Help! I don’t have time to practice!

This is on older post that accompanies Jason Heath’s post about auditioing.

But what if you ARE a young person (or not so young) and you still don’t have time to practice? What now? Well, first – MAKE TIME! I find it hard to believe that a student can’t find FIVE MINUTES to practice. Ok ok… What if you really only have five minutes? This was the topic of discussion at a recent lesson with a student and his parents. I thought he could lighten his class load by not taking so many advanced classes, dropping an elective, or not playing a sport. As it turns out there was an ill family member and he really didn’t have time to practice.

So, how about some practical solutions for the 21st century.

1. Each day, FIX SOMETHING. It could be one note, one shift, one rhythm, but improve something.

2. Do more listening. Most students have an iPod or other music player. Use travel time, chores, or laundry time to really get to know the piece you’re working on.

3. Study the score. Again, there are little times throughout the day that playing the bass is not practical (ie lunch) but you could be studying a score or sheet music.

4. Do counting exercises, air bowing, or visualization. Really! It may look a little silly, but the alternative (sounding bad) is even worse. As long as your brain is involved you can get better.

5. Don’t give up! Schedules go through cycles. Just try to have a better practice schedule next week, next month, or next semester.

Thanks and happy practicing!

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