Saxophone Forum


by Yardbird8403
(7 posts)
9 years ago

Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

I talked to a lot of people about this and I just want to get the word out/ find out what the classical crowd thinks of this. Is it really worth it to be a practice room Zombie? I see many posts about people stating how they practice 4+ hours a day and in fewer cases even more than that. After reading these posts sure my initial reaction is “whoa, right on man!” but I just have to wonder what these practice room diehards are missing out on. Correct me if I’m wrong but, how can someone play a Romance if they have never fallen in love? How can someone play a piece marked “intensely”, or “Happily” if they don’t have the life experiences to relate to? And how is it possible to get these life experiences if where all in the practice rooms all the time? Please don’t get me wrong because I’ll be the first one to admit that I am one of the people practicing 4+ hours a day. I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I just want to know what everyone else does when they come to a piece that is hard to relate to. Please everyone post. How do all of you incorporate the life factor into your playing?

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

    Unless your heart's been ripped out and stomped on, you can't produce a meaningful vibrato. I think that "practice room zombies" as you call them, can risk coming across like Chinese Olympic gymnasts - technically perfect, but lacking expression. Not to say it's a certainty, but a probability. Of course, there are people out there who enjoy listening to music in a technical fashion rather than an emotional one, but music is art - thus interpretation as channeled through our personal experiences is really what I think makes music worth listening to. Nothing wrong with practicing 4+ hours per day to develop technical skills. In doing so, you increase the size of your palette, so to speak. "Balance, Daniel-san..."

    Reply To Post


  2. by Tenor_Guru
    (25 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

    I am one of these zombies as you call them. I have found that even through the four plus hours I practice, the rest of the time I can spend build life experiences. Often when I find a difficult piece to relate to, I will interpret it as best I can... That is often untill I find something to tie that music to... So, I guess I've learned that with that 6+ hours of hard technical work, I need at the least half that time spent in the real world with real people learning life lessons and reflecting upon them.

    Reply To Post AIM


    1. by kelsey
      (807 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

      You don't have to have life experiences to play saxophone. If you want to be a good player practice as much as possible. Don't take yourself too seriously and have some fun along the way. Life is short and you don't have to practice 4 hours a day to become a great player. You do need a lot of natural talent and quite a bit of time in the practice room. There is still time to have a good life and be a fine musician.....Kelsey
      Barry Kelsey

      Reply To Post AIM


      1. by saxjunkie89
        (393 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

        I agree, the worst thing you can do is to be extremely serious about your playing. I've been told incessantly by my director how much progress I made last school year. IT DOES NOT GO TO MY HEAD! Along with apparently being a good player and such, I occasionally play avant-garde-like. Two or three saxes at a time, strange harmonics (that sound good), slap-tounge "Mary Had a Little Lamb" starting with low D on Bari (descending to low Bb at times). I have the greatest of fun when I play, and that's what it should be about.

        Reply To Post


        1. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          I spend 8+ hours at work... (I love this current job though) nothing wrong with doing 4 hours of pratice! BUT, you can run into a few problems, either burning out, or not doing "good" pratice. if it's getting boring, a chore, or work, stop and move on to something else! You don't want to get burnt out doing something you love.

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        2. by MavisDavis
          (21 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          Practicing shouldn't be a chore. I practice for hours a day because I enjoy it! At the point where you feel that you *have* to practice, that's the point where you should put down your saxophone and go get a cup of coffee, or just relax. Only play when you're having fun. If you take yourself too seriously, you tense up. No one wants to be tense, because you can't play as well! Practicing is important, but the time you spend not practicing can be just as important as well. It gives you time to *think* about the music. Even if you aren't, you expirience things which help you interpret better.

