I'm about 3 weeks into practicing playing two notes in each hand using four different quartal voicings. Below is some notation paraphrasing the practice patterns I'm using. I apply the pattern to various tonics.
The goals for this are:
- work on L.H. 5-2, 4-1 & R.H. 1-4, 2-5 fingering for two note scales
- learn quartal, open voicings and playing parallel 5ths and 4ths.
- develop a memory/tactile "map" of the different diatonic scales.
I did a similar extended study of playing the four diatonic seventh chord types in all 4 inversions, close position, and all 12 roots. I spent about 4 months on that.
With the chord study I felt steady progress. Each week I moved on to a new chord type and inversion, played various patterns, and could feel my hands adapt day by day. Initially the new patterns were unfamiliar, but by the end of the week I would get to the point where my hands moved more 'automatically.'
With these two notes per hand patterns I'm not feeling the same progress.
When hitting a progress wall should I back off and say 'enough for now' or, should I regroup and think about how I'm approaching the patterns?
I'm inclined to think the latter, because ...well, because I need to practice, and I need to explore what is the actual impediment. When I hit that wall it's drudgery and I feel sick of it. But, when I figure out how to practice and make even incremental progress it isn't drudgery. It may be a lot of work, but I feel good about the progress.
Perhaps these two notes per hand patterns are just harder than the chord patterns. At first I couldn't play them at all with my eyes shut. I'm just getting over that hurdle now. In the chord study I could get to playing with my eyes closed much faster.
Anyway, that's the background. I'm wondering what others think about how long to stick with something before they feel it isn't productive? Obviously, you should not keep banging away like a robot when you don't progress. Also, is spending 3 or 4 months on technical study too much?
Short hand overview of my patterns:
...I play each of the four voicings through a one octave scale combining motions with repeated note and broken thirds with different rhythms. Everything is also played with descending movement.