little printable sheet (4 to a page) that I could print and cut and use.

Second, I’m upping the ante. Rather than just a play-through, I’m only counting the play-through as colour-in-the-circle worthy if I complete it with three or fewer obvious mistakes.

Third, and this is where blog readers might care, I added an end-game. When I reach one hundred successful play-throughs, then and only then will I record the song as an audio track for this website. Y’know, rather than just playing a few times and blurting out a recording with no rhyme or reason. So… you have that to look forward (?) to I guess.

My first selections (and here I’ve got a perhaps rule addition one-point-five in that I’m only using this for my so-called “fun” music) include “The Log Drivers Waltz” and “O’Canada“… because yeah, I’m actually gonna learn to play that second one with some level of proficiency and re-post it. I’ll be adding another two or three in the near future, but I want to make sure I’m building a worthwhile repertoire rather than just practicing ad nasuem every dumb song I find.

It’ll take a few weeks to hit that hundred mark though. A hundred is a lot more practice than you might imagine.


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Brad measures the relative age of stuff on the web via the equation of w = 50t – 25s where w is relative web time, t is actual time, and s is the time required for setup and installation of the web document or software. By that measure, the w value for this blog is well over 500 years. Math FTW!

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