Practice and Performance Tips

How to Know What to do When (Alias = How to Improvise Creatively) 

I've often been asked questions about improvising; more specifically, my seemingly endless "idea box" that I keep pulling stuff out of to keep my solos interesting. Once I start to improvise, I can totally keep going with one different concept after another until someone either shoots me, or stops my bow in its tracks. I've had many set-up-my-phone-to-take-a-video-and-then-just-start-playing-whatever sessions; basically where I improvise for minutes on end without getting boring (usually 6 to 8 before I start being concerned about phone storage). Some of it comes down to just plain musical intuition about what the song needs at precisely that moment (and also technical capability to do that thing), but some of it actually is explainable. And since I have an opportunity to explain something and sound like I know what I'm talking about, I'll gladly take it.

(I do know what I'm talking about, don't worry.)

(Make sure you are fluent in not only the chords to the song you're improvising (or just chords in general if you're doing a solo freestyle thing), and switching between them smoothly.)


Before you are able to know what to do when, you have to have different things to do when. In other words, develop your "idea box". Here are some "idea box items" that I use (I have more, but it's too hard to remember them all at the same time) that will a) give you things to use, and b) get you started developing your own things.



Basically, it's just general variation in musical density. For instance, lots of notes played one after the other with no pauses (although I do recommend generally awesome phrasing), a very few long notes, short notes with a few beats in between, different rhythms than just straight eighths (syncopations recommended and loved unconditionally), and sometimes scalar runs all over the place (very dense). 



There are different types of movement in improv. If one type of movement is favored over the others, the improvisation can become too "samey" too fast. Upward movement is exactly what it sounds like, a general noteward trend upward. Same for downward movement. Circular movement is basically a note "dance" throughout a particular range, and use of the same notes in different ways as the chord changes; this type of movement is usually in a range of about a 5th or a 6th and all the notes (diatonically or chromatically) within that.


Harmonic Intention

This is basically the type of notes you use over the chords. Options are traditional chord tones (1-3-5-7), extended harmonies (9-11-13 and all altered versions of these (probably only if included in the chord)), chromatic leading tones (into the root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th) and just plain chromaticism at its finest. Basically, this is choosing what kind of notes to play over a given chord and being able to play whichever type you want to in the moment; I recommend practicing all different types. They can be used at different times for variation, or mixed together for an entirely different effect.



This is basically creating a melody (that's not related (usually) to the original melody), and repeating it and changing it when necessary to suit the rhythm and chord changes. Also try starting the riff on a different beat, or a part of a beat, each time. Riffs tend to be more groovy and rhythmic, than "notey" and technical. 


Atonal Awesomeness

Sometimes during a dynamic drop of a song (or a drop I decide to create with one of my "idea bag items") I'll start improvising atonally. Just forget what chords you're improvising over, and focus on whole-tone scales, tri-tones, diminished arpeggios, different handframes, and a tonal center that even you can't find. It's a good idea to practice forgetting chords; it's very hard at first.


Melodic Variation

Exactly what it sounds like. Come back to the melody and do variations. The variations can be as far from, or as close to, the melody as you wish.



Pick a pattern of notes (it can be scale, arpeggio, whatever) and repeat it. You can change the order, the timing, invert it, and start it on a different beat each repetition. Whatever you do, make sure you do it for a long enough time. It usually takes a bit for other people (bandmates, audience) to find the core of the pattern and groove with it, and THEN... CONTINUE doing the pattern because the amount of awesome is increased when the core is found. Stay on it longer than you think, but not too long.


That's most of the "idea bag items" I can think of at this time. As far as knowing what to do when, most of it comes down to actually having stuff to do when. Just remember that the solo should have contour and certainly should not be the same for any great length of time (there are exceptions based on musical context). Make sure to switch often (or switch often except for some times when you stay for longer than expected (it helps to keep it interesting) (the contrast between switching all the time and the occasional not switching is interesting because contrast is interesting)) and not let any one thing go too far. Remember to create dynamics within the song; use a less dense texture to make a quieter part (a drop in dynamics) and then ramp up the intensity with some atonal improv before doing a big crescendo using a gradual increase in note density. Or whatever. The point is, make it interesting.


In a nutshell: "idea bag growth" + switching between techniques at appropriate times + creative improv

Practicing Backward 

This is a technique that I’ve developed as a counteraction to a human trait that I will explain after the dot right here. 

