Organize Your Practice to Achieve Success
Many people practice every day. But some improve more than others. Why? Its no secret really. Regardless of how much so called “talent” you have there is a direct correlation between “how” you practice and the progress you make.
First of all its important to remember that small goals lead to mid range goals which lead to long term goals and your ultimate goal. For example you could have daily goals which lead to weekly goals, yearly goals and an ultimate 5 year goal. Someone’s daily goal could be to practice 3 major scales every day. Weekly could be to get three scales to 16th notes @ ¼ note = 120. Yearly goals could be to have all major and minor scales up to speed and 5 year goal could be to master your instrument. Whatever your goals are you need to establish them and design a strategy to attain them.
Once you’ve established your goals, you need to design a strategy to attain them. Any time spent on your instrument will help you to improve but specific practice techniques pointed directly towards your weaknesses and the things which prevent you from attaining your goals will bring with them the greatest improvement; as long as you apply yourself to them consistently.
On a weekly basis you should re-assess and revise. Take a look at what is working and what is not. Did you achieve your goal? If no, why not? Do you need more time to practice? Are your practice techniques effective? Are you focused and disciplined within your method during your practice time? If something is not working you need to figure out why and make adjustments.
Finally, improving on an instrument does not bring instant gratification. Gratification comes from consistent, strategic practice over a long period of time. 10 minutes every day on the same task over a week will achieve much greater results than 70 minutes one day or 35 minutes two days. The more time you put in the better you get but be smart, make efficient use of the time, and you will see results. No musician becomes a master as a result of talent. Some of us have certain talents some have others but mastery of any instrument is a result of consistent dedication to improvement on a daily basis over a long period of time. That’s the secret. If you want it, you can have it. All it takes is discipline, a good plan, and a drive to get better.