Practice Principles

Getting the most out of your practice sessions.

PUBLISHED: May 13, 2019 • UPDATED: Jan 22, 2020 • LESSON CODE: UL001 • VISITS: 197

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Practice Principles

Getting the most out of your practice sessions.

I would avocate not actually calling it practice, think of it as exploring.

See Chuck Anderson's guest article title: Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words

  • Establish a long term musical goal, and keep it in mind at each practice session.
  • Focus on your weaknesses, not on your strengths. Work only on the weaknesses that are relevant to your long term musical goals (Principle No. 1).
  • Set a short term goal before each practice session so you know how the first 10 minutes will be used before you start. Don't compare the end of a previous session to the start of the current session.
  • Practice what you don't know — NOT what you DO know.
  • If your practice sounds particulary good, it's not actually practice, and it doesn't count towards your practice session. Save that for rehearsing for performances.
  • Don't practice anything wrong; not one single note or one beat. When in doubt, triple check the note or beat, and then check it again.
  • Don't play pieces or songs through from beginning until end; work on parts or pieces of songs. Save that for rehearsing for performances ( no 4 ).
  • Leave your instrument out, or, if you're a singer, leave your music out on a music stand, in a place where you will see it every day. If your instrument is yout voice, it's always out and with you - great for anytime practice.
  • Practice for at least 10 minutes every day. If you miss days, don't give up. Just get back on schedule. Short sessions are better than no sessions.
  • Don't practice the same thing, in the same order, that you did the day before. Explore all possible variations.

Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Book & Includes Online Downloadable code

"Effortless Mastery is a book that the world really needs. It was not written by a philosopher or an academic. Kenny Werner, is one of my favorite pianists I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and in my opinion one of the best pianists living on the planet. Kenny teaches that 'The joy of practicing is concentration. The joy of playing is liberation.' Effortless Mastery teaches the seeker how to achieve both at the highest levels. It also shows how to practice effectively, promoting real growth and how to play and perform free from fear and self-judgment. I highly recommend this book." ---Quincy Jones

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Practice Principles at this time.


Practice Tips for A to Z Blues Chord Progressions for `Ukulele • Updated: Feb 12, 2014

Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words • Updated: Jun 6, 2019

A guest lesson/article by internationally renowned jazz guitarist and educator Chuck Anderson.

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