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Kitchen timer for practice

sinner

Member
Messages
3,904
Anyone use an ordinary Kitchen Timer as a practice aide?

I'd like to discipline my practice time a bit better, and make a schedule for the amount of time to spend on each practice routine.

Thought I'd try a mechanical Kitchen Timer, anyone try that? Is there a good one you'd recommend--some of the reviews on Amazon say they ring at wrong time, slow down or stop working often.

I'm pretty good at going through all my practice routines (finger twister exercises, scales, chords; fun and personal invention time) but like to actually stay on each individual routine part for a defined length of time.
 

mcdonaldkd

Member
Messages
1,937
Yep, I do. I have a limited amount of time to practice and a timer really helps me to stay focused on each segment of my practice. Inexpensive and helpful. I started out setting my digital watch, but that grew to be a pain. I just turn the knob on the kitchen timer (which I purchased at the grocery store) to the desired duration and then focus on my playing. Ding! Go to the next thing.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,729
I meant something like an old fashioned mechanical time, that I could sit out in front of me and be aware of the time spent on each routine before going to the next routine set.

Here's one:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412NkIo7SiL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
Dude, why don't you just use a watch, or clock, or computer, or something you probably already have?

Unless of course you also need a kitchen timer for the kitchen - then you'd be getting a 2fer.

If you're *that* regimented, good for you - I could never be.

A metronome is a far more useful tool, if you don't have one of those.

Steve
 

Lammy

Member
Messages
480
Mechanical timer is just more visceral. I can understand wanting something analog, not as complicated. Twist and go.
BTW Steve is right that metronome is by far a more useful tool.
 

sinner

Member
Messages
3,904
The idea is to overcome bad habits and poor focus (ADD), hence a stop watch or your digital arm watch is not going to help (me). That is too easy to circumvent or forget about all together.

I know it's kind of "kindergarten" but ADD is hard to fight and I just wanted to hear some stories about using a timer (or other devices) to help plan and Stick to a routine.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,729
The idea is to overcome bad habits and poor focus (ADD), hence a stop watch or your digital arm watch is not going to help (me). That is too easy to circumvent or forget about all together.

I know it's kind of "kindergarten" but ADD is hard to fight and I just wanted to hear some stories about using a timer (or other devices) to help plan and Stick to a routine.

I can see where you'd want the "egg timer" type of device then.

I think your basic kitchen timer that went up to an hour or more would be fine.

However, what would really be nice is something that had multiple customizable alarms - so you could set it to go off every 10 or 15 minutes. There's probably some freeware out there that could do this - what would be cool is if you could have voice reminders - "time to finish scales, and move on to chords" etc. Female voice of course :)

I probably would have been considered ADD if the condition was defined when I was a kid (I was just "hyperactive") but I agree that it's very easy to get distracted.

Good Luck,
Steve
 

Swain

Member
Messages
2,407
The old, white, wind-up Kitchen Timers are the best. Fast, easy, and accurate enough. 1 Minute and 5 Minute Drills, etc. Close enough. And simple.
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,729
My time.

Duration - There's a clock in my jam room that I can clearly see. I tell myself that I'm going to work on something I am having issues with over and over again as a workout so that it's really imprinted on my mind and fingers.

Building up strength - I set myself up for repetitions just as if I were doing reps at a gym or going for a run.

Rate of Time I play with -
When I can't be in the jam room and want to play.
I have this metronome thing that's about the size of a credicard. An 1/8th inch thick or maybe 3/8ths...
It sounds a beep for the beats.
I stick it in my back pocket

in the jam room it's the software sequencer - "reason" to create drum tracks.
 

Kappy

Member
Messages
14,032
I buy the digital countdown/egg timers to use. They're brilliant. Set the interval, focus only on practicing until the thing starts beeping. Hell, it's practically essential to me. And I wouldn't trust the wind up ones for accuracy. Here's one of the ones I've been using since 1988:

 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,522
Just go get a cheesy analog clock from a drug store, take off the face and the hands and flip the piece of cardboard the numbers are printed on over and write the circle of 5ths on it.
Stick the hands back on and rock around the clock.
 

russ6100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,561
I tried a kitchen timer once back in the day....

The thing only had one speed - about 230 BPM!

Spring for a metronome.

:roll
 
Messages
15
I dont know if this will work for you but it does for me so I will suggest this. I had trouble staying focused during practice and lets say I am trying to do a certain exercise or something for 10 minutes. I would just waste time until the 10 minutes were up. The clock never made me practice it just kept track of how much time I was wasting. So, I decided to adopt the method of telling myself I was going to do this exercise 10 times through and if it took 5 minutes thats great, and if it took 50 minutes thats fine too. It made me keep track of what I was doing and pay attention instead of zoning out until the timer went off. Set a goal of maybe 2 times through or 5 times through whatever. Maybe this will help.
 

jspax7

Member
Messages
2,230
I have my students practice with drum tracks or backing tracks. Each track is 2:30. Two times through is 5 minutes. They're surprised to discover how much 5 minutes of disciplined practice can help with their technique and tempo.

Seems like the whole world is becoming ADD... :confused:
 

5E3

Member
Messages
5,055
I was using a digital kitchen timer. An instructor once got me into the habit when I was practicing certain techniques. Right on my practice schedule I would have "method 1 - 10 mins, method 2 - 15 mins" etc.

Battery went dead in the thing and it is an usual size, so I switched to a freeware desktop timer for the Mac in my home studio (I would imagine something similar is available for a PC):



It's more versatile too.
 

Jon

Member
Messages
1,569
Has anyone done a boutique kitchen timer shootout!?!?!?

I've heard that the NOS kitchen timers have a certain mojo that modern ones just can't give you. Steer clear of the PCB timers also - they suck your minutes!!!
 

5E3

Member
Messages
5,055
Has anyone done a boutique kitchen timer shootout!?!?!?

I've heard that the NOS kitchen timers have a certain mojo that modern ones just can't give you. Steer clear of the PCB timers also - they suck your minutes!!!
So you just got home from the pub, eh?
:BEER
 

Swain

Member
Messages
2,407
I hear the Dumble Timer can actually move your playing forward and backward through time.
 




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