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10 Ways to set yourself up for success in music practice

I need to start doing more of all of these things!


    1. Set up your space

    It can be more than one space: repetitive scale practice in front of the TV, a metronome station, etc. Keep an instrument out on a stand. If you use a pedalboard or amp, set it up so that everything turns on with a single switch, or even leave it on so there is no delay.

    2. create a youTube station/playlist

    While "YouTube Roulette" is not the most effective way to get better there are thousands of free lessons.

    3. Have a monthly plan or goal

    This is difficult for me because I go in a lot of directions at once and don't make significant progress in any of them. Having a monthly goal (triads this month) will be helpful

    4. Focus on the task instead of the outcome.

    In other words, when practicing a scale, focus on the execution of the scale. Later, when you improvise or play tunes you will get crossover and it will be easier.

    For example I am working on diminished triads this month. I like the sound when other people play them but I am realizing that when I reach for this in improvising my fingers are spaghetti because I have not yet learned the fingering. Once I am very fluid with the scale then I can work on integrating it into my playing.

    5. Write it down

    Even copying over something you are doing already will help you understand it at another level. I have decided to write books. This has helped me tremendously, more than I thought it would.

    6. Bookmark lesson sites if you use them

    7. Watch interviews with players that you admire for inspiration and a reality check

    YouTube is an absolute gold mine for this. Many top virtuosos practiced for 6-12 hours a day for YEARS before they got famous. Players at the top of their field still practice for hours every day.

    8. Invest in decent instruments and maintain them

    For example, I have inexpensive instruments, but I installed locking tuners on (almost) all of them and maintained them well so that they are in tune and ready to play all the time. Make sure strings and reeds are fresh and that the instrument is clean. it should give you an inspiring tone.

    9. lessons and software

    It is tempting to over-commit to buying courses that I don't complete (guilty). I subscribe to a few libraries: for less than the cost of 2 lessons or 3 DVD lessons I have a library of hundreds of lessons.

    If you are computer based set up templates with drum tracks, backing tracks and sounds pre-loaded.

    10. Enjoy the journey!

    Music can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Some people get paid to do it, but there is a reason why you "play."

    11. Chat GPTs answer

    Achieving success in music practice involves a combination of discipline, technique, and mindset. Here are 10 ways to set yourself up for success:

    1. **Establish Clear Goals:** Start by setting specific, achievable goals for each practice session, as well as long-term goals. This could include mastering a particular piece, improving a technique, or preparing for a performance.

    2. **Create a Consistent Routine:** Regular practice is key. Set aside a specific time each day for practice and stick to it, making music practice a part of your daily routine.

    3. **Designate a Practice Space:** Having a dedicated space where you can practice without interruptions or distractions can significantly improve focus and efficiency.

    4. **Warm-Up Properly:** Begin each session with warm-up exercises. This could include scales, arpeggios, or other technical exercises that prepare your fingers and mind for more complex tasks.

    5. **Use a Metronome:** A metronome helps develop a sense of timing and rhythm. It's an essential tool for ensuring that you're playing at the correct tempo and staying in time.

    6. **Focus on Quality Over Quantity:** It's better to have a shorter, more focused practice session than a longer, unfocused one. Concentrate on practicing effectively rather than just logging hours.

    7. **Record and Listen to Your Practice:** Recording your practice sessions and listening back can provide insights into areas that need improvement, which you might not notice while playing.

    8. **Take Breaks:** Regular breaks during practice sessions help prevent burnout and physical strain. Short breaks can also help your brain process and retain what you've learned.

    9. **Seek Feedback:** Regular feedback from teachers, peers, or mentors is invaluable. They can provide guidance, new perspectives, and tips for improvement.

    10. **Stay Positive and Patient:** Progress in music takes time and effort. Stay positive, celebrate small victories, and be patient with yourself as you develop your skills.

    Remember, the key to success in music practice is consistency, patience, and a willingness to learn and grow. Each practice session is a step forward in your musical journey.

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