Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to get the most out of your practice time

Try creating a practice routine in which you concentrate on certain areas that need practice, I often tell my students to think of their playing as an old car that we are restoring, one day we might be sanding down the finish, the next day perhaps we are redoing the interior of the cab.  There will always be some aspect in which we are trying to improve.  As a musician I ask myself, what aspect of my playing needs the most work?  This is how we grow as musicians.  I divided my practice into sections that I will work on for extended amounts of time.  First thing I check my tuning.  Then I warm up, I run through a series of exercises before I play that are designed to get me ready for practicing.  Warming up before you play or practice is very important, it gives your hands a chance to prepare for the workout they are about to receive.  Even if I do not want to practice and I just want to play I still warm up.  A warm up should only last about five mins or so.  After that you should be playing stuff.  We as musicians warm up before we play just like an athlete would stretch before they run.  I have enclosed a layout of how I practice.

Also another thing to think about is when to practice, I once had one of my professors recommend that i practice my technique in the mornings and work on my improv and writing during the evenings.  His logic was that its not until later on in the day that our creativity is at its best and that our technique is best worked on while we are still trying to wake up and get going.