How To Practice Efficiently
Though this particular post is not my first concerning woodwind techniques, in many ways it might be the most useful. You will read many articles in many magazines about what to practice, but the real secret to practicing is actually the amount of repetition; how many times you go over an idea or concept so that it becomes second nature – a subconscious, instantaneous ability to play and/or improvise anything at any speed, in any key, in any style.
We all know the way to get to this point is well planned and well executed practice. But the amount of repetition will determine how deep it goes into your mind and body. Thus, I would like to share with you a practice regimen that will guarantee great results, if it is undertaken with great care taken to keep yourself healthy and injury free. Such practice regimens have the ability to both supercharge your musical abilities, and completely destroy them if you are not careful.
Unhealthy lifestyles, physical/mental exhaustion, and injury have taken out way too many gifted musicians because they did not respect the fragility of the human mind and body when pushed unreasonably hard. A career is a lifetime endeavour, and it never pays to wreck your future for a rapid gain today. Do not do this or any practice routine to extremes; it will hurt you. You must always pace yourself and rest/stretch your neck, fingers, arms, and back often. That being said, this routine will do wonders for your technique and education. It is highly repetitive but varied enough to keep you from getting bored. It is based on pianist McCoy Tyner’s practice regimen, and thus you know if it will work for a genius like Tyner it will work for you and I.
Read more in my latest column in Canadian Musician (p. 29) at http://issuu.com/cmonline/docs/sp_cm_marapr15_3_