Practice Principles

Getting the most out of your practice sessions.

Published: 13 May 2019 Updated: 22 Jan 2020Visits: 535Code: UL001

INSTRUMENTS: Practice Main: Ukulele Others: Ukulele Guitar Bass Piano ANY
Subjects: Practice

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Practice Principles


Getting the most out of your practice sessions.

I agree with Chuck Anderson and would advocate not actually calling it practice — think of it as exploring. — Curt

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

  • Keep a short-term musical goal in mind at each practice session and establish a long-term musical goal.
  • Instead of focusing on your strengths, focus on your weaknesses. Work only on what is relevant to your long-term musical goals (Principle No. 1).
  • Before each practice session, establish a short-term objective. Don't compare the end of a previous session to the start of a new one.
  • Practice what you do not know, not what you do know. If your practice sounds good, you're doing something you already know and can do.
  • If your practice sounds good and is error-free, it doesn't count as a practice session. That should be saved for rehearsals and performance.
  • Don't practice anything wrong, not one note or one beat. If in doubt, triple-check the note or beat it. Then double-check it again.
  • Work on parts or pieces of songs instead of playing songs from beginning to end. Save the full song for rehearsing for performances (see 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'll see it every day. Your instrument is your voice, it is always out and with you: great for anytime practice.
  • It is recommended that you practice at least 10 minutes every day. Short sessions are better than no sessions. If you miss days, don't give up. Just get back on schedule. Away from your instrument, work on the musical things that don't require you to be with your instrument.
  • Avoid doing the same thing, in the same order, that you did the day before. Explore all possible variations.

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Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words

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