Tips for Better Practice

There are really only two factors to consider with practice:

1- Work Hard

The amount of time you put into your craft will directly affect your progress.  Several people have supported the "ten thousand hour rule", but remember that these ten thousand hours must be deliberate practice.  Here is a link to the practice charts I use (and I have my students use them too).  It is a great way to keep track of practice time from both a quantity and a quality standpoint.

2- Work Smart

The more efficient your practice is, the more effective it will be.  It seems logical that the better you practice, the faster you will improve.  Instead of 'ten thousand hours', I think of it as 'one thousand breakthroughs'.  A 'breakthrough' (a fancy term might be a 'Gestalt') refers to that moment when you make some sort of connection- an 'a ha' moment where you perceive something differently than you did before.  Usually when these breakthrough moments come along, we can never go back to that period of unawareness.  When we hear a small detail about our sound or our articulation for instance, we cannot 'un-hear' it.  That is a breakthrough.  I think it takes about one thousand of those, and that takes most people about ten thousand hours of deliberate practice.

On this page I will post several concepts towards how I work smarter.  Hard work is pretty self-explanatory.

Click here to see resources on helpful stretches and body rehab you can do in between practice sessions

How Much Detail Should I practice?  

Obviously we want to practice all the little things, but too much might be problematic.  Watch this video to find out more.

Developing Agility in Faster Passages

This is a lengthy video where I demonstrate how I learn fast or tricky passages.  In short, I think slowing down the metronome is a longer way to do it (not bad, not detrimental, just a longer way).  Watch the video where I explain why.

Friday Teaching Talks

I have started a video series where I talk about my philosophy behind how I practice. These videos can provide insight as to why I do things a certain way.

Mindful Progress- The myth of consistency and repetition

Adding Energy- the importance of context

Easy vs. Mastery- The contradiction- Mastery isn't always easy

On Forming New Habits- An Analogy