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        3. by landrusax
          (44 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          There is no possible way to become a world class player without spending as much time practicing, listening and performing as possible. Every book that I've ever read about greats such as Coltrane, Ornette, Bird etc. talk of hours upon hours of daily practicing. Talent is only the seed of greatness, it is the constant hardwork that culminates into success. There are many accounts of how John Coltrane would get done with a Miles Davis gig and he would go and shed in his hotel room for hours trying to work out what he found to be laking in his performance. Of course life experience is needed to draw upon for an emotional conection to music, but this cannot be an excuse for one to not practice as much as humanly possible. Whoever said that practicing should be fun has not been pushing themself as hard as they should. I have fun every time I practice, but it is usually near the end when I've completed my regiment of studies to increase my proficiency on the instruments. This is work, HARD WORK!! I have heard from many teachers that the stuff that is fun to play is not most beneficial. I have fun when I have a gig and it goes great because I practiced my ass off. Don't get me wrong, playing should be a beautiful experience, but when you decide to become a professional, much sweat and blood must be sacrificed for a chance of success in this highly competitive field.

          Reply To Post


        4. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          "but when you decide to become a professional, much sweat and blood must be sacrificed for a chance of success in this highly competitive field." this is called desire, and will make pratice fun/enjoyable/whatever... because you're not doing it for the sake of doing it, you see the light, have a map, and know that pratice is the road to get there. getting burnt out is when you're not a professional, don't really have the desire, and are trying to do way more than you can do at the moment. This is when it's best to put things down, think about stuff, read a book, visit a friend, and come back to it later. besides, I don't pratice to become a world class player... I do it because I enjoy doing it. I'm sure there are others here that share my goals and ideals. I don't push myself as hard as I can, and I don't think I'll be doing that with a sax anytime soon.

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        5. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          landrusax - how old are you?

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        6. by landrusax
          (44 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          I am twenty seven. Why is this relevent? If your goal is to be able to hang with anyone at anytime in the world, there is no other way to attain that goal then what I said, HARD WORK. I play music because I love it, but that does not mean that it is all fun and games, thats kid stuff. I practice five to seven hours every day, this is not because every time it is fun, its because I am aware of the level of musicianship needed and I hear constant improvement.

          Reply To Post


        7. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          Some people (I believe) have more natural (God-given) talent for music than others. Some of these can become world-class players without nearly as much practice as those who don't have the same gifts at the get-go. These others are gifted differently, just not for music. I have a friend who just loves the saxophone, but has no talent for rhythm. For that friend to become a world-class player would take full-time practice as well as a miracle or two. Earning a living (which cannot be done by a saxophone player with no rhythm skills) takes precedence. Another friend seems to have rhythm (and other skills) built-in, can pick up a new piece and sight-read it with few mistakes, and have it worked (almost) to perfection within one hour. That one doesn't need to practice nearly as much to be world-class. We're all different. I enjoy being different.

          Reply To Post


        8. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          Oops! I meant to say... Earning a living (which cannot be done BY PLAYING SAXOPHONE when the saxophone player has no rhythm skills) takes precedence.

          Reply To Post


        9. by saxjunkie89
          (393 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          being different isn't a bad thing, now, is it? A lot of the sax players in my area are quite strange, most of them being bari players (me included)

          Reply To Post


        10. by saxjunkie89
          (393 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          oh, and we're not neccesarily a bad strange, it's more of a goofy strange.

          Reply To Post


        11. by saxophonegrl_alto_bari
          (48 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          As charlie parker said," if you don't live it, it won't come out your horn" or something like that. i find myself going into a practice room to get away from life and not have to face all the problems in the world. Its like do you have to be a detective to read a mystry? all my feelings come out in my music, and that is almost the only place

          Reply To Post


        12. by classysax91
          (7 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Is being a practice room Zombie a good thing?

          Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with practicing a lot. However, this summer while at camp for 6 weeks, I was playing 13 hours a day at one point. Let me mention I learned a very hard lesson. Never again will I play that much a day, I had a lot of physical problems after. I also learned how important it is to take breaks. So in my opinion, no, there's nothing wrong with it. Practice room 'zombies' also can have a lot of expression in their playing.

          Reply To Post