How to practice


    Practice in a setting which is ideal for you. For some people, this means a quiet room with absolutely no distractions. For others, it may mean being in the middle of a loud room with a TV on, people talking, and others also practicing. There is no "perfect" setting in which to practice. Wherever you focus best is where you should practice. Do, however, set up a regular practice space where you can keep your music stand, your music, and your instrument.

    1-    Play through your warm-ups (if any) first (scales and long tones are good). 

    2-    Get out the main music you're working on. Mark the key signature!  Check for fingerings you don’t know.  (look in the back of your book)

    3-    Focus on playing the section you want to fix. Play through it a few times in order to get a feel for it. When you make a mistake, go back a few notes, and play through the trouble-spot at half the tempo. Do this several times, deliberately and slowly placing the fingers until any issues are fixed. Then slowly increase tempo.

    4-     Do some silent practice. Do the fingerings while singing through the music, especially if you play a brass instrument, where constant playing can be tiring.  COUNT the measure.  Make sure the rhythm fits what you are playing.

    5-    Use a metronome. A metronome will not result in an unmusical performance. The metronome will keep your tempo steady, and will greatly discipline your use of practice time.

    6-    Play your instrument 4 to 5 times per week. You will begin to lose the fine muscle-control you've been developing by skipping days. Once in a while, you need a break, but try to be mostly consistent.

    Practice SLOWLY. Too many people think that speed is the key, that practicing at a fast tempo will help them move faster and become a better musician. This is not true. Practicing slowly and accurately is much, much better than fast practice. If your playing is accurate at a slow tempo, speed will come naturally. If you practice too fast, you will trip up over the same things over and over again.

    If you notice that you are making some mistakes (or even if you feel like you are going to), stop and isolate those sections. Play them EXTREMELY slowly until you can get them right. If rhythm is a problem, use a metronome. If you are a beginner and have not used a metronome before, put your instrument down and clap and count the rhythm. Then play the rhythm on your instrument without changing the notes (no fingers). Then, put it all together again, still slowly. Don't allow yourself to practice mistakes -- this is useless! Anything you do wrong more than once is a mistake, and you should stop and correct it immediately.


                           PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!!!