If, for instance, someone decides to practice two things, 99% of people will spend most of their time/energy/focus on the first thing; when they get to the second thing, there is much less patience left over and it thus gets the short end of the stick. When these two things are then practiced again in this way, the second part again gets less than the first, and, over time, the disparity between the two parts becomes very great. It is the same with practicing a page of music. If we start practicing at the top, by the time we get to the bottom, we have less focus and time to practice the bottom of the page as much as the top, so as a result (over time—not too much time though), the same thing happens and we are much better at playing the first 16 bars then we are the last. 

The fix is relatively simple: instead of starting practicing at the top, or beginning of something, start it at the end or in the middle. Change it up so that you never start in the same place multiple times in a row. 

Some examples of this: 

1. An AABB fiddle tune. I KNOW that I will practice the A-part more than the B-part, so I make sure that 50% of the time, I start practicing the B-part first. 

2. A page of music. If I always start at the top, I will always have less patience and focus by the time I start working through the bottom. This way, I know to start from the bottom of the page (or the second half, or 16 bars from the end) first, and work the top of the page (or 32 bars before the end) after. 

3. Circle of Fifths practice. I, as a rule, never have made it through the Circle of Fifths with ANYTHING. I can TRY to do scales that go through the Circle of Fifths, but I can’t for the life of me not spend so much time practicing two or three scales that I forget to make it through the rest of them. And then later it’s like, “oh, well I only was able to do three scales… it’s been an hour and a half, I guess I’ll be done and pick it up later.” If I was to come back to it later and start from the beginning again, I would end up in the same situation: two to three scales rehearsed, and too tired to finish the other nine.  If I were to continue starting at the beginning, I would never succeed at practicing scales that were further through the sequence. So to counteract this, I make note of where I left off, that way I know where to pick it up next session, OR, I start from the back or middle of the sequence (or another random place that’s not the beginning) and go from there (I eventually would have everything rehearsed this way, but it’s a “chance” method and not planned very well at all). 

Those are three pretty good examples for going the opposite direction of a pretty ubiquitous tendency. 

A variation of the whole “practicing backward” thing, is to practice even more backward… Meaning, start in the last bar and practice it, then do the second-to-last bar, then the third-to-last bar, the the fourth-to-last bar, etc… It’s a very good way to make sure that you nail the end of whatever-it-is. 

Whichever method you decide to use, it certainly takes conscious effort not to start at the beginning of something. However, after doing it for a while, it will begin to feel more natural, which is good, because it is what they call a “lifestyle change”, except it’s for practicing. It’s something that should be done all the time, and should be a habitual way of practicing everything.

The Ideal Practice Space 

Some items and thoughts that should go into every musician's practice room.



A great way to get visual feedback on technique, posture, and anything else. At first it's a little awkward to be looking at yourself in a mirror all the time, but that goes away fast.



Basically THE best practice tool out there. Practice EVERYTHING with it (scales, vibrato, whatever, you-name-it). It always keeps perfect time. Some people think they speed up and slow down, but it's not true--except for the online JamPlay one, it... struggles... Also contrary to popular belief, metronomes DO facilitate "grooving" in general; having a machine keep time does not erase your "groovability", it IMPROVES it by forcing you to mentally categorize notes and note patterns into an accurate rhythmic structure. Then your time will be solid even when playing by yourself.


Recording Device of Some Kind

I use my phone. There are dedicated recorders out there. Whatever will get a you a decent representation of your sound should work fine. It's a similar concept as the mirror, something to get outside of yourself and listen back to and judge as an unbiased third-party. Sometimes I record myself doing vibrato on scales just to make sure my width, frequency, and control are on point. And it works for anything else too, of course.


Pencils, and Maybe Paper Too

Pencils are very important. I like colored ones because there's nothing like using separate colors for each different type of pencil mark (slurs, notes, articulations) and then having your sheet music look like a rainbow exploded on it. The only downside is they're not erasable, so I would actually recommend normal pencils. Write everything down. Stuff that you've accomplished during your practice session will be less likely to be lost if you have a solid way of making sure it stays remembered.


Enough Space

My ideal size for a practice room is 50x25... I like to walk around while I'm practicing. The movement gives my brain extra information to process; it helps prepare for having to focus with distractions--plus it's relaxing to me. However, almost no one has a room that size, but it's still a good idea to give yourself enough space for adequate movement.


