No one is born knowing how to practice. It’s a learned skill, and it takes lots of patience and perseverance to get it right.
Avoid these rookie mistakes that everyone’s made for a more productive practice session every day.
- Believing that playing equals practicing. Just because you’re playing doesn’t mean you’re truly preparing. Instead, isolate the problem/challenge areas and work on those. Run through the whole song without stopping. Isolate again as you find problem areas.
- Thinking that practice makes perfect. It doesn’t. It makes permanent. So make sure you’re making the RIGHT stuff permanent.
- Getting it right once and calling it good enough. If you can get it right one time in practice, that doesn’t mean it’s ready to play in front of people, including your teacher. Try to play it 3-5 times in a row at least with conscious competence.
- Cramming. Trying to learn your piece an hour before your lesson isn’t the wisest use of your time. Remember to shoot for smaller increments of practice (20-30 minutes daily) to get the most out of your practice routine.
- Trying to “muscle through.” Take a break when a tough part gets particularly frustrating. You need space to clear your head. Take a short break about every 20 minutes. Younger students may need a break after 10 minutes of practicing.
Make your practice time productive by avoiding these rookie mistakes and you’ll see continuous progress day by day.