10 ways to improve your practice
Today for you I have 10 ways to improve your practice…how?! we will see in a bit.
The best goal as a musician is practice-practice-practice! But we need to know the best way how to practice! Half is personal, because depends from our character and personality and what is better for us, and this could be different between people. But some things should be the same for everybody, in my opinion.
Now let’s go to the 10 ways to improve your practice:
1 Improve your patience. Reach your goals with an appropriate mental mood. When your practice is appropriately scheduled everything is fine. Try to stay on schedule, but if that does not happen, don’t worry, reschedule your goals in a easier way. Why you should do like this? Because after you will be “too much” overload, that is not the best mentality way to practice.
2 improves communication. Improves your communication with your classmate/colleagues or stand friends during rehearsals, this will give you more opportunity to ask which kind of practice the other people use. Maybe someone use technical books different then you or another teacher says something plus about your trouble. Ask help to your friends.
3 Set your timer. Schedule your practice has an enormous impact on productivity and efficiency. Our concentration, in general, is really short. Today thanks to the social network and to our smartphone, there is always a friend that distract you. Schedule your practice is especially important when you are alone in your practice room. Good scheduling can increase your ability flow by two or more hours per day. That’s not so much, no?. But it’s true! Two or three hours scheduled with a good system have more value then eight hours of messy study. If you have a trouble in a passage, just braak it down into smaller parts, even is necessary play note by note (do..do re…do re mi…do re mi fa…). Schedule for day after to come back to that section again, I’m sure you will improve.
4 Use your phone or a planner. We always have our phone with us. So why not use it properly for your practice? There are a lot of apps that can help you. I can advice you THIS one or you can just download my PRACTICE PLANNER for free and you are able to fill in your best schedule ever. Check it out also the practice journal.
5 Don’t always start at the beginning every time. One time I had a concert with a great conductor, Lukas Vis, he surprised me with his strange way to rehears. At the beginning of each rehearsal he liked to start from the end of each movements. Why? Because for him this way prepared us to to”what will happen later” in the piece. Actually, it worked! We can start in a good way and learn a perfect intro, but as a musician the show must go on and you continue to read and read your part until the END, and some really bad passage are in this part of the score. I think that sometimes it’s good start to study from the end of the piece, mostly because you have more energy when you start your practice and then because it prepares your mind about “what will happen later”. Try it and let me know!
6 Challenge time. Everybody complain one time in a life about ” I can’t do that”. What I repeat to my self is really easy “why he/she can do it?”. The answer is only one: because YOU CAN (Obama style). Challenge yourself, push you into a level up! Stress a bit your body and mind to do more and more. Use your metronome like a pro! But, be smart and come back to point number 3.
7 Warm up. Spend about 5-10 minutes working on scales, arpeggios, staccato, legato, long notes…always before to start your practice! All sporters warm-up before any activities. As a musician you also need stretching exercises!
8 Take notes after/during your lesson/rehearsal. Pencil… P E N C I L … put it in the top of your “todolist”! Never miss your pencil during your rehearsal/lesson. The teacher/conductor will always give you informations that should help you to play the piece better. Do you want to come back at home and forget everything? or worst…come back to the lesson/rehearsal and let them repeat the same things AGAIN?…no…use the PENCIL!
9 Problem areas. Schedule your trouble measures and focus more on that section. This allow you to make more progress. Set short time for each measure and jump on them, before one then another then come back to the first one … And ask to you: “Why I have trouble?” “What is the problem?”. A lot of time is a technical problem, maybe only one finger position. Find your mistake and defeat it with a good practice.
10 Play something for fun. Once you’ve reached your goal, leave a space for playing something that you really enjoy playing. Play with friends, your best solo, pop music, your favourite song, anything but just play for fun! I love to have collaboration with other musician on Instagram thank to acapella app!
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