Places for Your Equipment

Have spots for your instrument, and any other equipment (metronome, recorder, pencils, etc...) so that they are at the ready.


Music Stand

Reading music off a table is okay, and I used to do it, but after switching to a music stand, an ongoing neck problem cleared itself up because I wasn't hunched over while trying to read my music. It's better for overall playing posture to be able to read music in a comfortable standing position.


No Distractions

Turn your phone off, and anything else that poses a potential distraction.


Zero People-Flow

Try to find an area with zero people-flow as well; practicing by yourself is a less judgmental atmosphere (no one to hear you mess up). Although it might seem like it would be good to have accountability for practicing, it's not quite like that; I've practiced really really well when someone else was listening because I was trying to do a good job at practicing, HOWEVER, I didn't woodshed the parts that I was the worst at, because I was embarrassed for anyone else to hear me work through those... So it's better to have as much privacy as possible.



Have equipment for the places mentioned above. Rosin, string cleaner, bow, pick, pizza, extra strings, sheet music, etc... Have whatever you need right there that way you don't need to interrupt your focus to find it.


Temperature Control Over Your Space

If your room is too cold, it makes it difficult to practice effectively for any length of time. It it's too warm, you have the same problem. If there is any way possible to control the temperature of your room, take advantage of it.


Device with a Biggish Screen

iPad, tablet, laptop, large phone, any of these will work. If it's necessary that you reference a video or recording during your practice, it's good to have one of these at hand. Also, it's helpful to have tutorials right at your fingertips.


There is one item that many might put on this list, but, I'm going to put it in a special category and explain why it most certainly should NOT be an integral part of your practice habits.



I've heard MANY recommendations for practicing with a tuner. I've tried it multiple times thinking it would improve my intonation. a) it didn't improve my intonation, and b) it drove me crazy. So, it didn't improve my intonation, and here's why. Intonation is in the ear. A tuner cannot teach you to hear whether you're in tune or not. To play in tune, you have to learn how to hear when something is in tune or not, AND also be able to adjust on the spot if necessary, neither of which a tuner can teach you to do. So you become reliant on the tuner instead of developing intonation from within yourself, which, if you do that, you'll be able to hear when you're in tune during practice, and a tuner won't be necessary. The adjusting to make the "in-tune line" be in the right place takes your focus off of YOU listening to YOUR OWN intonation, and that's no good in any situation. Tuners are also just enough to drive anyone crazy. Constantly trying to adjust to perfection and then waiting for that device to get a "reading", and then having to adjust again because you were a millisomethingth out of tune and then having to wait for another "reading", and then now you're out of tune the other way so you have to... and so on. So my advice is to learn to hear what "in tune" is, and then hone those skills during your practice, not your tuner-watching skills...


I hope some of these help!



On Practicing Less 

My practice history has been like this:

2013 = 1 hour a day. 
2014 = 2 hours a day.
2015 = 3 hours a day.
2016 =  4 hours a day, and usually actually a whopping 5...
2017 = maximum of 2 hours EVERY OTHER DAY.

I'll save a long story and just say that practicing less was basically against my will and certainly not a choice I would've made for myself if I could help it. Practicing 5 hours a day certainly had me see a lot of improvement in my playing, technique, ability to learn difficult parts relatively quickly, among many other musical things. And I loved doing it (especially for someone who was not pursuing classical music and competitions as a career path), so to practice a dramatic amount less was a little shocking to say the least.

However, here are some things I've learned over the last months that, although counterintuitive, are very real nonetheless.

1. My playing is far more natural.

This is the first time in 7 years that my technique has ever actually felt solid and effective. With less time on my hands, I am unable to force myself into a technical mold that isn't natural for me, and as a result, my technique gravitates toward being more organic and just easier. I have more bow control, and better left hand facilities because I only had to time to grow them intuitively.

2. It's easier to play and I'm more comfortable with my instrument.

This is kind of a result of number 1. Since my technique is more relaxed, it's easier to play. I'm able to know precisely how my bow will respond to a certain landing onto a string because my technique is intuitive; I'm able to mesh with my instrument better because I'm not trying to predict how an unnatural technique will respond, I'm predicting how a natural technique will respond. The latter is so much easier.

