Applying this technique to quickly improve your skill and abilities

seclevImproving music practice focus speeds the music learning process along.

Wouldn’t you like to know how five minutes of practicing music effectively can be more valuable than one hour of rote repetition practice.

Did you ever notice how all your friends or parents seem to have advise  on how to fix your music practice. Believe me I know I do it to my daughter all the time.

Although they kind of know, none of them really know what you are struggling with at the moment. Although they do have their experiences and overcome some similar problem in the past, they are basing it on their memory and their problem.

Teachers and Practice Advise

Where are our teachers in that last consideration? We usually respect their advise more than others as it should be. They work to program our learning experience on how and what things should be practiced.

However, I do believe that not enough attention is placed on the how. I’m challenging a vast majority of practice directions today.

I don’t believe that all teachers, and especially all our friends, know what is good practice technique. Giving out advice on this method or that book is fine, but it doesn’t teach you how to practice.

When you hear “Here is an excessive, please practice it 10 times in a row” and if you’re like me you  want to scream when you hear that statement.  Rote practicing, in my mind, is the surest method to mediocrity and boredom. 

Standard Practice

 – Repetition — It has been my experience that practicing by repeating for the sake of repeating simple creates a long time to get any better let alone master a musical element. Now don’t get me wrong, you do have to repeat exercises and songs, but it has to be done differently. You need a new mind set and practice method. I have experienced and believe there is a quicker, faster and just overall better way.

Effective Practice – Focus

Specific focus is the key to effective practice. The act of focusing your attention to very specific technique, analysis, motion, or phrasing will do more for improving your skills than anything else.

This means you will take and repeat a given musical item and focus on making it better with each attempt. As you become better you add to your view.

It can be used with the method of adding on to quickly gain improvement.

How Does It Work

Try a set of notes or a phrase, focus to improve sound quality the next time you play the phrase. Better yet experiment and accent it differently each time. You’re not just running through it 10 times;  you’re engaged with how it sounds different every time you play it.

This concept of expressing it slightly different each time is a great way to focus on a difficult phrase. Focus within your minds eye on how it should sound, then work with each attempt to make it sound that way through your physical movements or  breath.

Work on specific techniques with exercises. Accent scales on 1 beats only, then change to 1 and 3 beat. Grouping arpeggios in threes to accent on the beat then change to accent every four notes giving you new notes to accent on.

Work with rhythm as we do in the Rhythm Getting It Down Cold Workshop approaching the patterns in different ways or with different hand combinations.

Take this idea and see if you can change your practice today. What would it take to improve your attention to detail and accelerate your learning. This simple effective music practice concept can and will change your playing skills.

Learning Resources


These workshops will cover more theory than several method books and years of lessons.