Music Practice Tips Archive

My last blog post was 10 Secrets and Shortcuts to Improve Your Skills. Number 7 on that list was to “Visualize Success.” For this post and the next few posts I’m going deeper into the visualization process. I want to spend time outlining everything that makes visualizations so effective. And, I want to give you […]

What’s your answer when someone asks you, “How can I get better as a musician?” I hope you don’t say, “Spend more time practicing.” Most people don’t know how to practice. So, if they spend more time practicing, it won’t actually help them. Here’s what will happen to them instead: They’ll keep making mistakes, but […]

Musicians are always looking for constant improvement in their skills and in their performances. This is no different than what athletes go through. You’ve got to dedicate yourself to some sort of daily workout, keep your eyes on the long-term prize, and be persistent. I coach a lot of musicians, and I make sure they […]

There’s nothing more frustrating for musicians than trying to learn a song from a recording while the music is going by so fast you can barely keep up with it! Luckily, there are now many tools out there that slow down the music without changing the pitch. Having this ability is a HUGE time-saver. And, […]

  The title of today’s blog is a quote from Dr. Barry Rovner, a psychiatrist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He says to “follow the plan” to help his elderly patients who are losing their sight. It turns out that patients who have a specific plan to work around their difficulty with seeing are […]

How loudly, or quietly, you play has a huge effect on how effective your performances are. The same music played at different volumes has different effects on listeners. If you play more or less at one volume all the time, your playing might sound flat and uninteresting. The best musicians play different sections of songs […]

Many musicians teach themselves mistakes at every practice session.  They’re usually not even aware that these errors are happening. This habit of learning mistakes is so commonplace because of the way most musicians practice their music.  A typical attempt at learning a song looks something like this: –Start playing at the top. –Stop when a […]

Focus and intensity are key components to staying alert while practicing so you can meet your musical goals. Though many musicians want to practice for hours on end, it’s nearly impossible to remain focused for such a long amount of time. According to Dianne Dukette and David Cornish in their 2009 book The Essential 20: […]

Like most other musicians, I spent most of my life thinking that how much practicing I did directly impacted how much forward progress I made as a musician. I only wanted to practice when I had at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time for playing. I was a slave to this concept. This was fine […]

How do you know if you sound good when you play?  Most musicians are so busy focusing on playing that they find it difficult to listen to themselves as they play.  Instead, they rely on feeling good about the runthrough. I’ve had countless students who have said to me during a lesson, “It felt good […]