Five Great Practice Tips for Musicians!
Is your practice routine getting stale? Ineffective? Does it even exist?
Let’s face it — your not alone. “Practice blues” are part of the journey! When working on your instrument gets boring or fails to yield results, you might just need to rethink your routine.
Here are a few ways to make the most of your practice routine all year round:
1. ALWAYS GO FOR QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. It can be tempting to make practice time all about speed (“How many times can I play this in 30 minutes?”). Don’t make speed your benchmark! Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Instead of marking your success by how many times you can play a song, take your time and focus on quality pitch, rhythm and dynamics.
2. BE CONSISTENT. If you only practice once a week, you won’t grow — even if that one practice session is long and in-depth! Try practicing in small, consistent “bites” all week long. Can you make time to play violin for 20 minutes a day five times a week? Musicians need to train just like athletes — in measured portions all week long.
3. RECORD YOURSELF. Most people have voice recording apps on their phones nowadays. That’s an amazing practice tool! At the end of your practice session, record yourself playing your assigned songs. Next week, record it again and compare the two files. Recording software, even basic apps, are a great way to track your progress and work through your mistakes.
4. TAKE THE TIME TO EXPLORE. Music is supposed to be fun! If you’re burning out on your assigned work, take five minutes at the end of your practice session to just goof off. Play something you enjoy. Make something up. Find the sheet music for your favorite pop song. Give yourself the space to explore your instrument and (what a concept!) just make music.
5. GIVE YOURSELF A REASON TO PRACTICE. For the Learning Allegro family, spring recital is just around the corner. That’s a great reason for us to encourage our students to practice, practice, practice! When you struggle to find motivation, give yourself some kind of benchmark or milestone to work toward. Do you want to play at a coffeehouse? Participate in a recital? Have a jam session with some friends on a Saturday night? Let those opportunities motivate you, help you refocus, and remind you to approach practice seriously.
Another great way to grow as a musician is to find a “sparring partner” — someone who will help you grow and check in on your progress! If you’d like to hire a private music instructor to help you make the most of your instrument, check out Learning Allegro.