Practice Makes Perfect

practice guitar

By Brooke E. Layman

Practice, practice, practice. We have all heard it before. We have repeated the old adage practice makes perfect, and we have followed our own advice. But how much practice is enough and how do we know if we are actually getting better? Calm down Nancy, you aren’t the first person to ask these questions and you won’t be the last.

No one can tell you exactly how much practice is the right amount for you. An hour a day may make you great at doing crossword puzzles, but it probably won’t make you an internationally renowned jazz pianist. Psychologists have suggested that it takes 10,000 hours or approximately 10 years to become an expert at something, focusing on deliberate practice.

It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like you’ve been doing the same thing over and over but what you don’t realize is, the more you keep plugging away you are actually getting better. Kudos to you!

You can’t go pro unless you’re as good as you can be… and know that you can always be better. Listen to the people who know what they are doing. No one became famous straight out of the womb; you are going to have to practice.

Which musician do you idolize? Watch videos and learn how to play the way they do. Follow local bands and record them on stage. Get the idea?

If you’ve been working hard on your own and are ready to start your own band, avoid bringing on people who will make the rehearsing process less productive.

If you already have a band, get all that you can out of your rehearsal time. It’s fun to get together with your band mates but rehearsal time isn’t about catching up on your life, it’s about practicing. Take a tip from Joe Satriani and make practice time all that it can be.

Don’t just practice your instrument, practice getting into a calm and relaxed state of mind. If you can learn how to find your “happy place” you can harness this feeling when you get on stage to perform.

Know the difference between mindless practice and deliberate practice. Don’t just sit down and play for the heck of playing, play it like you mean it!

And guess what friends: playing an instrument has added benefits like increasing memory capacity and relieving stress. I don’t know why you are still reading this article, go pick up your (enter instrument of choice) and starting practicing!

One Comment

  1. Posted February 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on uoflmusiccareer.

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