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!


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