How to Improve Your Practice Habits

We all know that in order to get better at whatever we choose we need to practice it. What most people struggle to do is to actually do this! Unrealistic expectations are set about having to invest a lot of time per day to get better.

The lucky truth is that it’s not the most efficient way to learn. Psychologist Dr. Ericsson, a leading expert in the field of practice says that we should be practicing with a more deliberate technique. Rather than sitting there aimlessly you should focus your time and spend even just 20 minutes doing specific deliberate practice.

practice music

 

Practice stuff that is challenging. If you are nailing whatever it is that you are practicing  then it’s no longer practice, it’s performance. Set yourself up to learn the most in a short space of time and just put aside 20-30 minutes every day to practice and I assure you in 6 months time you will be blown away with the results!

Practice with a metronome often. This will lead to a better time and keep you honest. If you are trying to play something too fast your metronome will tell you to slow it down till you can nail it.

practice metronome

Find ways to practice with other musicians also. I guarantee that if you are playing with other musicians, especially ones better than you, you will notice a huge improvement in your playing.

Always try and practice some technique daily. This will help you develop more dexterity/air support and precision. These things are things that take time and grow so why not add to them bit by bit every day?

Set yourself small goals to work towards. Big goals can seem daunting at times. It helps to break down whatever you’re learning into small bite sized pieces. I know personally when I was learning classical pieces I’d have to just go line by line because it was too hard to process in it’s entirety.

Take breaks. When practicing for long periods of time make sure you’re getting enough rest. Overworking yourself can cause you serious problems later down the track. I’ve heard countless stories about bass players and guitarists developing RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome. Best to avoid it while you can!

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