3. I am forced to practice more efficiently and to quickly find the most effective way to accomplish something.

Self explanatory. I have to pick and choose my battles, and make sure I win the ones I choose... as fast as possible. It's a really good life skill in general...

4. I am better at sightreading.

Weird I know, but when you don't have enough time to practice the music, yet have an important rehearsal anyway, you learn very quickly to sightread amazingly well on the spot...

5. I am less emotionally attached to practicing.

The first month I wasn't practicing 5 hours a day, I was freaking out because I thought practicing less was going to be terrible. I thought my technique would degrade faster than I-have-no-idea-what, and that I wouldn't be able to play difficult music any more. I thought I absolute HAD to practice that much. I had so much anxiety because--as I realized--I very much thought that the importance of my entire existence was dependent on how much I practiced. I was wrong. Now, I don't find it emotionally necessary to practice that much, and I can finally--after like, years and years--not freak out if I don't practice multiple hours a day. Not freaking out is good.

6. I enjoy it even more.

Enough said. While I did most certainly enjoy practicing millions and millions of hours, I enjoy it even more now, because it feels more like a privilege and less like a duty.

Let me say again: I am not any worse a player, actually, in many ways, I play better than before. Also, I'm not saying that if you practice an hour a day, you should cut it down to 15 minutes, there is kind of still a certain amount of practice needed to be effective. But if you're a practice-aholic and pushing 3-5 hours like I was, it might be worth a bit to try it...

4 Performance Truths 

1. The more invested you are in the music you're playing, the more invested the audience will be.  Listeners will engage and connect with you if they sense that what you're doing is important to you. They won't be convinced to engage if they sense that you are more focused on getting them to engage rather than being engaged yourself. 

2. If you give people everything up front, they will get bored of listening because there is nothing new, and nothing worth trying to find. However, if you give them a taste up front, and the prompt (musical prompt) that there is more to find with deeper listening and engagement, they will stay focused and interested. They will be enough satisfied with the bit that you gave them, but not too much that they don't search for more. Make sure there IS more to find, otherwise you're toast. 

3. You don't have to "entertain" to connect with people. Jumping around the stage and doing somewhat obnoxious musically-suitable physical movements can be cool, but--contrary to popular belief--it's not necessary, and it doesn't necessarily make for a good performer or performance. My all-time favorite performer does little-to-no physical movements (mostly just toe-tapping, if anything), grimaces more than he smiles, and yet conveys the most enjoyment, investment, skill, and "performance-ness" of any player I've ever seen. Please don't misunderstand; I'm not saying you can't entertain, and I'm not saying it's not cool; I'm merely stating that belief in its necessity is incorrect.

4. What the audience *hears* are notes. What they *feel* is tension and release. The way to communicate toward what the audience *feels* is to gain an in-depth understanding of how notes and patterns and other musical aspects you control contribute toward the idea of tension and release. If you only play with notes and don't learn to use them toward an end (that's the whole point of music), the audience will only *hear* your music. But if you learn to use notes toward above-mentioned end, the audience will actually be able to *feel* your music. 

A Beginner's Guide to Facial Expressions 

1. Single Eyebrow Raise

This one is used to facilitate small slides, or to acknowledge mistakes. Do this by simply raising one eyebrow. Bonus points if you can do it with either eyebrow for variety. Make sure to lower it after the event is over.

2. Double Eyebrow Raise

A lot easier than the Single Eyebrow Raise, this one is used for slides larger than a half-step. Make sure to lower them after the slide is over.

3. Nose Crinkle 

It's like a sneer. Just draw your nose up to your forehead (like pretending to be a rabbit) and hold for 2 seconds. This one is used for others' mistakes. Make sure you're looking directly at your guitarist as you do this.

4. Cold Focused Stare

If your guitarist is ignoring you and you're trying to signal a transition, just give them this stare for 7.5 seconds maximum and they will for sure feel it and look back at you.

5. Glare with Lowered Eyebrows

Expression of hatred. Use sparingly.

6. Held Double Eyebrow Raise with Closed Eyes

Used for spiccato or similar bouncy passages. Use for duration of passage. Make sure to change elevation of eyebrows for variety.

7. Tightly Closed Eyes with Semi-Lowered Eyebrows

For octave passages in the lower range of the instrument. Works better if the passage is in a minor key, but major works as well.

