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Tips for Practicing effectively...

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:01 pm
by SJunior22
Hello Fellow Pianists! :)

I wanted to share my approach to learning any instrument. Practice is a oversimplified term (in my opinion). As the saying goes, "Practice...practice...practice" and eventually you'll get "good" with your chosen instrument. There's practicing for hours upon hours of the day and then there's "Effective Practice".

My idea of effective practice is:
First, practice at the exact time (or close to) of the day/evening. This trains your mind in expecting and anticipating to learn at a certain point in the day or evening.
Second, (if you are just starting to learn - less than at least 100 practice hours), practice everyday at the same time for at least 2 weeks (a month would be more ideal) - you'll develop the habit and eventually, the craving to want to learn/play the piano/instrument.
Third, if you only have less than an hour to practice, set a goal - review your scales, chords, etc. Make sure this goal can be accomplished and that it will advance your learning (dont make the goal too easy).
Forth, (in slight relation to the third tip) - set out a goal for the week of where you want to be (whether its in your bootcamps or courses) and make sure you acheive it. I wouldn't worry too much about the scores for now, just as long as you pass. You can always go back someday and beat the scores when you get more practice time in.
Fifth (important), make sure you are fully focused and concentrating on what you are trying to learn. Imminent distractions take away some of your focus energy in which, could lessen the effectiveness of your precious practice time. Be aware of when you begin to lose that focus (some days your focus can be stronger than others, give yourself some slack). When you feel that you aren't "into it" anymore, STOP! Even if its just minutes in, you must stop and come back the next day. Chances are, you'll come back and be more focused than the previous day.
Sixth and final tip, dont forget to reward yourself. If you got thru a tough stage in learning, give yourself a pat on the back and find a simple-reinforcing reward (I'd reccommend breaking from the usual practice structure and play some of your favorite modules in the Playground Sessions catalog). For bigger rewards, maybe get a piece of music from the song store, take a break away from the usual practice schedule and devote your time in learning that certain song you purchased.

I hope these tips find a home and help someone out. These tips have been my approach for over 35 years when learning an instrument. I have 1000s of hours in playing drums and 100s of hours with the Bass Guitar. Its been said that it takes at least a 1000 hours of practice with your instrument for you to acheive a Professional competency. So get those minutes/hours/days in any way you can. Good luck and Enjoy your journey to becoming the best player you want to be! :D

Re: Tips for Practicing effectively...

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:32 am
by andrewwegierski
I really like the first tip. I never really thought about practicing at the same exact time every morning, afternoon, or evening. When I was in music school it was just "practice as much as you can, whenever you can" non stop hustle.

That's not sustainable. I like this approach.

Re: Tips for Practicing effectively...

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:09 pm
by SJunior22
Thank you Andrew for your kind perspective! :D

Re: Tips for Practicing effectively...

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:09 am
by zoey
Excellent tips. My mother got us to do things at the exact same time everyday, whenever we started taking extra lessons for something. We hated it, but then once the time came around, we just slid into our roles. We finished and that was that. We did not have to revisit until the next class. So there is something to following a strict timetable.

Re: Tips for Practicing effectively...

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:01 am
by SJunior22
Thank you Zoey for your wonderful comment and input!