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Tip #1 – Make Time For Practice – Not Excuses!
I was just thinking this morning about something interesting… there are a great number of people that don’t speak properly, understandably, or intelligently. It used to be that to be able to land a job, you at least had to appear presentable and speak in a clear half way intelligent manner. Gaining an education and learning skills to further advance your life should be high on the priority list… yet sadly, I see and hear so many people that not only butcher spoken / written language, but choose to remain uneducated.
Where am I going with this? Easy… I see the same thing when it comes to the musical language. If someone wants to become a great player, you HAVE to put in the sweat equity of practicing, and learn the language by listening and immersing yourself into the style/s of music that you want to become proficient in.
My first tip for you this week is to understand that no matter what age you are, you will continue to learn until you take your last breath. Look at even the smallest of examples – in the last decade, we’ve had to learn how to operate smart phones, increasingly complex computers, cars, and navigate the increasingly risky chance of identity theft (which wasn’t even a common crime 20 years ago). Change a habit – you’re learning new information. Read a newspaper article about the latest catastrophe – you’re learning new information about what, how, and theories on why. Get my point?
So – if you REALLY want this art form to be a part of your life, make time for conscious conscientious practicing daily… no excuses.
Tip #2 – Summer Practicing!
As we are just a day away from May, school is nearly done for the spring semester. Even if you’re not in school any longer, planning your summer practice is something that should be considered and carefully plotted out like a road trip and an end destination. This will ensure that you stay on the practicing path, and give you something to look forward to which keeps the fire lit!
Whether you’re in school or not, there are jam sessions, community bands, camps, etc. that you can attend in nearly every city and town around the world.
My plan looks like this –
A) Improve technique
B) Advance my harmonic knowledge and playing ability for improvisation
C) Continue writing new tunes
D) Practice Piano
E) Increase Range
These are all only the main categories I want to enhance, I have several sub-categories under each to help me achieve these goals, or at least put me on the path to do so. For instance – to improve my technique I will be playing the Clarke Studies faster (with a metronome) and emphasize cleanliness.
What are your summer practice plans?
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”
1930-2009, Author and Speaker
Have a GREAT week!