8. Tightly Closed Eyes with Face Pushed back into Neck

Useful for improvised solos. It takes a lot of effort to improvise over those weirdo chords, so you should look like a boss at least.

9. Half Smile

For when you do a subtle cool thing that no one noticed.

10. Full Smile

For when one of your band members does a cool thing that EVERYONE noticed.

11. Scrunched Eyebrows and Wide Open Eyes

This is one you do when the piano to your right literally drops its keyboard to the wood floor of the stage and sounds like an atomic bomb exploding.

12. Wide Eyes with Open-Mouthed Scream

When you improvise a major scale over a minor chord by mistake. At least, I hope it was by mistake...

13. Tightly Closed Lips Curled Inside the Mouth

Reserved for extremely difficult passages requiring a lot of concentration.

14. Mid-Tune Laugh

When you played something so badly that it's just only hilarious.

It is strongly recommended that you practice these expressions in front of a mirror. If you scare yourself, try toning it back a little bit. An audience will be even more sensitive. Remember that the minute details are very important in facial expressions.

Practice Tip #2 

Context. This is one of the number one things to pay attention to when practicing, especially if you're heavily into isolationistic, repeat-it-until-it's-nailed, kind of practice. 

When you isolate a shift (or anything else) to practice, you've taken it out of context. The longer you practice it out of context, the further away from its purpose within the piece it gets. Eventually, you end up practicing a completely different shift, and when you try to put it back into the piece... it doesn't work. Imagine practicing a shift for 40 minutes straight (I've done that) out of context. Probably by the 5-minute mark, you were doing a completely different shift altogether. Now, even though you've solidified a shift outside the piece, it serves no function in the piece at all; your time was wasted, and you're frustrated because you've been told that practicing something a million times is supposed to work. And it didn't. NOW, imagine that you take that same shift out of context, practice it a couple times, then put it back in context and try it, then take it out again and fix it some more, then put it back in context and see if it works, etc... This way, you are constantly reminding yourself what the shift actually is, within the piece, and you're actually practicing the right thing. Do THIS for 40 minutes, and you'll have it nailed.

I've had so much experience with this. I remember practicing a double-stop shift (in thirds) for a whole hour by itself. And then I realized that when I played the grace notes leading up to it, my elbow was actually directly underneath the neck of the violin, instead of off to the side like I had practiced it! It changes the entire shift. I'm just using shifts for examples, but it works the same for anything.

So. Practicing in context is important.
Here's how to do it:

Just constantly alternate between putting whatever-it-is back within the measure or two (before and after it), and practicing it by itself like there's no tomorrow. 

Simple, but remember:

1. Tempo is context as well as notes! Slowing something down is taking it out of context and so is speeding it up. Remember to return it to the right tempo, as well as the surrounding notes.

2. Practice it with a metronome, so that your tempo is consistent. There's nothing worse than having unknowingly practiced something slower, and then realizing it in the middle of a flurry of notes.

3. Don't always start from the same spot in the surrounding notes when putting it back in context. Your brain gets used to starting there, and then it can't start anywhere else for the life of it. Put some variety in there! And it makes it more interesting anyhow.

4. Range is context as well. Practicing bowings on open strings is good (and I love it), but sometimes where the note is on the fingerboard can change the tone quality of the bowing. In that case, playing the passage the same way you practiced it on open strings is going to sound awful.

Have fun...

How to Talk On Stage 

If you're like me, the idea of talking, on stage, to the audience, scares you to death. Here are some tips that I've developed over the years that help me survive the emotional trauma of talking onstage, and hopefully, they'll either be ridiculous enough for you to laugh (laughing is good), or clever enough for them to work amazing for you. Whatever option is best. So. On with it.

1. Develop a few tricks you can do to be hilarious. Some of my favorites are:
a) Talking about myself in the third person, like, "the next tune I'm going to play was written by a local artist, we're pretty good friends although she's a little too weird for my tastes. Kate writes amazing music and this is one of my favorites of her's." Or something...
b) Laughing at yourself when you--INEVITABLY-- say something stupid. Occasionally, my mouth will open and a sentence will come out that's really funny even though I wasn't expecting to say it. And then I burst out laughing at myself. The audience likes this for, I'm sure, multiple reasons, but I have no idea what any of them are.
c) Giving your audience "points" for random things. This is best reserved for only once or twice per show because it gets old fast, but... It's very funny for the performer to say, "woo hoo! Y'all made it through the intermission! You get five points!" or whatever.

