I had a great fiddle teacher in London years ago who said that if you get up in the morning are are not listening to traditional music than you will never get into it and understand it. I realiase that he was trying to motivate us...or maybe not. The result was that for many years I did listen to music for breakfast, dinner and tea. This tailed off a bit over the years but I notice since TradConnect started in April I have been watching a lot more videos and listening to a lot more music. With maybe a 1-2  hours practice a day and a lot of CD's played on Sat and Sunday as well as a session a week its starting to add up. This is I think starting to make a difference.

What hours do other people put in either listening or playing?. Does it consume a lot of your time.?

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I came up with the notion that given enough time and attention you will ultimately end up sounding like the music you listen to (within reason of course), and being an average player (at the moment in any case), I figure I should listen to good music for a lot longer every day than I actually practice, in my opinion the problem with practising for too long as opposed to listening means that you hear too much of yourself and you will end up playing like yourself, which is not a happy thought.


So to answer your question I probably listen for two hours and practice for one hour a day on average

I like to break it down as follows:


Three times a day I do what I call "concentrated listening." That is where the headphones are on, no distractions, just the music. Now, with this, I only listen to one set of tunes (generally something I'd like to work on). Furthermore, you only do it once at a time. Anything more and your mind starts to wander, you get frustrated that you cannot concentrate on it for longer, and you self-flagellate instead of practice. Make sure the players you choose to listen to in this manner are solid, and before long your head is filled with solid playing (as are your fingers and toes). You'd be surprised how quickly this can help a motivated beginner hit intermediate rank (five to six months).


Throughout the day I'll listen to Irish music whilst doing other things. The idea is that you need to maximize your exposure. If you try to speak Turkish without hearing it for hours and hours, you'll never get it right. If you try to play Irish music without hearing it for hours and hours, you'll never get it right.


When it comes to practicing, I tell folks to practice ten minutes, twice a day. You'd be amazed at how returns start to diminish after ten minutes, especially if you are a beginner. You get too caught up in frustration, or, just distracted by real life. In twenty hyper-focused minutes, you can achieve better results than in one unfocused hour. Further, if you're like me, a lot of the time you stop working on the hard stuff because you get discouraged, so you instead play the stuff that already sounds good and, before you know it, it's been an hour or more! You merrily pack away your fiddle saying, "Wow, I practiced two hours today!", but still wonder why you aren't improving.

Down the road, you can make it ten minutes twenty times a day (with little three minute breaks between where you throw clothes in the wash, read about something else, make a bite to eat, etc. - keep your brain fresh), but always start with winnable games.

Lots - lol.

But really I do, and if not, it's in my head anyway :  )

I like to practice at least 4 Hour's each day, but could include,,,

You-tube Video's, Learning this Woman's fantastic Approach idea.

http://www.katohavas.com/     Or Composing tunes etc, and I could listen to this man all day !



It goes in waves, sometimes I don't listen to trad for ages and instead listen to other types of music, but I always come back in the end. I am just getting back into it after about a year, I was a bit burnt out on it I think, but now I'm enjoying it again. Hardly ever get to play though- I've had a few sessions this year, had a play at home the other day - first time since I can remember - probably over a year. Oh dear!

I listen alot in the car. When I am hanging around at home sometimes too, and then a session a week. I guess if I had to break it down approximately 2 hours a day, though sometimes more and sometimes less.


I think especially with celtic music you have to listen alot to internalize the rhythm and naunces. Its obvious to me when folks have not listened alot and rely largely on sheet music to learn this tradition. Learning by ear and lots of listening is the way to go.


Anton Emery


Which set??

Crib of Perches?

Listening and practising are intricately linked. I listen when I practice and mostly I don't like what I hear! But seriously I do try and put in at least an hour or two every day plus a session or two every week. If I ever end up sounding like what I want to hear I will let you all know. Probably will never happen.

I listen at least several hours a day.  If I hear a tune or set I enjoy, I write down the titles, look for the dots or ABC's, and create a set tune sheet and add the set to my "to be learned" list.  I practice 1-2 hours per day, and some days have the flute assembled and on my desk, ready to pickup and play along with a video or MP3 on a whim.  As tony and others have said here already, its the frequency and repetition that eventually adds up to embracing and internalizing the music.  My learning focus is now turning to learning different settings and interpretations of tunes.  In sessions often the expectation is that everyone plays the same setting note for note.  I would like to be able to expand on the tunes when playing solo, so the extra playing and listening helps me build a repertoire of settings, variations and styles.  Since i am getting out to only 1 or 2 sessions a month theses days, I am considering this time period as a "sabbatical" during which I can improve my artistic expression through the music.  I miss the sessions but enjoy the daily musical practice therapy greatly!

Yes! I typically spend 3-5 hours a day playing or just listening to Irish traditional music. My wife has started to giggle at me. She debates that the brogue has grown in my speech. I can't hear it. Has that happened to anyone else?

a couple of hours a day!? You are a machine Donough!

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