2. Be honest. If the guitarist's string breaks and he's taking five minutes to change it, suddenly, you have to TALK TO FILL IN THE SPACE AND IT GETS VERY AWKWARD. Been there. My dialogue went something like this, "I don't know what to say. My guitarist's string just broke, so now I have all this space to fill up, but not enough interesting things to talk about. Like, I know I'm talking and everything, but I'm not really talking about anything. I'm just filling up space so my guitarist can change his string." I was smiling the whole time of course, and talked tangents off this conversation about LITERALLY nothing until the string was up and jogging and the audience and I was both in tears from laughing so hard. I was painfully honest about how awkward I felt at that moment and it went over quite well. 

3. BE awkward. I'm not kidding. Every. Single. Person. In the audience would be awkward doing what you're doing (okay, maybe there's that ONE person...). If you're not afraid to show that you're human, and awkward, that gives you instant relatability to the audience. They love that. I'm not saying you can curl up into a ball onstage and cry. You still have to "man up" to your task, but it's okay to be relatable and awkward while "manning up".

4. Don't plan what to say beforehand. Audiences like it when it seems like you're just talking naturally on stage and just thinking of things and funny conversation on the fly. I've not found a better way to appear spontaneous than actually BEING spontaneous. 

5. Know the stories of the music you're playing, but don't rehearse telling that story... This one is related to the above. When I'm in "performance mode", my brain is working overtime creatively to help make music come alive. I've found that I ALWAYS find a new funny thing to say about this tune, or a weird impression about that tune, if I allow my brain to continue being creative even while I'm introducing the songs. So don't reduce the creativity that your brain is already in by imposing too much fore-thought and planning. 

6. Just. Talk. The audience wants to hear your voice. Even if you lose your thought process and end your sentence with a super awkward, "so.... yeah." (done that SOOOOOO many times), the audience got a chance to hear you speak words out loud and now they feel like they know you a little bit better. This, my friends, is the point.

Practice Tip #1 

One of the bigger issues that I have seen plague avid practicers, is not lack of focus, like most people assume. I mean, focus is important, and not everyone has it, but just because someone is focusing, doesn't mean anything unless it is directed at something. A lot of the time, it's not lack of focus, but lack of focus on something. So now that you--hopefully--understand the problem, here's a tip on how to solve it:

Before you start practicing, always ask yourself "why". Why are you practicing this? What are you trying accomplish? What is the end result you want?

If you don't practice a passage with a particular goal in mind, you just end up practicing something merely for the sake of practicing it. And at the end of the day, it will still be the same as before. It doesn't even matter that you were really focused on the passage you were working on, if you're not focused on resolving a particular issue, the amount of focus doesn't matter because it's still just--similar to--mindlessly repeating something over and over again.

So instead of just repeating something because you're trying to "practice" it, try focusing on a certain issue. Instead of saying, "I'm going to practice this passage", try saying, "I'm going to focus on nailing the high notes in this passage", or, "I'm going to finesse my vibrato on these three notes". Now, you have a real reason for spending time on a section, and when you're finished, you will have improved at something measurable and specific. 

So... there you go... Happy Practicing!


Six Steps for Better Performances 

1. Yes, I know it's weird, but I REALLY REALLY want to you hear you tune your instrument. Do it as loud as you possibly can; I'll be happy. 

2. If you make a small mistake that I wouldn't notice, don't make a face. IF, however, you make a Very Large Mistake that sounds ridiculously funny coming from you, feel free to smile or even laugh a little bit. It will make the connection even better; and, you'll seem like you're as human as the rest of us. Which is a good thing. But ONLY on SUPER HUGE mistakes. 

3. General rule of thumb: it's always the guitar player's fault. It just is. So when you mess up, make sure to give the crazy person standing next to you a cold stare. Because it really was their fault... 

4. If any of your first notes were out of tune for one reason or another, just stop, and make a very obvious show of re-tuning your violin. You could even add some helpful narrative, so the audience is SURE to understand precisely WHY you are re-tuning you instrument. 

5. The sound guy is your best friend, or your arch enemy. Enough said. 

6. Never. Wear. High. Heels. On. A. Boat. Because WHEN THE BOAT MOVES, the violinist gets sick. And THAT, my friends, is bad.